Please allow us to share with you an account of our day and give glory to God for having orchestrated all of this from beginning to end. You won’t believe the times we found/find ourselves wanting to shout out with gratitude the name of our Jesus… more so today as we came across so many folks that will never forget this child we just took from under their wings.
Wow! What a day! The night before Gotcha Day, we had decided that we would like to see our son’s orphanage and finding spot (where he was abandoned and found) if it would be at all possible. So, on Gotcha Day our translator asked the orphanage director if we could visit. She answered with an ecstatic “yes!” The next day after we signed all our official adoption documents, she confirmed that they would be waiting for us on Thursday and she wanted to make sure we would stay for lunch after our visit. We felt honored.
So we left Thursday morning at 8:00am not sure what to expect. It took about 2 hours to get to the orphanage. It was so nice to leave the big city and see some more of the China countryside. When we go there everyone was waiting for our arrival at the orphanage and we were so warmly received. It is such a beautiful facility and the workers and children are even more beautiful! There is a big outdoor play area, a good size garden, two indoor play areas, and all the bedrooms and gathering rooms. We got to visit the babies first during their feeding time. All so precious! Then we went to the room where the toddlers were all eating their lunch. Our son was given his spot at the table and gobbled up the food put in front of him. We are so blessed that he is such a good eater! The only 2 things he has rejected so far are green peppers and olives. He loves spicy food, chocolate, and any kind of dipping sauce. Sorry … back to the orphanage visit. We went upstairs to see his bedroom and got to see where he slept. Everyone was so excited to see him again! Everywhere we went children and workers were calling his name. After the tour, we thought we were going to eat lunch there with the workers, but found out that they wanted to take us out to a fancy buffet lunch. We felt so honored. It turns out, they also felt honored because we are the first adoptive family to ever visit their orphanage. We got pictures with all the kids and staff and with Timothy’s playmates.
Lunch was amazing! So much food, not enough space in our tummies. We thought that after lunch, we would be saying good-bye to the director, assistant director and nanny for the last time but it turns out that they wanted to accompany us to Timothy’s finding spot. So glad they did because our translator and driver where not sure where to go. We drove about an hour and arrived at the police station in the small town. The orphanage workers jumped out and started asking the officers about the case. They had a picture of the announcement from the newspaper looking for his family after he was found. We waited a little while and then out came two officers … the same two officers who found him, took him to the hospital and handed him over to the orphanage over 3 years ago! We thanked them profusely for their role in our son’s journey to us! The lady officer was crying as we pulled away. The other officer was on his motorcycle ahead of us leading the way to Timothy’s finding spot … a police escort, who would’ve thought! We felt so special and were just so amazed that we were able to meet and express gratitude to so many people involved in our son’s life and rescue. Our minds kept going back to his birth mom though … we wish she could know the rest of his story.
After about 5 minutes, we found the right street and started walking behind the officer as he searched for the right house number. The street was narrow and lined with homes mostly owned by farmers. Wish we knew his mother’s story … why did she leave him? Why did she choose that house? It was one of the nicer looking homes on the street with a tiled exterior. We were only there for about 5 minutes but it was so worth the hours it took to get there! That spot was the beginning of his journey to us! So many people touched his life and he also touched so many! We then said our final goodbyes and thanked the orphanage staff again and again for their sweet care of our little boy.
We went a few more blocks and were surprised to stop again. The orphanage workers jumped out of the car in front of us and went into a shop. They came out with a lady who used to be director of the orphanage. She couldn’t believe when the van door opened and there was Timothy with our family. She quickly called her husband to come out. Turns out he is the mayor of the town. He too was so delighted. They took pictures and thanked us for adopting him, saying that they would like to visit us if they ever go to the US. Once the van door closed, Timothy waved his final goodbyes to his China family. Tears welled up in his nanny’s eyes and then in Sarah’s … completely overwhelmed by God’s goodness in every event of this day and the gratitude felt for those who poured their love into our son for over three years and sad that they may never see him again.