Entries Tagged 'bethel' ↓

Keep Praying!

This is the little sweetie our friends the Clifton’s are trying to adopt. She is Hope’s best friend from Bethel and is now three years old. Please pray for this family as they are trying desperately to request her file from China. Usually with adoptions it works the other way around where the paperwork is done by the family first, and then China refers a child. In this case the Clifton’s found out about her last summer and weren’t able to get her off their hearts and have been trying to adopt her ever since!

There are some red-tape type hurdles so please pray for favor with all government officials. They have invested a huge amount of time and money in the process and feel she is destined to be their daughter. So we pray on!

More Bethel videos

I (Todd) am taking a closer look through the video footage from our trip to China since I’ve never really done so, and among other things I’ve found four more videos from the couple precious hours we spent at Bethel Foster Home on Hope’s Gotcha Day on May 2nd… They are a bit of a rough watch at times as our videographer skills need improvement, but I know there are some of you who will still appreciate being able to visit Bethel this way and see more footage of the precious little ones who live there…

Here and here are the other videos from Hope’s Gotcha Day, in case you missed them…

This is Amazing…

There is a little girl named Xiao-Hua at Bethel whom our family met when we were picking up Hope. She has poor vision, and also has some issues with her bones. They thinks she has something called Mandible Osteoperosis, but they need a US doctor to confirm that and do further testing.  A donor has graciously committed to giving $15,000 to send her to the United States for treatment. They also have said that they will give the $15k to any family who is willing to adopt her, so that instead of coming here for treatment, then going back to China, she would be able to stay on with a family who loves her. She is such a precious little girl. We met her while we were in China, and haven’t been able to get her off our hearts. She needs a family! Her deepest desire and prayer is that God would bring her a family, and she talks about it non-stop. If you or anyone you know would be interested in adopting her, please email me! This is an absolute miracle to have someone willing to pay for almost the entire adoption. Please stand with us in prayer that the Lord will bring her a family who will love and cherish her. Thank you!!!

Bethel songs

Children of Bethel singing songs on Gotcha Day on May 2nd:

(The second song, one of the kids actually wrote!)

Gotcha day videos

Videos taken on May 2nd when we picked Hope up at Bethel Foster Home in Beijing, China.


More Gotcha:

And in case you missed the photos.

Gotcha day photos!

As promised… 210 photos of Gotcha day at Bethel! 🙂

Some of these particular edits of the photos may look a little weird as far as the quality/appearance goes. It’s hard for me to tell for sure on the laptop display that I brought with us here to China.

As stated in the previous post, my strategy is to just post all the photos we have and let you decide which ones you want to look at. The photos are not displayed chronologically because I blended the photos from two cameras and couldn’t get them to display by creation date, and I am too tired to figure it out right now…

Enjoy! 😉

Photo Album

Sarah’s update

Todd here. Up again in the middle of the night still having a hard time getting on China time. At least I got about 5 hours sleep this time. I stayed in bed awake for two hours not wanting to wake anyone. Finally I got up, and now I am bummed because I woke Kim and Hope up.

I was going to start posting our pictures, and telling you all about the last day, and I will hopefully, but I was again brought to tears when I read Sarah’s email newsletter update, so thought I’d make it the next and most appropriate post:

Yesterday I said goodbye to little Li Hao, and I met her forever family. It was such an amazing experience to watch adoption from a totally new perspective. I remember Willie and Katie coming home, and I understand a lot more that side of it. But seeing Li Hao go through the process was so new and incredible. We’ve been telling her for months now that she has an American Mama and Baba coming for her. Yesterday was finally the day. When she got up from her nap, one of her ayis asked her if she wanted something in her hair. Her hair is so short she usually doesn’t wear all the bows (and quickly pulls them out if she does). She nodded that she did. So she was in her little dress they had sent her several weeks ago, and she had little pigtails in her hair. I picked her up and snuggled her a bit talking to her about her exciting day. Then an ayi from her hometown or.phanage arrived. It is all part of the formality I guess to have her there as a representative. She went to Li Hao all excited and wanted to take her from me. I was wondering if Li Hao even ever knew her. Li Hao resisted and pulled away from her and held on to me. The ayi seemed to want to keep trying, but I would have none of it. The little girl was already getting ready for a huge transition, and I wasn’t going to make her go to some stranger for a couple hours. One of the Bethel ayis also tried to take her (I think, hoping to transition her to the hometown ayi), and Li Hao pushed her away as well. It ended up being kind of a big deal because it made the representative ayi look bad, and I could tell she was really mad about it. But I was mad about it too! I ended up sneaking her out of there and just trying to get her to a quiet place. We spent the next few hours together before her family arrived. She was so different than her usual self. She was silent and did not smile or play. She would shake a noisy toy, but that was about it. She usually belts out “Ma, ma” quite often and laughs when I tickle and play with her, but she was so solemn. It was so obvious she knew something was happening. So I just held to her and sang and walked her around. I was surprised that she was feeling so clingy with me. She always loves to come to me when I call for her to come snuggle and play, but she doesn’t usually have this desperate need to be close right with me. As I held her and pr-ed for her, I felt like G was saying, “This is part of how I’m transitioning her to her new family. You get to be a part of that” It was such a privilege and my eyes were full of tears as I realized what a precious gift He had given me…my heart had been so sad to say goodbye, and I’d been hoping for time with her before hand. G had provided just that.

Delphine had everything set up for a party: gifts, balloons, cake, the kids to sing music etc. Everyone was very excited. When the Phillips family came, I was worried. Li Hao had clung so close to me all day, and now she would be meeting her new family. How would she do? Would she be so confused and scared? I took her out to the room where they were entering. Tears filled my eyes as I saw her Mom, Dad, two sisters and brother come in. They gasped and were in awe of seeing their little girl in person for the first time. After a short time, I gave her to Kim to hold. At first Li Hao wanted down. Then for a few minutes she just roamed around, bumping into things, going away from whoever was reaching for her, and seeming really out of sorts. Soon, though, she started to warm up to the kids in her family. She especially seemed comfortable with her big brother. Then it was like something clicked in her. She knew she was the center of attention, and that all these people adored her. She began totally putting on a show. It was hysterical! She started jumping around, spinning in circles, going down to pat the ground and standing up again. The kids giggling at her performance which made her so happy. By the time I left two hours later, Li Hao was LAUGHING in her Mom’s arms. She was loving the attention and seemed so peaceful and happy. It was like watching a miracle!

The family gave me presents and thanked me for loving Li Hao. It was so sweet. One of the gifts was a little locket necklace with a tiny picture of Li Hao. Ya, I about lost it. I love that little girl so much. I am so incredibly happy for her and her family. And even though saying goodbye is so hard, it is so beautiful to see what G has done.

And here are the pictures she included:

Hope is Here!

Hi Everybody….its Kim. I have been so excited to write but haven’t had a chance as of yet. Yesterday was sooo special beyond words. It started out when our tour group visited Tianamen Square and the Forbidden City. It is a holiday in China, so the place was flooded with people. A sea of people on every side. Our guide told us that many of the people there had traveled from remote places of China, and many had never seen white people before. Our kids were quite the hit. They were getting bombarded by people asking to take thier pictures. They now know what it is like to be a movie star! They must have had their pictures taken at least 50 times!!! They had a blast, and I was really surprised to see Hannah going with the flow when Chinese people were grabbing her arm, talking in Chinese, and snapping pictures of her. She just gave them a smile, and enjoyed it! Abby was laughing so much and having a great time. After the tour, we went to lunch at our hotel…that was an experience in itself…and then we were off to Bethel. It took about an hour to get there. In the van, as we were driving, it was the wierdest feeling…all these months of paperwork, dreaming, thinking of her and praying for her, and here we were about to meet her face to face! It was such a surreal feeling, and when we pulled up to Bethel, it was like something out of a dream. The air seemed still, and out came Delphine and Guillaume. They greeted us and helped us out of the van, and then we went inside. Hope was sitting there with Sarah when we walked in, along with some other nannies. It was such a great moment to meet Sarah in person. She has been so amazing with all her updates, and to get to be there, with her was an honor. I cant describe the feelings I had when I saw Hope. It all happened so fast, and I really barely remember anything. I just remember thinking that she looked just like her pictures, and then I picked her up. I was totally crying, and she was kind of wiggly so i put her down, and then she walked up to each of us and gave us a hug. It was sooo special. After a while of that, I picked her up and this time she just melted in my arms. We took a tour of the facility and got to see where she sleeps, and everything. Then they had us come into a room where they all had a surprise planned. We walked in and all the kids from Bethel were there, clapping and cheering. Then, we sat down and they did a little performance for us, singing Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord. It was such a beautiful moment. They were standing by the window, and outside little white fluffs were falling everywhere. It must have been from cherry blossoms or somethng, and it was so pretty, like snow falling. Everything felt so surreal. Hope was holding me tight, and after the show we went in for a cake and watermelon party. She loved her cake and gobbled it all up as Abby fed her and we chatted with Delphine and Guillaume. THey are such special people. They have truly laid down their lives to serve these orphans, and they have done an amazing job with the kids. Its amazing to see what they have done, and they are only 30 years old! After that, we went into the lobby, and exchanged gifts. One of Hope’s nannies made her a scrapbook of all the pictures they have of her life. They gave us a cd with sounds that Hope made, so she can hear it when she gets older. They gave us a bag of some of her clothes and a blanket, and a beautiful gold necklace for her when she gets older. After that, Delphine, Guillaume, and Sarah had to go, but we stayed and lingered with the kids in the lobby for a long time. A few of them were really shaken to see Hope go, and we hugged them, and talked to them for a while. They were so precious. After that we got in a circle for a group hug, and we sang some worship songs with them, and then we left. Hope sat in my lap for the drive back to the hotel, and eventually fell asleep. I looked at Jonathan, who was all teared up, and he summed it up the best when he said, “This was the best day of my life.” Ditto that Jonathan.


How sweet it is! It’s 2:11am here and I woke up because my side was soaking wet from Hope’s pee! She usually sleeps in a crib but our hotel didn’t have any available so she is wetfully sleeping between Kim and I. This soaking is doesn’t surprise me because the diapers we have for her are pretty thin/lame. The soaking was a bit alarming for me personally though because it was my second Hope pee soaking, and I was the one who got soaked the first and only other time when she was sitting on my lap earlier in the evening. Is it my destiny to have multiple direct skin contacts with Hope’s pee on a daily basis? 😉 I am just kidding around of course, but it’d be a small price to pay to be continue to be able to be near this sweet little gem of the orient.

We now have around 6GB of photos and video from our gotcha day, but I am going to have to leave you waiting in prolonged suspense because it’s dark and I don’t want to roust anyone by lurking around for my gear. So I will try to give a brief description and then head back to my cold wet side of the bed (with a towel down underneath me since I can’t find my swim trunks).

So we left with our guide and driver and went back through the city of Beijing again past the Square, marveling once again at the sea of Chinese humanity that was present there. Then we had about an hour drive into the countryside. We got a little lost toward the end and then wound up in what could best be described as Podunk China. We made it after a while into a small village/town where Guillamme then met us at the entrance of their complex and escorted us back down a dirt road to Bethel.

The minute we got out of the van I saw Hope through the window in their entryway, and my heart jumped! I think we were all pretty nervous! We had excited hugs with Guillamme and Delphine at the van then we hurried in to greet Hope. Sarah was holding her and we all hurried up and had greetings. It was quite a blur at that point. I can’t remember if Sarah passed Hope to Kim or if she just set her down. I had said a quick hello and then spent a few moments with Guillame getting the recording gear going. By the time I turned around with my camera ready, Hope had wandered right up to me and so I just kneeled down and she came right into my arms and we hugged! I am tearing up again just thinking about it. It wasn’t long before we all had a chance to hug with her. It was an absolutely amazing moment!

They began to tell us how Hope had been acting out of character all day and and seemed to be a little down and to be aware that something was up. From the moment we all came together she brightened and seems to be enjoying herself, and we all have been bonding like crazy!

Bethel is such an amazing place! I can’t put into words right now how being in the midst of these children impacted my heart. If I have to try, I’d say I feel like I left that place wrecked with love for each one them. Over the course of the few hours we had there, we were able to tour their facilities, they sang us some songs and we shared a wonderful cake and watermelon together. We got to go outside and see their goats and chickens and dogs, and to see the new houses that are currently under construction. It was such a joy to have this time together with Bethel. Many of the kids had a hard time with Hope leaving and needed encouragement. For others it was obvious that it was extra hard for them, because they are older and more aware of their own desire to be adopted. Our guide didn’t rush us, and we probably could have even spent the night, but it didn’t ultimately seem the right thing to do. They gave us a special keepsake photo album that one of the Ayi’s put together that covered all of Hope’s time at Bethel. They also gave us a heart necklace for Hope for when she gets older, so she can be reminded of their love for her…

We got back to the hotel around 8pm and went right back out to another Chinese restaurant called the South Beauty. It was very good food (I have more fascinating menu sample photos to share later) and nice ambiance. It was a surreal experience to have Hope there with us. Our only minor problem so far, aside from some of Hope’s occassional fussiness, has been the few times when Jonathan and Abigail start to fight over who gets to hold Hope next! 🙂 It was neat because there was a piano player and violinist playing at the restaurant and it was obvious that Hope was enjoying their music! I held her and sang to her on the way back to the hotel, which was my first extended time of getting to hold her, and my heart continued to swell with affection toward her. She has such a sweet spirit and is very go with the flow. She got pretty fussy at one point during dinner but Kimberly did a great job managing it. She was very cute playing with her rice! I got to sing and cuddle her to sleep tonight when she started to get upset, and that was highlight of my whole trip so far! Once she was calm we just cuddled there for a long time playing with her bottle, and then we fell asleep together. 🙂

Thirty minutes at Bethel

This was an email that came in from Guillaume this morning and I just had to turn it into a post:

Dear friends,

Lately I was told that we have such a wonderful project at Bethel, but so few people know about it. There is so much going on, so fast, that I sometimes lack the time to update you all. It shows in our finances since our projects go very fast, but the money is not as fast to come! So what I did is I took 30 min and went around Bethel and took pictures of what I saw. We always need a lot of money for many different things, but I trust that you will see that it is used efficiently. Would you help us spread the word around so that more and more people would know about Bethel? I have attached a simple pdf presentation of Bethel, feel free to pass it around. Thank you. ~ Guillaume & Delphine

So here is 30min at Bethel…

GE has donated 150 trees

Billy, one of Bethel’s board member gets his hands dirty

Volunteers helping at planting the trees

Also a good opportunity to teach the young ones about
healthy values

We have planted the strawberries and Grapes

A french guy + grape = Good wine!

I am testing our climbing wall, the kids are gonna love

Our indoor gardening is doing great

The future kitchen is on its way

The 7 houses also (still need some corporate sponsors by
the way)

We have built a shelter for the nannies bikes

Our corn is growing, in the back we have the watermelons,
melons and nuts

No I’m not faking it, I really worked! (yes it had to be
within 30min but still)

I gave all the workers some Oreo cookies, and Mr Shen shared his with Ai Yuan

That’s the heart of charity right there!

Some kids take a walk

Some prefer the nebulizer…

So have PE class

Some take drums lesson

This is teacher Wang (one of our blind teachers)

Joyce, another blind teacher

Some friends donated a lot of furniture including this new library

Our cooks

One of our cleaning staff

The preschool arts and crafts stuff

Kids on the trampoline

Our laundry

Sarah, our nurse refused to pose for the picture so I had no choice but to surprise her

This is Sarah in her good sense

This picture has put many visiting kids in trouble.

Everytime a family comes and we show how neatly things are folded, the parents take the opportunity to give their own kids a lesson

One baby room

We are teaching our kids how to handle money, starting with pocket money.

Each child is assigned a shape to be able to recognize where his things are

Some kids come back from the walk and put their shoes away

Some neat teaching equipment

A braille book

Xiao Hong our secretary

That’s where I am writing you. Behind me are 3 board:

  1. to do list
  2. our needs (I need a bigger board for this one)
  3. calendar

Hopefully you have enjoyed this little tour, with our ever thankful heart that you have taken an interest in our work among the Blind Chinese orphans.