Monday, August 10, 2009

Introducing Isabella Xin Hope

We left Beijing early this morning and flew to Chengdu. We checked into the hotel and our guide took us to the Civil Affairs office where we waited only a few minutes for Isabella to arrive with her foster parents. The office was kind of like a courthouse office. The whole experience has been surreal and one that could only have been orchestrated by our heavenly father.
We met Isabella as she toddled toward us. Talk about heart thumping out of our chests! She is the most beautiful little girl!!! She is so tiny and petite (which we have learned is very customary for the town she is from). She toddled toward us and took a little toy that I brought for her. No tears, just checking us out and the environment around her. We asked her if she could give us a hug and after a few minutes, she did … and gave us kisses!!! Because she has been so blessed to be with an amazing American foster family, she understands EVERYTHING we say. She can’t talk much because of her missing palate, but we know exactly what she wants. She is an imitator. If we dance, she dances. If we clap, she claps. I also just snapped my fingers to music and she tried snapping her fingers. She is also very obedient. After we finished some paperwork at the Civil Affairs office, our guide took us to a grocery store. Whenever I would tell her no, or tell her to hold my hand, she did. She is also very independent. She wants to walk everywhere and climb and just explore. She still has not cried one tear, but every once in a while we see her look around as if she is looking for her foster mommy and daddy. That is when I tear up. They have loved her so much and haven taken such good care of her and also have given this little blessing hope. This family will always be part of ours and we will be forever grateful.
Today has been so natural and it seems like she has always been with us. I know this may be the “honeymoon” stage so to speak, but we pray it continues.
She loves the toys that we brought her, especially the little Arial cell phone and magna doodle. When she smiles, she looks like she is gritting her teeth as hard as she can … so funny.
There were other families either waiting to receive their child or receiving their children at the same office we were at. They were all from Spain. We chatted with them and it is so neat to hear about the children, their ages and if they are a waiting for a boy or girl. We have seen many boys find their forever families during this trip as well as many older girls.
It has been a long, emotional day. More updates tomorrow. We have her and we are truly blessed. We can’t wait for her brothers to meet her. We miss them so much right now and wish they were here to meet Isabella. Thanks to all of you who have been lifting us up in prayer. We can truly feel his presence all around us throughout this entire experience. Bella is a miracle and is truly a gift from God. We love you all!


  1. I am trying to type through the tears!!! These are the most beautiful pictures of Bella yet... with her Mommy and Daddy forever! God is so amazing!!! We love you guys!

  2. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We prayed at Life Group last night and were so excited knowing that you would be getting Bella very soon. Keep posting, we love to experience all of this through you guys.

    The Boatrights

  3. Wow this brings tears to my eyes, We are so happy for you guys, what an amazing experience. She is so beautiful and so lucky to have you guys as her forever parents. We will continue our prayers for all of you as the next chapter begins. I'm sure Tiffany will have more to say later, but I just wanted to let you guys know how happy and excited we are for you! Enjoy Bella and we can't wait to meet her in person!

  4. Congratulations! I am so happy for you and your family. Bella is beautiful and blessed to have you as her parents. Your blogs bring tears of joy to my eyes. I pray God will continue to keep you safe, healthy, happy, and stress-free. I can't wait to meet her! Truly a blessing from God! He is an AMAZING God to say the least! Love you all so much!!!

  5. I have been checking all morning for this update! We are so happy for you all and can't wait to see her united with her big brothers. God is good and we truly believe he hand picked Isabella for your family.

  6. She is beautiful. I have chills just reading this and listen to the song "By your side".'s just another example of God's amazing love for us. We love our children, and He loves His children. Wow! Congratulations!

  7. Heather/Michael, she is sooo precious! I can not type much as I'm having a hard time seeing the key-board! It seems to be blurry (and watery)for some reason!

    I can't wait...hurry home!

    Love Tom (PaPaw)

  8. Congratulations!! So excited and happy for your blessing!! Prayers for you!!

  9. Congratulations! I'm so excited and happy for you. I've been following the blog for months and am so glad to see you united with Bella after so much waiting. I hope the rest of your trip goes well and you return home safely and soon with your precious daughter!

    Sarah Hautman

  10. I'm just echoing the comments and prayers of the others. Sitting hear with tears as I read about you greeting your daughter and her loving response to you. What a glorious day!! We'll keep the prayers coming. Love ya! Nancy (McConnell)

  11. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SOOOo happy for you!! She's a perfect fit!!!! God is sooo good!!!!!!
    Can't wait to meet her!!!!!!
    Love you!!!!
    Doug, Julie, Brennan, Bryson and LOLA!!!!

  12. OK, I'll admit it......brought a tear to my eye. We are so excited for you! We can't wait to be with you all again.

  13. Congratulations !! I have been praying for you guys everyday. Bella may not have had tears in her eyes but I sure have tears in my eyes after reading all of that.
    She is a little princess. I can't wait to see her.
    I am so happy for you guys and cannot wait to see all of you.
    Aimee Cromer

  14. WOW!!! we are all sitting here amazed. i can't believe she is finally in your arms!! She is beautiful. i can't wait to meet her. we love her already!! you guys are all in our prayers. we love you sooo much. we are all still in tears.

    love the milton's

  15. I am so excited for all of you! She loves Magna Doodle? So does Amelia (the screamer)....those cousins will have a grand old time! Can't wait until we all meet...thanks so very much for sharing!
    God has truly blessed us all (over and over)!!!

  16. We are so happy and excited for you. She is a very blessed little girl. You will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. We love you guys.

    Bill and Nancy

  17. Your photos say it all! We're so thrilled for you. LiLi says "Ni Hao 'Bella" and is looking forward to meeting her.

    Lisa, Rex & LiLi

  18. As soon as I saw your pictures with her I started to cry!! Praise God for what he has done for you and Bella!! Today at work i deliverd twins... a boy named Aiden and a gril named Bella!! I could not help but think and pray for you guys all day!! We love you and are praying for you!
    Andrea and Matt

  19. What a joy to log on and see your little darling in your arms at last! She is beautiful and I can see that she has love for Mommy and Daddy already in those beautiful eye of hers. God is truly awesome!! We Love you! We hope your first night together went well.
    Love- Tiffany, Jeremy, and Addy (Who survived her first day of day care better than her parents did)

  20. I have the chills seeing pictures of her with you! This is absolutely so many others, I am tearing up. I am so so happy for you and can't wait to meet your precious new family member. Bella is truly beautiful. Enjoy the rest of your time there...We are SO SO happy for you!

  21. How AWESOME is our God (and both of you!) for rescuing this beautiful child. We were all jumping with joy when we saw the pictures.
    We LOVE and MISS you! Can't wait to meet the child we've seen only in pictures for so long.
    All OK here,
    Your TGTG crew!