Hannah Claire Shi Lin

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Yesterday my sister and a good friend of mine threw a shower for Hannah. I knew they were going to do an Asian theme, but I had no idea how much they would do! My sister, the dessert queen, made a beautiful chocolate cake shaped like a moon cake and a gelatin dessert with intricate Asian designs on top. She also made rice balls and fried up some spring rolls. My friend brought fried rice and wontons with duck sauce. She also supplied all the decorations, including orchids for the tables, decorative rocks, gold and white table cloths, and some really pretty Chinese napkins. They both brought various teas, which we drank out of my friend's China that her grandmother had given her. I thought they really outdid themselves and was so touched by all the work they put into it.

The amazing hostesses (my friend, left, and my sister, right):
My friend brought an origami kit, and we were all struggling to understand the instructions! I did manage to make two sailboats and a pelican though! My friend had the awesome idea of using the objects we created to make a mobile to hang from the ceiling of the kids' room. Miles already has several things hanging up now, and we need to add some girl stuff, so this will be perfect!

My sister's cake:

Me about to eat a wonton:

One of the adorable outfits we received for Hannah:

My sister and I. My sister had discovered an Asian market in Fort Worth and was so excited sharing with me all the cool stuff she saw. She brought me a little bamboo bowl filled with Chinese soap she found there. I have the best sister, who is also one of my best friends!

Left to right: My brother's fiance, me, my sister and my mother:

Another good friend of mine. Miles and her daughter have been in a playgroup together since they were two years old.

One of the best, sweetest friends, in this world:

Getting the new pictures of Hannah on Monday, and then this shower, just makes it seem so much more real that our daughter will actually be home with us soon! Feeling more real also makes it a little harder to wait!

Yesterday I was feeling how blessed I am to have the best family and friends there are, and how blessed Hannah will be to come home to that. This was a shower preparing for the homecoming of a little girl, and while she received lots of wonderful "things," more than anything else, this was truly a shower of love.
Chip and Miles had been out all day while we ladies had the shower. They came home in the afternoon and we ended the day by meeting with our local FCC group (Families with Children from China). They have dinner every month at a Chinese restaurant, and it had been a few months since we'd seen everyone. We brought a photo album with Hannah's pictures to show everyone, and they were all so excited for us. We talked for a long time with a few of them, and they had such wonderful advice and encouragement for us. I told Chip on the way home that I just love the emotional connections we're making through this adoption process. Strangers become instant friends because of the common love we have for our children. Adoption from China has turned out to be even more wonderful that I had expected!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why We Love Our Children

A thought came to me recently, something that I never thought about before being in the adoption process. The thought I had is really a question: why do we love our children? I wondered this because I've heard people say "I couldn't love an adopted child as much as my biological child," or " I couldn't love someone else's child." These ideas really made me wonder, what is it that actually makes us love our children? It can't just be that they are our flesh and blood; there are too many cases of abuse and neglect in the world for that to be the answer. And being in this adoption process, though I've never met my daughter, I know I already love her dearly, every bit as much as I love my birth son. How is this possible? I wondered. Then the obvious occurred to me. It's the fact that God gives us our children, in whatever way He chooses, that we have that love for a child, whether they are born to us biologically, or born to us in our hearts. "Biological" or "birth" really means little in this time-based, earthly world, when it comes to loving a child. One day this will all pass away, and what will be left is the essence of who we are, our spirit. When God joins spirits in this life, regardless of the method of them being joined, it's a powerful connection that transcends flesh and blood. It is the love of God that He personally puts into our hearts to love our child, and to Him it doesn't matter if that child is blood-related to us or not. That is why we love our children, period.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Oh my goodness, this morning I got an email from Ann at Red Thread China that had pictures of Shi Lin attached!!! I had no idea she'd be able to get pictures to us so soon! When I realized there were pictures attached, I burst into happy tears. I already had a few pictures of her, but they were not current, not very clear, and didn't really show me what her life is like. But these new ones affirm to me that she is very well taken care of, something I've prayed so hard about. And Shi Lin is absolutely adorable! I don't know if her foster mother knows how much joy she brought to me when she took pictures of her with ponytails! It's just how I always imagined her! Actually, she's even cuter than I imagined!

With her foster mother, whom I am so grateful to for taking such good care of my little empress:

My favorite shot. The very first one at the top was cropped in from this one. Isn't she the most adorable little girl you've ever seen?! I can't wait to kiss those cheeks!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Care Package

On Tuesday we ordered a care package from http://www.redthreadchina.com/ to be sent to our little Shi Lin. Red Thread China is a company in China run by a lady named Ann that specializes in sending care packages to children waiting to be adopted. We ordered a package that included pajamas, a doll, and a blanket for our little ladybug. With the package, we could email Ann a letter to Shi Lin, which Ann translated into Chinese for us so her foster mother can read it to her, and a list of questions for the foster mother about our daughter. There was also a camera, so she can take pictures of her in her daily activities, and candy for the foster mother and any foster children or friends of our daughter. To this care package we added a photo album. I photoshoped Chinese captions onto photos of us and emailed them to Ann, and he printed them out and put them in the photo album for us.

I received an email today with attached photos of the actual package that will be delivered to Shi Lin. I was so excited to get this email! Our first contact with our daughter! The email said that she should receive the package in a few days. The thought of Shi Lin seeing pictures of us and knowing we are her family just brings me so much joy! I wonder what she will think of it all!

According to what I've heard from others who have used Red Thread China, after the pictures were taken, Ann got the camera back and emailed the pictures to the parents. I'm hoping we'll get to see some updated pictures of our little girl soon!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bitty Baby

Today I ordered a doll to bring to Hannah when we go to China. I'm so excited about this doll because it's an American Girl Bitty Baby doll! I have loved the American Girl dolls since I was 12 or 13, but never got to get one of my own. I'm so thrilled to be able to get one for my daughter! I ordered the Asian one with "almond-shaped" eyes. It's so adorable! I hope Hannah loves it as much as I do!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Preparing to Post from China

In just a few short months we'll be in China, and we're scrambling to get things ready for our little empress to come home with us.  One thing I've thought about is that I'd like to be able to post little updates on this blog while we're there.  I've heard that in some places in China Blogger is blocked, or is in Chinese, but I found out you can post via email.  I'm so glad to learn this is possible!  So this post is a test to see if it works for me.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I'm Special

I found this poem on the blog of a new online friend who is also waiting for her dear little daughter from China. Her daughter, like ours, has microtia, and this poem is so appropriate for our precious girls:

I'm Special

On my way from Heaven,
God delayed my trip that day.
He said that I was special,
and then sent me on my way.
But not before he kissed me,
Right upon my ear
He left his blessed mark
to carry with me here.
He whispered in my ear right then,
that He loved me without doubt,
and then He closed my ear up tight,
so the whisper won't get out.
He told me both my legs were strong
and would help me stand up tall.
He told me both my arms would work
to catch me if I fall.
My eyes would catch my memories
to store within the pages of my mind,
My heart would fill with all the things I would love,
so many things, I would find.
He told me I could fall asleep
to my Daddy's bedtime tales,
and listen while my Mother sings
of seas and boats with sails.
One ear, He told me, could hear the sounds
that little birdies make.
The other ear was His gift to me,
a blessing for my sake.
For when I'm feeling sad, He said,
my other ear would hear,
His whispered words of eternal love,
left waiting for me there.

(Author Unknown)