Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Guiyang...what else is there to say

This morning we went to visit, according to our guide, "our signature building"...singular. Didn't take long. He was proud, so we were polite, but the best part of the short trip was simply getting out and walking...

Random statement...I can't help but think it is odd to walk around town in China and listen to Christmas music...Christian Christmas music...sung by people who can't understand and mispronounce the words, and generally, are professed Atheists and Buddhists.

Maggie is getting a little better all the time. It's hard to know what is Maggie, and what is the situation...but I retrospect, Corinne showed us glimpses of Corinne on that trip three years ago. We see them now. Stef and I wonder about Maggie, and what she will be like. Her foster Grandmother said she was a bit shy...or maybe she said quite. I' m not sure about shy, maybe...but I can see quite...but still strong, and a bit mischievous too, in a sweet way though. She has a sly look she'll flash every now and then...I think she'll have a very cute personality.

She's started to reach for Stefanie's hand, and plays with her necklace when she gives her a bottle. I'm third in the pecking order behind Graham. That's OK. It bothered me with Corinne, but I was prepared this time around and honestly expected it. Now, if I work hard...well, I can't get her to smile...but I can get her to try not to smile. Walking home from dinner tonight, I played like I was accidentally brushing her head against the tree limbs that hung low over the side walk. She fought her smile so hard, she eventually stuffed her jacket into her mouth. I'll get her tomorrow.

Several of the comments mention that she seems "well fed"...can't say it isn't true. She's healthy, for sure. Assuming the scales are correct, she's a cool 28lbs. She wears a size 7.5 shoe (her feet look like Davis' feet...small clubs residing at the end of a leg) and is just shy of a size 3T. We brought Corinne's cloths, so most everything is tight to say the least. The good thing is that it points to a really great foster program in Guiyang...more on that later.

We met an individual today who raised Maggie for the first 6 weeks of her life...minus a day or two. At the time, the lady was in Xinyang, Maggie's birth city. She made it a habit of stopping by the local orphanage once, or twice a week to check in on the kids, and the women who took care of them. She had just come back from being gone, and she said there was a particularly small newborn child in the orphanage. Well, turns out the child wasn't just small...the child was malnourished. Xinyang is a remote, probably rural city in China and the women were, frankly, ignorant. They were mixing the formula to look like breast milk. They thought the formula mixed correctly looked too thick, so they watered it down and the kids didn't get what they needed. She said she didn't want to be the no-it-all who barged in and told everyone what to do, so she didn't say anything. The child died. I am sure she was crushed, and felt terribly guilty. This is reality in an orphanage, though.

The next couple days, she was by the orphanage again, and a new little baby was wrapped up and placed in bed next to two older children. Immediately, she asked if she could take the baby home. The orphanage director (who Stef and I met) was away, so she asked the nannies to call him. On the phone, he said that she could take her, but since he was away, she would have to come back a day or so later to get her. She explained that it would be too inconvenient for her to come back, and insisted that she be allowed to take the baby TODAY. He agreed. The baby was Maggie...she called her Ruby because she was so precious.

She explained that Maggie was probably a day or two old because her umbilical cord was still fresh, not dried at all. This happened the first week of April....Maggie's paperwork says her birthday is February 20. If I had to guess, China simply didn't care enough to try to get her birth date correct. One day, I suspect she'll want those months back.

After 6 weeks, she was placed in the foster care program in Guiyang which is run by a Christian. All the foster parents in the program are Christians. We were told they meet weekly to fellowship and praise God together. God has been all around Maggie from the start, beside her all along her way. I pray that one day she knows how protected she was during those years.

I thought this was a great story. It shows God's active hand in her life, and His concern for the details. I feel certain that Maggie was planned to be a part of our family before she was born. When I think of the details that led to her sleeping in the crib, right now, in our room as I type this, I am astonished. Maggie "should" have ended up just like the poor little child before her...but that wasn't God's plan. This is an example of why we should praise God for the details....I tend to grumble...forgive me.


P.S...can't get the pictures to upload...will have Stef work on it in the/our morning.


  1. Davis and I read this together. It made me cry...you know I cry easily. what a sweet story. We discussed her story and I asked if he understood and he said yes. This is the best devotional of all. BTY...Davis did his school work perfectly today. He wrote his letters perfectly, etc. just wanted you to know. He is very proud of this. Love you.

  2. Now that's a God story!! Wow, I'm so glad you shared that... I love seeing His Sovereignty SO BIG in that story. I can't wait to see what God has in store for her, I love that NOTHING could thwart His plan for her! Sending hugs and lots of conversations with the Father, Sharla

  3. Cinamon, Ed, Eve and ElianaDecember 7, 2010 at 4:23 PM

    Praying for you every day. Understanding why Maggie is so sad, and watching it happen is heart breaking. Stefanie, I carry you in my heart every minute while you are in China. I know you are a warrior mother, but know that you have others back home cheering you on, lifting you up when you are tired and praying you through every minute. Brook and Graham, I'm so glad you are there all together as a family. Supporting each other and loving each other. What a little man and wonderful big brother Graham is showing himself to be. What a wonderful, compassionate boy he is. Thanks for keeping us posted Brook.

  4. I am just hugging all of you... what an amazing story of Maggie's start! Truly a miracle!

    I think of you and pray all the time...one day at a time, my friends.

    Love, Coleen and the Nolans

  5. Brook,
    Thank You for sharing Maggie's story so well so that we can see the hand of God so clearly. I know that she was always intended for our family just as Corinne, Elizabeth and Abby were. You and Stefanie just followed God's lead and plan which had already been put into place. My heart is full as I ponder all that this means. Little Maggie was so purposed and we are thrilled to be able to see God work in her life and Graham, Davis and Corinne's lives as well.
    We hold you close in our prayers and our hearts continually. We want nothing more than to see our children "LIVING" within God's Will he has ordained for them, even if it means going to China.
    Davis and Corinne are doing great. Davis is doing so well with his school work. This morning(Wed) he and I are going to his cousin Caroline's (Lee)Christmas program while Corinne is at school. We watched Charlie Brown Christmas last night and talked about their Charlie Brown tree. Corinne snuggled with Pop in his chair and Davis snuggled on the couch with me. By the way his bathrobe is no longer a bathrobe according to him. It is a now to be called a "Sports Robe". Not sure what brought that on.
    We love all the little insights into Maggie which you share. Please hug Graham and tell him we love him so much. I pray you continue to sleep well and have the energy you need for each day. Starbucks is getting closer all the time!!!!
    Many hugs to you,
    MOM(Sammye, Saucy)