Shannon and Lee Dingle were escorted from the domestic airport in Taitung to a local hospital the day they arrived in country. They were lead to a prayer room and told to wait. A few moments later, which seemed like a lifetime for them, in walked the newest addition to their sweet family of five. This is the moment that parents fantasize about; the moment they first touch and see their new child. They spend countless nights imagining how it will go. Will there be tears or laughter? But when the moment finally comes, the world stops, all previous thoughts fly out the window, and a child is placed in your arms. Now you are supposed to leave with your new baby. (Insert screeching car breaks here). This is where the wrench gets thrown into the Dingle’s adoption. They weren’t able to take sweet Zoe home. They were allowed to hold her, kiss her, and sweetly whisper how lovely and beautifully made she is, but when time was over they had to leave her in the confines of a cold, sterile hospital. With hopeful but heavy hearts, they left empty handed. The next day was more of the same; more touching, more kissing, more falling in love, and more waiting. After three days of this routine, they were allowed to
To learn more about the Dingle family please visit their blog: http://www.dinglefest.com
February 20, 2013
Since The Archibald Project began we knew that we would be taking pictures and making documentaries, but what we didn’t expect was the deep love and connection that is formed between us and the families. A unique and special bond is experienced on adoption trips. We are privileged and blessed to share in such intimate and life changing moments, that we can’t help but come home with sense of family and community. The word gratitude doesn’t come close to describing our thankfulness for these experiences. As you can imagine, when we get to see these families again our hearts burst with joy. To see a once orphaned child now consumed in love, acceptance, and thriving in a world they had previously never known, is a special experience.
On our recent trip to North Carolina we were honored to reconnect with the Dingle family and cover our 6 month follow up on sweet, baby Zoe.
We never know what to expect when we interview families after the glitz and glam of the ‘Gotcha Day’ hype is over. Once the cameras are gone, the spot light has moved on, and real life sinks in…what is left? For some families its life as usual. For others its a long road of trials and healing for a fragile child. For the Dingle family, we found 7 months of hard life happening. This was not directly related to their adoption, but sometimes life just throws you curve balls.
Lee and Shannon Dingle have three beautiful children: Jocelyn, 6, Robbie 3, and Zoe, 16 months. Shortly after their arrival back home Jocelyn started school, Robbie began having seizures, and Zoe needed medical attention. Adjusting to life with a new baby is hard enough, but combine that with these other life changes and the Dingle’s needed help. Lee and Shannon were gracious enough to share their struggles, and they are getting through them one day at a time. Despite these things, we saw the same happy, trusting, joyful family that we left in Taipei. Their circumstances have changed, but they do not doubt, blame or regret their adoption.
We are beyond thankful to know the Dingle’s. Their willingness to open their lives and share their story has been such a blessing.