I have been having a wonderful time lately. Not quite sure why, really. Just happy in the Lord, I guess! We've been pretty relaxed around here...no pressure to do a whole lot....it's been chilly outside but no snow, some rain, (don't you just love rain??) and cozy in the house. The kids have been healthy (until Sarah came down with a little cold yesterday--oh well.) Sometimes God just gives you a time of relative quiet when you can just be thankful for the blessings of life. And there are so many of them! (And by the way, when I say quiet, I do not in any way mean the decibal level in our house. It's not really quiet in here.) : )
So, onto the subject of my post today! Ever since we had Sarah, I started longing to know anything I could about her past. I think other adoptive moms would agree with me when I say that that mysterious, shadowy time before we had Sarah just drives me crazy, not knowing EVERYTHING that happened in her life. Here is what we have been told about Sarah's beginnings...
There is a busy market area in Zhengzhou City in China. A woman brought baby Sarah to a police officer on duty at a police station to hold while she went next door to use the restroom. And then she never returned to get her. The officer waited, and finally took the baby home to his family. She was about two months old. Each day he went to work, and waited for the woman to come back for the baby. Finally after two weeks, he took her to the orphanage in Zhengzhou. She stayed there for eight or nine months until they changed plans for that building, and moved most of the children to different locations. At around nine months old, Sarah was moved to a different orphanage in a city called Luo He. She was blessed to be in this one that is run by our adoption agency's charity division. After a time, she was moved to a foster family's home. Supposedly she was only with them for a few months when our letter of intent to adopt Sarah was accepted, and they moved her back to the orphanage again for a few more months until we would travel to get her. If you weren't counting, that was seven different living placements in the first 21 months of her life, including the police officer's family, the second orphanage two different times, and our family.
When we met Sarah, she was not afraid of us at all. She easily took to us, and started laughing and playing with us within the first hour that we had her! We were so thankful that obviously she had been loved, played with, and most likely not mistreated. But oh, how we wish we could talk with those people. Any of them! who loved her and played with her, and cuddled with her and knew her. And how I wish I had some pictures of her life before she was with us. We have a few, but not many.
So, I started searching around in an online adoption group last summer. I posted a message on the board asking if anyone had pictures of the orphanage Sarah was in. I at least wanted to know more about where she had lived. I searched the faces in the albums others posted, but had no luck. And then I started praying that I would someday see some pictures of Sarah. I just knew God would answer that prayer!
Last night I decided to search on that board again. I looked at albums...no Sarah. And then I went back in the message archives and came across that old question I had asked on there last summer, wondering if anyone had any pictures of the orphanage she was in. Lo and behold, I had had a reply that I hadn't noticed. A lady had adopted a daughter the same age as Sarah, who had been in the orphanage at the same time, and she had pictures on her blog that someone had given to her of her daughter and others in the orphanage. My heart beat faster as I went over to her blog and started flipping through those pictures. And here is what I saw...
The little girl in the yellow shorts outfit...I thought she might be her but I couldn't be sure...
Until I saw this one! My heart started leaping when I saw this! Look at that precious face. And such a perfect shot!
And I smiled when I saw this one (Sarah in bright pink) because she always loves to cuddle and sit on our laps. This volunteer was just filling in for Daddy. : )
She was probably just learning to walk around this time. : )
And there she is in the back in the middle. When I showed this picture to Sarah, she said, "Where's Mommy?" And I told her I just hadn't come to get her yet. : ( Thank you to these wonderful ladies who invested in the lives of these precious children!
It really is strange looking at these pictures of Sarah, and us not being in them. Like Sarah asked, "Where are you?" My first thought was something like that too. Where was I? Who are these people? It felt a little like I must have dropped her off at a daycare or something. So strange to remember that here she was in a life without me. Our heartstrings are so completely wound around that little girl. She IS our daughter.
I am so thankful that God provided these pictures for us to see, and I will keep searching for more. I would love to see ones from when she was a younger baby. And my next hope and prayer is that we could somehow make contact with her foster parents and special nannies so that we can show them pictures and tell them all about what Sarah went through and how God pulled her through. I'll let you know when that happens! (I would LOVE to somehow have contact with her birth mother, but that is next to impossible here on this earth. Hopefully in heaven someday...)
Isn't God good? Answering prayers--the big ones and small ones. He is just so wonderful!