A diary of our experiences meeting and getting to know our adopted daughter.
Today is our last full day of our adoption odyssey. 17 days have come and gone so quickly! We've seen a lot of amazing sites, eaten some great food, met some fabulous adoptive families, and added an extra human along the way. I think Angie and I have experienced a great deal, and we're so thankful for the opportunity.
Early tomorrow we head to Hong Kong to board the long flight home. Once stateside, we will put a bow on the first stage of our adoption journey, and then begin the stage of assimilation. There will certainly be some challenging days ahead of us--it is clear that Madelyn is physically not right, and we want her to receive medical attention as soon as possible.
We know God has brought us this far, and we are certain He will carry us through the future unknowns. We thank you all for your prayers, and humbly ask you continue.
We took a trip to the colonial-era settlement of Shamian Island today. You can find some pictures under the Guangzhou folder at thomasosgood.smugmug.com. Pictures are available for only one more day.
A couple of days ago we arrived in the southern port city of Guangzhou to complete our adoption journey. Here Madelyn will receive a medical evaluation, and receive her U.S. passport as part of the final step for her to become an American! We are ecstatic at this thought, knowing we will soon have her home forever. But at the same time, we've been living out of suitcases for two weeks so we're dragging a little.
Complicating things as well is that Madelyn had begun vomiting her food on multiple occasions, and we were concerned enough to take her to a doctor. We received some medications, and the past 24 hours have been better. It's a reminder for us that her medical condition still needs to be fleshed out when we return home so that we can create the best possible situation for her to thrive.
Last night we had a chance to take a Pearl River cruise and view the magnificent architecture of Guangzhou, including Canton Tower--the 5th largest structure in the world. Check out some pictures at thomasosgood.smugmug.com.
Yesterday Angie and I traveled about two and a half hours to visit Madelyn's orphanage. It was a lot to take in, and a visit we will likely ponder for a long time. The facility is brand new, having opened just last fall. The previous building was in the city center, while the new location was on the outskirts of Anyang, a city of 5 million. The area reminded me a lot of the Dominican Republic, with lots of small shops and people riding mopeds or bikes. It certainly was less affluent than the places we have been staying.
We were encouraged to see that the orphanage was clean and well-resourced. She had a lot of love from the nannies, to the point of being spoiled probably. Getting to see where Madelyn lived, at least for the past year, also helped to fill in some gaps for me in how she lived.
Perhaps the most moving part of the day for me was when we returned to the hotel. There we were given a copy of her official notice of abandonment from the government. It included a copy of the newspaper ad that was placed to ask if anyone knew who she was. It reminded me of a poster you put up in your neighborhood when you lose your dog. It's hard for me to imagine this circumstance being placed on a child. But I'm certain God is using us to show her that she can be found and accepted in Him!
Check out some pics of the kids at the orphanage at thomasosgood.smugmug.com.
Yesterday was a busy day of meeting Madelyn for the first time and signing various papers. We also had an opportunity to ask a few questions of the nannies who took care of her. I think we received some good information from them. They also gave us a book of her baby pictures, which we appreciated very much.
In the past 24 hours we have been working on bonding, but it has been something of a challenge. We think she is grieving the loss of her nannies who have taken care of her for more than 3 years. She is rather listless and only eats in little bits at a time. We are prayerful that she will be able to make some emotional progress in the coming days.
Tomorrow is the day we make it official and accept her as our own legally. It almost doesn' seem real from when we started 14 months ago!
Check out a few gotcha day pics at thomasosgood.smugmug.com or mine and Angie's Facebook pages.
9:30 am (8:30 pm CT) is when we leave to go pick up Madelyn! Please pray for us and the other 12 families in our group, that we would possess the grace and strength necessary to display unconditional love through a day of great stress, joy, anxiety and wonder. Thanks for all of your support!
We are going out to conquer the Great Wall today before making the trip to our future daughter's province on Sunday. Then we get to meet her on Monday! We're having a hard time sleeping in anticipation!
I'm having a bit of a problem uploading pictures to this site, so you can view pictures on the site below going forward:
Gotcha Day is getting closer! Can't wait!
Today we toured some of the sights of China's capital with the other adoptive families in our group. We visited the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and a tea house as well as took a rickshaw ride through some hutongs before eating lunch in the house of a local. Tomorrow we will see the Great Wall of China, but first we will eat at a nearby KFC!
"And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" -Gal. 4:6
The adoption journey Angie Osgood and I have been for the past several months has given me a fresh opportunity to consider the Spirit of sonship that is granted to all believers: Unmerited, unlimited and unconditional. What I'm also starting to realize more and more is also how vital it is.
Today we got word from China that our petition to adopt the future Madelyn Osgood has been formally accepted. In 2-3 months, we will come face to face for the first time! She will be fully accepted as a member of our family forever, an unbreakable bond that will be the foundation of her future.
My position in God's family being ever more secure, I still need that Spirit of sonship to remind me of my unseen inheritance, to nudge me to cry out 'Abba!' whenever I'm in need just like Madelyn will to us.
Thank you, Jesus, for making a way for us to be accepted into God's family. And thank you, Jesus, for providing us a daughter to welcome into our own.
I wrote this on January 30, on the day we were matched with our future daughter. I wanted to take time to reflect on how God had brought us to that point in our journey, and how adoption is a powerful symbol of our eternal relationship with God through Christ.
Now we finally have a 'Gotcha' Day scheduled for May 7, just a few short weeks away. On that day, I will get to hear my daughter cry out "Baba (daddy in Mandarin)!" for the first time. The joy that will bring to my heart is nothing compared to the joy our Father gets when we cry 'Abba!' whenever we need Him. God wants us to depend on Him, just like I want Madelyn to depend on me.