I have become Internet friends with a wonderful Christian momma named Shelly. Shelly and her hubby are adopting a precious little boy, George Mason. George Mason and Hannah are at the same orphanage in Chengdu. In late July Shelly found out that they would be traveling to get George Mason in August and offered to take a care package for Hannah with them. She also said she would ask to meet Hannah if the staff would allow it. We were thrilled! We knew that it was a long shot that Shelly would get to meet Hannah, but we loved the opportunity to get to send her something from us. We sent Shelly our package a few weeks ago. We sent another photo book filled with pictures of Travis, Chase and Hailey holding a photo collage of Hannah. We wanted Hannah to know that we have received her beautiful pictures! We sent bows for her hair, a disposable camera, a letter in Chinese, pictures that her brothers drew and a soft snuggly pink bear. Here are some pictures of what we sent.
These are the pictures that were in her photo album
Shelly and her husband David left for China last Friday. They got their adorable son, George Mason, a few days ago and while they were at the orphanage they GOT TO MEET HANNAH!!! I'll be forever grateful for the priceless gift this family has given us! There is nothing like knowing another momma has seen your baby! Shelly and David were so selfless to be worried about meeting our Hannah on such an important day in their own lives.
Here is what she wrote on her blog about meeting George Mason and Hannah.
George Mason Day!
The Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes!
George Mason, Shelly and David
We drove to the orphanage on the northwest side of Chengdu and along the way had a wonderful conversation with Susie about Chengdu, China, children, and life in general. She is such a wonderful guide and shares so much from her heart with us. I woke up very early this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. Thoughts and prayers being lifted up for my son. Praising God for His miracles that allowed us to travel back to China to adopt our newest Bao Bei (treasured baby). So overwhelmed by God's faithfulness and His deep and everlasting love for His children. Asking the Father to open the door of Mason's heart to love us and be loved in return. Praising Him for all the doors He has opened along this journey, and giving every fear, every worry, every longing in my heart over to Him to comfort. On the road to the orphanage, my heart was so calm, so joyful, so looking forward to seeing our little one's adorable face. What better place is there to meet your new child than to be centered in God's goodness and so full of His love for me. :) As we pulled up to the orphanage gate, David was a bundle of nerves. Excited and scared, my smiles and lightness calming him. We walked into the beautiful lobby painted with colorful murals for the children, and walked up to the 2nd floor. The children where napping so it was very quiet and we were able to just rest and fill out some paperwork for about 20 minutes so that Mason could finish taking his nap. :) The orphanage staff were very happy to meet us. They were smiling and kind and the young lady in charge of the adoption paperwork even spoke English, which was a major shock having adopted in a province where no English was spoken at all. She told us that Yang Yang was very cute and a very naughty boy. lol! Which Susie assured us was the Chinese translation for saying he was "all boy" and "very active". :) As the children were sleeping, we were unable to take a proper tour of the orphanage (CWI), but just walking up to the room where we would meet Mason, we could see play rooms and rooms with cribs too. The hallways were decorated with wonderful murals painting on every wall and cute die-cuts hung up on windows and from the ceilings. The rooms were darkened for nap time and all the toys were perfectly lined up against the wall and put back in there bins. It was very, very clean and felt like being in a well-run preschool so colorful and welcoming. There was a sign posted that said "no photos" and so we didn't take any; however, it was too dark to have gotten any good photos anyway. The orphanage worker assured us that in Mason's report there would be lots of photos of the classrooms where he plays, and she was right! Before we met him, she handed us a baby photo album full of photos of him from infant to now and also a treasured keepsake - baby Memory Book. Because he is in a Half-The-Sky orphanage, he was assigned a specific caregiver from the time he entered the CWI. The nanny or ayi that nurtured and loved him for 2 years, prepared a report on him as he grew and took photos of him and most precious, she stamped his handprint and footprint as he grew - seeing his newborn handprint and footprint made my heart instantly melt. Oh how tiny! We looked over the photos in the report also and Dave laughed and beamed to see his son actually smiling and giggling too. :) All of the photos we have received from the updates, he wasn't too happy in them. So it was so great to see him full on laughing and having a great time! It is such a beautiful keepsake for him and of course my heart hurts for my sweet Jessa not to have something like this to share with her, but again I am reminded of the Father's protection over each of my children through their baby years in China. One completely loved and cared for in a Christian foster home and the other nurtured and loved by one ayi who took the time to share her stories and insight about our son in this wonderful book recording his early months for us to cherish.
We chatted so more and then I pulled out the wonderful care package gift that I had brought from a friend who is adopting a beautiful baby girl also from Mason's CWI. I didn't even have to explain what it was or who it was for! lol! The ayis in the room with us immediately saw her photo and KNEW her! Oh she is soooo loved! They smiled and quickly said they would bring her in the room too so that we could give it to her and take photos for her family. :) Thanking God for another open door! So as the ayis left to prepare the children, I reached in the bag we brought and took out the best toys and candy I could find. :) Smarties candy, and Frosted Cheerios, a toy cell phone and a little toy that lights up and spins, and 2 little cars. All lined up on the coffee table in front of us waiting for Mason's arrival. David and I sat next to each other on a black couch facing the door and through the door window we could see the ayis coming bringing with them both children!
This next part is for my friend Amy:
Adorable Hannah came in the room first and she was too precious for words! Wearing a little dress and sandals. Such a tiny peanut maybe wearing 12 months clothing, so petite, yet so brave! I got up and kneeled down on the ground with the children. Slowly giving them the treats we had brought. Hannah was the first to come to me and she LOVED the Smarties! :) She also loved the light up toy too. As I handed her the pink bear, I told her "From your Mama with love for you." She was very timid because the ayis immediately began smiling and nodding their heads in approval, interpreting to her what I had just said, and trying to make her say "Mama, Mama" over and over again. To be honest I was a little overwhelmed by that too. ahahaha! They took the photo album and poured over it oooing and ahhhing at the pictures of her siblings waiting for her to come home. So very cute how interested they were and how adorable they thought all the photos were. I could tell she was their FAVORITE! And to be honest, she immediately stole our hearts as well. So precious! Even the orphanage adoption staff our in love with Hannah - all the office workers came out from behind their desks to see her receive the gifts you sent. We took photos and video and I will send them to you when we get back to the States - they told us not to post on the internet so I don't want to ruin it for other families who might want to send something to their sweet kiddos by way of another adopting family, since I know there are several waiting families. :) It was such a gift to meet your daughter and I'm praying you get to travel soon and when you do bring Smarties! hee hee! :)
And so, you may be wondering what was George Mason doing this whole time? Well, he was just relaxing. lol! He sat on an ayi's lap (not his ayi though, they told us that would have been too hard on her and him for her to bring Mason to us - so she didn't come to meet us - I was sad, but she had said her "goodbyes" to him and was crying so it was better for him to come with the other ayis) Anyway, he took a few Smarties from me and went back to the ayi and was captured by the oscillating fan whirring overhead. lol! He just kept staring at it and then came back for some more candy. :) The ayis tried to get him to come to me, but I wanted our first meeting to go slowly and calmy so I shook my head when they were pushing too hard. Eventually, on his own he came over to me to investigate the light up/spin toy. Then my heart spilled over and I couldn't contain the JOY as my arms wrapped around our little boy and for the very first time I held him! My smile so big, my heart so full! David taking lots of video and our guide taking lots of photos for us. Have I mentioned how much I love our guide, Susie? :) Then, it was David's turn to "work his magic" as he said. He knelt down and showed Mason how to work the toy. It is just small enough that he can hold it in his hand and use his little thumb to push the button. His eyes got so big when it would light up. :) We could tell he was scared, but he was also very, very brave. His heart racing a hundred miles per hour. Choking back his cries of terror - for a such a little baby boy, he was trying so very hard to be grown up. Which broke both of his new parents hearts, we wanted him to cry if he felt scared and saw how much he tried not too, maybe they teach them that in the orphanage? I don't know, but it was hard. As we left the CWI to head back to the hotel, we went through the back door which leads out to the playground and we were sooo blessed to see lots of children playing...as we watched we were glad to see so many smiling faces. The older children practicing their English with us, "Hello! Hello! Hello!" and waving enthusiastically! ADORABLE! Mason squirmed around in my arms so that he could see the little children that were all lined up like a little train and walking back inside. David video taped a litttle bit of that moment as well. It was very cute and we could see that the children really love being outside. Their playground is awesome with lots of things to climb on and play on and even a little carousel that has animals for them to sit on that spins them 'round. :) So now it was time for us to get in the van, after one last photo of our family in front of the orphanage. As we climbed in Mason's heart finally could take no more changes, he screamed and cried and was feeling so out of control. But again, Susie to the rescue. She immediately comforted him and told him he was safe, that we love him, will feed him, and make him very happy. She told him not to be scared. I gave the little comfort I had in Chinese "boo coo, boo coo" and she told me how to saw "good boy" also in Chinese which sounds like "gui gui". He responded immediately. He snuggled into my arms and although he was scared and his eyes full of tears - he has not screamed like that since. He has cried when he is afraid of new places and new faces, but no screaming tantrums. So thankful for God's merices! We rode back to the hotel and once we were in the room we introduced him to more toys and more treats. lol! David has the room set at sub-polar temps, so I knew he would be freezing. The only long pants and shirts I brought were his pj's - so we put those on him with some socks. Susie told me, "Yes, that's better." :) Oh, he is brave! He is cuddly! and more than anything HE IS OURS! :)
Isn't that AWESOME!!! It sounds like our Hannah is a special little one and so so LOVED! Oh, how I long to meet her! Shelly has pictures and VIDEO - are you kidding me!!!! I can't wait!
Please join me in praying for George Mason and his precious family. My God give George Mason comfort and peace and may he give Shelly and David patience and comfort during this adjustment phase. If you want to follow their China journey, you can at: heartheldhigh.blogspot.com