Can you read this without balling at the special thing God has done? I dare you. Kim and Todd share how it was to finally hold their adopted daughter Hope for the first time. I cry as I picture How sovereign our Lord is. He put this sweet darling little orphan that was left under a bridge as a baby into a FOREVER family that loves and adores her. Please thank the Lord for this marvelous deed! Grab a tissue! http://www.tmphillips.com/adoption/
May 2nd, 2008 Gotcha, bethel
How sweet it is! It’s 2:11am here and I woke up because my side was soaking wet from Hope’s pee! She usually sleeps in a crib but our hotel didn’t have any available so she is sleeping between Kim and I. This soaking is not surprising because the diapers we have for her are pretty thin/lame. The soaking was a little alarming for me personally though because it was my second soaking, and I was the one who got soaked the first and only other time when she was sitting on my lap earlier in the evening. Is it my destiny to be continuously soaking wet by Hope’s pee? I am just kidding around of course, but it’d be a small price to pay to be continue to be able to be near this sweet little gem of the orient.
We now have around 6GB of photos and video from our gotcha day, but I am going to have to leave you waiting in continued suspense because it’s dark and I don’t want to roust anyone by lurking around for my gear. So I will try to give a brief description and then head back to my cold wet side of the bed (with a towel down underneath me).
So we left with our guide and driver and went back through the city of Beijing again past the Square, marveling once again at the sea of Chinese humanity that was present there. Then we had about an hour drive into the countryside. We got a little lost toward the end and then wound up in what could best be described as Podunk China. We made it into a little villageish place and Guillamme met us and escorted us into their complex.
The minute we got out of the van I saw Hope in their entryway, and my heart jumped! I think we were all pretty nervous! We had hugs with Guillamme and Delphine at the van then we hurried in to greet Hope. Sarah was holding her and we all just went up and started to say hello. I can’t remember if Sarah gave her to Kim or if she just set her down, as I had said hello and then spent a few moments grabbing the recording gear. By the time I turned around to point my camera at her, Hope was at my feet and came up to me and I kneeled down and she came into my arms and we hugged! I am tearing up again just thinking about it. It wasn't long before we had all had a hug with her. It was an absolutely amazing moment!
They began to tell us that Hope had been acting out of character all day and and seemed to be a little down and to know that something was up. At the moment we came together she brightened and has been seeming to really enjoy herself and we all have been bonding like crazy!
Bethel is such an amazing place and I really can’t put words right now to how being in the midst of these children impacted my heart. If I have to try, I’d say I feel like I left that place wrecked with love for each one them. Over the course of our four or five hours we had there, we were able to tour their facilities, they sang us some songs and we shared a wonderful cake and watermelon together. We got to go outside and see their goats and chickens and dogs, and to see the new houses that are under construction. It was such a joy to have this time together with Bethel. Many of the kids had a hard time with Hope leaving and needed encouragement. For others it was obvious that it was extra hard for them, because they are aware of their own desire to be adopted. Our guide didn't rush us, and we almost even spent the night, but it didn't ultimately seem the right thing to do. They gave us a keepsake photo album that one of the Ayi’s put together of Hope’s time at Bethel, and a heart necklace for her for when she gets older, so she can be reminded of their love for her…
We got back to the hotel around 8pm and went right out to another Chinese restaurant called South Beach. It was really good food (I have more menu sample photos to share) and ambiance, and it was a very surreal experience to have Hope there with us. Our only minor problem so far has been the few times when Jonathan and Abigail start to fight over who gets to hold her next! It was neat because there was a piano player and violinist playing at the restaurant and it was obvious that Hope was enjoying their music! I held her and sang to her on the way back to the hotel, which was my first extended time of getting to hold her, and my heart continued to swell with affection toward her. She has such a sweet spirit and is very go with the flow. She got a little fussy at one point at dinner but Kimberly did a great job managing it. She was very cute playing with her rice! I got to sing and cuddle her to sleep tonight when she started to get upset, and that was highlight of my whole trip so far! Once she was calm we just lay there for a long time playing with her bottle, and then we fell asleep together.