Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Baotou Visit

What an emotional day it has been for Van and Chenguang. I was up at the break of dawn to hear the news of Van's visit to Baotou. Van's words per say...He is so happy that he took Garrett Chenguang back to Baotou, but it was the best and the worst of any day he has experienced. Heartwrenching, loving, compassionate, closure...all of those words sum up the feelings of the day. Van will tell it in his own words when he has the chance to write about the experience of Baotou.
This is what I know and remember from Van. I hope I get it right.

Van, Garrett, and the guide drove to Baotou. It was a scary drive due to no traffic control, about 8o miles per hour, no seat belts, and was about 2 hours away. When they arrived, Van had no sooner stepped out of the car to put on his coat when the foster parents came running to the car to Garrett. They held him, they cried, they kissed him, and they loved on him. They absolutely adore him. He is their son in every sense of the word in their eyes. They are losing their son. I cannot even type...even to me so far away...the emotions are so raw and so close to my heart. I cannot imagine having been a part of this experience. And I feel so much compassion and love for this family. They are losing so much, and so is Garrett. Van says that Garrett handled it so well. Garrett initially looked very sad and teary when he was in their arms again. But he recovered quickly, and Van says he was completely comfortable and happy after that having everyone there doting on him. Garrett was going back and forth between his foster parents and Van. The foster parents brought Garrett a very large amount of his favorite foods. They cried a lot. The foster father was obviously very distraught. You can see it in his eyes in the picture. I am not including many pictures of the meeting because I feel it is so personal to Garrett, and we want to honor his Chinese family's feelings and not put them on display on the internet for the world to see. I will tell you that the pictures brought me to tears immediately, and I believe you will see it and feel it yourselves. Van says they were so kind and such loving people. The father is employed as a security officer. They are both 50 years old. They have a biological son and a daughter that are grown and in their twenties. They live about 40 miles away from the China Care office and orphanage where the meeting took place. Also, Garrett had a foster brother that lived with him that was around his same age. They said that this other child was taken from them a month ago. So, they have lost two foster children within a month's time. Garrett Chenguang has been in their care in their home since he was seven months old. They have nurtured him through his surgeries and pain afterwards. They love him so much, but they told Van through the translator that they want Chenguang to be adopted. They want him to have a new family, a great life in America, and to have the chance at an education. Van says that they kept telling Chenguang that Van was his "Baba". How selfless and loving of them to try to bring Garrett into an understanding of this very confusing situation! I will try to post a video of that as well. There were many questions asked and answered. I had sent a list of them with Van. Gifts were given to the foster parents along with the translated letter from me to them. Also, the family was allowed to give us their names and address in Baotou, China. Van gave them our address as well, and told them that we want to be in touch with them over the years. They will always be honored and loved, and we will always consider them our family and Chenguang's family in China. Van even gave them a copy of the adoption certificate. This was all done with China Care's permission and knowledge. Another thing Van did was to make China Care aware that we have a personal website for Gracie and Garrett. The China Care staff and the foster parents sat down at a computer and saw each and every page of the website. The foster parents were given the website address so that they can check on Garrett whenever they want to. They were so pleased to have access to this. When it came time for good-byes, there were many more tears. Garrett handled it beautifully. The China Care staff took Garrett upstairs, and Van was left downstairs with two very heartbroken, grieving foster parents. Van held both of their hands and walked them to the door I believe. Van can tell this better than I can because he was there. And the foster parents left the building crying and comforting each other.

The China Care staff was wonderful. All were very kind and welcoming to Van.

Garrett Chenguang is doing ok after the very emotional day. He did cry a little once back in the hotel room when Van was uploading the pictures of the foster parents to send to me. Garrett saw the picture(s) and cried. He is definitely grieving a great loss in his life. Poor little guy has been through so much in his short little life already. We will love him through it.

Now, this is the funny part...At one point, Van said the China Care staff were all gathered in a room, and eating lots of great foods and drinks. There were balloons, and a party was definitely being held. The people were waving at him, and talking, and laughing. Van asked if this celebration was all because he was there, and he was told, "No, it is a New Year's celebration." LOL. I laughed so hard about this! Hilarious!!!

Happy New Year, Van! We love you, Daddy! And we are so proud of you and our family!

I will let Van tell his story when he gets that written. And I will post it here.

Here are some pictures and video (if I can get it to load) of the Baotou visit. Please continue to pray for Garrett and for his foster family. Our baby boy is coming home soon!

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