at the risk of being investigated for child pornography, i thought you might enjoy a look at the infamous tan-lines of the sanzone children as referenced in a previous post. actually, the italian princess is the darkest of all but since she has 73 different bathing suits her back doesn't quite reflect her brownie browness.
"oh," they say at the pool, "you are the mom of the brown kids!" and now, its "you are the mom of the brown kids and the chinese kid!" what a place i have come to in life.
and be sure to note, the zebraesque stripes on the littlest member!
i don't have much to say. to be honest, today was a very long day and i am tired and out of words. but i did want to report in that this afternoon was our appointment with the international adoption pediatrician. me and all the kids - which resulted in "uuhhh...what is the age difference between the 3 kids..oh!...that one is yours too? wow." sometimes, i do feel like an exhibit at the zoo. everyone just stares. as if they have never seen someone with 4 children before. i don't know, i didn't think we were that weird! lest i digress, what the doctor had to say...
"when i see newly adopted children, i always schedule an hour for the appointment. most of the time there is a lot to go over, many questions, health concerns, etc. lydia, well, she is a perfectly healthy little girl. her growth from september is staggering. i have never seen anything quite as dramatic."
and with that, we left his office in a matter of minutes (we didn't actually leave the lab for another two hours - they had to draw 6 vials of blood for routine adoption tests, thus one reason why today has been a bit long!) what he didn't say, but what i know, is that lydia is a miracle. 10 months ago she was a child who was not even close to being on the growth chart - her height, weight, and head circumference FAR below the 1st percentile - even on the chinese growth charts. today, she is a chubby little kid with a bit of a height challenge (hey, she is chinese!) who couldn't be healthier. a miracle. i want to be sure and shout that as loud as i can - lydia is a living, breathing M-I-R-A-C-L-E. there is no other explanation.
when i write those words there are tears in my eyes. i am overwhelmed at the gift we have been given. when there is temptation to live life in a single dimension of the here and now, lydia will always be my reminder that God is bigger, that he sees far beyond what i do, his strength is immeasurably more than my abilities. the journey God took us on to find lydia has taught me lessons for life and my prayer is that i will never forget them.
each of my children have their special place in my heart. josiah - he will always be my firstborn, my "first love" as it were; anna claire - she is my princess, my first little girl, my helper; micah - he is my baby, the one that almost didn't make it, the one that i would always choose to spoil; and then there's lydia - my miracle.
should you doubt it, let me remind you, God is a God of miracles. there's one sleeping in the bed upstairs.
i was asked the million dollar question today...the dear woman with a furrowed brow inquired, "Are they all yours?"
Well, yes ma'am, they are. All four of the little urchins. "How old are they?" she asked. I replied quite proud of myself, "7,5,3, and 2 1/2." I feel like superwoman when I say those numbers (especially when i throw in the 1/2)! "Oh honey," she replied, "you have your hands full." And with a look on her face as if to communicate horror and sorrow all at the same time, she quickly left the scene. I think she was afraid she would get drafted!
And so it is with our new life - four little rascals who at times allow me to see the wonder of siblings and friendship and big family and lots of love. I can picture the Christmas tree with our grown children and their significant others all coming together for cookies and laughter. One big, happy family where love flows deep and life is shared. hopefully, some day.
And...then there are times...when I wonder if they will still be arguing about whose fault it is come their wedding day and who gets to go first, and as they are walking down the aisle, one is yelling sssttttooopppp while the other completely ignores them. what is it that allows them to think that the word "stop" has no meaning and even if the other one has said it 10,000 times if it is enertaining you then by all means continue! oh my word! enough already.
in all fairness to the situation, the last few days have been great. my house is STILL straight (i didn't say clean) from monday. mostly due to the fact that we have spent the morning watching cartoons - don't let anyone tell you TV isn't a great babysitter, a necessary babysitter at certain times in life - and the afternoons at the pool and then on to naps. the older ones are learning their new roles as helpers. josiah is now in charge of unbuckling both the little ones and getting lydia out of the van. anna claire is in charge of getting lydia dressed. and they are both learning to help around the house. they have lucked out when it comes to chores. we only had a week out of school before we left for china so we are just now getting to the summer chore routine. lest they think summer is all full of fun and games! the chore cards are making their return...
really, all is well. micah is having a rough go of it but he is hanging in there. although today he did mention sending daddy and lydia back to china...but he was planning for mommy to stick around!
i was snuggling with the little guy today and lydia came over to us crying, which is not abnormal. she does not like it one bit when micah is in my lap. after a minute or so she began to motion that she needed to go potty. which, we have learned, is her way of controlling us. if she isn't getting her way, she signals that she needs to go potty, we take her, and suddenly we are doing exactly what she wants! so i was not about to take micah out of my lap for her manipulation tactics. well, she kept sitting there and crying and i kept snuggling and after about 5 minutes i decided it was lyd's turn. only to find out - she had peed all over the carpet! aaaghhhh. oh well, i guess she really did need to go. hopefully no long term affects from my neglect!
speaking of neglect, lydia is sporting a new set of stripes these days. we took her to the pool and she has this cute little bathing suit with small red and white stripes. i lathered her with suntan lotion as she is by far the fairest one in the family. and when we got home, anna claire says to me while she is getting lydia dressed, "mom, lydia has stripes!" i go in to check it out and sure enough, there are bathing suit marks on her little back. amazing - 30 SPF lotion and in just 2 hours the kids has tan lines! but no, that is not what anna claire was talking about. "no look mom, lydia has stripes!" i look at her back and to my utter confusion the kid has these little stripes all across her back. she has gotten a tan THROUGH her bathing suit. unbelievable! the sanzone kids are famous for their tan lines but this brings it to a whole new level! i have seen the SPF clothing for kids but i chalked it up to a gimmick - i guess i stand corrected, suntans can be gotten through the bathing suit!
life with 4 is fun, crazy, exhausting, fulfilling, stretching, energizing, everything i have dreamed of. i am so thankful for our family. and don't hold me to it, but i am thinking the sanzone family is complete. we'll see...
I was talking with a dear friend of mine, also an adoptive mom, and she reminded me that when she brought her child home at 6 months I reminded her regularly that she couldn’t look at life like she had a 6 month old, she had to look her days based on how long Evelyn had been in the family. I think that was pretty good advice – and good to be reminded of now that I am in the middle of the scene. I can’t base our adjustment on life with a 2 ½ year old; I have to think about life with a one-week old. Now that is a whole different ballgame. And makes me feel so much better! The truth is that we are a family with a brand new baby. So for those of you who haven’t been in the new-baby world for a while, let me remind you…
*4 hours of continuous sleep is considered a gift from God
*pajamas are the clothing of choice
*crying is the primary method of communication – depending on the day, this may include mom as well
*personal hygiene is reminiscent of ancient
*walking aimlessly around, standing in awe of the mess, is standard behavior
*survival is the name of the game – just make it another day
So, I think we are right where we should be. The past two nights I have been able to put
We did take the kids swimming this afternoon – first time for Lyds. She was understandably timid but after the first hour she was getting the hang of it. I continued to be intrigued by her personality. The funny thing about adopting a toddler is that their personality is there, alive and well. But it has to be discovered. There are glimpses of her every now and then that I think are more her true self but at this stage, they are few and far between. For the most part, she is very clingy and timid, easily upset and very quiet. However, in those few moments she is this very happy child with tons of energy, super confident, happy to be here kid, so completely different. I think that is probably who
Tomorrow I am on my own again! Aahh!! I have to simply remind myself that NOTHING gets done beyond breakfast, clean up, lunch, clean up, dinner, clean up, bed. And the clean up is only a possibility. It is highly likely that breakfast dishes will still be on the counter come dinnertime. It’s okay, it’s just a phase, this too shall pass, I will recover…what day is it?
i was sitting at a swim meet this morning - 95 degrees, no shade, three races, two minutes of swimming, 5 hours of waiting. i know, unbelievable that anyone swims. but we love it. anna claire even swam today, first time all season she actually made it into the pool at a meet. all the way to the other end of the pool without even a hesitation. pretty good for a little 5 year old!
so i was pondering why in the world i would subject myself to such a saturday morning. and i quickly came to the conclusion that its what we love. i grew up swimming, we live by the water, our kids love the pool, it is simply what our family chooses to invest in. and to be fair, it is no different than sitting at a double header for baseball or a tournament for soccer. its all the grueling agony of waiting for that little bit of action that is going to make it all worth it. that moment when you see your kids shine - when they finally beat the 40 second mark for breast stroke or when they take that first jump into the pool and head to the other end after being scared to death all season. its worth it.
i think its the same with my relationship with God right now. if i am honest it is not something that tops out on my 10 favorite things to do. really, when am i supposed to have some quiet time with God? in the morning, so i find myself grumpy all day from exhaustion? at nap time, when the list is a mile long of things that need to get done without the help of little hands? at night when i fall into bed oftentimes already pondering how i will make it to nap time tomorrow? there isn't a convenient time these days, and hasn't been for a good five years. so why make it a priority? because it is what i know is best, it is what i know will sustain me, it is what has proven over the years to be my strength. and so i do it.
i wish i could say it was that simple - i do it. but i don't. i put it on the back burner, i find 101 things more important, i make excuses, i simply choose not to. as i reflect on this past week i think it has been one that God has been quietly whispering my name. these past 3 months have been God shouting loud and clear and maybe i have grown complacent in his obvious presence. this week, a lot of other things have been shouting and i fear drowning out the voice of Him who has delivered me to this place, the very place i begged him to be.
our little girl has been with us for a week, in our home. almost three weeks in our family. the days have been good, great, horrible, and somewhere in between. we have run the gammet. but no matter where we are - for life is sure to bring us to depths deeper and broader than those of the past few days - i want to remember the God who orchestrates it all and his precious prodding, calling me to himself.
maybe i will do better this week.
i wish i could know what is going through lydia's head. here i sit in her room, working on the computer, while she toddles off to dreamland. if i try and leave the room, she cries. but she doesn't care if i am in the bed with her or holding her. she just has to be able to see me. so, i figured i would get something done! i like the idea of sticking around my kid's room while they drift off to sleep about as much as i like chinese food. not really how i trained my other kids. but i know it is right for her. hey, look on the bright side, all by myself in the peace and quiet! maybe we could keep this act up for the next 10 years. it could be my place to work on my book, which i think i need to change the title. i think a better title would be, "What the hell was I thinking? And other questions of motherhood." broad appeal - i am envisioning the oprah show and ellen.
our day was much better today. lydia has actually gotten to be quite sick in the last 36 hours so we made a trip to the doctor. she was wheezing like crazy and had a high fever. so we got some drugs and she is doing much better today. love modern medicine.
micah has begun to act out a little bit. throwing fits and refusing to do things. today we were in line to pick up the older two from vbs and i was holding lydia and he refused to move! as in, refused-to-move!! he plopped himself down in the floor and would not budge. when i tried to put lydia down she screamed so here i was holding her ever so precariously and dragging him by the arm, all while being observed by what felt like the entire congregation. at one point a man behind me said, "oh, are you ashleigh sanzone?" well, yes, i am. in all of my glory. or maybe i should have claimed a second identity at that point. i only wish, or maybe i don't, that i could know what he was thinking! i finally asked a friend of mine to pick micah up and bring him to me - by that time i had moved down the line quite a bit - which she did, as micah stayed hunched is his little ball even in mid-air. i think i might try the stroller tomorrow for one of them. 'tis a learning curve this sort-of-twins thing. but micah and i did have a special date this afternoon. we took anna claire to gymnastics and then we hit the grocery store for some hershey's syrup to make chocolate milk. just us, and i carried him the whole time. he was thrilled.
i realized something scary today. yesterday in my psychotic state it never crossed mind to call on jesus. wow. how could i have allowed myself to be so far gone and forget the place of my ultimate strength? i don't know the answer to that question. i have pondered it all day. i don't like it though. i know i can't do this thing on my own. funny how it is so easy to forget who got me to this place - you'd think i would remember and be telling him he better get me through it!
well, the girls are both asleep now. thank heaven for anna claire who goes to sleep in about 1 minute and could sleep through a tornado. at thank heavens for lydia who doesn't seem to care about ac's snoring! one more day gone by and one more day towards being a little more settled. for this, we have jesus!
i have always said i wanted to write a book. and i think i have finally figured out the title..."everything you need to know about motherhood that no one ever tells you" and then i am going to proceed to tell the real story, the one that no one talks about but everyone experiences. when was the last time you heard anyone tell a newly pregnant woman how horrible hemmhoroids are??? hmmm...yeah, i didn't think so.
well, that's sort of where we are right now in our house. feeling out the realities of a new child. bringing lydia home has been remarkably similar to bringing a new baby home. she's up at night, she demands attention, we are getting used to another family member, the kids are having to bow to her needs. unlike a new baby, i can't let her scream. i am a big fan of putting my babies in the crib when i am at my wit's end but in this case, i can't do that. if she is wanting me then i have to give myself to her.
so here is today. we skipped swim practice at 7:15. got up and discovered that eric was down for the count, sick and in bed (he was sleeping in another room). okay, that's what i needed. after a morning of vbs, we headed home. oh dear. breakfast dishes were still on the table. by now the cereal had morphed into some sort of alienesque blob. miscellaneous breakfast food is on the counter...all still open of course. a puzzle is strewn about the open section of the house. the playroom is covered, and i do mean covered, with toys. the den is set up as a campout scene with pillows and blankets and stuffed animals all over the place. somehow, it didn't get cleaned up in the 4 hours we were gone! lydia is refusing to be put down, micah is pulling on me and wants to be held, anna claire is wanting me to play, and josiah is whining about why daddy isn't awake. eric has not gotten out of the bed and i am feeling the effects of not having been in the bed for a large portion of the night. OH MY GOSH!
you know what was going through my head, let's just get it out there..."WHAT THE HELL WERE WE THINKING??????" (hopefully my mother nor my pastor will read this
!) yep, that's where i've been this afternoon. i couldn't take it anymore. all of the emotion of the day and the weeks flooded me and i became this possessed being for about 5 minutes. screaming at the top of my lungs, yelling at the kids. i can't describe how angry and frustrated i was. i wanted my old life back. i thought about calling my mom to come rescue me for an hour but i wasn't sure i wanted her to see me this strung out.
it's not that we weren't prepared for the adoption - i think we read everything and talked about things as much as we possibly could have. but like a new baby, you can't know what it is like until you get there. and we are there. new baby, four kids 5 years apart. the youngest 6 months apart. its a lot. i know that it is what God has for our family - who could doubt that after our journey to get lydia - but it is on the crazier side of crazy right now.
so, when people ask how we are doing (which i get asked at least 47 times a day) i think i will say this. "we are doing well. we haven't killed anyone, buried anyone alive, or even locked them out of the house. we haven't run away or driven aimlessly around the city. we haven't even locked ourselves in the bathroom. no one is starving, everyone is clothed, a roof is over our head. so, all things considered, we are doing very good."
i don't think most people really want to know. it takes all the fun out - the story is too dreamy. really, the fun family comes home with the china doll and everyone lives happily ever after. but for those who do want to know or who will come after me on this journey, there it is. the real, live truth. really, we are doing well.
back in america. what a joy it is! the trip was wonderful in terms of lydia. she slept a large portion of the flight from tokyo to detroit and was entertained pretty much the entire other portion of the trip by play-doh. we couldn't have asked for her to have been any easier.
however, once we landed in norfolk i have never felt so drained in my life. i thought i was going to collapse right in the middle of the airport. i think it was a combination of physical exhaustion (we were on hour 27 with about 2 hours of naps along the way), lack of food (airplane food is a little lacking...especially japanese airline food), and absolutely emotionally wiped. and the anticipation of seeing everyone about put me over the edge. i wasn't sure if i was going to make it! i quite literally could not even hold lydia so thank goodness she was willing to walk. it was a weird feeling to be so weak. i wanted so bad to freshen up and look great - or at least better - for our reunion but it was all i could do to just make it upright. oh well, we just won't frame those pictures!
as for being home, it has been much harder and much easier than i expected. lydia has done amazing. at times i am even a bit worried at how well she has done but i think it is all part of her miracle. she has embraced the kids, runs around the house, lets our parents hold her. lest i paint too pretty of a picture, she does want someone with her all the time. so i can't really do anything unless eric or one of our parents is around to play with her. she will play with the kids to an extent but she seems to want an adult for security.
so that brings me to the hard part. i severely underestimated how physically and emotionally exhausted i would be. in that sense, i feel like i just gave birth. i am wiped. it is all i can do just to make it through the necessary steps of the day. today, the shower was at 6:00 at night. and added in there are so many emotions. for 3 years we have been invested in this little girl and her adoption and now it is over. there is some letdown involved. and now we have this little girl who while she was very much loved in our hearts it is a little bit weird to actually have her. i think it is going to take a while before i feel like she is really ours and is a regular part of the family. right now i sort of feel like i am babysitting. i don't know. i haven't really processed it all and can't put words to a lot of my feelings. and of course, there is the general difficult of adding a child and having 4 little ones to take care of now. suffice it to say it has been a bit hard.
she is sleeping with me in our bed. eric is on the sofa, although i think he may sleep in josiah's room tonight since josiah has taken to sleeping on the floor. she took her nap in her bed today so i think we are almost to the place where she can sleep the night in her bed. i would rather sleep with her than have to get up and tend to her. she has done great - last night was just about 5 minutes of crying and being awake. can't complain about that.
overall, we are doing as good as could be expected. lydia continues to do the miraculous. and we are so thankful for that. and someday, i will come out of the fog of 4 children...i have a year, right?
thank you so much for your prayers. we would appreciate continued prayer for bonding and attachment within our whole family (especially josiah and lydia) and strength to figure this all out. grandma and aunt chrissy leave tomorrow, eric goes back to work on wednesday and i will have the 4 by myself. yikes! when's naptime???
I am signing off.
Thank you so much for your prayers. They mean more to us than we could ever communicate. We can’t wait for you to meet the miracle we have all watched unfold these last few months. She is pretty darn cute!
See you in
** for those of you who have said they want to be at the airport (which I DO NOT expect anyone to make that a priority – except our family!) : ) …kelly rex has all of our flight info and we will be in touch with her if we are delayed at any point in time. We fly from here to
Can’t wait to see you all.
Yep, we’ve hit it. We really want to come home. We are tired of shopping, tired of spending money, tired of eating strange food, tired of living in a hotel room. We are just tired. We can’t wait to get on that plane. It is sort of like labor – by the time you get to the awful part you are so ready to have that baby it doesn’t matter how much it hurts! So it is with us, we are loving the idea of 24 hours of travel if it means we get to see our friends and family and bring
Tonight after dinner we went to starbucks and had a wonderful piece of blueberry cheesecake. It was a piece of heaven. Anything that tasted remotely American was what both of us wanted and it fit the bill! Sitting in starbucks you would never know you were in china – it looks exactly like it does in the states. Amazing corporate marketing!
We did nothing today. Eric played with
We kept her up today and didn’t give her a nap to see if she would go to sleep early. A practice round for tomorrow when we need to go to bed early for a 4:30a.m. wake-up call. She was great and laid down with eric around 7:30 and I think it may have taken her 2 minutes to fall asleep, maybe. It could have been more like 1. amazing. I wish I could go to dreamland that quickly! Like I said, she has been much better today – no tantrums!!!
Tomorrow is the consulate appointment to get
I would ask for your prayers. Eric and I are both at the end of our ropes. We are tired – physically and emotionally. Please pray that God would give us an extra measure of patience and ability to push through. He is by far the better handler of it all – today I was way grumpy and tend to take it out on him. I had to say I was sorry and ask for his forgiveness. He has been the most amazing husband and father you could ever imagine. But we are all ready to go. Pray for us if you think of it. We want to arrive home a happy and loving family, albeit tired.
36 more hours!
**this picture is just one of the reasons why I am really excited about seeing American soil! In case you can’t tell…snakes…your choice of dinner entrée.
And one more fun fact, tonight when one of the shopkeepers we have been dealing with saw eric coming he ran inside and hid! Eric has quite the reputation of bargaining on this little island!!! We are on night 4 of trying to get some Christmas presents at a certain price. I don’t know if we will come home with them or not! I think I might have to remind him that we can’t ask for a lower price at Home Depot. He has way too much fun haggling with these people!
There is a contemporary cultural phenomenon in china these days. It is called the ‘little emperor syndrome’ and comes as a result of millions of little boys being the only child in their families and oftentimes the only grandchild. Spoiled, bratty, lazy little boys…emperors in the making. I am pretty sure that we have the little emperess. Spoiled, bratty, lazy little girl…an emperess in the making. This kid is amazing! This morning she dropped her doll dress on the ground and she refused to pick it up! She sat there reaching down, never bending her knees, screeching and looking at me to retrieve her fallen wares. Someone even asked if she had something wrong with her legs because she wouldn’t bend them! NO! she is just a spoiled little brat. Seriously, she is not that far above the ground – about 2 ½ feet to be exact – you would think she could make it down there to pick up her beloved dress. Nope, not a chance. Since the bus was leaving I was somewhat forced into getting it for her but my nerve count took a tumble. She better hope that I get some nerves before Friday! If she doesn’t want to walk, she sits down. If she doesn’t want to get out of the stroller, she glues her arms to her side so you can’t pick her up. if she wants to be carried she holds her legs up and refuses to stand – some serious abs this girl has…somewhere underneath the chunk-o-lunk. I really have never seen anything like it. This afternoon she was going potty before naptime. And since her favorite activity in all of the world is taking a bath she thought it would be a good time. she kicked her shorts and underwear off, stood on the floor and refused to lift her feet up so that I could put them back on. When I forced her feet to go in her underwear, she stomped them until she was so off balance she fell on her head. That was the last straw…the mighty hand that has administered 100’s of pops and is prepared for 100’s more made a swift move to the leg and she was officially indoctrinated into the Sanzone family. Enough already kid. …It is a good thing she is so cute.
So today was a banner day, the day of dethroning. The day the discipline began. The day our little emperess became just a regular old American kid.
Things are winding up here. 14 of the families in our group leave tomorrow – 7 of us on Friday. We took a short trip to a museum and the botanical gardens this morning. Experimented with Benadryl this afternoon – which resulted in a rather lengthy nap – and worked on what I hope to be an amazing shutterfly picture book capturing our memories. We did get all 4 kids something super cool – handmade just for them – but alas, I cannot write it here because my sweet Josiah can read! Sorry buddy! You all will have to wait and see.
It is a weird feeling knowing that we are leaving
Currently, our little emperess is laying nicely in bed jabbering away in Chinese. I think the 3 hour nap might be one reason why she is still awake at 10:45! But…we have made progress as she is not screaming but merrily chatting to her animals. She is a trip, this kid. I am so thankful for her. She is our little miracle. Even her little emperess status is a miracle – loved and cared for so obviously before she came to us.
We are on the countdown! Tomorrow is the consulate visit to get her visa, Thursday we take the oath, and Friday we are coming home! I want brownies and a strawberry light smoothie!
Or at least a smart man, I could be a rich man! We went to the pearl market today and boy, I had no idea how many different kinds of pearls there were! It was astounding. You could pick from thousands and millions of pearls and make whatever you wanted to. Big ones, little ones, white ones, gray ones, perfect ones, imperfect ones, pink ones, yellow ones. A little overwhelming, but I knew what I wanted which was super basic. Each strand ran anywhere from $15 to $75. One lady in our group said that last time she was in china about 9 years ago she bought a necklace for $50 and went home and had it appraised for $1200! Man, we could finance our whole adoption at the pearl market! Of course, that would require me knowing something about pearls, which I don’t. Maybe next time. I bought myself a necklace and then we bought two for
After the pearl market Eric and I decided to leave the group and go explore
I still can’t get over how many people there are. It is amazing. It is like
We did some more shopping tonight. I didn’t think that was possible but now we have moved into the realm of Christmas presents. Hey, what’s a person to do when they have 15 days on a little island filled with nothing but shops! So if you are on my Christmas list you can pretty much count on getting something from
Coming home is getting to be a real thought in my head. I started packing today. Not because I needed to, it just made me feel better. We are getting all our laundry done before we leave! Now that is a perk of china. We found this great little store that does our laundry dirt cheap and it comes back smelling great, folded, and vacuum sealed in plastic bags. In some ways I can’t wait to get home and in other ways I am scared to death.
We can’t wait to see you all soon.
In case I was thinking otherwise,
Later in the day, after a pretty tasty spaghetti lunch at the local Italian restaurant (complete with an old Italian man yelling about how to make the pizza) we headed to a museum in the city. It housed a mausoleum of a 2000 year old king. It was unearthed about 15 years ago when the Marriott began to build a hotel and found it. It was pretty amazing to walk around in the tomb and see the artifacts. 2000 years old! It is almost unfathomable to me to be able to look at something that old. To the Chinese it is hardly impressive. They have so many cultural artifacts and their country’s history goes back for so many 1000’s of years, it is barely worth noting. I am not the biggest fan of museums but I was glad we went. Another part of
While we were there one of the museum people (I can’t remember what you call them) started to talk to our guide. I could tell that she was talking about
5 more days. I am ready. And tonight, I am very ready. We had dinner tonight with our whole group, which is almost 60 of us including 20 kids. Not really something this introvert enjoys. Our table consisted of 3 screaming babies, 2 elementary aged boys (travelling with their parents) who were constantly being chastised by their mother, and 1 father that I am fairly sure has never travelled outside of
Tomorrow we are going to the pearl market. I hear we can get some beautiful things. I would love to get
Well folks, I am going to sign off for the bathroom and then hopefully to watch the
There is nothing like being immersed in another culture to make you thankful to be an American. Today was one of those days that I will never forget, both for what it was and what it wasn’t. We visited the orphanage – just getting there was a site in and of itself. There is no city in
So after navigating this unending city we reached the suburbs and the orphanage where
We then went to her place of abandonment. All I could think about when we were walking to the intersection of roads was the miracle that I was holding. To think that a 3 month old baby was left on the sidewalk in the middle of
As we celebrate July 4th here on the other side of the world I am quieted by God’s great gift to us in the form of
Today was the zoo. Let’s just say it was a memory. It did have some great animals but most were looking fairly scrawny. However, the rhinos were not looking so scrawny – they were huge – and they were 3 feet away from us! All that was between us and mama rhino was this little wall which Eric said they could not jump over but I am not so sure. A little frightening if you ask me. We saw the panda and the Chinese golden monkey and an 8 year old girl pulling her undies down to pee on the sidewalk. Just another day in
We headed back to the hotel and had Papa Johns for lunch. It doesn’t taste exactly the same but it is close. Then
She continues to do great. We just keep counting our blessings. I started thinking today that maybe she was doing too good. That she wasn’t grieving which would be an indicator of a lack of attachment. But then I just have to go back to the miracle that she is and what God has done to get us this far. I think it is all part of the miracle and I have to rest in that. You could make yourself crazy with all of the what if’s of adoption so I keep going back to the source of this whole crazy journey and counting on Him to make things right. It is interesting to discover little things about her each day. We have come to the conclusion that she has probably always been fed, which would theoretically indicate a very attentive environment that she was in. At mealtime she always waits for us to feed her. The most we have gotten her to do is eat some Teddy Grahams from a bowl. And she will hold a piece of an apple and bite on it. But other than that she wants us to feed her. And when we were at the restaurant tonight we gave her some chopsticks and she had no idea what to do with them. The other thing we have discovered is that she loves to be carried. She hardly ever wants to walk. I am not sure if that is because she is wanting to be close to us or just because that is who she is. It is possible that she is used to being carried everywhere – she is definitely delayed in the walking department. I would say she walks more like an 18 month old than a 2 ½ year old. She has the skill down, just not very fast on her feet. And if she is sitting in the room and wants to get to us she just holds her hands up; we have to coax her to actually get up and walk – which sometimes she does and sometimes she will pout until we pick her up. It will be interesting to see what she does when she is in a house full of kids running around. My guess is she will catch right up with them pretty quick! Last night we gave her a little phone the kids had picked out for her and she was babbling away in Chinese. It was so cute – I think Eric got some of it on video. And then in the bathtub (which she loves) she was playing with the little toys and talking away in Chinese. She clearly is talking in a little kid sort of voice but it is Chinese so the combination of the two is so cute. I hope we can capture it just a little bit at some point.
Tomorrow we are going to visit the orphanage that she was in. She was there for about a year before going to the foster family and then for 3 weeks before coming to us. It will be good for us to see her environment so we can tell her about it when she is older. I don’t know that we are allowed to take pictures – the Chinese government is very particular about documenting the orphanages. Nevertheless I think anything we can garner about her past will be helpful. And we hope to be able to go see the place where she was abandoned. We have the address of an intersection in the city so maybe we can go take pictures of that. Eric is hoping we get McDonalds for lunch – It’s been a long time since we were cheering for McDonald’s food!
I’ll leave you with a quote from Eric…”This weather has to be a result of the fall.” 100 degrees today with 90% humidity. Outside, doing nothing but standing, and quite literally dripping with sweat. It has been a long time since I have been this sticky and hot, definitely brings me back to my days in the
Happy 4th – and thanking God extra much for our country,
Our adoption is now official! We visited the doctor’s office today for a physical (which I’m not sure what they were looking for but it appeared that everyone would pass unless they were getting ready to enter into the after-life within 2 minutes) and then the police station for something or other. I can’t keep up with what all we are doing. Thankfully we have a fantastic guide who stays with us all the time and does all of the business stuff. He is a ton of fun and knows what he is doing, and is wonderful with the kids.
Tomorrow we are off to the zoo. It is hard to believe we are still going to be here for another week. At least tonight we finally found a restaurant that had some good food. There are several Western style restaurants here but nothing tastes quite right. But tonight our guide took us to a Chinese restaurant that was amazing. I felt like I was right in the middle of P.F. Changs. (With a quarter of the bill!)
I can’t wait for all of you to meet
It all seems so normal. In some ways it is hard to believe she is with us and in other ways it seems like she has been with us forever. God has been very good to give us such an incredible gift.
Counting the days,
i don't know that i have ever been witness to a miracle as quite as big as
and then there is her heart. she is bigger than life with a smile and a twinkle in her eye that would melt ice. normally, i might even be a bit apprehensive at how well she has transitioned to us, but in my heart i think it is all part of the miracle. she was made for us and we for her. she has had a couple of crying spells - one when she woke up this morning and one later this afternoon - but even in the midst of those she snuggles into my arms and closes her eyes and cries. its as if she is saying, "i'm sad. i miss all that i know. but more than anything, i know i am safe and you are the one i love." and they pass, relatively quickly, and we are on to giggles and dolls and blocks and coloring. just like any other two year old little girl. she loves eric and i equally, is quick to let either of us care for her. she is perfect. i almost feel guilty at how perfect she is. i look around at the 50 or so families who are also here adopting and granted, i am a bit biases, but no little child even comes close to precious
we have enjoyed today. a bit more paperwork (we had to promise not to torture or abandon her!) a great nap and some shopping tonight. eric is a viscious bargainer. pops, you would be proud.
we miss all of you. and i will be so glad to set foot on american soil. but for now, i will embrace the beauty of china and all that it has to offer. thank you so much for your prayers and notes of encouragement!
lots of love,
**today when we stepped outside there was a "condensation alert" on our video camera...just a wee bit humid!!! definitely reminiscent of my days in the