Our Visit to Chenzhou

October 21, 2010

Bullet Train BLOG

I am a little behind here as it has been hard to keep up with the pictures and the posts while getting adjusted to the time difference and a new beautiful baby girl.

The first two days were pretty difficult, as I mentioned she was really out of sorts and nothing we seemed to do would give her any comfort. She was not really eating or drinking bottles. We tried just about everything to get her to drink formula and she was just not having it.

Tuesday evening after she fell asleep, I cried as I thought about all she was going through. I knew when we woke up Wednesday morning we were going to be heading to Chenzhou City to visit her orphanage and after the day we had, I was almost afraid to take her back, but at the same time I knew I HAD TO GO.

When we first arrived Sunday night and got into the car with our guide, I had mentioned the trip to the orphanage and she shot me a very confused look. She said she knew nothing about a trip to the orphanage and she did not believe we had permission to go. I told her that my agency said they had gotten approval and she said that she would have to double check with the orphanage director and the government officials. I panicked at the thought of us being denied and expressed to her how much I needed to go and see this for my daughter. She understood and said she would do her best.

On Tuesday when we finished our paperwork at the civil affairs office, she told us that the orphanage director and the government officials granted our wish and we could go. She was going to accompany us as no one at the orphanage speaks English.

It has been 24 hours now since we have returned from Chenzhou and I have been trying to put into words and pictures what we experienced……and somehow I feel that I will never be able to show or tell you in a way that would do it justice. I truly believe our day in Chenzhou will be the highlight of this entire trip.

Susan and I BLOG

Riding in style BLOG

We traveled to Chenzhou from Changsha by highspeed bullet train. What an experience that was for both Marla and me. Neither one of us have traveled by train before and it was SO MUCH FUN! The cost for a round trip ticket was approximately $100 per person and we got a snack and beverages up both ways. It took us exactly one hour to get there. By car it would have taken a little over 4 hours.

Once we reached Chenzhou, it was apparent by the time we exited the trainstation that the locals do not get to see too many westerners. Although Chenzhou is a big city and only a little smaller than Changsha, it felt very different to me.

The ride from the trainstation to her orphanage was kind of scary. We had a wild cab driver who decided to play “chicken” with another cab driver who obviously did something to upset him. Our guide had to tell him to slow down.

Road to the orphanage BLOG

We drove for about 20 minutes and then the driver was attempting to turn up this very narrow road. As we turned the corner and drove up this road that was literally 4feet wide, I saw the gates of the orphanage. Marla and I were crying before we reached the orphanage doors.

Orphanage GATES BLOG

Man in the Red Hat BLOG

The older disabled children were outside with some of the elders that have lived there their entire lives. We could hear the crying babies through all the open windows and we both knew it was not going to be easy to enter that front door.

FRUIT BLOG

Once inside, we were escorted to a meeting room on the first floor. The orphanage staff literally went above and beyond. They had a big fruit tray and bottled water for us when we arrived. We met most of the office and medical staff, then we met the Orphanage Director. He told us how happy he was that we came to visit and welcomed us to tour the facility. He also told us that he was going to let me look through Reagan’s file to see if there was any other information that I did not receive with my referral. It was a very nice exchange and he was grateful for the gifts that we brought for the children of Chenzhou. He had to leave to head to a meeting and then we were escorted up to the 5th Floor to see the babies.

Hi Mama BLOG

Before we even walked in the first room, we saw a little boy sitting just inside the doorway who looked at us and said “Hi Mama” That was all it took. We were both in tears(again)

BABIES IN CHENZHOU BLOG

The first room was for children who were older than 12 months. It was not Reagan’s room, but Marla and I were so touched and drawn to these little ones. A couple had very sad stories. One in particular that was going to be adopted and when the parents met the child they said that they could not go through and did not want the child. If we could have, we would have brought her home in a New York minute.

Nannie eating lunch BLOG

The nannies were so loving and caring and very friendly. They were eating lunch and taking care of the little ones. After a little while, we went to the next room for babies under 12 months….. Reagan’s room.

Reagan's Crib BLOG

They showed me her crib that is now empty. They said that she has been in the same crib since the day she entered and as luck would have it, she was right next to a little girl who is going to be adopted next week by a family in the states. Her mom and I have been in touch ever since we got our referrals and I was so excited to learn that our girls have been crib mates for the last 10 months. I will be meeting this family on Sunday night and we hope to keep the girls connected as they grow up!

On one side of Reagan's room they had about 6 cribs that held 12 babies…..two in each. This was the most heart wrenching sight of the day. Most of them looked under 4weeks old and they seemed to be very ill. They were so very tiny……it broke our hearts.

Reagan's file BLOG

After we left the baby room we went to the play area which was so nice and big. They told us that the babies came there every day from 9-11am and from 3-5pm to get some belly and playtime. In that room they brought me Reagan’s file. In the file they had a red envelope that had the time and date she was born. It was written by her birthmother and left with her. They also had a photo of Reagan the day she was brought to the orphanage. I asked them if I could have a copy of that picture because it meant so much to me. They said the best they could do is make a black and white zerox copy. A few minutes later they handed me the red envelope and the original photo. Our guide explained to them how important that photo was to me and begged them to let me have the original....and they agreed. That was such a gift....and I was so taken back that I could not catch my breath. We now have the outfit she was wearing the day she was found, the note left by her birth mother on the lucky red envelope, and the picture that was taken moments after she arrived at the orphanage in the outfit. These are things that I will treasure and cherish forever. I plan to get them preserved as soon as I get back home.

We all walked down the long hallway to the elevator and then went outside to take some photos with the staff.

Marla and Me with the staff BLOG

Granny BLOG

We were approached by one of the old women who lives on the 3rd floor. They said she must have recognized Reagan and she stopped to touch her and tell us how beautiful she was. She was so very sweet and I am SO HAPPY Marla was able to capture this moment.

Slowly but surely, we made our way out of the orphanage and onto the streets of Chenzhou City. We caused quite a stir and traffic seemed to almost come to a holt as we walked down the street. The small children were so taken by us and loved to come up and say “hello” When we spoke back to them, they giggled and ran away to tell their other friends. It was so CUTE.
Some of my favorite shots were taken on this busy street.

Girls Carrying Heavy Baskets BLOG

Girl Eating Rice BLOG
This one is MY favorite!!! I want this one framed and hung somewhere in our home:) I can't believe that I caught this shot with Reagan strapped to me. It has been difficult to take pictures and hold a baby:)

They eventually took us to see the spot where Reagan was found. Once again the waterworks began…… it was SO EMOTIONAL for me to stand there in the very spot and to think of the day she was left there, but I am glad that I got to see it and photograph it for her lifebook.

The visit in Chenzhou City ended with a fabulous and authentic Hunan lunch. It was BY FAR, the best thing we have eaten since we arrived. We invited the staff to join us and they picked the restaurant……it was typical chinese family style with the lazy susan. I think they were impressed that Marla and I ate everything they ordered……even the spicy stuff. IT WAS SO GOOD!!

Reagan Big Brown Bow BW BLOG

In addition, guess who decided to eat? Yes….. Reagan ate two bowls of steamed egg and LOVED it. She made her mama very happy! Unfortunately, Miss Reagan was hiding in the ergo for all of today’s photos, so I added this one from the other day!!

The trip to the orphanage did not seem to have an adverse affect on her. She did very well and I kept her next to me in the Ergo all day long. She whimpered a tiny bit when she heard her friends crying in the baby room, but other than that, she did GREAT.

I am SO GLAD that we had the opportunity to go and see where she has been living. We were very impressed with the orphanage and the staff. This morning when Marla and I woke up, we said we wished we could go back. We loved the time we spent there…… the day will be forever etched in my brain. I will never forget the faces, buildings, city streets, smells, and sounds. It was one of the best birthday’s of my life……for so many reasons.

It is time for me to go. I hope to update again soon

79 comments:

Mrs. Deputy said...

Tears are flowing as I read this. I can only imagine the emotions you are going through on this journey bittersweet.

Love Letters To China said...

As I read your post, I could almost imagine being there with you experiencing all the sites and sounds. I'm so glad you were able to visit Reagan's orphanage and finding place. That is one of the places I so wished my hubby could have gone when he was in China with Liam.

So glad you had such an amazing birthday!

Hugs,
Grace

Alyson and Ford said...

What an amazing gift you have for your daughter, the knowledge of her orphanage, the pictures, the experience of meeting the Staff, and your written words. Write as much as you can now as the memories are fresh. You are doing so well!

Alyzabeth's Mommy

Norah said...

This post has such beauty and pain. You told it perfectly and the pictures are amazing...and yes, I'm crying as I type this!

Kim said...

I can only imagine the emotions of the day as I have cried each time I have read thru this beautiful post.
Praising God for His faithfulness and provision as you were able to make this journey and gather such treasures for Reagan!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,
Kim

Debberoo said...

Fantastic post, thank you soooo much for sharing all these wonderful photos and the experiences of your day. Very, very emotional. I'm so happy for you and Reagan that you were able to make this trip back.

Catherine said...

Oh Lisa! You received a precious, precious gift as you are only too aware of in your post! God watched over you and gave you this special day to treasure for years to come and later share with Reagan. Oh how wonderful!

My eyes teared up as I read that you were given the picture, note and clothes. WOW!!!!!!! Priceless gifts for sure!

So very happy for you that you were able to experience this. I wanted desperately to go to Hannah's SWI but due to H1N1 unfortunately visits were not allowed at the time. So very happy for you!!!

Dita said...

I can't stop crying reading this post and looking at your images...I can't even write right now.

I'll have to come back at this later.

So many emotions.....

love you,
Dita

paige said...

oh sweetie
what an awe inspiring journey this has been
i am so grateful that you are sharing such details
i feel that while reading your words that im right there withyou

how amazing my friend
xo

Special K said...

What a priceless treasure you've been given. Not only to see this place and document it for Reagan... but to know her cribmate and receive the clothes, the note...absolutely amazing!!!

I've cried all the way through this post. Such strong emotions for me that have been bottled up for so long. Seeing the babies... what if one is mine? It could happen, ya know. Just no words for how reading this made me feel. Thanks for sharing it...

Jo said...

Oh Lisa, what an amazing gift you have been given and one day can share with your daughter. The emotions must be pinging off the walls! How lucky for us that you're letting us peek in on this very special time for all of you.

Thinking of you ~
Jo

Denise said...

Wow, what an experience. I am so glad that you were able to do this for you and for Reagan Lisa. As always your words and pictures captured the whole experience perfectly. Love and hugs from home~

Jodee Leader said...

Wow! I am also wiping the tears away. What an amazing day! I am so glad you got to go and you will always treasure the memories you have from this day.

3 Peanuts said...

Lisa,

I am sitting here sobbing (yes, sobbing) loudly for so many reasons. First, your beautiful photos and writing made me feel like i was right there with you every step of this trip. Secondly the images of the children still in the orphanage just breaks my heart and makes me want to go back and adopt each and every single one. That boy eating in the orange short especially stole me heart.

Finally, the fact that you got that amazing red envelope from her birth Mother and got to see where Reagan was found and her crib is so meaningful SO SO meaningful! We have nothing like that ad our orphanage did not let Dave go. Now Kate never spent a night at the orphanage (she was in foster care) but still. You got such a vital glimpse into Reagan's life before you. That is priceless and special and something most of us who have adopted from CHina will never have. I am so happy for you and for Reagan!

A big hug to all of you....

Blessings,
Kim

Faith Hope Love Photography said...

Wow!! What an awesome day you had...I too have tears. I probably will never experience that but you sure made me feel like I did with your awesome photos!! I love them and the ones on the street really gives a feel for the lifestyles.
And what a precious gift for you to receive from the orphanage...I can imagine it will be near and close to your heart forever!

Mandi said...

WOW! What an amazing day you had. Those pictures are absolutely breathtaking. I too love, love, love the one of the little girl eating.

I cannot believe you have so much from Reagan's past to share with her some day, that in itself is so amazing.

So glad to hear all is going well and that little miss is eating again.

Can't wait for more updates and more beautiful pictures.

Steffie B. said...

What a beautiful post and memories to last a life time. I pray that your journey continues to go well until you return home!

Hugs,
Steffie

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

This is a day you won't ever forget Lisa. And, this post gives me so much hope that someday Bill and I must just get there.

Thank you, so much for sharing.

Lea
xo

Bailey said...

Wow, what an amazing experience. We were not able to go to the orphanage, but plan to in a few years. I cannot imagine how it tugged at your heart to hear another child say "Hi mama." Tears would have been rolling down my face as well.

What an amazing journey!

Bailey :o)

Sandra said...

Oh Lisa, wow.... thank you for sharing this experience and photo's. What an amazing journey!

Bridget said...

Like everyone else I had tears in my eyes when I read your post. I am so happy that you were able to visit Reagan's orphanage. What a privilege to receive the red envelope and picture of Reagan. Also to be able to see where she lived and meet those who took good care of her. What a special day and priceless memories for you. I was happy to read that Reagan is eating. I love all of your pictures and descriptions of the day you captured it beautifully! Thank you for sharing. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Xoxo
Bridget

Nat said...

This brings tears to my eyes. I 'm so happy that you were able to have this day. Have a safe trip back!

Freckles & Dimples Photography said...

This is a beautiful post, on so many levels. I love the images you captured of the city, but even more so I am so happy that you were able to learn about Reagan's beginnings and get her note & first photo. They will be treasures for both you and her.
enjoy the rest of your time in China.
Mindy

Jboo said...

What an amazing day! So happy that you were able to go and capture so many beautiful images. I'm sure that day will stay in your heart and mind forever! So glad that your little sweetie is eating for you! Take care. Keeping you in my prayers.

Janet

Donna said...

When the little boy said "Hello, Mama", I burst into tears too! Such an emotional day and such an important memory! I'm sure Reagan will have many questions about all of this later and what a gift to be able to tell her that you are certain she was loved and treated well.

The photo of the little girl in the purple pants and yellow shoes made me gasp. It's beautiful!

Much love!

Donna
Our Blog: Double Happiness!

Jaj said...

Congratulations!! I'm so glad you were able to visit the orphanage!! It was a four-hour trip one-way when the dads in our group went 3 1/2 years ago.

We live 2 hours away from Thumbelina's crib mate and they still have a special bond, even at 4 years of age. Your daughter is beautiful and she will slowly emerge from her shell and with time you will see how spicy she really is =)

Anonymous said...

What a beautful story! Happy Birthday!!!

xo,
Michele

Marcene B said...

I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes just reading about your incredible journey! These photos are so amazing. You did an awesome job capturing in photos and words this emotional trip.

Safe travels and Happy Birthday {hugs}!

Michelle@BornInOurHearts said...

Thank you so much for your thoughtful posts, Lisa. What a day!! And to think that it all this was happening on your birthday - wow! A day you will never forget. An emotional roller coaster ride for sure, but a blessing in so many ways. Seeing Reagan in her ergo just makes my heart melt. She looks so tiny, but that she was so close to you all day long makes my heart smile.

Hugs,
Michelle

Jonni said...

Lisa,

What an absolutely amazing post. I wanted to cry when I read the part about the little boy in the orphanage. The pictures and stories you shared are amazing and how wonderful that they gave you the original note that was left with Reagan. What a blessing. The train trip sounded unbelievable as well. Enjoy your last days in Reagan's province and have a safe trip to Guangzhou. Can't wait for your next post.

hugs,
Jonni

Rochelle@AFamilyofLooneys said...

You post brought tears to my eyes. I could not imaging what it was like see the orphanage. It would break my heart to see so many little kids there. You truly have a little blessing.

Tara said...

How beautiful, how blessed you were to visit her ophpanage. I too was lucky enough to visit my daughters orphanage. Just a small glimpse into her life. Congratulations again. Enjoy each moment, tara

Truly Blessed said...

Beautiful. I'm so glad you were able to travel to the SWI, see it for yourself and get your questions answered. And how wonderful is it that you were able to get the red envelop and the first outfit! Amazing.

Blessings for the rest of your trip!

Anonymous said...

Frequent visitor of your blog and fan of your beautiful photography. Congratulations on this blessed journey with Reagan! Your images are astounding and speak volumes. Thank you for sharing such a precious place and abundant blessings to you both.

crownothorns45 said...

Lisa,
I went to Chenzhou this past summer this past summer. I remember Reagan there. She was definitely one of the nannies' favorites! I just wanted to thank you for the pictures you posted. You took one of the little girl that I fell in love with while I was there. It was great to see how much she's grown. Thank you!!

Patricia/NYC said...

Wow...what a beautiful post...you will hold this special day in your heart forever. I'm sitting here with the tears flowing as you brought back so many memories for me from exactly 5 years ago.

I am so glad you got to go to the orphanage and you will be able to tell Reagan all about it someday.

Wow...I am so speechless right now & so very emotional myself!

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us!!
Thinking of you, girl!!
HUGS!!
Patricia

Wanda said...

Lisa, this superlatively awesome gift you received has me utterly stunned! I cannot imagine anything greater! And I'm just a pile of mush here as I recall the day I too visited Milana's orphanage and town.

I am thrilled for you Lisa that your day was so fulfilling on so many levels. Such a great post and your pictures are so moving. Thank you for sharing this!

xoxoxox

Missy said...

I am in awe! Lisa, I can only imagine what you guys experienced. You and Marla captured it so well and the details were not lost in translation. I am soooo happy that you got to experience this..for you, but more importantly for Reagan. Sweet baby girl!!! Your pics are breathtaking and the pic of the little girl with the rice...OH MY!
So happy for you all around!!! I know this was a day you will never forget! Hugs to you all!!!

Jeanette said...

What a beautiful and touching story accompanied by stunning pictures. Thank you so much for sharing!

Kayce said...

Tears are flowing here! Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. Each picture is amazing and pulls me to go back immediately. I'm so glad you go to go to the orphanage and take back those memories for Reagan, those photos will be a treasure for her.

Briana's Mom said...

I am so glad you were able to visit Reagan's orphanage. What a blessing. I am so grateful that I was able to visit Briana's orphanage. Your trip sounds so amazing. And what treasures you have for Reagan now. Truly remarkable.

Chris said...

I just started reading your blog, since you posted the addy on the Chenzhou group. Is there any way I can get the pics from the orphanage to keep for my daughter...she is 8 and we have very few pics from her city as we were not allowed to visit in the "good old days"
Thanks so much for the info, but I am so jealous you got the note and everything....

Catherine said...

What a moving post, and such wonderful picture! You are doing a fabulous job documenting the journey to your precious daughter! What a great gift this will be for her when she is older.

snekcip said...

Your post made it just seems as if we traveled right along with you! I too was in tears! What beautiful children, all so deserving of a place to call "Home"! The orphanage, the story of the little boy, the children in the orphanage, the caregivers, and the little girl in yellow shoes, all just captured so many emotions with me. I can only imagine how valuable those pictures will be to Reagan in the future! Again, thank you Lisa for allowing us to "peek thru" your window at one of the most profoundly wonderful time in your life.

Casey said...

Just amazing, Lisa. I'm so happy you had such an experience. I so wished we were able to go to her orphanag or that they had any information for us about her birth family. Those are amazing blessings.

I am loving ALL of your photos. Big Kisses to Reagan.

Wendy said...

Incredible. Such amazing moments I'm sure neither of you will ever forget.
Great, great photography. Beautiful little girl...congratulations!!!
Best wishes!

Wendy
ps-tell Marla that I said,"hi"...you have a wonderful travel companion!!!

Cora said...

I could look at this post all day! Thank you for documenting your trip this way!

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Yes, what an amazing gift you got... no only in Reagan but in all the photos, orphanage visit etc that you got... a treasure forever... of course I was crying like a baby myself... hugs to you all.

Mama Zen said...

What an amazing visit! I can't imagine how emotional it must have been for you.

Gail said...

I'm crying reading your words and seeing the pictures. You've received a gift very few people ever get Lisa, the note from her birth mother and that very first picture. An emotional day for you all, you will never forget any of the details of this important day...to help Reagan understand her story.

I'm so happy she's eating better, and things are going well. Love seeing her all snuggled up to you so cozy!

Big hugs to you all!
xoxo

Shannon said...

I sobbed through that whole post. How wonderful to have been given all those things and get to see where Reagan spent the first part of her life. How lucky for you both. Can't wait to read and see more of your amazing photographs.
Shannon
LID 7/6/06

Kimberly Chorney said...

OHMYGOSH what a doll your daughter is and I love her name! Lisa I am so happy for you. Your picture's are more than just picture's, each and everyone of them tells a story, my breath was taken away. God Bless Lisa and congrats to you and your family. May the fun and joy begin! Love Kimberly!

Mimi said...

Oh Lisa, what a wonderful day, and so important for the future. You're a wonderful mother, Susan is a great advocate for you and Marla, oh my, what a friend and what a photographer.
Reagan is one of the lucky ones, which brings tears to my eyes. She has a wonderful life ahead of her wrapped in your loving family.
Love the photo of you on the train, and her little eye watching out!

Anonymous said...

The photos are totally amazing. I sat and cried for those little ones left behind. Your little one is just so precious. What a blessing you have.

Sharie said...

Lisa,
I have tears. Since the day I visited Amelia's orphanage I knew someday I would go back. I didn't have her in a carrier that day, she was on the floor playing with her friends, the nanny's were holding her. They passed her a bottle that other children had drank from, sat in walkers - - and stood in her old crib. Those memories are more precious to me than any others...and those are her favorite photos of China. They are the only ones that give her any indication of where she spent the first part of her life.
I am SO happy you had that opportunity. And to get a photo from the day she arrived, the outfit, and an envelope in her mother's handwriting. She is a very blessed little girl. Amelia would treasure those things and I know Reagan will too.

karen said...

So amazing and touching! best wishes to you.

Ellie said...

I'm joining the crying brigade . . . what an amazingly special, blessed birthday! I'm so happy for you that you had such an awesome day at Chengzhou! Tia was so much more at peace after we visited her SWI. It was like she was sent with a blessing instead of being just taken away. I'm hoping that Reagan is feeling happier in her little heart.

I LOVE the street photos - and the train station! gorgeous, my most favorite type of photography!

Sending hugs :)

xo ellie

Tammie T. said...

I have looked through this post several times, taking in the beautiful photographs of the day and reading about your experience. Your memories will one day be memories for Reagan. I am so glad you are able to capture this experience with such amazing photos! I look forward to following along with you on this journey. Thank you for sharing.

Virginia said...

Getting weepy here, too. What an amazing experience! Thanks for sharing with us, and those photos...wow..they really seem to say so much. As do all of the photos of your georgeous, sweet new daughter in the post below. Those eyes, and those sweet little fingers in her mouth, just get to me. I'm glad to hear she starting to eat for you, and I'm sure the smiles are soon to come. Day three seems to be the "magic" day for most. I know your Mama heart just wants to take all of her sadness and confusion and make it all better, and you will. Hugs and prayers.

Gin =)

jeffkny said...

Wow Lisa...what a wonderful story with pictures. I know how excited you are about getting home with Reagan. Way to go!

EllieNat said...

This is my alltime favorite post. Beautiful photos.

Sophie said...

Absolutely stunning photos!! Your little Reagan is gorgeous, my little one loves to suck on her 2 fingers as well.
God willing we will be traveling to China next year to bring home our little one, can't wait!

M3 said...

What a treasure to see and record all of that for your precious daughter. Sending huge hugs (and going to find my Kleenex now),
M

elliotts said...

I can't stop crying from reading this post...you captured everything so beautifully withyour words and pictures....thank you for sharing this. It means so much on many levels...

Hugs,
Diane

The Byrd's Nest said...

I wasn't able to go to Lottie's orphanage because she was very ill when we got her and I can only imagine the emotions involved. I am in tears and cannot believe the gift the Lord gave you and the information that Reagan will have as she gets older from her first mom:) What a precious miracle.

L said...

Thanks so much for sharing this very intimate time in your daughters life. As we prepare for referral these images have become ingrained in my heart. I wish you well as you continue bonding with Regan.

Football and Fried Rice said...

What an emotional and beautiful day. I can't believe the interaction that you got and you are SO blessed to have Marla there - she sees things in a different way than a husband would ;) I can't believe the ORIGINAL photo and the outfit.....what a gift from God, Lisa! I can't wait to see & hear more about sweet Reagan!

Sharon Ankerich said...

What a beautiful post and such a meaningful trip you had... words just can't describe what this will mean to Reagan one day. You have first hand experience of her beginning~ priceless. Love every work and every image. Love reading your blog each day and seeing precious Reagan. SO thankful Marla is with you!
Blessings!

Shannon said...

A mutual friend, Gretchen sent me your blog address. My daughter is from Chenzhou also. We didn't have the chance to see the orphanage, so thank you for sharing this. How strange to see the picture of the gates where she was found at 6 days old. She also sucks on two of her fingers as a comforting mechanism. She has done this less and less over the last 9 months, as she adjusts to our family. God Bless.

Lisa said...

I stay here along Long time.. I can tell you I almost did this also. I was moved to tears as you made each and eveything you did a labor of love.
I have two children that a gifts.
Also I was heading to South America to San Pablo and changed my mind. My children are Canadian.
Gods will and only by his hand do I have them.
Be Kind to yourself . Enjoy her. Just enjoy each and every moment in tme. Love your blog
Much Love to the happy parents of this very lucky beautiful little gift from God.
Lisa xoxo

Kel said...

Thanks for sharing the details of your visit. I cried all the way through it. Wonderful post, wonderful experience for you. Only recently came across your blog, and it's wonderful to read!

Congratulations on a beautiful family!

a Tonggu Momma said...

This is one of the most rawly beautiful posts you've ever written.

comingaroundagain said...

Wow. Congratulations!! Love, love the photos. Our baby girl is also from Chenzhou CWI but we were unable to travel to Chenzhou due to the travel restrictions (Olympics). . . so all photos of this city and additional information about the orphanage there are a treasure to me. Thank-you!!!

Faith, Hope, and Love said...

I'm overwhelmed with emotion just reading your post...I can not imagine what this day must have been like for you. What a treasure to have something from Reagan's birth mother and to know that her birthday is true. Your journey is amazing in every way... the photos are breathtaking...the stories unforgettable....

The Gang's Momma! said...

I am so behind the times. I didn't realize you had left for China already. I think when my computer crashed a while back I lost a bunch of blogs that I followed...

So glad TM linked this this week. I'm in tears, sitting here reading over your journey to Reagan. She's beautiful. You are glowing. The posts are so eloquent. What a gift you've been given, to visit the orphanage and her nannies and the finding spot. Oh, what a treasure.

Really, we need to have a Chinese adoptive moms/babies group in the Philly region - a place where we local gals can meet up. Meeting you in person would be such a treat.

Dita said...

I'm back again to tell you that I just can't get this post and these images out of my mind...and nearly a week has passed.

I am in awe of how you and Marla were able to bring us all with you to that orphanage in your images and words.

I know that this was a very difficult, yet fulfiling journey for all 3 of you and I am so thankful that your wish to tour the orphanage was granted.

Missing all 3 of you!

xoxoxo
Dita

Ruth S said...

how beautiful yor pictures and words are as you tell of your wonderful journey to get your other daughter. I have been following you blog for 2n years now. I just love you and your family. My granddaughter is also from China and what a blessing she is. and her Nana loves her very much. I also have 2 cousins who have adopted girls 2 from here in the U.S. and one from China and each and everyone a blessing to their families. I look forward to your blog evey day. God be with you on the rest of your journey not only in China but in life. You are very blessed you have an amazing family...

Peterson Family said...

You have done such an amazing job of documenting your days and nights in China. I have been a bit behind on my reading and blogging and have been reading your posts and gettin caught up! Your daughter is so beautiful and I am so thankful that you are able to welcome her into your heart, home and life. I have been in tears reading the stories. I wept for joy for you and Reagan and tears of sadness for those children who have yet to be adopted. I will be thinking of you all and keeping all those children in my prayers. Big hugs to you!

Lorrene said...

This is the about the fourth time I have come to your blog. I am so fasinated with it. Think of all the orphan children that need to be in homes with their own family, and the many folks that would love to adopt, but cannot afford to. It breaks my heart.