Liu Dong ("Thad") and his big sister Liu Yan ("Elizabeth") were found wandering the streets of Chengdu, China on March 18th 2006, at age 3 and 6. No one knows how they got there, or their previous history.
They were taken to the Chengdu Childrens Welfare Center, where Thad underwent almost immediate surgery to repair a cleft lip and palate. Its clear he had a very gifted surgeon!
Thad, now 5 and the most handsome boy in my universe, is reported as being below average in cognitive skills - I think the fact he was nonverbal for the first three years of his life have a lot to do with that. He loves building blocks and pretends he is flying an airplane. What a surprise we have for him - a very very long flight home!
Elizabeth, - we're calling her Yani - is 8 years old and is stunningly beautiful. She is motherly, gentle, and apparently an expert handicrafter who knits and beads like a pro. We have no idea if she has any academic background at all. She gets along well with others.
We don't know when we'll travel to pick up our children- probably between April and June.
Please post your comments, wishes for the children, and ideas for us. Yes, we know we're crazy. But we're incredibly blessed as well.
Post Your Good Wishes Here
Add a good wish for Yan or Dong (or Mary or Addy) or just a thought by posting a comment after any blog entry. We'll transfer them to this list. This will be part of their lifebooks, and very cherished.
100 Wishes We've Made and Received
I wish that:
1. you will have fun in the snow. MP 2. you will make make humungous piles of leaves in the fall and jump in them. A 3. you will have fun picking flowers for Mommy. MP 4. you will have fun watching all the wildlife pass by, from the little tiny mice to the big ol' turkey birds. A 5. you won't mind being thrown in the swimming pool. MP 6. when you wake up and when you go to bed in the summer you enjoy listening to the crickets chirp and the frogs sing. A 7. you learn to love. MP 8. you enjoy playing under the stars. A 9. you enjoy hunting lightening bugs by moonlight. D 10. you learn to trust. A 11. you love laughter. MP 12. you enjoy reading and drawing. A 13. you don't mind running out in the snow in a T-shirt to watch fireworks in New Years. MP 14. you will have the love of God. A 15. you will like to go sledding really fast. MP 16. you will snuggle with me. A 17. you will really like Mommy's cooking. MP 18. you will like to play outside with me and Mary forever. A 19. you will look forward to coming home with us. A 20. you enjoy this quilt. A 21. you have fun sewing with Mom and making the sewing machine go really fast. MP 22. you find peace. D 23. Dong has all the building blocks he wants. D 24. Yan has all the arts and crafts items she wants. D 25. you find happiness in your life. D 26. Yan will have fun with American girl dolls. MP 27. you will be happy becoming an American. D 28. you like campfires and roasting marshmellows. D 29. you like swimming in a lake and riding in a boat. D 30. you like sleeping in a tent and playing shadow games with a flashlight. D 31. you like seeing the stars on a clear night. D 32. you think spring when you smell new earth after a cold winter. 33. our mountains become your mountains. D 34. like to chase frogs in our pond. D 35. like to find "Easter balls" when the snow melts off the golf course. D 36. you make many new friends. D 37. you always remember your Chinese heritage. D 38. you know that we are here for you forever. D 39. you feel free to be children. D 40. you know the joy and meaning of Christmas. D 41. will know the joy of wading in a cool, clear river on a hot summer day. 42. you will love to learn. D 43. you will try you hardest. D 44. you will always feel free to ask for help whenever you need it. D 45. you learn English fast. Michelle Whitenack's kids 46. you make friends soon. Michelle Whitenack's kids 47. peace, love and happiness. Michelle Whitenack 48. spring in your step every day. Michelle Whitenack 49. you get the best home you can get! Michelle Whitenack's kids. the following folks sent fabric filled with wishes and prayers. 50. Eileen and Sid Regan 51. Ginny Haines 52. Aunt Sherrie 53. Uncle Alan 54. Aunt Cindy 55. Anne Marie Irwin 56. Bob and Erika Jensen 57. Mr "Fitz" 58. Sue Peabody...and again...and again
To be continued.
Elizabeth Liu Yan Henderson
Simply Gorgeous, Chengdu, China
Thaddeus Liu Dong Henderson
Liu Dong in Summer (?) '08, Age 5
Mary Pearl Henderson
Blown over, Death Valley, CA
Adeline "Addy" Henderson
Addy age 5 in the Lupines, Sugar Hill, NH
Dong smiles! How lovely.
Is Dong doing Tai Chi?
No! Its "ULTRAMAN" Dong!
yan and dong
Yan looking wryly indulgent
We are truly blessed. We have worked hard for our gifts, but ultimately they're an unearned blessing. Adding Liu Dong and Liu Yan to our family will be the latest. Only having Mary Pearl and Adeline can compare.
Wednesday, January 7th, 2009: Nancy was at an overnight meeting in southern NH, so I was checking her emails for her. Junk mail, junk mail, routine stuff, more junk mail and a message from Jan Lessard at Bethany Christian Services. Usually just an adoption update, but maybe--just maybe--something more. I hadn't even finished it when I felt completly certain that this generic "are you perhaps interested?" email-blast was actually written just for us. There were no beautiful pictures like what you see. No long write ups like we have in hand now. Not even their names. All I had was a compelling sense that this was it! Them! For the last 2 years I had thought we were looking for only a daughter to add to our family. In 30 seconds I KNEW we were adding a son too. The email was almost hopelessly austere with information. Yet I interupted Nancy in her meeting to tell her that we had just made first contact with the rest of our family. Without even seeing the email, she believed. I forwarded the short, hopelessly undetailed email. Her voice was hushed and serious when she called back. "This is it, isn't it? How could we be so sure? All we had was the following: Two children, found living on the streets in Chengdu, China. A small boy being raised by his not much bigger sister. He was described as "liking small animals" and "likes to run." They said she was "maternal and intelligent." Then they listed the necessary qualifications needed to even hope to become their new family. Mentally I tallied them. We had a chance. So I found a quiet spot facing our gorgeous mountains and had a conversation with God. And I prayed. Yesterday, we were told we were first choice to be their new family. Would we like more information? Did we want to accept them? How could we not want them? Nancy answered "yes" for us without even wasting breath conferring with me. 24 hrs post "yes" and one week from the first email, I am still overwhelmed when I think of adopting these two beautiful children. My children. We are so blessed and to be able to share our gifts with two more young people is twice the answer I expected to our original prayer. Liu Dong and Liu Yan. I can't wait for you to come home.