Tuesday, December 16, 2008

china trip: visiting yangdong swi

China: Dec 16th 2008

After a long hard day (for everyone) my mind is at ease, I feel assured that Lilah was looked after extremely well by the staff at Yangdong SWI. The staff were beautiful and amazing, and it was truly a pleasure getting to meet them all.

At the start, during our drive to the orphanage, I had my doubts, Lilah was not happy at all. I'm not sure if it was the car ride or if she was feeling a sense of what was happening, but she was very upset which in turn made me very emotional too - I wrestled with the emotions and even at one stage said, "Let's just go back!". I really wondered if we were doing the right thing, but I'm so thrilled we hung in there and it really was so worth the trip. It was most definitely emotional, seeing Lilah's crib and finding place were very tough moments for Colin and I.

The director and staff at Yangdong SWI were all most grateful for the formula donation and they very kindly treated us to dinner in a beautiful restaurant in Yangjiang. I can honestly say it's the best Chinese food I have ever tasted! After dinner, the director and vice director took us to Lilah's finding spot, which was extremely kind. We were given a tour of the orphanage and saw where Lilah spent the first 18 months of her little life. It was beautiful and sad all at the same time, I just couldn't stop the tears. At one stage the staff put Lilah in her little metal crib, to be perfectly honest my heart stopped for a few seconds - I just wanted to take her out and hold her so close to me.

I also got to pass on some love and take pictures of two other Yangdong babies for their waiting mommies. I just emailed them the pictures and I know they will be thrilled to see their beautiful little girls. One of them slept right next to Lilah and we were told they were good friends, how amazing! I also gave the staff each of the photo albums sent to me by mommies that adopted Yangdong children a few years ago. The staff were thrilled to see the children growing up. They were all very excitedly talking about the pictures and seemed to know each of the children, which I thought was amazing.

The staff told us some little pieces of information about Lilah. They said she was very helpful and she would go get whatever they requested, so they could tend to the little babies. And she would pick clothes out for the babies to wear! Also, when a staff member was doing something that interested her, she would drag a chair over and stand on it to watch, help or join in. I totally get this, I've already seen signs of her being an amazingly helpful child. The director told us that Lilah is a very smart child and she understands everything they tell her.

The orphanage visit gave us a little more history and understanding about Lilah's life that we wouldn't have had otherwise. I am so thankful that we were able to make the trip. Her little (before us) life feels much more real now, seeing where she lived and those special people that looked after her, they are forever etched in my mind and heart.

I'm so very grateful she's ours now, our gift from God. We have so much to be thankful for.

Click here for pictures from today.
Click here for pictures from yesterday.

China: Dec 16th 2008 China: Dec 16th 2008

China: Dec 16th 2008


  1. Wow, this brings tears to my eyes...to see the finding place of your daughter and where she slept and spent the first 18 months of her life. That is so wonderful that she was cared for so well-the Lord is good. Thanks for more pics and info. That's really kind of you both to share all the photos and info. with us, when you are no doubt, super busy and living off little sleep(for all the excitement and joy and busyness):)! Lilah looks so happy and you both do too!! That's wonderful.
    M xo

  2. I'm glad the day was a success! It's so cute that she was a little helper for the staff!
    I check your blog numerous times each day. We're pleased things are going well with Lilah and can't wait to meet her!
    Julia and Mike

  3. Jill and Colin, I'm so glad you were able to make the visit to Yangdong. It was one of THE most memorable parts of China for me and a full circle moment. I cried looking at the pictures. I wish I had gotten around to sending you Eliza's pictures to take with you. I'll just have to do it when we return for Meiying! Lilah looks happier and happier each day and she's so cute. Did you notice her hugging you tighter after the visit to the orphanage? Thanks for sharing the pictures and story of today. Hugs. Sarah

  4. Oh Jill & Colin,

    I'm so glad you visited the SWI. I know the trip is emotionally rough on parents (and probably the children as well), but in my opinion oh, so worth it! You will never regret making that trip and seeing the SWI, meeting the staff and experiencing the city where Lilah might have grown up had different choices been possible for her biological family.

    Thank you so much for delivering the photo album of my daughter and the other children in her travel group. I hope you'll send me the photo of the director and staff looking at the albums, I'd love to do a post about that on my blog.

    Enjoy the rest of your stay in beautiful China!

    Kelly (whose Yangdong girl turned 3 years old on Sunday!)

  5. THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOO much for the picture of the director looking at Lily's picture. What a wonderful surprise that was to see! It just brings me to tears... I think of how far she has come and what a blessing all of these precious children are.

    Thank you for sharing your pictures... they are just wonderful and touch my heart every time I look through them!!!!!

  6. anonymous says were so delighted for you both she's beautiful can't wait for you to come an visit!!.As for Gods way it is perfect. May you be truly blessed.love the photos give her a big hug and kiss from Goodlet Deirdre and the gang xo xo

  7. Hi Colin & Jill
    So pleased that things have worked out well for you! Lilah is beautiful and it's great to see her smiling! Hope the rest of your trip goes well. Remembering you in prayer.
    Love Andrew & Ruth

  8. Delighted you visited the orphanage.
    Very emotional for you all.
    Lovely to see Lilah's finding place-I am sure it was hard for her birth mother to have to leave such a precious bundle.
    Nice to know you have a little helper on board!
    As for Chinese food I know how much you love it Jill!!
    Love you all lots mom & dad xxx

    PSALM 138 Verse 3
    In the day when I cried thou answeredst me,and strengthenedst me,with strength in my soul.

  9. Jill,
    I am so happy this day was good for you. I am sure parts were very difficult but it sounds like the experience overall was something so important in Lilah's history. I cannot wait to go to flickr and see the photos.


  10. Kate is on my lap as I look at the photos and I told her that was Lilah...and Kate said, "beautiful Lilah!" So true.

  11. What an amazing day for all three of you! It's been so wonderful to be able to read what you have been doing each day...and to see pictures of the three of you together...a very happy family. Lilah is just so adorable...it's great to see her beautiful smile. She's just so precious! Thinking of you often...Janet

  12. Congratulations on your beautiful beautiful Lilah!!!!!!

    Hugs from St. Louis!

  13. I just had to look at all your pictures again before I went to bed - you have a beautiful little girlie with a happy smile! Too precious. Thanks so much for posting about your day, I'm glad it went well at the orphanage. Hope the trip to Beijing tomorrow goes well too. We think of you all very often. Awaiting your return!

  14. I've been closely following along your journey, eager to see if you visited the SWI! I was emotional just reading your post, and the photos brought back wonderful and vivid memories (except we were there in a typhoon rain storm!). It's amazing how these little girls triumph through these adoption trips, with such a busy itinerary and so many changes. She sounds to be doing wonderful, and is so beautiful! Enjoy the rest of your trip!!

  15. Dear Colin & Jill,

    We are SO HAPPY for you! Lilah is beautiful and we couldn't help but smile when we read she liked to pick out clothes for the babies to wear! She'll be just like her wonderful mother! :) Wait 'til she sees her wardrobe...! :)

    Can't wait to see her in person some day and be able to hug and hold her. Rosalie was on my lap while we watched the video clip of Colin with Lilah and was so interested in the cute baby. She's a real doll!

    Wish we could hug you for joy and share in your tears, too. You make a lovely family and we thank the Lord for answering your prayers with such a beautiful gift. This Christmas will have such special significance for you and memories to treasure forever. We'll be with you in prayer.


    Shawn & Heidi, Laura, Cullen and Rosalie