An amazing gift

This morning we were surprised and moved to tears by an email from a complete stranger. She is a member of the Yahoo Group of families who have adopted from the Shanggao SWI. This woman is currently in China, visiting the orphanage that our girls are from, with her husband and five year-old. They adopted their daughter in 2003 and were returning for the first time. They received a very warm welcome and upon arrival, got a chance to meet our girls, who have been brought there prior to the adoption. It is common practice to return children in foster care to the orphanage right before they are to be adopted, but we had no idea it would have happened already. We are, however, thrilled that they sound happy and healthy and they have come through this one, of many changes they will face, so well. We feel so fortunate to have this update and this only makes us even more excited and eager to meet them! Here is most of her letter to me, with just few small parts and their personal info left out:


WOW! WOW! WOW! They are healthy, strong, alert, smart and beautiful!!!! That's what you really want to know, right?

We were received like royalty at Shanggao. As we walked into the lobby with Director Wu we were also greeted by your sweet girls in their little "walker" seats. (Our daughter) immediately began to play with them. We have several photos! I will see if my husband can send them from the computer here...if not we will try in a couple of days, and if all else fails we will do so in the States.

At any rate, your girls have already left the foster home and gotten over the worst shock that they would have entailed ... they appear very content and happy now... we saw the tender care they are getting. A woman was happily looking after them. They were very sturdy and healthy, sitting up well in their little seats, and had a strong grip. They were very interested in the camera and appeared very interested when we showed them their own photos on the digital camera screen and tried to grab the camera! They have a very strong gaze and look into your eyes...they should have no problems attaching and are not timid!

One of the twins had a couple of little scratches on the side of her face...nothing to worry about...she had probably done it with her own fingernail. They look more developed than in the photos you posted (well, of course...but I can tell by the photos you posted, the babies we saw are definitely YOUR babies!) and have nice full heads of wispy fine hair...brown rather than black or dark brown.

We were all very charmed by your precious children...upon seeing them I know I must get online and find out where their parents are...I now just wish I had known about you earlier and I would have asked more specific questions or gotten more specific information. Anyway, you can rest easily that they are in the best possible care until you get there, and by our own experiences at Shanggao I know that all the staff really care about the children.

We send our warmest thanks to this family and if possible, will post any pictures they send.  Sweet baby girls, we will be there soon!


  1. Susan I am in tears again. Reading this is so overwhelming. We are so happy for you and J. I know this letter gives you great comfort. Knowing the girls are being well cared for is truly a special gift.

    Love Susan

  2. That is amazing! I have never before experienced a bond with complete strangers as I have with people I have "met" through blogging. How wonderful to have firsthand knowledge of how your girls are doing while they wait to become a family.

  3. It won't be long until you hold your girls. i know that you maybe a little worried that they were returned to their SWI so soon. Please rest easy as this might be a great blessing instead. My daughter was moved from her swi in Aug 06 to a foster care center 3 provances away. She was well cared for and loved for 15 mos and then the month before I traveled she was taken back to her SWI to await our arrival. I was so upset to learn of the tears and regression, many bathroom accidents. i was told to expect a very diff child than the happy girl I had come to love so much. When I arrived she was "mad,angry POd" that it took a month to get her. She did not grieve for the orphanage nanny as she had grieved her little heart out the month before. The important thing is that they have been loved and they will be able to sense your love for them.. best wishes and congrats Bonnie

  4. What a lovely gift. Isn't it amazing what the Internet brings to our lives? You would have never found each other without it.

  5. What a bonus gift!!!!!!I have goose bumps! What a small and wonderful world we have with our adoptions.

    Doreen in Montreal Mom to Faith-Jiangxi & Mia-Sichuan

  6. Wow that is so wonderful!!! It's such a blessing when others have the chance to check on the children. I can't wait to see the photos they took!

  7. Oh my... what a gift to get... can't wait to see the pictures (if you publish them) and just reading the note gave me goosebumps like you wouldn't believe... take care

  8. Susan and Jonathon,
    I just want to say how happy I am for you and those wonderful daughters of yours. Thanks for sharing the email and pics. You two will make great parents and since "it takes a village" I'd love to babysit any time. I wish you God speed on your trip and can't believe you'll be home with them before the months end. You and your beautiful girls are in my prayers.
    Be Safe...I love you both,
    Aunt Rosie

  9. What a precious gift! This family sounds like a keeper. How sweet they are to take so much time with the girls. We are praying for you and will be sitting by the computer waiting for any and all updates!

  10. Susanita...
    I am in awe as how things are working out ...and how blessed you, Jonathan and both beautiful girls are. This was all written for you ..and will thread in a wonderful future spelled as family for all of you.
    I'll be praying all goes safe and fast...and will be waiting for more news as you travel back home with Eleanor and LilyKate...

  11. Visit me for a little surprise.

  12. Congratulations. However, please do not assume that your daughters will be uneffected by the huge changes in their lives ... they will have experienced at least two abandonments in their short lives and the impact can be incredible. Please practice attachment parenting (Attaching in Adoption by Deborah Grey is a must read) and educate yourselves on trauma
    I know from where I speak.

  13. Anonymous:

    Thanks for your concern.

    I assure you we make no assumptions about these two precious babies and the upheavals they have had to endure in their short lives. We have done a lot of reading (including the book you mentioned) and preparation (although can we ever really be totally prepared?) and know the signs to look for regarding healthy attachment and any possible problems we might encounter along the way. I agree that specialized parenting is a must.

    When we return home, we will be taking them to an Int'l Adoption Clinic, where they will be evaluated by a team of doctors who have a wealth of knowledge and experience with adopted children and the special issues they face. Again, thanks for your advice.


  14. Susan,
    glad to hear that you are pre-arming yourself with important knowledge ... even with my own experience in attachment parenting my first daughter, my second daughter had needs so deep that nothing could have prepared me ... please reach for help if/when you get overwhelmed ... congrats again and enjoy Nanchang ... we'll be there in October enroute to a homeland visit.

  15. This is the sweetest story. I love this e-mail.

    It just shows people can be amazing.


  16. Susan & Jonathan .... what an amazing gift! I know you cannot wait to see the photos they took. Good luck with your journey. We are so happy for you guys!

    Bao Yi Bao ...Lori & Andy Hilton