of the LORD in the land of the living! --Psalm 27:13
We were witness to a sweet reunion last month when Lia Kate and one of the precious girls from her orphanage were, at last, together again!!! Gracie and Lia Kate lived in the Lianjiang orphanage until they were 16 months old. Gracie went home with her forever family several months before Lia Kate, but we understand they were in the same room for awhile together at the orphanage.
There is so much we don't know about Lia Kate's first 16 months of life, so it is very special to have a piece of her past near us. Gracie remembers Lia Kate from the orphanage and called her "GangGang" (her Chinese nickname) the entire time we were at their house. She is the only person we know of in the U.S. who knows Lia Kate by this name. There is something pretty special about that.
There is a children's book I love called Three Names of Me, about the three names that a Chinese adoptee has ... the name her birth mother gives her, the name her orphanage gives her, and the name her forever family gives her. And this sweet girl...
...remembers Lia Kate's second name. What a precious piece of our daughter's past we've been given in Gracie.
Gracie's mother, Rachel, and I connected before we traveled to China. They had already been home with Gracie for several months, and I had a lot of questions about Gracie's transition and what to expect with Lia Kate. Over the last year and a half, we have followed each other's blogs and watched each other's daughter blossom.
When we finally got to meet, during our trip to South Carolina in January, we discovered a lot of similarities between the girls. For example, they both are joyful little girls by day, but often express their grief in the night. They both have similar sleeping patterns, and they both grieved very heavily during our time in China. These two share a past that we -- as their mothers -- will never know the details of.
But we are so glad they have each other.
I hope that this is the first of many get togethers between our families! We had such a fun evening of talking adoption and our girls, trading stories about our time in China, and watching our children all play together. Britton and Lia Kate had so much fun playing with Gracie and her sisters and brother that we had to drag them away at the end of the night.
Thanks, friends, for sharing your home and your sweet girl with us! We are ever grateful...