Several years ago my son and daughter-in-law told us that they were adopting a baby girl from China. I was so excited because I always wanted to adopt from China, but never did.
My son and I had talked about it several years before when he was in college. The college was having a seminar on adopting from China and one of his professors was adopting. I decided it was too late, and too expensive for us, so I was just so happy for his professor.
Now, as I look back, I should have gone for it! There are so many things that tied us to this adoption, without us ever knowing. My son and his wife had always planned to adopt, even before they were married. They also talked about working in an orphanage in China at some point. My DIL even was offered a job from the same agency that they used for their adoption.
While at Messiah College, all my sons played soccer. The team always came unto the field while the bagpipes were playing Amazing Grace, which was a favorite of mine. Now, I see how all of this ties in with the adoption.
After they told me about the adoption, I immediately began buying little girl clothing and thinking about this baby girl. I joined the One Hundred Good Wishes Quilting Yahoo group. They are all moms (and grandmothers) that are waiting for their babies, usually from China. They hold quilt square swaps, with different themes, to collect the 100 squares they need for the quilt.
The Bia Jia Bei, OHGWQ, comes from a tradition in China. Friends and family all contribute a piece of fabric, along with a blessing or wish for the new baby. The new mom assembles the pieces into a quilt for the new baby. The OHGWQ represents all of the blessings and good wishes from friends and family. The quilt is passed down from generation to generation.
Luckily for me, my DIL allowed to me collect all the squares for the quilt. It was so much fun and helped to pass the time while waiting on the new baby. I met lots of new 'friends' through this and enjoyed following along on their adoptions. I still follow their blogs.
It took a few years to get it done. I didn't have enough confidence in myself to sew it together, so my one DIL, Bethany, did it for me. It was a huge job and it meant so much for her to do it. She then took to a lady who has a machine that does the quilting. It turned out beautiful! We kept the squares big, so Gracie could see how beautiful the prints are.
Before I went along to China, I started a blog, called "Amazing Grace". See the connection to the song that I so loved years before and the song that was the connection to Messiah College (where the adoption seminar was held) Everyone involed with Chinese Adoption knows the saying about the Red Thread. But for those who don't - 'An invisibile red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break." There are other pieces of the red thread that I now see, but won't go into. This post is already way longer than I had intended it to be.
Anyway, my reason for this post, we gave Gracie (my Dumpling) her OHGWQ at our family Christmas party. I wanted those that participated in the quilt to be a part of her seeing it for the first time. She really listened to what I was saying about the quilt and was very interested in looking at all the squares. She was asking about who gave the squares to her, some I remembered, but not most of them. I loved seeing her all wrapped up in it.
I think the quilt was one of the most satisfying things I have ever done. One day, when she is older, I know she will realize how much love went into it. She is such a blessing to our family and we loved her before we knew who she was.
Her name and birthday are embroidered on the 100th square on the back of the quilt.