Huang Shan




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Arden was 11 y.o. when we got her. I was scared to adopt an older child. Arden was even more scared to be adopted. Still, a few good people kept telling her it was best for her future,  And I didn't let fear stop me.  This picture was the 2nd time Bret and  I saw her, and the first time Mike and Lael saw her.  Lyric and Cokie were there in China too, but they were just babies and didn't know what was going on.  The rest of us all wanted her from the start.  The first time I tried to touch her that day you could feel her entire body cringe. But her director  pushed her into me.  Later someone told me she was telling Arden to be a good girl when she went to meet her new family to be.  I could tell Arden was putting on a brave face and she forced a smile.  Looking back at the pictures, you can really see how hard she was trying to act happy with us, when in reality she was as uncomfortable as could be.  You can really see it in the picture above with Mike.  She did want to be adopted, but at the same time she had some resentment. She was leaving behind a few good friends and didn't want to admit her life in China was what it was.  But she wanted to leave behind the horrors of being an orphan, which I guess is why she took the leap of faith and went home with us.  In the end, Arden was the brave one and God blessed her.  And I don't have the words to explain how grateful to God her Dad and I are that Arden took her leap of faith and how proud she makes us.






The picture above was taken while we were still in China.  About three days after we got her we were allowed to throw her a little going away party.  All the guests were orphans except for this little girl. Arden REALLY missed her! She wasn't an orphan and it showed. She came to the party very cute, clean and with a cute little hair style. I'll never forget how I had to read Arden the riot act on the bus going to the party (through the translator) because she was being unkind to an orphan boy. She didn't want a boy to come, but he had asked to come (BTW, he did come). When Arden got off the bus and was walking with her buddy, I was expecting her to really hate me. I had strongly lectured her in front of all her peers on the bus. We had only been together three days and most of it she was pretty weepy.  She had even complained about us to our guide. However, she was so proud to now have a mom and wanted all her friends to see!  She wrapped one arm around her buddy and, to my surprise, with a big smile and a skip took her other arm arm and linked it into mine.  The rest of the night I was forgotten and she played hostess at her party.

My friend is hosting an older orphan from Russia for Christmas and she sent me this video. I've talked to enough older orphans to know this girl's story is the norm. Arden's experience was not much different and neither was Remi's.

What I want for Arden is to be proud of what she was and what she has become. I want her to praise God and serve Him all the days of her life.  So far, so good. : - )