Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Big God in a Small World!

A few weeks ago our family went to Austin to Family Weekend Retreat at Texas School for the Deaf.  This is an annual event for families in Texas with children who are deaf.  We've gone for the last 5 or 6 years and this was Jian's first year to attend.  When we arrived, we ran into a lady that we've seen every year and who used to work with Tanner when he was about 2-3 years old before we ever had him.  She always loves to see him and how much he's grown and how different he is!  It's great to see her and several other teachers that remember him from his life before he lived with us.  So, this teacher met Jian for the first time and told us about another boy that lived in the area and was adopted from China and is deaf.  She contacted his family to see if they were interested in coming to TSD to meet Jian.

We all had a great time on Friday - Jian did great with the teenage group (though he was nervous at first, he did great and found a couple of friends that he hung around with for the rest of the weekend), Tanner had fun with his group and we enjoyed the meetings.  Friday evening was family game night and the teacher came over and told us the boy she had told us about would be coming.  He came in with his dad and the boys were chatting and we talked about his adoption 10 years ago.  After a few minutes, we were all shaking our heads as we realized these boys were from the same orphanage and must have lived together 10 years ago, prior to the young man's adoption at the age of 4.  They realized that they might have pictures of Jian from that time and their trip to the orphanage in December of 2000.  We were all so excited and shocked at the seemingly unbelievable news that these 2 boys in Austin, Texas actually lived together at an orphanage in Nanjing, China 10 years before.  The boys enjoyed chatting, and we kept trying to wrap our minds around this news.  Jian was so excited and couldn't wait to see if there were pictures of him.  This is something that he's talked about before, his disappointment at not having any pictures of himself as a baby or as a boy.  The earliest picture we have of him was at about age 9 or 10.  He loves looking at other people's family pictures and I always feel sad for him knowing we will never have the same for him.

Saturday morning, I checked my e-mail again, and lo and behold, there were TWO pictures of Jian at age 4!!!  He was beyond thrilled and wanted to show them to everyone.  It's so clear that the pictures are of Jian!

We're so thankful for such an amazing God that we serve.  He gave Jian these 2 pictures of him as a boy.  In the grand scheme of things, these are not a big deal, but, to this boy who lived 14 years without a family and has a history that only he and God knows, they are a precious gift.  What a beautiful gift from a loving Father!

Here are the pictures!

Jian - age 4 - on the far left in the blue coat

Jian - December, 2000 - age 4 (on the right)
Isn't he so precious??