China Archives - The Dream Village

Vincent's Adoption Story // Video

May 8, 2017… the day Vincent joined his forever family. Watch how quickly he warms up when he meets them!

adopt, adoption, orphans, foster care, family, china

Maia // China

Kristinjoy and Tim had been told that Maia was at an orphanage further away than the other kids and would more than likely be arriving last. We walked through the doors of the colorful room and they decided to settle in for some waiting.

It couldn’t have been ten minutes before a care taker walked through the door with a beautiful little girl. Her wide eyes looked confused as she scanned the room. Kristinjoy looked up and said with excitement, “Is that her? Tim! It’s her!” Tim’s “WOW” was followed by some scurrying to grab the treats they had brought and then they timidly walked over to their daughter. As the care taker handed Maia to Kristinjoy, her sweet, round face scrunched into a ball of tears. Tim and Kristinjoy knew they had their work cut out for them in earning this little girl’s trust but they were up for it!

They sat on the couch with Maia and gave her a red sucker and her tears let up. She sat in her mom’s lap as Kristinjoy spoke sweet words in her ear. Tim sat next to them in what looked like disbelief. The daughter they had been loving and waiting for was finally in their arms. The joy filled the entire room.

See some of Maia’s first moments with Tim and Kristinjoy below.

adopt, adoption, orphans, foster care, family, china

Lucy // China

There were nervous smiles on the faces of all the families picking up their children that day. Everyone had the same tight-throated laughter and tried desperately to distract themselves while they waited for their child to be brought into the colorful room. When Lucy’s caretaker brought her into the room, Josh and Amy’s faces lit up like a Christmas tree. The care taker handed Lucy to her mom and she began to cry. Amy, who came prepared with a bottle, quickly gave it to her daughter and the tears eventually subsided. For Josh and Amy, those first moments seemed to be filled with excited anticipation mingled with uncertainty. There was obvious relief that they were finally holding their baby girl… but there was also a heavy blanket of sorrow for this child who had lost so much for her 18 months of life.

No family every knows how a child will react when he or she meets her forever family. Although Lucy cried, she clung to her mom and didn’t let go of the bottle she had brought to comfort Lucy. It was almost as if time stood still in that little room in Zhengzhou, China. Four families met their children that day and nothing else mattered.

Get a glimpse of Lucy’s first few moments with her mom and dad below. You can also read more of Josh and Amy’s adoption journey here.

China Archives - The Dream Village

Vincent // China

Adoption has always been a part of my life… almost for as long as I can remember.

I have three adopted siblings, an adopted son, an adopted nephew, adopted cousins… the list is long. In 2014, April (my friend/business partner/sister from another mister) and I traveled to India to document an adoption and I made it a goal to travel as often as possible with families who are adopting. Adoption is so dear to my heart.

Let’s rewind for a minute. I spent my first 9 years of life in a tiny town in northeast Ohio. Minerva was the home town of both my parents and it seemed like we were related to everyone! Bree was one of those relatives — our grandparents were siblings. I moved off to Wisconsin and then later to Alabama so the last time I really remember seeing Bree we were somewhere around 8 or 9 years old. We may have crossed paths at some point after that but my memory is horrible.

Thank goodness for Facebook, right? Somewhere over the last 10 years, we became friends on Facebook. I watched from my corner of the world as she and her husband had a baby, adopted a daughter from China, moved to Denver, etc.

Then one day a little over a year ago, she messaged me. She and Cody were adopting from China again and she wondered about the possibility of me tagging along to document the day they would meet their son. Well… long story short… the details worked out and April and I went to China in May.

There is no way to describe the feelings involved in adoption.

It’s something you just have to experience. Even if you’re just a bystander, the emotions in the air are thick. It’s heavy and happy all at the same time. An orphan is connecting to strangers he’s never met. He’s supposed to call them “Mom” and “Dad” but he’s never even seen them in real life. He’s about to leave everything he’s known for a place he’s never seen and every child responds differently. It was amazing to watch Vincent warm up so quickly.

Grab a tissue! Here is a glimpse of the days leading up to Vincent’s “Gotcha Day” and the moments when Cody, Bree, Lucy, and Landry met Vincent for the first time.