Monday, May 19, 2014

Day 3 in Hong Kong: Brody is IN our arms!

I sit here speechless....wanting to share with each of you who has encouraged and prayed faithfully for us......and yet there seems to be no words adequate to describe the first moment our eyes saw our son Brody and our arms held him.  Amazing. Timeless. Precious. Miraculous.  We felt your prayers.  We felt the Lord's presence.  Thank you, Lord, for your loving care of us.

Our morning started out early by finally (after one year) meeting our Hong Kong social worker, Joy.  And what a joy she is!  The Lord has placed her in the right job!  We left our hotel together to travel to Mother's Choice, Brody's current home.  Excitement was in the air!  We had many questions for Joy and she helped to prepare us for the morning.  After a short trip, we found ourselves standing on the curb outside Mother's Choice.  We were still.  Do you know how many times we have stared at that building via Google Maps?!  Here we were, live and in person!  Joy took us to a conference room  and explained that they would make a dramatic moment for Brody to walk into us.  He would be dressed in a traditional Chinese outfit, prepared special for this occasion.  She encouraged us to keep our expectations low.  We assured her we were fine.  I had envisioned crying, screaming, and him running away so anything other than that was complete bonus!

The door opened and in walked our second son, Brody Lawrence.

 He was beautiful and perfect and immediately the Mommy and Daddy in us kicked in!  We squatted near him, looking at our family book and reminding him who we were.  Oh the look on his face!  He is a smart boy.  He looked at our pictures and looked at us, taking it all in.  We spend several minutes playing with a ball and bubbles.  Daddy reached out for the first hold and Brody gingerly sat on his lap.  After a short playtime, his caregivers asked me to change his outfit to prepare for our field trip for the day.  I picked him up and carried him to his room.  You could feel his uncertainty.  He loves his caregivers and wanted them instead.  Then as I laid him down to change him, an amazing transformation occurred.  I talked to him, cooed my love for him, and changed his clothes.  It was simple really.  But in that moment, he knew I was there to care for him.  The staff said they observed Brody as I changed his clothes and they saw his demeanor change.  He reached for me and allowed me to snuggle him.

The remainder of the morning, he was my boy!  Happy to hold my hand, sit on my lap, and have me hold him.

We quickly left Mother's Choice and loaded on a bus with Brody's friends and caregivers to travel to the Clearwater Bay Country Club.

This club invites the children once per week to play on their playground and feeds them lunch.  What a joy it was to spend the morning playing with Brody and his friends.  He was SO happy!  Playing outside is exactly where Brody is happiest.  As we played, we were able to visit with the caregivers and learn much about Brody.  He is an energetic boy!  Travis worked up a sweat in the HK sun!  Actually, Brody did too!  The staff commented how much Daddy and son are alike: energetic, sweaty:), and matching shirts!  After a wonderful playtime, we went inside to have lunch.  Wow, can this boy eat!  He ate a bowl of spaghetti, a piece of pizza, french fries, mashed potatoes, and several pieces of fruit.  He is so fun to watch eat.  He is particular, taking his time, and washing his face and hands as he eats.  How precious!  Am I really living this moment?
Travis says this is the moment he became emotional.  It was so hard to believe we were eating lunch with our second son!  After lunch and more playtime, we loaded a bus and returned to Mother's Choice.  It was a 45 minute, most precious ride.  Brody quickly fell asleep in my arms (no car seats here!) and stayed there until I laid him down in his bed at the home.  Thank you Lord!  You are SO good!  We are amazed! I became very emotional after I laid Brody in his crib.  His eyes opened and he stared at me from the crib.  I was afraid that he would think we were not coming back for him.  After a few reassuring words, he gently went back to sleep.

While Brody napped we took a short and beautiful excursion to The Peak.  It is a high mountain point that overlooks all of Hong Kong.

 What a view!  We visited with Joy and asked many questions learning more about Brody's first 22 months of life and his culture.  We then returned to Mother's Choice via a cable neat!

Once back at the home, we met with Brody's nurse, physical therapist, and occupational therapist.  Wow.  We can not say enough about the staff at Mother's Choice.  They work very hard to provide a loving, safe, healthy, and educational environment for the children.  Each child has a caregiver that meets their individual, specialized needs.  MOST of the staff is volunteers.  They go through detailed training to volunteer at Mother's Choice and most volunteer two days per week.  God bless them!  There is a mighty ministry occurring on that crowded hillside in Hong Kong.  After our meetings, we returned to Brody, watching him in one of his lesson times, and then playing a moment more.  We quickly told him goodbye (not easy to do!) and told him we would return in the morning with kisses.  He seemed content and happy and ready for supper time!:)  Our boy loves to eat!

Joy joined us on the short trip back to the hotel.  She said all the staff was amazed at how well Brody warmed up to us.  We know it is your prayers at work.  We know this is not easy for Brody.  He is well loved and attached to his caregivers at Mother's Choice.  Do you know they had him a farewell party yesterday?  What a special boy!

So now we sit in our hotel room with full hearts and great joy for what The Lord has done.  We look forward to tomorrow when we will hold our sweet boy again.  Mommy and Daddy are here, Brody Lawrence.

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