The Messina Family

The Messina Family
Barcelona 2010

Sunday, June 29, 2008

China - revisited

The big brothers....

Faith and Lily

Faith and Lily getting ready for the photo shoot to ensue...

I love this picture! Lily was squirming and as you can see, JUMPING, around while we were trying to take pictures. Faith was nonplussed by her behavior. Funny enough, the roles were completely reversed in China!

The whole gaggle of kids between our two families...Joe, Tim, Lily, Luke, Claire,& Faith.

Cyndi and Laura pose together again..just as we did so many times in Beijing, Nanchang and Guangzhou in Aug and Sept of 2006.
In late August of 2006, while we were outside of Beijing, climbing our way up the Great Wall (it isn't as easy as it looks), we heard an American woman talking. We were immediately polarized to her. I sat down to rest next to her and began talking to her. Come to find out, she was here in China to adopt a little girl too....a special needs little girl only a month older than Lily. Her name was going to be Faith and she had been born with a heart defect that had already been surgically repaired.
I congratulated her and asked which province she was going to. Jiangxi! What a coincidence! When was she leaving Beijing for Nanchang? That night....on our same flight! When was she getting her daughter? The next afternoon, same as us! We were the only two families to receive our daughters at the civil affairs office together that afternoon. Faith arrived first, from a different city than Lily's. I took pictures of Laura and Faith as they met for the very first time. Her husband wouldn't be joining her in China for another 4-5 days, so she was there with her brother.
We ended up doing a lot of activities together...going sightseeing and generally just chatting in the lobby several times a day. We then travelled to Guangzhou together and was there with them for several days.
For those of you whom have never adopted internationally, the special needs adoptions are done individually and not in large groups like non-special needs children. They want to get the kids to there forever families as fast as possible. Laura was not using the same adoption agency as we were. We just met by chance on the Great Wall of China. As the Chinese would say, it was yuan fen...destiny or fate...meant to be. Laura and her family are from outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan...not too far from my parents' house in central Michigan. When we came back to the U.S. for the first time with Lily over Christmas of 2006, we met in Lansing at an Applebee's to get together again. We did the same thing this trip.
The waitress asked if we were having a birthday party. (6 kids between us) and we told her the story of how we had our youngest daughters were Jiangxi sisters and we almost had her in tears.
It was great getting to see them again. We will definitely be doing this every opportunity we get!

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