Days after we were approved by China to adopt her, we received word that a traveling family would be visiting Haven's orphanage and was willing to deliver a care package. Our 3 daughters quickly began picking out treats for their "big" sister, including a tiny purple Princess purse and a Hello Kitty flashlight. Necessities, really.
Lilly had waited for MONTHS for the word "MATCHED" to appear beside Haven's picture on the waiting child list online, so she picked out matching lady bug necklaces with a tiny Bible verse etched on the back. She insisted on taking a picture with her gift so that Haven would understand what the necklace was for.
We named it "Hope".
As I wrote our letter to Haven explaining that she was being adopted and that we were her family, the immensity of communicating with her for the first time hit me. These words will make up the first page of what will eventually spill out into the story of a life spent together, and will be passed on to Haven's children as their heritage.
A few days later, the mama who delivered the package told me about her visit and emailed each picture to me, one at a time, over a slow connection from a hotel room in China. She refused to go to sleep until I had confirmed that we received all of them.
Does she even want to be adopted anymore?
Had years of rejection hardened her heart?
In the final picture, she flashes a smile as she goes back to her everyday life, which is unknown to us and which we pray is filled with love.
Her caretaker carries her Hello Kitty flashlight for her, and our daughter carries a tiny purple Princess purse in her hand and "Hope" on her shoulder - inside of a pink backpack.