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Our Lucky Day

August 16, 2016

Six years ago, on a rainy morning in China, a beautiful little girl was placed into my arms and into our family.

Wearing the most solemn expression that I’d ever seen on the face of a child, and dressed in China’s “lucky red” from head to toe, I knew that she was about to change our lives forever, for the better. And I was right. She did.

Some say that August 16, 2010 was her lucky day. But, truth be told, it was ours.



She took my breath away when I walked into the room and saw her for the first time. So solemn. So stunningly beautiful.

I had a backpack full of goodies to try to warm her up to me.  Bubbles. Suckers. Snacks. Stuffed toys. Photos. She just stared and stared, and nervously played with her dress. Didn’t make a peep. I wanted to scoop her up immediately and squeeze her with all of my might. But, I knew that would scare her. So, I just talked to her and played for awhile. Then, I slowly reached out to scoop her up, and she let me – without a fight! I had prepared myself for the worst, heading into that day. I was prepared for her to kick and scream out of fear. You can imagine my relief when she didn’t.


This next image breaks my heart each and every time I see it.

Gracie’s only belongings.

Her favorite little backpack.
A few of her favorite snacks.
A photo album containing photos of our family that we had sent over to her.
A photo album from her orphanage – containing photos of her first two years of life.


Forever grateful to my mom and dad for traveling across the ocean with me to make this adoption possible. As much as Bryan wanted to come, too, we knew it would be best for little Sidney and Jackson if one of us stayed behind. ♥


Here is Grandpa showing Gracie the photos from the album the orphanage gave to us. Her eyes were glued to him the whole time…not the photos!


I still remember the way that she smelled.
I still remember the way her limp body felt in my arms.
I still remember aching for her birth mother and her foster mother….both of whom had held this girl in their arms….both of whom had to say goodbye to her. I prayed that God would assure Gracie that her new mommy would never have to say goodbye, and that she would be in my arms for good.


Her special hand clung to mine. I marveled at it. I KNEW that God was going to use that “lucky fin” of hers to do some amazing things. And He has!!


Grace didn’t speak, eat, or drink for an entire day after we met. She just clung to me for dear life. Her world had been rocked.  I can remember when she finally broke down and started crying. While it was heartbreaking to watch her grieve, I was so relieved. Grieving the life she was about to leave behind was the first step she needed to take to step into ours.


The first time she fell asleep in my arms, I couldn’t help but notice that her head was so warm and feverish. In addition to having her world completely rocked that day, she was running a fever and wasn’t feeling well. I ached for her. Physically and emotionally.


First bath with mommy.

Those eyes. My goodness. 


I can remember being so worried about her on that first night. She was running a fever. She was completely silent. She was scared. Wouldn’t eat. Wouldn’t drink. I’ll never forget the moment when she finally broke down and began eating (almost 48 hours after we met). My dad put a bite of watermelon in front of her, and she gobbled it up. She ended up eating an entire plate full of it!  From there on out, she ate like a champ.


The first snuggles (of many) with Grandma.  ♥


What a big, beautiful, bittersweet day that was.

Truly unforgettable.




One Comment leave one →
  1. Mary Jane permalink
    August 18, 2016 1:19 am

    How aporpriate that Gracie’s Gotcha Day is the same day of her Uncle Luke’s (and my mom’s) birthday. Thank you for all of your posts. I have truly enjoyed watching your family grow in number and spiritually. Our love to you all.

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