Saturday, February 10, 2007

Chinese New Year Celebration

It has been an awesome weekend! If you haven't yet, make sure and check out yesterdays post as well. Tonight we got together with several local families to celebrate Chinese New Year. We ate at a Chinese restaurant in Hoover and all the girls and 1 boy dressed up in their Chinese silks. We had lots of fun getting to meet some new friends and spending time with old ones. We also got to meet Hannah Grace, who just returned home from China a little over a week ago.
Enjoy the photos. The first three are of Leanna, Amy, Hannah, Katherine, and Ana Claire. I never could get them all to look at once! And in case you're wondering why Hannah looks blurry in these first three, well..she never (NEVER) stopped moving and yelling "CHEESE"!

Hannah and Mommy

Hannah and Ana Claire with Ana Claire's brother Josh. Hannah adores Josh!

We tried to get Katherine and Hannah to pose for a picture (with Katherine's sister). But, they were not too interested. Hannah was more interested in playing with Katherine's hair!!

Hannah Grace, Hannah, and Ana Claire

AND, just for fun...

This is one of Hannah's "Red Couch" photos taken at the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou, China. This picture was taken early June. Hannah tried the pose again on my couch at home. So, eight months later, here's Hannah in her "blue and tan couch" photo...

Friday, February 09, 2007

Steven Curtis Chapman and Shaohannah's Hope

Today was an incredible day. We took the day off of school and headed to the BJCC for an interview with a representative of Shaohannah's Hope. They are one of the organizations that provided me with a grant towards Hannah's adoption. The organization was started by Steven Curtis Chapman who has adopted 3 girls from China with his wife Mary Beth. The interview went well and just as Hannah was becoming restless, in walks SCC's road manager, David Trask. That man is incredible! He sat on the floor and colored with Hannah and played with her for a good while. He also talked to me a while too. He had a granddaughter with a cleft palate who died and he has set up a memorial fund in her memory with Shaohannah's Hope. Any money donated to that specific fund goes to help pay for cleft lip and palate surgeries for children in China. So, he has a real heart for the kids with cleft lips / palates. Here's a photo of Hannah with David Trask.

After the interview, we went home for a little while and went back that evening for the Winter Jam concert. David had given us free tickets and had us meet him at the back door before they let the public in so we could get good seats. He was about to take us to our seats when he remembered he was suppossed to be doing something. So, he took us to a hallway and said to wait there for him and "oh, by the way - here comes Mary Beth and Steven". Then he yells out "Hey everybody - meet Hannah. She's a Shaohannah's Hope baby! So, they all come over and I spent about 10 minutes with the Chapmans and got a picture with them. Hannah doesn't look so impressed, but she cooperated so I'm happy! We also met their sons Will and Caleb who were playing back-up. Hannah liked them a lot.

So, then David comes back and takes us to our seats. We heard a couple different artists perform, including Newsong. Then, we walked out to the SCC merchandise table where we were meeting a couple other families to go to a "meet and greet" with the Chapmans. While waiting, I bought a Shaoey and Dot book (one of the children's books they have written about adoption from China). Then, David meets us there and grabs another book off the table and says "Here - take this one". So, we ended up with two. He took us to the "meet and greet" which was actually very quick. But, I did get Hannah's book I bought signed. We headed back for a few more minutes of music. Hannah LOVED the music. She laughed and danced and pointed at all the lights and wanted to be held high so she could see everything. Totally fascinated. She also enjoyed her hot dog! Unfortunately we didn't hear Steven Curtis Chapman perform since he wasn't performing until 9:30. We'd been at the BJCC the better part of the day and while my 3 year old enjoyed it and was a trouper - I knew there was no way we'd make it that long. But she did enjoy about an hour of the concert.

What a fun and rewarding day we had. It was so nice to be able to say "Thank You" in person for the help I received in bringing Hannah home. Not only to the Chapmans, but also to the other families that were there. We were the only family there tonight that received a grant. The other families were invited because they donated to Shaohannah's Hope and helped make the grants possible. Isn't it cool how God puts lives together!! Adoption truly is a miracle, and getting to meet some of the people who helped make our miracle possible was so special. If you want more information on Shaohannah's Hope, check out their website: