Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Haven's Care Package

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.  

"It's for matching."

Her file says she likes dolls.  

We weren't sure if this is the standard checked box for every girl with a file from that orphanage or if it is specific to Haven, but we made sure to pack one.  

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.  

Dearest Haven,

We are so happy to be your new and forever family.  On the first day that we saw your picture, we knew that you were our daughter and we loved you very much.  We think that you are a beautiful treasure!  We are excited to come to China and bring you home to America, where we will take care of you and love you with all of our hearts, no matter what and forever...

I tucked the letter in with the album, and Lilly asked everyone to kiss the doll.  I wiped away tears as I slid our future across the counter to a Fedex employee, who was now also crying as she taped the box shut.  

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.  

The first picture we opened was of a nervous little girl. 

I can only imagine the confusion of this moment 
as people translate and cameras are pointed at her face... 

Does she even want to be adopted anymore?  
Had years of rejection hardened her heart?  

But joy emerges as she begins to absorb what is being said, and our beautiful daughter reaches out with both hands to accept our family.

It's not too late.

She is told that we are coming for her, that we chose her
and that she has 4 brothers and sisters 
and a giant dog named George.

Then, she points to MY picture and says the one word 
that makes us all a family forever....

 She says, 


Yes, Baby.  


And as each picture loads to our screen, 
we learn something new and precious about 
our daughter, our sister, our legacy...

We learn that while she is physically 
much smaller than we had imagined, 
she fills up the room with her BIG personality.

We learn that true to her file, 
she really does love dolls.

We learn that waiting until spring 
for this precious girl 
is going to be harder than we thought.

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.

And I whisper it once more, 
because He has always known, 
and He was always there...

"I will not leave you as orphans.  
I will come to you."

Hang in there, Baby.

We WILL come for you!


  1. Oh Missy...the picture of Haven smiling as she looks at your picture and says the word Mama..pure heart joy! The lil matchy lady bug necklaces Lily picked out, I think she is like her Mama. This whole post, such sweet tears-hurry Spring!

  2. My heart i so full...God bless you all!

  3. Thanks so very, very, very much for sharing all the joys with us all.....Haven is wanted, Haven is loved, we can't wait.

  4. Tears in my eyes! What a sweet girl, and what a beautiful family she has. I will keep her and you in my prayers. Come quickly, Spring! Come quickly!!

  5. One of the most beautiful post I have ever read! Absolutely beautiful. What a true blessing.

  6. Just... lovely. I feel so happy for her.

  7. Oh my goodness I have tears in my eyes! I also have a "Haven" and so remember those first precious pictures. Priceless!

  8. Too precious for words~everything from the necklace to the doll is just perfect!


  9. Love, love, love these pictures. Thanks for sharing them with us -- and, as always, sharing your heart. Praying for spring!!

  10. Great pictures - so fun to see the connection of the preparation of the goodies and then the delivery and reception of them. It will be a long next few months, won't it!

  11. Brought me to tears! Beautiful! She is stunning.

  12. Tears....we have lost a child, we have been chosen again....we wait too. From one adoptive moms heart to another I will be praying.


Thank you for your words and support.