Family.... Where We Begin

August 16, 2012

Angled Frame BLOG
Two years ago today, I headed to work knowing we were about to receive a phone call that we were anticipating for over five years.

Frame out in front BLOG2
I think I must have dreamed about that day about a million times.

Hat Red Door Frame Reags BLOG
Even after all of those years of waiting, countless dreams, and watching so many friends experience the miracle of adoption before me,

steps with referral photo BLOG
I was not prepared for the emotions that came flooding over me when it happened that afternoon....

Triptych Reags Referral BLOG
...and saw this beautiful face for the very first time!

My big girl Reagan BLOG
It was love at first sight....and there was no doubt that this was our baby girl.

Hugging Sisters Red Glass Doors BLOG
I don't think my feet hit the ground for days, I was on "Cloud 9" and my days and nights were completely consumed with internet searches to try to find any piece of information that I could about her orphanage and her past.

Reags Hands Clasped on Cement Wall BLOG
The 8 weeks between referral and travel seemed like forever, this little girl was part of our family....she was at the forefront of our thoughts and already held a huge place in our hearts and we felt helpless because she was so far away. We could not wait to get her in our arms and show her how much we loved her.

Big sisters are the best BLOG
Well, all good things are worth the wait!!
Two years later, and not much has changed. We still wrap our arms around her every chance we get.

Chasing Bunnies BLOG
I look back at the referral photos and all of the pictures that were taken of her while she resided in the Chenzhou Social Welfare Institute, and although she was extremely well cared for and loved by the staff and her Nannies, I could see the vacant look in her eyes and her hurting heart.

Reagan's life began somewhere in China..... but she "came to life" when she realized the love of a family.
Chen Wen Yi, we love you with every ounce of our beings and would walk to the end of the earth and back for you.
You have blessed and enriched our lives in countless ways and we could not imagine a single day without you in it.

Happy Referral Day..... it was truly the beginning of a life changing journey.
Reagan's life and story, opened my eyes, my heart, and changed me for the better in a way that just cannot be described.
One day I hope to find the words to tell her........

39 comments:

MG Atwood said...

this is such a sweet post. I love the photos, and am so happy for your happy referral day!

Sharon said...

Oh how grown up she looks! And no fingers in her mouth in these! She's truly beautiful.

Tara said...

Oh Lisa, how cool to read this today... today is Anna's adoption day (8 years ago I became a mom) I love that we as friends share this special day together.. August 16th is a precious day! Happy, happy referral day to you, your family, and of course to Reagan. I pray that your heart overflows with happiness and love this day and every day with being Reagan's mom. What a journey you and your precious family have been on. Adoption rocks! love, tara

Wanda said...

Sigh.......swoon........love.........!!! xoxox

Sharon said...

Happy Referral Day Reagan! Love the picture of her and Sarah-you see the love the Reagan's face! Just beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures of your beautiful girls - thanks for sharing! Reagan looks sooo grown up in that hat!! Happy Referral Day!!!

Judy

Love Letters To China said...

Beautifully said Lisa. She looks so grown up in these photos. :-)

Happy Referral Day!

xoxo

Kim said...

I think you just found the perfect words!
Oh Miss Reagan ... love sure looks good on you!
Love & Blessings,
Kim

Allie said...

Happy referral day sweet reagan!! :)
She it too precious Lisa!! Adorable! And so happy and full of life and energy!
Love,
Allie

The Smiths said...

She is so beautiful!

shelley said...

What happened to your baby? She looks so grown in these pics! Happy Referral Day....such great memories.

snekcip said...

Lisa I got CHILLS when I read this. Truly a beautiful and heartfelt post. I sometimes get misty-eyed thinking about the "what if" and I have to remind myself that "God, had it in plans all along and ALL THINGS work accordingly and definitely in HIS time".

I celebrate Reagan's life, I also celebrate the woman who gave her life. The choices she has to make was by far the most UNSELFISH and hardest decision in her life. May she always know that her little Chen Wen Yi is VERY LOVED.

Reagan....today we celebrate YOUR LIFE, YOUR FUTURE and YOUR HAPPINESS!!!

snekcip said...

Lisa I got CHILLS when I read this. Truly a beautiful and heartfelt post. I sometimes get misty-eyed thinking about the "what if" and I have to remind myself that "God, had it in plans all along and ALL THINGS work accordingly and definitely in HIS time".

I celebrate Reagan's life, I also celebrate the woman who gave her life. The choices she has to make was by far the most UNSELFISH and hardest decision in her life. May she always know that her little Chen Wen Yi is VERY LOVED.

Reagan....today we celebrate YOUR LIFE, YOUR FUTURE and YOUR HAPPINESS!!!

Jboo said...

Such a sweet post!! Referral day is so special! She is a beautiful girl with a bright wonderful future. Your love for her and your family shines through!

xoxo

janet

Anonymous said...

What an incredible journey this little girl has taken. You are blessed but she is truly the lucky one to have you as her mom and your immediate and extended family as her forever family.

She looks so mature in these photos!

Ellie said...

Happy referral day! I remember being so excited with you! It really is a miracle how these litlle girls have our hearts before we ever meet them!

She's growing up so quickly and beautifully Lisa!!

xo ellie

Marla said...

Please tell that baby to quit growing up so quickly!! I can't believe it's been 2 years already. I might just need to pick up a bottle of bubbly to celebrate with y'all. ;)

Happy Referral-versary!!

Patricia/NYC said...

Absolutely beautiful post, Lisa! I cannot believe it has been 2 years already, yet I look at those gorgeous photos of her & cannot believe hoe grown up she looks!

Celebrating with you, my friend! Referral days hold such a special place in our hearts!

Cheers to your beautiful family!

Patricia/NYC said...

Argh...that's "how grown up sh is"! My fingers are just not working today!

Teri said...

What a beautiful post Lisa! Brought tears to my eyes. She is an adorable little girl and such a cutie!!

Love Teri

Familie Moerkerken said...

Liza, all the way from Holland... Mothers feel like that all over the world. Thanks for expressing it again, adopting brings so much extra to being a mother!!! It did make me a better mum... I'm so glad to know this extra through both my china-girls...thanks for putting on the internet... Enjoy summer!!!

Kelly said...

This post just make me SO happy Lisa...love your portrait shots.

the meaklims said...

Happy Referral Day... it is an incredible day.

She is beautiful and growing so fast.

Jill xx

Barbarann said...

Love it!!!!!! She looks so grown up and beautiful! amazing what love can do!!!!!! Congrats- this is such a special day!!!! Hugs to all of you!!!!!

Mimi said...

Oh Lisa, she is so beautiful!
I remember that day very well, seeing her little face on my computer screen; I have so enjoyed following this journey with you. Isn't it wonderful what love can do for a child.
Can't believe how quickly she's growing up, yikes!

amy said...

Simply beautiful Lisa...your words...your sweet girl..your open and honest reflection of that glorious day two years ago! So thankful that God has allowed our paths to cross and I can watch your beautiful story unfold. I love that Sarah ended up coming with you to take these photos...the one with Reagan's referral picture up close and the two of them in the background is priceless. The bond they share is such a gift. What a blessed little girl she is to have a mom like you and a loving family to help her soar in life! Happy referral day! xoxo amy

amy said...

forgot to mention that I was tearing up the whole time I read this :))

Syndi said...

Beautiful post Lisa, that made me cry.

Jodee Leader said...

What a sweet post! Happy, happy referral day!

Shari said...

Lisa having just re-visted Amelia's orphanage after 7 years my emotions have been easy shaken and you really said it perfectly..."she came to life the day she realized the love of a family" Seeing those little faces still in the orphanage who haven't found that love yet was heart-wrenching. While the number is down from 120 to 35 (with 20+ of them in foster care) knowing that there are no plans to make some of the kids in the orphanage available for adoption literally breaks my heart. No child, no one, should have to go through life without knowing the unconditional love of a family.
We are so blessed to have our girls to help us remember what love is!
Happy referral day.

Sweet Georgia Sweet said...

We didn't have to wait 5 years with our Uganda adoption, but that referral day was nonetheless amazing! An emotional, beautiful journey!

Love,
Bethany

Virginia said...

The post, the pics..I'm tearing up over here. Happy referral day!!! She is so, so cute and I can't get over how she's growing lately!


Gin =)

Martha said...

I started following your blog when you were in China...she's so beautiful and growing soooo fast. I want to take a photos like you! Yours are the best.

Macladie said...

What a beautiful post! You need to write a book. You take such fantastic photos I hope you print some of them out for your children because there is nothing like sitting and looking through albums or books. Looking on the computer does not bring the joy that the books do. Enough said from this grandma!!

Gina @ Gigi Marie Photography said...

Such a blessing Lisa!!! She is truly an angel. I can't believe how grown up she looks in these. What a beautiful way you have documented this special time in your family.

Sarah Halstead said...

Awww!! So sweet!!

Dita said...

Love these shots of Reagan...I can't believe how much she is changing and growing...and that SMILE of hers...oh, she is just so squeezable!

I remember that day like it was yesterday...I remember being on the phone with you and digging through photo after photo of the children at Reag's SWI looking for her...even Reg got into the act!

We couldn't have imagined that day how MUCH we would all fall in love with her.

So glad your baby girl is home where she belongs!

Happy Anniversary, Reagan you little Beauty!

xoxoxo
Dita and the Darlings (and Reg too!)

Stefanie said...

What a fabulous set, Lisa! Love how those two love each other :)
And you managed to get so many smiles of Miss Reagan... what was your secret?!
Just BEAUTIFUL :)
And Happy Referral Day!!

Sharon Ankerich said...

Gorgeous photos~ happy day for your beautiful family!!! XOXO