Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Year Of Belonging

Doesn’t this picture just break your heart?  It would mine, 
if there wasn’t more to the story.

The day we left China, I’m sure that these children were scared to death, but she put on her brave face and promised the interpreters that she would not run away from us in the train station.
I had my emergency note written in Chinese to explain that I was her new mother and that I was adopting her, not kidnapping her.
My newest son was putting on his brave face too - with enough energy to fight me the next two days of travel. 

We made it home, exhausted physically and emotionally.  And I knew that now the real healing would began for my new children.  The healing that can only happen in a family where you belong.  We showed them the Texas coast, Christmas, snow, and their first Christmas gifts.  

 They met their new family - a daddy, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and Dandy and Gommy.
 They did the best they could to cope - she looked out any window she could find and cried.  He withdrew, or was naughty.  
We all held them and tried to help them as much as we could.

 But, I knew in my heart that the only answer for their grief was time, 
and lots and lots of understanding, sympathy, and love.

 A year later, it is beginning to show;  
The healing...

 ...the feelings of belonging and safety.  

 In those little faces of my newest son and daughter, I am seeing happiness, 
 and beauty where there was fear, pain and sadness. 

 They have learned what being loved is, what belonging looks like.
  And I think that they like it.
I am so thankful to the LORD that I was chosen to be their mother -
to share their journey,
to teach them the joys of a family,
and to see them in time embrace that;
I am so thankful to be apart of their story,
and to know that it has only just begun.


  1. Oh Shonni, what a beautiful post! And so encouraging and full of hope. The Lord is good. I recently watched the VeggieTales version of the Gideon story - and on the night before the big battle, Gideon (Larry the Cucumber) was praying to the Lord. At the end of the prayer he said, "Lord, you could have chosen anybody, but You chose me. And I thank You for it." It touched my heart as I thought about the privilege and blessing it is to parent my children, and to experience the joys and trials of adoption. As you said at the end of this post - I was chosen to be "Mama" - wow :-). Love, Chenning

  2. Amazing to see through pictures! Here's to another year of healing and learning what unconditional love is! Happy New Year!

  3. LOVE this post!! They have come so far and needed this time to trust and love. The pics are beautiful!

  4. Makes my heart happy to see them so happy!!! Noelani is adorable in these photos!!! I love the green shirt with the bird she has on!!!

  5. Well written! Love the picture where everyone is having a good belly laugh...makes me wish I had been there. Time does heal the pain and will continue to do so. Praying that you guys will have all you need at just the right moment to continue to help your kids heal. God Bless!

  6. Very sweet and encouraging post. It's awesome to see the progress.

  7. It is not easy to walk this road of healing, but I have learned that it is an honor. Thanks for sharing an update! XO

  8. I remember reading how hard that was a year ago. What beautiful pictures! I mean the beauty of a smile is worth a thousand words. Thanks for the update on your newest kiddos. Time is everything.

  9. Grateful that they are healing and moving forward in living and loving. They are blessed to have you as their Mama and that they now belong to a very special family!!! Blessings, Jennifer

  10. Such a beautiful post!

    And we know that black, white, and red couch from the first photo. :-) Ah, memories.

  11. What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing! You have persevered as well as they. I'm sure it has been as refining as it is rewarding. God is so good to be so faithful day in and day out.

  12. So happy for all of you. We can relate. It truly can take a year or even longer to really settle in as a family after a newly adopted child comes home--especially if he or she is older. With our daughter (significant special needs and came home at age 4) it took MY heart about 18 mos. to really feel in my heart like her mama. Let alone her own feelings of belonging. Time spent together as a family is the only cure, with many prayers along the way! Glad your newest ones are settling in so well. Praise God!

    Carrie T. - mom to 4 from S. Korea

  13. So sweet to see the difference a year has made! God is so good! They both look so relaxed and happy--safe and secure in their new family. :)

  14. Love, Love, Love this post. Made me cry to see how they have grown with your loving family.

  15. Oh So Glad that things are turning the corner for you.

    It has been a long hard year, but your family has persevered.

    Hugs & Prayers & Blessings to each of you!!!

    mama of 12


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