Friday, April 2, 2010

Lily's Story

Lily's second referral photo

Lily with her blanket

Lily and I waiting on her passport

The attempted Red Couch Photos for the 12 girls from our travel group.
The first photo of us with Lily on "Gotcha Day."

Today we arrived in Ghuangzhou, the city where we spent most of our time when we travelled to pick up Lily. We were with 11 other families that got girls from this province; nine were from the same orphanage as Lily....Yangjiang Social Welfare Institute.

Adoption from China was much different back then. It took me about 10 weeks to process our dossier. We logged it in on March 30, 2004. We requested as young as possible, healthy girl. Our referral followed in just a few months...September. Right now I believe families are waiting almost 4 years for as young as possible. We travelled in late October and toured Beijing with our travel group. It was on November 1st of 2004 that we got Lily!

She was 11 1/2 months on that day. She had a cold and we could tell that she was delayed developmentally since she couldn't sit up, roll over or hold her head up very well. We also found out that night that she had not eaten food other than the rice/cereal mixture and she couldn't eat without throwing up. It was on the second day that we had her that she started to get pretty sick and we had to take her to the local clinic. As for the orphanage visit, we decided to have Tom keep Lily at the hotel while I went to visit the orphanage. It was a 3 1/2 hour drive. Plus, I needed a break. She was so connected to me that I barely had a free moment. The time alone with Tom was good. And my time with Teresa on the bus to Yangjiang was good! We had Lily for about five days when we made that visit. The referral photo had become flesh and I held her in my arms and sang over her for several days. Visiting the orphanage was an overwhelming experience for me. As for as orphanage standards go, it was a good place. It was clean. I believe she got a bath most days. She wasn't tiny by any means so I know she was fed. Her development told me that she probably spent a lot of time in bed. I don't have the pictures of the bed with me, although you could find it on the family blog somewhere. There wasn't a mattress, just te wood planks. Anyway, it was an emotional time for me to see the orphanage. My only regret is that I didn't take Tom. Lily would have been fine. It's okay now, because he gets to see it tomorrow! We leave bright and early at 7:30 a.m. We'll visit the orphanage, have lunch and then stop and purchase some things famous from Yangjiang....kites and cutting tools of different sorts.

The White Swan looks the same, but the island does not. :( It once was bustling with activity, but is now under construction to prepare for the Asian Games. There are just a few shops open so we'll hit them in the next few days. We did go to an Italian place on the island for was really good!

Many of you who know me know that Lily really changed my big and small ways. First, my color preferences were always earthtones and Lily brought pinks and purples into my life! I NEVER have my hair up and I've had to learn to do hair! In more profound ways, she's just made me a better person. What started out as "me wanting a daughter" turned into being so much more. Yes, she has probably made me a bit softer, a bit more emotional, a bit more loving. Tomorrow we'll visit Yangjiang.....Lily's first home.

Lily was found on the sidewalk at the front gate of the orphanage on November 17, 2003. They believed that this was also the day she was born. I am posting a picture of Lily with her blanket when we first got her. We have that blanket with us today as she has not slept one night without it since November 1, 2004! It is well loved! (That's the kind way of saying, "It's really gross!") Her red thread runs from Yangjiang to our home. Like Sarah, she was known to be part of our family before the beginning of time! We are so thankful that what started with my selfish desire to have a daughter has become one of the biggest blessings in our life!


  1. K,

    Anxiously awaiting how your visit to YJ goes.

    Thinking about you guys a lot.

  2. Does it feel like "home" being at the White Swan?! When we traveled our second time I couldn't wait to get to the White Swan...home! Excited to hear about your YJ trip! As I look at the time right now I thought...OH MY you are about to Yangjiang already!!!

  3. Two important questions for ya'll, 1)What floor of the White Swan are you on:) ??? AND 2)What, no Lucy's on the island anymore, WAH!!!???