Saturday, August 31, 2013

(Sunday Snapshot) 10 Years Ago

10 years Grace-2
"You don't choose your family, they are God's gift to you, as you are to them."
~ Desmond Tutu
10 years Storyboard "There is only one happiness in life - to love and be loved."
~ George Sand
10 years Grace-4
 "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the
universe is unfolding as it should."

~ Desiderata

10 years Grace
"And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name
welcomes me."
~ Matthew 18:5

10 years Storyboard 2

My first glimpse of her in a referral photo was 10 years ago in early July of 2003.
She looked a little forlorn and sad, and I loved her instantly.

All those little details of how we first met are still with me and
it's a moment I will never forget as long as I live.
Dan and I were nervously waiting in our room in the Gloria Plaza Hotel in Nanchang.
It was a Sunday evening around 7:30 pm and there was a knock at the door.
The orphanage director, our social worker, and a nanny holding our baby girl
named 'Fu Lan Li' entered the room.
It was absolutely silent until I softly spoke to Lanli (Grace).
Though quite shy, she smiled at me and came easily into my arms.
In an instant the hole in my heart that had been there for years
was healed.
I was holding an angel, sent straight from heaven.
The rest of that evening really was somewhat of a glorious blur, but
I do remember playing with Grace, feeding her, holding and loving her.
All of our lives have changed profoundly since that late Summer evening
in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province.
Grace (Fu Lan Li) is so much more than we could have possibly ever
hoped for or dreamed.

10 years later Grace is now an eleven year old
and you can clearly see the lovely young lady that she has become.
She is happy, healthy, thoughtful and kind, a good friend to all and deeply loved
by those who know her.

Recently, I was told that Dan and I have had remarkable lives.
I have to admit I've never thought of it that way...
remarkable, yes(maybe) but if it has been that, it's because of our profound
experiences with adopting both Grace and William
and our lives with them.
For me it was also my last trip to China in 2012
with An Orphan's Wish that helped me to understand a little bit better
both of my youngest childrens' stories before they came to live with us,
and even see for my eyes what it's like to be an orphan.
I say listen to that little voice that is your heart
and follow it.
An orphan child's dream for a family can come true.

10 years ago we were forever changed for the better.
To our dearest Grace,
we cannot possibly imagine our lives without you.


10 years Grace-3

I felt I had to do something very special
to quietly observe Grace's 10th forever family day
and did that by taking this series of photos for her.

Choosing a location out of my regular comfort zone of fields and countryside,
I took these at the Monona Terrace, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
in 1938 but wasn't constructed on Lake Monona in Madison until the mid 1990's.
I loved the lines and curves and beautiful light.
It all suited my subject quite well. ;)
Ni Hao Yall

12 kind words:

Love Letters To China said...

There are no words to describe the beauty you captured that day. I absolutely love every single one. Grace is so fortunate to have these to look back on along with the words you have written. They clearly come from deep within your soul.

Happy Forever Day to one of the sweetest girls I've ever met!


p.s. Gail, I can see so many of these hanging in your home. How in the world can you choose??

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

you have out done yourself my friend. No words can justify these.

What a special day this is for you and your family.


Jboo said...

Lovely post -- amazing beautiful girl and family. So special. Enjoy remembering and celebrating your sweet family!

Cheryl said...

I sit here sobbing as I read your beautiful words, and look at your amazing daughter. Love. It's just so much bigger than so many can imagine. Thank you for taking us on the road with you.
~ Cheryl

Andreea Hellen Red said...

Your daughter is breathtaking!I'm speechless!

Hoots Momma said...

Beautiful post! Grace will treasure these posts when she is older. You are amazing at finding the most eloquent words to express your deep deep love for your children. I am always moved and inspired to love more when I read your posts!

Courtney said...

She is such a beauty. I know she has brought so much joy to your family.

Eva said...

Grace is so beautiful, in so many ways. And you always have a way with capturing that beauty. I hope the memories you made 10 years ago remain as fresh as the day you made them.

Beth @ Hope And Coffee said...

Absolutely beautiful!

Jessica said...

Stunning! And what beautiful quotes you have chosen to accompany such beautiful photos. Congrats on 10 years.

Shay Ankerich said...

Gorgeous and wish I could come shadow you for one day! LOVE your photog and eye for beauty. Grace is a treasure! LOVE!!! XOXOXOXO

likeschocolate said...

Can I have a tiny bit of your talent. Not only are you and artist, but look at the beautiful up do on your daughter. She is stunning! Happy Anniversary of 10 years and your forever family.

© Aging with Grace and strong Will
CoffeeShop Designs