Happy 12th Birthday Caroline!

On the other side of the world, in a southern province of China, there is some celebrating going on. Here in the Brown household in Birmingham, Alabama, we're toasting our waiting daughter who turned 12 today! We sent another letter and a birthday cake through Ladybugs n Love and hope she was able to receive and enjoy it.
We have officially given our little girl the name of Caroline. We will give her the option of being called by her Chinese name or by Caroline. We've heard from other families that many older kids get to America and want an "American" name. Until then, we just keep alternating the names when talking about her. :)
One of the joys of reviewing Caroline's referral was the extraordinary detail of the report by her orphanage. We also love how the Chinese use (and translate) certain phrases and descriptions. We've opted to keep some of her file private and allow her to share her story on her own. But here are a few highlights from her history to give you a taste of this girl's vibrant and sweet spirit.

"(Caroline)* is an outgoing, innocent and active, clever and beautiful little girl. She has very sweet smile, and her bright eyes look like the pure and beautiful moon."

"At the age of 3 years, (Caroline) began to study in the kindergarten of institute. In class, (Caroline) put her hands at back and listened to teachers very carefully with a pair of bright eyes open wide. She was willing to learn new things and had strong acceptance, had learned to read children's songs, count numbers, sing and dance, etc. At that time (Caroline) liked outdoor activity very much, she was always the most active one when playing games on the playground with other children, she ran, jumped, talked and laughed all the time and was unwilling to stop when teachers asked them to rest. She was active and restless, even a little naughty. (Caroline) was energetic in studying and playing in day time, but at night she slept sweetly like a meek cat which was very delightful."

"In order to give (Caroline) a warm family life, when she was 5 years old, we sent her to live in a foster family employed by the institute. The whole foster family like this very clever and beautiful little girl very much and gave her considerate care. At that time (Caroline) transferred to a kindergarten near her foster family to study in the top class."

"She was a polite child, the first sentence she said to teachers every morining was "good morning, teacher" and can get along well with other children, share all food and funny things with others; teachers and other children all liked her deeply. In kindergarten she had learned to read children's songs, recognize characters, draw, handwork, sing dance, etc; she was clever in mind and skillful in hand, she did handwork well and quickly, was good at singing and dancing. Learning to sing and dance was the most happiest thing for her and her singing was the most loud and clear in class, she danced beautifully and had strong expressive force."

"She told everything she heard and saw in school to foster parents every day after school. On her way to and back from school she took an initiative to greet the elders in neighborhood and thank others politely when they gave things to her. All people liked this innocent and active little girl very much who was talkative and had a ready smile. At the age of 8 years, (Caroline) began to study in grade two; in teachers' eyes she was a diligent and inquisitive and hard-working good student, learned well in Chinese, math, music, drawing, and sports, and teachers said she was a hard-working, disciplined good student who also loved labor work. She was a loving child and ready to help others, often helped classmates in need and gave pencils, exercise books and other stationary to students whose family has troubles."

"When she was in grade four, she was fond of play for some time, restless in class, talked to other students around and did not listen to teachers attentively, did not finish the homework seriously, played for a long time outside with others after school and then went back home, and her school records came down. Specific to this condition the teachers pointed out her shortcomings timely and asked her foster parents to guide her coordinately. The staff of welfare institute often talked with her during family visit and went to school to discuss with her teachers. In fact, (Caroline) was a self-motivated child. Through everyone's concern and instruction she realized her mistakes and weakness and began to correct actively."

"With time goes by, (Caroline) is 11 years old now, has bright eyes, and graceful eyebrows, slender, slim and graceful, and she is a beautiful girl. As getting older she becomes more sensible, and with a little shyness especially for girls and less naughty than before. (Caroline) has her own thoughts and characters in doing anything; if she thinks that adults criticize her wrongly, she will defend herself with effort. She knows her own mind, whenever foster mother takes her to buy schoolbag, stationary or shoes and clothes she will chose them on her own. This year (Caroline) is in grade five, now she behaves well on all aspects, and her academic record keeps going ahead. In the past years, (Caroline) has won many awards in school. In school, teachers praised "(Caroline) is a good student!"; at home foster parents said proudly "(Caroline) is our good daughter!"

"Every day after school she finishes homework conscientiously without others' supervision and then takes an initiative to help foster mother do housework. She is sensible and cares about others, often asks people whether they feel hot of cold; she loves foster parents and all people who love her. A little active, clever and confident, this is the beautiful and lovely (Caroline)."

In the next few days, I will answer a lot of frequently asked questions. But for now, please join me in wishing this incredible girl a happy and blessed birthday!! We can't wait to meet her in person, and we're proud to call her our daughter!

*To protect Caroline and to follow guidelines of the Chinese gov't, I've edited this post to only reveal her American name. We will share her Chinese name after we get her home.


Lindsey said...

Happy Happy Birthday to Caroline LiYun! Though years before, I was born on November 21 as well. Always fun to hear of "birthday twins." I'll have to meet her when she gets here so we can celebrate our special day together!

Dawn said...

Happy happy birthday beautiful girl! I have been waiting for an update from your family and was so excited to see one. She sounds like an amazing spirited child who should thrive in your loving home.

Ericka B. Jackson said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Caroline LiYun! Loved hearing all those details about her! She sounds beautiful inside and out! I'm SO excited for you!!!

Michelle and Jeremy said...

What a sweet day to celebrate! Thanks for opening the door to Caroline's life to us. What an amazing, caring, and smart girl. She will be prayed for alot (until she gets here and beyond) and is already loved by many! I am so excited for you and Scott and your constant obedience to the Lord's calling. love you!

Shelley said...

Happy Birthday to sweet Caroline! What a blessing she is going to be to your family. Praying for your paperwork to fly through the steps so you can get her home. Thanks for sharing parts of her story with us.

Cindy said...

Happy Birthday Caroline! I know you guys cannot wait to get her home. What a blessed girl she is. I enjoyed reading about her. She is beautiful. Prayers that her heart is prepared for your family.

Deann Scholl said...

What a wonderful post. My daughter, Kinley, shares a birthday with Caroline so what a special day it is. Kinley turned four. I have been checking the blog and so thankful that you updated and gave us some information on Caroline. She seems like a very bright, lovable young lady who will be loved by all. I know she will be very blessed to be a part of your special family. Lunch soon for sure now that things have finally calmed down!

Kelly said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Caroline!!! What a sweetheart!

Carla said...

Happy Birthday Caroline! Sarah was with me seeing this post and she pointed to the photo and said "Jie jie!" Not sure if that means she knew her or not, I'll be interested in finding out where she was living in foster care after you visit. :)