Texas welcome for special girl
Audrey and Brent Shook, a couple from a Houston suburb, welcomed Lucy, a 6-year- old Chinese orphan girl with Down syndrome in tears at the Bush Intercontinental Airport.
In a news report by KHOU-TV, Audrey Shook was seen wiping tears away when she saw Lucy coming out of the terminal on Monday.
“Oh my God. There’s Lucy,” she said, then knelt down to greet the child: “Hi, hi, I’m Momma.”
“Momma,” Lucy repeated, and went into Audrey Shannon’s open arms and wrapped her arms around Audrey’s neck as if they knew each other very well.
The Shooks are one of the 30 families across the United States to host 30 Chinese orphans with special needs beginning Monday for four weeks, a Summer China Hosting Program spearheaded by Great Wall China Adoption (GWCA), a non-profit organization based in Austin, Texas, said Shannon Phillips, orphan hosting director at GWCA.
Audrey Shook and her husband agreed that they would adopt a child from China before they got married more than 20 years ago, she told China Daily on Tuesday.
In February of this year, the Shooks, who have five children of their own between 5 and 18 years old, got an e-mail from GWCA about its summer hosting program. The Shooks looked at photos and videos of the children in the program.
“When I found Lucy’s picture and was watching her video, I immediately knew she’s our daughter. We have to adopt her, we have to have her forever,” said Audrey Shook.
She said that after Lucy came home from the airport, the family gathered to watch her open presents from everyone.
“She ran around in every room. She’s very curious, she checked out every closet, opened every drawer. Last night she fell asleep staring at my face saying momma momma,” said Audrey Shook,
“We always love children with special needs, especially children with Down syndrome,“she added, saying the passion came from observing other Down syndrome children and their parents in her church.
Lucy is scheduled to go back to her foster home in China in August after the hosting program is over. The Shooks have already started the adoption process, which will allow them to take a trip to China in six months to bring Lucy home permanently.
Audrey and Brent Shook