Saturday, April 6, 2013

Week 1: Hope When It Seems Hopeless

10 years of institution life (although not really life)
No Jesus
No Education
No Mother or Father
No Social Skills
No Discipline
No Manners
No Social Skills
No English
Very Little Chinese
New Parents that don't speak any Chinese

Seems pretty hopeless, right?

On the contrary, we're finding hope in this mess!!! We are choosing to embrace this mess. We are seeing change and progress.

Todd and I aren't sure who is being changed more: Meiqi Hannah or us. Todd and I are being pruned and pruned again. God is using Meiqi Hannah to help us become more patient and kind and loving and compassionate. I am experiencing our Pursuing God on a whole new level. Chasing her through the hotel while she pitches a fit reminds me of myself. I pitch fits sometimes too and God always pursues me and reminds me of His love.

First carnival ride
After 5 days of lots of smiles and tears, we are rejoicing that we have made it thus far! In some moments, we are thankful to be surviving, and other moments we are thriving. Some things bring her so much joy, and sometimes she will just cry and cry and cry. But isn't it that way with all of us girls?

We have made a lot of progress in the last 5 days since Meiqi Hannah's "gotcha day." We understand a little more about what she needs and wants (much like a newborn) and she is understanding us a little better as well. She is very smart. But I don't think she's ever had anyone teach her and point her in the right direction.

She has learned the tune to the ABC song; she has learned a good bit of English (she says "hello, how are you, thank you"); she can count to three!; she layed with me in the bed while I read all of "Goodnight Moon" (Im pretty sure that's the first book that ever been read to her); she is making good eye contact with us; she knows to stay close to us when we're out in public; she is comfortable with Todd; and we made it through all of dinner at a restaurant without a meltdown tonight!!!! And she has actually chosen to spend time with us rather than watch the dumb Chinese soap operas.

Auburn fans, you'll appreciate this: for some reason, MH loves to scream out "HEY!" very, very loud. A way to get attention, or a bad habit from the orphanage I guess? So we've taught her instead to say "WAR EAGLE, HEY!" It's also pretty funny to hear her say "hey yall" in her Chinese accent.

First piggy-back ride in the park
 I watched Meiqi Hannah sleep tonight and I wept for her. I wept for her heart. I wept for her soul. I am so sad for her. I am sad for her that her own people cannot care for her, and I am sad that we do not understand most of what she says, or look anything like her. I pray that she does not notice the stares we get from her people. I pray that she will, one day, feel like she fits in somewhere. I weep for the 1 million other kids here too, that may never know the love of a Mommy and Daddy.

We are trusting God with a lot. But we have a big God that can move mountains. We have a big God that made everything in 6 days. We are trusting God for a miracle. We are trusting God that He will breathe life into this lifeless soul.

We are trusting God with the plane ride home (24 hours, ugh!). We are trusting God with life once we get home. I am trusting God for Micah and Elijah's little hearts and their understanding of the changes they will have to endure. I weep for them too. I have been a weepy mess!

First swim in a [chilly] pool. Todd is a good sport!

We have one more week here. I want to soak it all in while I can, because this may be the last time we can. I want Meiqi Hannah to soak it all in as well. As much as I don't want to see underwear hanging out to dry when I look out the Pizza Hut window, I will endure it for Meiqi Hannah. As much as I can't stand Chinese soap operas, I am willing to let her watch them for 1 more week! As much as I cannot stomach noodles for breakfast, I am willing to endure the smells for her sake. As much as I want to go home, I am willing to enjoy this culture for 7 more days.


  1. Hi guys!
    She is so cute! I love all the pictures. It blows my mind that she has gone without so many things for 10 years. There are so many people praying for your family. God sees all the sacrifices you are making for Meiqi Hannah. He knows everything you need. I pray that you feel His presence in a special way these next 7 days. I'm so glad you're blogging about this journey! Makes me feel the need to start a blog. :)
    Love you guys!

  2. We are praying for y'all!! Your blog is very encouraging and helpful. We will be going down the same road of adopting a ten year old next year and I will be contacting you I'm sure. :)

  3. Thanks for this uplifting post and the great pictures. She is a beautiful child, and we look forward to meeting her when you get back. We will remain in earnest prayer for each of you. - Thad, Tammy & Sara Roppel

  4. I appreciate your honesty, your God-honoring perspective and your tender heart for all of your children. God is honored when our hearts break over what breaks His heart and when we are willing to endure so that His great work can be wrought in our hearts and then in the hearts of our children. I have learned so much about God's love for me and what it really means to be family through Joshua. God's grace carries us through, especially when we are operating out of our weakness. You are the perfect parents for MeiQi Hannah, Micha and Elijah. Stand firm on the promises of God. Continuing to lift your arms up through prayer and looking forward to giving you a hug when you get back.