Suzanne Meledeo

{Hitting Repeat} A Highlight of Our Lives

The anticipation that builds as you wait to meet your child for the first time is hard to express in words. It reminds me a little of waiting to walk down to the aisle on my wedding day. As we signed paper after paper, it was truly difficult to concentrate on what I was doing! Our lives were about to change forever!

AND THEN HE WALKED IN THE ROOM . . . our precious, precious boy. I almost couldn’t believe that it was happening just as I had imagined it, quite unlike our experience with Grace (but she was 18 months so you can imagine she was very scared and didn’t know what to think). He ran to us and hugged us and said, “I love you, Mother” and “I love you, Father” and “I love you, sister.” It was sweet music to our ears, and I feel tears welling up in my tired eyes as I write this.

The First Photo!

The First Photo!

He came to us with a backpack filled with candy and snacks and the items we sent him in the care package. The Shanghai Children’s home also gave us a beautiful photo album and a chop (a traditional Chinese name stamp). They were so sweet and generous.

He brought some toys which he showed us with great pride and shared several of his interesting treats with Grace and us. You should see them together. They are so cute. Children can overcome language barriers in amazing ways.

The language barrier is pretty significant, but we will trust God and speak lots of English. God put homeschooling on my heart for a reason! Exciting times ahead.

First Family Photo

First Family Photo

 

UPDATE as of July 17, 2013: It has been six months since Anthony Jianyou joined our family. From that first day forward, our love for our boy has grown in leaps and bounds. It amazing, wonderful and inspiring to watch him grow and unfold before us. He is so full of life and personality, and his English is amazing! I can’t believe how well he speaks, and he is also working hard to maintain his Chinese. We are so proud of him! He is such a smart, bright, energetic boy. We are so thankful to God for choosing him for our family and for the blessing of adoption.

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Suzanne Meledeo

Suzanne Meledeo

After struggling with infertility for five years, God led Suzanne and her husband, Adam, to His Plan A for their lives, adoption! Their three year old daughter, Grace Lihua, came into their lives on May 8, 2011 (Mother’s Day) from Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, China, and their 8 year old boy, Anthony Jianyou, joined their family on January 14, 2013. After a career in politics, Suzanne is thankful for God’s provision in their lives that now allows her to serve on the We Are Grafted In admin team and work part time as a Pilates Instructor while home schooling their children. You can follow their adoption journey and life on their blog, Surpassing Greatness.

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The Waiting Child

Thinking about Adoption? Have you considered the Waiting Childl?

When my husband and I first started our adoption process, these children were referred to as Special Needs which can be a scary term.

But what if instead we called them “Waiting Children”? Doesn’t sound as intimidating, right, and it is the truth as well! Furthermore, what if we thought of “Special Needs” kids as “special”, amazing children in “need” of or waiting for a forever family? What if God had said, “oh, I don’t want to save people with problems, only perfect people”? None of us are worthy of Him. We are all special cases in comparison to our great God. Praise God, that He, in His mercy, sent his only and perfect Son to die for all of us (John 3:16)!

When our caseworker mentioned this list as a possibility to us, we looked at each and said, “we don’t think so”, but God had other plans. He began to work in our hearts and brought people into our lives who had adopted children from China on the waiting child list and showed us that He had a completely different plan than we were thinking of for our adopted child. He showed us that we didn’t need be scared of this special list of children but rather to see them as beautiful children created by their creator, perfect in His eyes, and waiting for us to adopt them! The truth of the matter is that many children on this list in China have things that can easily corrected in the United States such as cleft lip/palate or limb deformities. Of course, there are children on these lists with more severe issues, so pray about God’s plan for your adoption and seek His will alone. Don’t focus on the fact that you want a “healthy” child but rather on the child God has for you. Step out in faith, knowing that His plan is far greater than any you could ever imagine. Yes, there will rapids along the way, but He has promised to carry you through those times of trial and difficulty that are inevitable. He will be faithful. WE CAN TRUST HIM!! “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understand.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Prov. 3:5-6)

Meet Grace Lihua

Grace Before and After Adoption

Grace Before and After Adoption

Grace is a vivacious fun loving three year old who makes friends everywhere she goes. She was born on November 12, 2009 and joined our family in May of 2011. Grace has deformities in her fingers and toes. She is missing her big toe on her left foot and the middle toes on her right foot are fused together as one. Additionally, her right foot was a slight club foot. Her index finger on her left hand is not properly formed and two of her middle fingers on her right hand are short. We took her to a renowned pediatric hand surgeon at Scottish Rite in Dallas who did some work on her right hand to help with mobility and will do on a follow up surgery on each hand in a few years. We also went through a series of casts on her right foot/leg to work on stretching the muscles and helping the foot straighten.  While all this sounds complicated, God has walked with us every step of the way, and we are excited to watch His plans for her life unfold!

Meet Anthony Jianyou

Anthony - Before & After Adoption

Anthony – Before & After Adoption

Anthony is full of life and energy with a flair for the dramatic! He is extremely intelligent and is picking up English with incredible speed. He was born on September 23, 2004 and joined our family in January of 2013. Anthony has a deformity in his right arm and hand. He is missing the bones in his right thumb and the radius in his forearm shorter causing his arm to slightly curve in. Additionally, the muscles in his right arm are very weak. The same doctors who worked on Grace’s hand will perform a surgery on his hand this coming September. They will be removing the limp thumb and moving his index finger to the location of the thumb so that he will have more mobility and ease when grabbing things with this hand. It is truly amazing! He is a little concerned about this surgery, but does want his hand to function better, so keep him in your prayers. We are excited to share with Him the incredible, unending, perfect love of God who created Him just as he is for a special purpose ordained by God.

Our greatest struggle will be dealing with our children’s hurt feelings when other children ask them why their hands and feet are different. We know and will always communicate to them that God see them as perfect and beautiful, but that we live in a fallen world, so there will be questions and looks. Haven’t we all experienced the cruelty of children at some point in our lives? Did any of us escape the teen years unscathed, without a hurt feeling stemming from ridicule by someone over something “wrong” with you? Of course, this will break our hearts, but we pray that we will use these opportunities to point our precious babies to the One who loves them more than any of us could imagine or fathom. 

My Children are BEAUTIFUL! See my post about this here.


“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (I Peter 3:3-4, NIV)

To quote Johnny Diaz, “More Beautiful You”,

“There could never be a more beautiful you

Don’t buy the lies, disguises and hoops, they make you jump through

You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do

So there could never be a more beautiful you.”

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Suzanne Meledeo

Suzanne Meledeo

After struggling with infertility for five years, God led Suzanne and her husband, Adam, to His Plan A for their lives, adoption! Their three year old daughter,Grace Lihua, came into their lives on May 8, 2011 (Mother’s Day) from Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, China, and their eight year old son, Anthony Jianyou, joined their family on January 14, 2013 from Shanghai.  After a career in Politics, Suzanne is thankful for God’s provision in their lives that now allows her to work part time as a Pilates Instructor while spending time with Grace and preparing for the home schooling of their boy. You can follow their adoption journey and life on their blog, Surpassing Greatness.

A Highlight of Our Lives

The anticipation that builds as you wait to meet your child for the first time is hard to express in words. It reminds me a little of waiting to walk down to the aisle on my wedding day. As we signed paper after paper, it was truly difficult to concentrate on what I was doing! Our lives were about to change forever!

On our way to get Anthony!

 

AND THEN HE WALKED IN THE ROOM . . . our precious, precious boy. It was the meeting I had imagined, quite unlike our experience with Grace (but she was 18 months so you can imagine she was scared and didn’t know what to think). He ran to us and hugged us and said, “I love you, Mother” and “I love you, Father” and “I love you, sister.” It was sweet music to our ears, and I feel tears welling up in my tired eyes as I write this.

First of many!

 

He came to us with a backpack filled with candy and snacks and the items we sent him in the care package. The Shanghai Children’s home also gave us a beautiful photo album and a chop (a traditional Chinese name stamp). They were so sweet and generous.

He brought some toys he had to show us and shared several of his treats with Grace and us. You should see them together. They are so cute. Children can overcome language barriers in amazing ways.

The language barrier is pretty significant, but we will trust God and speak lots of English. God put homeschooling on my heart for a reason! Exciting times ahead.

FIRST FAMILY PHOTO! Someone got mad at me for being behind her. Can you guess who needs a nap? :)

 

Grace is napping now, and we are playing with Anthony. Please pray that our bodies would adjust to the time here. Grace keeps waking up at 2:30 AM and is thus very tired and hits the grumpy stage pretty fast. Please continue to pray for the bonding process and for the language barrier. We are so happy with our precious son and can’t thank God enough for the amazing ways He is working in our lives!

________________________________________

Suzanne Meledeo

After struggling with infertility for five years, God led Suzanne and her husband, Adam, to His Plan A for their lives, adoption! Their three year old daughter, Grace Lihua, came into their lives on May 8, 2011 (Mother’s Day) from Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, China, and they are currently in Shanghai bringing home their second child, He Jianyou, an 8 year old boy. After a career in politics, Suzanne is thankful for God’s provision in their lives that now allows her to serve on the We Are Grafted In admin team and work part time as a Pilates Instructor while spending time with Grace and preparing for the home schooling of their boy. You can follow their adoption journey and life once they get home on their blog, Surpassing Greatness.

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Come back tomorrow to link up your own blog posts about the day you met your child! Let’s celebrate together!

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