Thursday, July 21, 2011

His Plan Is Perfect

We are leaving China stronger believers in God’s greatness.  His plan is perfect.  This last post may be a little lengthy, but we would like to tell you as much as possible about God’s work in Will Hudson’s life as we presently understand it.  We were surprised to find out just how intertwined his story is with God’s story in in our own lives.  Much of our understanding was discovered over the last few days. 
I was blessed to teach a little girl named Maria Sue Chapman when she was 2 and 4 years old.  Two summers ago, I had the privilege of coming to China to help prepare Maria’s Big House for its residents.  While in China I also had the joy of visiting Hope Foster Home in Beijing. 
When I was in China, I felt a little guilty because I looked around and saw all of these precious children and did not feel the calling to adopt.  I called Jason and he reminded me not everyone has to adopt a child to love orphans.  In May 2010 we went on a weekend retreat with some friends and discussed THE HOLE IN OUR GOSPEL by Richard Stearns.   We were convicted by the statement, “just because you can’t do everything, does not mean you shouldn’t do something.”  We entered into a 40-day journey of prayer. 
On Day 40 we decided to go for it!  We were going to adopt.  We made the decision to adopt and I told Jason, “I need to stop by Target and get some light bulbs.”  When we went to the light bulb aisle, Mary Beth Chapman and her two daughters were there.  It was as if they were waiting there just for us on this definitive moment in our lives.  We spent the next hour talking about our decision and the process of adoption.
While I was at Maria's two years ago, a little girl was brought in and Mary Beth named her Franky.  She is in the picture below with Will Hudson.  

We learned Franky was not available for adoption at the time we began our process, so in August 2010 we decided we would adopt a child 2-5 years old.  We were open to a boy or girl and possibly even twins.  Kelsey and Ella Grace prayed for a little brother.  In December 2010 we were matched with a little boy who we would name Will Hudson Wang Thompson.
We knew Will Hudson had been abandoned at three months of age.  He was born with Anal Atresia.  In his reports from the city orphanage, there is a about a year and a half of his life missing.  We spent the last six months wandering about this period in his life.  We were told he had two surgeries, but we did not know when and where.
So many questions were answered last week when we visited Maria’s Big House of Hope.  I wanted to go back for another visit and Jason wanted to visit this place that meant so much to me.  When we walked in the door, the director called out “Wang Gang!”  It caught us by surprise.  We quickly learned Will Hudson had been at Maria’s Big House of Hope at some point in his journey and was in the Hope Foster Care Home in Beijing.  While at Maria’s Big House, we met his nurses and nannies.  We even saw the crib in which he slept.  We learned that his surgeries were in Shanghai.  He was given the English name, Wilson.  Wow.  Will Hudson was named Wilson.  We also learned that a family from the United States had sponsored him and given him the name, Micah.  We’ve found a couple of pictures of him below at a younger age on the Hope Foster Home website.  He is a cutie!

So, two years ago my son was most likely at Hope Foster Home or Maria’s Big House when I was visiting China.  Either way, these two homes provided Will Hudson with care, love, and HOPE.  We are forever grateful. 

I prayed fervently for our child to be at Maria’s Big House of Hope.  I made this request to God because I knew if he was at Maria’s, he was in good care.  Last Wednesday God answered that prayer.  I had to patiently wait on Him.  He decided to surprise me in China. 
We came to China as parents of two beautiful daughters.  We are leaving China as the proud parents of three children.  Joy has followed obedience!  It has been one of the most peaceful journeys of my life.  I am sure the road ahead will have its challenges, but we are on the Great Adventure! 
Thanks for reading this blog.  Thanks for loving our family.  Most of all, thanks for your prayers offered up in the powerful name of Jesus who promises He will not leave any of us as orphans!
Now that the emotional part is said…below you will also see a few pictures from our last adventure in Guangzhou.  We spent the morning at the zoo and got to see Pandas in China!  We topped the evening off with some delicious Papa John’s pizza.  Please keep us in your prayers as we begin our 24-hour trip home.  We have three flights, two layovers, and a new travel companion.  We can’t wait to be home!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Will Hudson Is an American Citizen!

Our past few days have been easy and fun.  We have spent time swimming, walking through the park, shopping, and just enjoying Will Hudson.  Tomorrow is our last full day here.  We are so excited about coming home and seeing Kelsey and Ella Grace! 

Today was a big day for us.  Will Hudson became a US Citizen this morning.  We were with a group of about 10 families or so from different agencies and we all took an oath together.  We then came back to the hotel for the ever famous Red Couch picture.  All the adopted children get dressed up in Chinese clothing for special pictures.  Check out the picture of Will Hudson wondering what all the fussing is about.  It was a little crazy, but fun to see everyone all dressed up.

It was also a sad day because we had to say good-bye to many of our new friends.  We have put a picture of Will Hudson and his buddy, Josh in this post.  All but 3 families from our group are leaving tonight or sometime tomorrow.  Our consulate appointment was a day later than the rest because Will Hudson was over age 2 and we had to wait for TB test results.

Tomorrow we are heading to the zoo to see the Pandas!  We will probably post once more and then our blogging days are over.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Can You Guess What We Did Today?

It is Sunday here in China and can you guess where we were?  You guessed it…church!  Nothing thrills JT more than finding a church when we are on vacation.  We found Christ’s Church right across the street from our hotel.  Several of the families from our group attended worship together today.  Today was very special though because we took Will Hudson to his first church service.  He did such a good job as we kept him occupied with stickers, jellybellys, suckers, and gum.  He also played airplanes with his friend, Josh.  Church lasted for over an hour and a half.  The service was conducted in both Mandarin and English.  We sang two songs in English.  Isn’t it crazy how some the simplest songs can have the most profound meaning.  The first song was so appropriate, Heavenly Father, We Appreciate You.  Jason and I were both moved to tears as we sang the next song, Beautiful.  Thinking about the beautiful little boy the Lord has given us.

Beautiful, beautiful
Jesus is beautiful
And Jesus makes beautiful
Things of my life.
Carefully touching me
Causing my eyes to see
And Jesus makes beautiful
Things of my life.

As you worship halfway round the globe, please know that we are thanking God for each of you!  May He continue to make beautiful things of your life.   

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Arriving in Guangzhou

We have arrived in Guangzhou to meet with the US Consulate.  Will Hudson’s first flying experience as a Thompson was a memorable one to say the least.  Our flight to Guangzhou was delayed for five hours…three of that being on airplane on the runway with 13 other children under the age of 2 who had never flown either.  We could not take off due to bad weather.  It got so bad that the flight attendants served us our dinner while we sat on the runway.  Will Hudson did GREAT.  He went to sleep as soon as we took off and slept the whole two hour flight.  However, he did not like the seatbelt.  I wonder how he will do in the car seat!

Today we spent the day getting settled in, taking Will Hudson for his medical check-up, and going to dinner with our travel group for some yummy Thai food.  Tomorrow we are going to attend worship together for the first time at a Mandarin / English service close to the hotel.  Again, thanks to all who are partnering with us on this journey.  We love you.  

Here are some random pictures for you to enjoy!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kung Fu, Zen Buddhism, and the Thompsons???

Today we went on a tour of the Shaolin Temple.  We took a two-hour bus ride with 8 other families in our group.  Shaolin Temple is the home of Kung Fu and Zen Buddhism.  We walked through three different areas including a pagoda forest.  We thought Will Hudson would enjoy the Kung Fu show.  He did until it got a little too loud.  Since we have shown you some cute smiles, we have also included a picture of him not so happy. 

Tomorrow we will leave Zhengzhou…the capital city of the Henan province where we met our son!  We will fly to the next stop on our journey, Guangzhou to complete all of the paperwork for the US Consulate.  We probably will not blog for a day or so since we will be traveling and getting settled in.  We may just try to post a few extra pictures in between updates.  Thank you for keeping up with our journey.  We can’t wait for you to meet Will Hudson…he is a hoot!

Unbelievable Day at Maria’s Big House

What started out as four families traveling to Luoyang to visit the state run orphanage and Maria’s Big House of Hope turned into a day of unexpected blessings for our family.  This day was so surreal for us we will have to blog ALL about it later (we are still trying to process it all).  What I will tell you is that we were able to find out about some of Will Hudson’s story that was a mystery to us and you won’t believe where we found out he was after his surgeries...Maria’s Big House of Hope.  For those of you who know a little bit about my story and connection to a sweet little girl named Maria Sue Chapman, you know what kind of day this turned into for us.  Two years ago, I was at Maria’s Big House of Hope getting it ready to be opened.  I had no idea I was preparing a place for Will Hudson!  Also, we were told his English name at Maria’s was Wilson.  Wow.  We didn’t even know he was ever at Maria’s, so we had no knowledge of this when we named him, Will Hudson.  There is so much more to tell.  We learned this sweet little boy received medical care in Luoyang, Beijing, Shanghai, and XinYang.  We were both moved to tears as the story unfolded for us.  There are so many details about his life.  Much more to come on this…

Not only did we discover more of Will Hudson’s story today, but it was also a day full of more blessings.  Here they are…getting to see Nashville friends at MBHOH (Donna Daniel and her pals…Renee Manuel, Tina Myers, Carolyne Myers, Kathy McKinney-from Show Hope, sweet Caitlin Ruff-an intern at MBHOH who was in China with me two years ago…and several others not in the picture below), Will Hudson sharing french fries with Mommy, laundry that was washed and pressed by someone other than myself, and a scrapbook overnighted to us from Will Hudson’s orphanage.

It was a good day!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It’s Official!

Today we went to the government office to receive our official adoption certificate.  We are now officially a family of 5!  As we were leaving the government office today, Will Hudson began to cry.  It was the first time since we have had him that he has cried.  He just quietly sobbed.  It made me cry a little, too.  We have learned quickly that this little boy is smart.  Did he understand what was happening?  It actually was a great attachment moment for him to understand that we are now in his life and able to console him.  He quickly fell asleep in Megan’s arms. 

We have had fun watching him reveal his personality to us.  He is so happy and playful when it is just the three of us.  He is more observant and quiet when we are with the group.  We have also loved seeing the different smiles of Will Hudson.  We hope you enjoy them, too.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Gotcha Day – Will Hudson Wang Thompson

Today we enthusiastically welcomed Will Hudson into our family.  He came right to us.  The assistant director of his orphanage brought him to us along with the disposable camera and picture book we had sent him.  It is hard to believe that in his three years of life that is all he had to bring!  Well, he marched right up to us and traded the camera and the picture book for the real thing.  Will Hudson now has the love of a family that will never leave him nor forsake him. 

We had such a fun day hanging out with him.  We played cars, tossed the ball, went for walks (which we discovered that he loves seeing water), colored with markers and decorated with stickers.  He was not interested in a nap today, so we skipped it and just played some more.  We looked at pictures of his big sisters and told him that they loved him and could not wait to meet him.

We are exhausted tonight from keeping up with a busy little three year old BOY.   We will gladly take being tired for the JOY that overflows from our hearts as we end this day.  Will Hudson is sound asleep and we are not too far behind.

We will share more about this special day after we have had a little time to process it all.  Until then, enjoy seeing picture of our new son and praise God for bringing this little boy into our lives.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


We mentioned in an earlier post that we spent one morning just listing and praising God for all the people who have been part of Will Hudson’s adoption.  The struggle with making a list like this is realizing just how vast the network is of people who have influenced us along the away.  So, we know we will leave off many, but here are just a few of the folks for whom we will be eternally grateful: 

Two sisters who prayed for a little brother

Friends and family watching Kelsey and Ella Grace while we are in China

Nannies who have cared for Will Hudson over the past three years

Over 20+ families who donated items for the world’s largest yard sale (in our opinion), the 30+ people   who worked in the rain at the yard sale, friends who allowed us to use their garages for yard sale storage, and the 1,000,000 (estimated guess) people who came to the yard sale

Two families who gave us extra airline miles to travel

Elders who prayed with us over a year ago when we first made the decision to adopt and have walked with us along the journey

An author who wrote an amazing book that got our attention about the needs of the 147,000,000 fatherless around the world and the friends who gathered to read and process that same book in May 2010

Friends who allowed us to be transparent and share our fears about the future

A preacher who prayed with our family before we left the United States

A Notary who notarized all of our documents for free

A little adopted Chinese girl who Megan taught who stole her heart

A musician and his wife who have been catalyst for orphans around the world, but especially in China

A friend who helped us set up our blog and a friend who is posting each blog because China has blocked Blogspot

Good jobs that allowed us have the funds needed for the adoption

The people who came to “Christmas for a Cause” and bought items

People who bought SHOWHOPE shirts

Ministry Assistants who went the extra mile over the past year keeping JT in line  

Eight other families at our church who are also on the adoption journey

An amazing Life Group

Coworkers who have encouraged us along the way

An awesome social worker who walked with us

An incredible adoption agency

A dear friend who is a licensed therapist who has spoken with us about attachment issues

Friends who have adopted from China who have answered numerous questions

A book of blessings from co-workers

A friend who gave a photo album for Megan to carry to China

A friend who hosted a performance to help fund Will Hudson’s adoption and the people who bought tickets to attend the performance

You - for reading this post and praying for us

As you can tell, the point of our praise is to recognize God’s work through His children.  Tomorrow at Noon in Zheng Zhou, China, our Son joins this legacy of faith.  Our thanksgiving reminds us that God is involved in the details.  He is the one to be praised. 
Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name.”
Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind!

How do people live without faith?  How do they live without a community of faith? Will Hudson has a forever family.  Our hearts are full.  Our hearts are thankful.  Our hearts are at peace.  Thank you! 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Walking (Climbing) the Great Wall

Day three was exhausting!  George, our group leader, does a great job of wearing us out so we will be tired and will easily go to sleep.  Here are just a few of the things we did today…visited a Jade factory, climbed the Great Wall of China, watched a Chinese Acrobatics show, and saw the Birds Nest (the 2008 Beijing Olympic Stadium).  All that in one day…we started at 8 a.m. and returned at 8 p.m.  We also spent much of that time in traffic.

The highlight of the day was walking the Great Wall of China.  It literally was “wall to wall” with people.  We were given a chance to go in two directions once we made it to our section.  We chose the path less traveled which we discovered was the steepest walk in the section we were at.  Thus, we spent more time climbing than walking.  It was an amazing experience!

This morning (day four), we catch a plane to the province where Will Hudson now lives.  This is where we FINALLY get to meet our son!  Needless to say we are very excited and little nervous, too.  Tomorrow is our “Gotcha Day” as it is called.  We’ve heard stories of children who just run into their parents’ arms, stories of children screaming, stories of children only wanting one parent and many more realistic “Gotcha Day” stories.  We have no idea what to expect.  We do know that God has gone before each step of this journey and we have the confidence of knowing you are praying for us.  “I don’t know about tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand.”

Some families in our group will be traveling to a different province to meet their children and we also had three more families join us late last night.  We will all meet back up in a week at our third stop to be sworn in together as adoptive families.  Please be praying for all these families as they welcome sweet little children into their arms, too!