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Sunday, August 24, 2014

More great connections!!!

WOW, wow, wow.....we just received an email from the young man who was at camp with Matthew and our hearts just melted (this has been happening a lot with these two boys). I just have to share:

...I just recently got back from Yantai China! While I was there I volunteered at Bring Me Hope Summer Camp! I was granted two orphans to hang out with along with a translator! I had two older guys! However during the week I grew a little shadow! And his name was *****!  

I fell in love with ***** the first time I met him. Even though he was not part of my family group at camp, we became the best of friends. He is the sweetest kid I've ever met and this little guy has had the biggest impact on my life within a matter of a couple of days. **** was the sweetest kid you will ever meet and we became very close throughout the week at camp.  Every assembly he would walk all the way across the room to sit on my lap and wouldn't move unless I did. He would come to my table at dinner to check if I was finished eating the only meal I ever ate there "my bowl of rice". When we went to the beach he wouldn't go in if I didn't and wouldn't get out if I didn't. It soon came clear to me that this he loved me and didn't care where I was from or my past. Everyday my heart grew heavier knowing that this amazing kid lived in a orphanage and he didn't have a family to love him unconditionally like everyone should.

On the last day it was about an hour before we had to say our final goodbyes to all the kids! When he left he gave me the most heart wrenching letters I've ever gotten! He cried so hard and didn't wanna leave. Saying bye to ***** was very hard for me, but during that moment I got some of the best News ever! That he was getting adopted!

Mrs. Pellegrino I just wanna say thank you from the bottom of my heart! Knowing that ***** will get home, with an amazing family that loves him is the greatest thing ever! He was the greatest kid I've ever met, and I'm sure you will find out soon enough! Thank you so much Kim! God bless!

Seriously, do we know how to pick them or what?????!!!!!! Sounds like we will have four amazing boys on our hands!!!! We are so grateful that this young man got to love on our son at camp. It is just amazing to hear!!! We look forward to having him Skype with Matthew when he gets home!! 

And speaking of which....we got our I-800A approval this week. Once that gets sent out for I think county certification then all of our paperwork (dossier) goes to China!!! YEAHHHHHH!!!! So blessed.

Through someone else adopting from the same orphanage we were able to get the orphanage website!!! With a little help from Google translate we are reading all about the different things are boys are doing. There are many pictures of Matthew on the site (I think maybe one of Michael) but it's so great to keep getting these special tid-bits of information about our boys! The orphanage seems to do many outings with the kids - one of the better orphanages for sure!

I hope to get to share some more pictures soon. Please pray for a special family that is heading to China at the end of the month. They are going to bring home their little girl - that same little girl that our Michael helped at camp (last post)....thank you Jesus!!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Amazing connection!

Yesterday we received word that our oldest son Michael was at a camp and that we were getting put in touch with his volunteer. Quickly we received multiple emails filled with kind words about our son. And pictures to boot! I have to be the proud Momma already and share what his volunteer said about him. He is called Daniel in this setting:

I don't even know where to begin with Daniel (let me know if you would prefer me to call him by his Chinese name). He is the most exceptional child I have ever met. When I first met him he was very quiet, but he didn't shy away. I didn't know what to expect when it came to me trying to hug him and love on him, but he never once turned me down or shrugged me off. He receives love very well, but even more incredibly is that he gives it back two fold. My family group for the week also included another girl from his orphanage. She had a disability that really hindered the use of her hands. The way Daniel helped her was incredible. He never had to be asked, he just did it; he opened her bottles, carried her belongings, served her food, etc. He actually was very conscious and aware of everyone's needs. When I lost a card game by losing all my cards, he gave me half his deck so I could continue to play. He carried my water bottle around for me, as well as bags. He was always kissing and hugging the other children with disabilities and helping them. He has the heart of a servant. He never once misbehaved in the slightest. It was unlike anything I've ever seen before. Now not to say he doesn't misbehave, but disobedience is definitely not something I think you will see often. 

Besides having the sweetest heart, he is brilliant. He has a very good memory and such a drive to learn. His English is pretty impressive considering his age. He knew common phrases, the entire alphabet, and numbers up to 20. He can also write in English if you tell him how to spell it. He constantly was asking me how to say new words and took pride in remembering them. He told me he wants to learn English and be an English teacher when he is older. 

Lastly, he really likes to play sports. He really blew me away with his hand-eye coordination and how well he could kick a ball considering his prosthetics. Honestly, I didn't even know he had them until he took them off, I just thought he had a limp. They don't hinder him in anyway though. He was very strong and never once fell behind, even when going on intense hikes or climbing up stairs. He needs new ones though. He keeps one on with a single Velcro strap and he ties the other one on with a rope. It killed me and I instantly wanted to fundraise for new ones. He is a champ though and never once struggled. He can also walk without them though! He has enough of his legs remaining to do so (they end about midway/lower half of his calves) and ran around the water park for hours without them. Once again, he is awesome. 

I don't say this out of bias, or to flatter, but he is literally the most outstanding child I have ever met.
.....Today was my last day with him, and he cried all the way to the bus. While loading, he smiled through his tear-streaked face, flashed a thumbs up, and said "okay?"  This was our secret way of communicating we were all right, and it is amazing how appropriate it was at that time, because yes, he will be okay, and I am so thankful for the comfort I have knowing he will be cared for, loved, and raised up in a loving family. I was able to confidently respond "okay." 

I am absolutely melting!!!! I am speechless. I am moved by how much love this volunteer has for our son - how she loved on him. I am feeling so blessed!!!

By the way, the girl that Michael was helping while at camp is being adopted by a family we have been in touch with from Pennsylvania!!! They will meet again!!

We are waiting to hear from Matthew's volunteer but here are some pictures from Michael's volunteer:

Please pray that this process moves along forward and swiftly!!! We are so grateful. Thank you Lord Jesus!
(ohhh yeah, Home Study is done and we are waiting the first USCIS approval while our papers are being prepared for our dossier. Still looking at the end of the year or early next year).