Bringing Samuel Fang Zhou Mason home in August of 2007 was a joy and a struggle. Eight months of paper work and praying had kept us busy, and we eagerly anticipated our first meeting with Sam. When we were led into the conference room at the Chengdu Children’s Welfare Institute our hearts were full of expectation. When Sam came into the room we saw the shy smile we'd seen in so many of his pictures and were immediately endeared to this little boy. He was at first hesitant. It didn't take long however, for him to warm up to us and start chattering unstoppable. He recognized us from the pictures we had sent ahead and so he too had been anticipating our first meeting. If he had any trepidation in joining our family he did not show it. He claimed us as his and it was a joy to see how readily he accepted us.
Adopting an older child is something we read a lot about. Bringing a child into the family at an older age, who has an unfamiliar and unfortunate history we knew would be a challenge, and at first it was. Bonding to Samuel took time but he was patient with us and we now can't imagine the Mason family without him. We love him dearly and he is such a blessing to us. When we returned home, Samuel's special needs required various doctor appointments and demanded a lot of attention at first and he attended public school and received English as a Second Language services for a year and a half.
Recently we celebrated three years with Samuel. We also celebrate Chinese New Year yearly with some of the other China Adoptive families in our community, and recently we have been invited to an Autumn Moon Festival which we are looking forward to. We seek many opportunities to incorporate Sam and his sister Ruth's heritage into our life. Ruth is also from China and was adopted in January of 2004.
Sam is such a sweet boy, and teaches us all what it means to care for others. Recently a friend commented how caring he is. She had been upset and Sam had noticed and asked if she was all right. She said it was such an encouragement to her to see his love for others. It is true, he loves others greatly and seeks to bless those around him.
We are grateful to God for bringing Samuel into our family!