It is no secret that the first year of Halainah's life is missing a lot of pieces to the puzzle of her life. It is my duty as her Mama to try and gather as many pieces of her past that I possibly can so that one day when she asks me about her first year of life in China I can give her the answers that she so desperately wants and needs. I pray that when that day comes there will be few missing pieces of her puzzle and she will be satisfied with what I have collected for her.
On Gotcha day, we were so thrilled to have received a little Winnie the Pooh photo album with a lot of clues to her past. We saw pictures that we never saw before and I cherish every single one of them. I wrote about that precious photo album here if you would like to take a look.
But something simply amazing happened last week and I want to record it here in Halainah's life book.
I belong to a bunch of Yahoo groups on adoption as I am sure a lot of you adoptive mamas are as well. One of the groups I belong to is a very special group of families who adopted from the same orphanage as Halainah.
A week ago a message popped up from a proud mama who wrote in to explain her excitement over a photograph that she received. You see, she sent a picture of her daughter to the orphanage a few years ago to show them how she has grown. This was a very special picture to this woman because it was the first reunion she had attended with her daughter. And at the reunion her daughter was united once again with her crib mate. She was excited to announce that she received a picture from the orphanage of a woman who was holding a baby. On the wall behind the woman was the picture of her daughter that she had sent in. It was blown up, framed and hung on the orphanage walls. She was delighted to know that the orphanage cares about their children so much and this photo just proved it. They took the time to blow up her picture and place it on their walls as a reminder of two happy Shangrao crib mates who are now with their forever families.
I was eager to inspect the picture as it is the place that Halainah lived for the first 14 months of her life. But I was not expecting what I was about to see.
I opened up the picture and to my astonishment, the woman in the picture was holding my precious Halainah. Ahhhhh another link to Halainah's past...thank you Lord. Simply Amazing! Another picture to add to her life book. Simply Amazing!
I screamed, "Lainey that's you...that's you!"
And Lainey yelled, "ME....ME!"
I e-mailed the woman who indirectly gave me this most wondrous gift to ask her some more questions. One being, "How did you obtain this picture?"
She explained to me that she donates money directly to the Shangrao Orphanage who has a program called, "Hugging Grannies." This program pays for some retired doctors, nurses, and teachers to come spend their days with the children and just hold, play, and love them, like a real Granny would.
Annually she receives updates on how the program is going and that often includes photographs. The last update she received was about a year ago....just about the time when we were in China. She never shared the pictures with our yahoo group. But a year later she felt compelled to share this photo with our group. Personally, I feel she was led by the grace of God to share this photo so that Halainah could have another piece of her puzzle...another link to her past. Simply Amazing! I will forever be thankful to this woman who indirectly gave me such an amazing treasure.
How wonderful to have received this photo but there's more to it. Halainah was loved by Grannies who spent quality time with her, to hug her and kiss her and play with her. She didn't just sit in a walker for hours and hours in a day. Most of the pictures I have of her life in the orphanage are in a walker! Nope, Halainah had Grannies that loved her, that hugged her and played with her. Simply Amazing. And I get to share this with my daughter when she is old enough to understand.