Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th

from the Hendrickson clan

Not only is today Independence Day, but it also marks TWO MONTHS since the day we met Jesse Yong for the very first time in the grand hotel lobby of Crowne Plaza Hotel in Zhengzhou, China.

It was 9:30 at night and Jesse had been traveling all day long in a van that broke down twice on the side of the highway. This is a child who had barely left the four concrete walls and small courtyard of his orphanage, a little boy who had never run around outside, never seen much beyond his grey world.

So when he walked into the glamorous marble and crystal-chandeliered lobby of a spectacular hotel with ceilings the height of Mt. Everest, about two hours past his normal bedtime, being pushed at two white people his caregiver kept calling "mama" and "baba," it is no wonder he was shaking like a leaf.

He was about the most scared little boy you can imagine -- literally shaking in his shoes, a total body tremor of terror. It made me start to cry, knowing how terrified he was and knowing there was nothing I could do to let him know it really was going to be all right.

Two months later, this is the happiest kiddo in the whole wide world!!!! He's smart as a whip, a Chinese Chatterbox, a huge love, and so unbelievably HAPPY to be with us. His behavior is marvelous, he has good manners, wants to please, loves us and responds excellently to our requests. Sleeps well, naps well, eats well, potties well, bathes well, listens well........ Are you getting the picture?

So if you know of someone or are yourself considering -- but are nervous about -- adopting an older child, feel free to use us/our blog as a positive testimonial to the wonders of older child adoption!

"Setting the lonely in families" as Proverbs says, is something very important to God, and it can bring such joy into the life of a child and the parents. Yes, it's the wildest, craziest, most upside-down world-turning adventure that will scare you half to death sometimes. But don't be afraid to listen to that voice of adventure!

Anyway, here are a few pics of Jesse LOVING the fireworks with his dad. He loved watching the explosions, listening to the cacophany of sounds echoing back and forth down the street, and -- most of all -- being held in Baba's arms.