Saturday, November 7, 2009

Guangzhou Dinner

Last night we went to Lucy's restaurant and we had AMERICAN food, I got a cheesburger and fries but I washed it down with Tsing Tau beer so there was a bit of Asian flair to it all..

We walked around the city for a bit to, it's awesome here! 

Well, short post we are off to breakfast...

Take a live angry squid to the Dr. Office.

Ok, so everybody has been telling us how happy they are that we blog this stuff so you can feel like you are a part of this journey.

Today we had to bring Faith to the Clinic thingy in Guangzhou so I want to make this an interactive thing for everyone today who really wants to feel our experience full on.  Here's what you do:
1) Get a large 50 pound alive squid.
2) Take it to an office, it can be any office you want doesn't matter.
3) Sit with it for 2 hours and try to keep it calm.
4) Now get the squid ticked off.  Very ticked off.  For Faith it was 5 shots and seeing toys that didn't look clean enough to play with.  Perhaps for the squid you could show it a fish (do squid eat fish)?  Any way it helps if the squid is hungry and you show it the fish, but don't let the squid get the fish.  Is it really really agitated now?  It has to be squirming like crazy, not just mildly agitated.  When it is really angry proceed to step 5, if not go back to the beginning of this step.
5) Ok, good, if you are here at step 5 you have one ticked of squirmy squid.  Now sit with it for another half hour to 45 minutes and carry it around the streets for a good 15 minute walk.

If you have completed this you are now really a part of our journey.  Of course Faith smells way better than a squid and is also very much cuter than any squid I've ever come across, this is more for the physical experience of what we had to deal with.

Crazy day...

We arrived in Guangzhou last night , after a very long day!   We had to hang around first until 2 for our driver, he first brought us to the Notary office, where we had to painstakingly go  over every WORD of the documents they gave us.. ONE mistake and we'd have to travel back to Wuhan (yuck!) to fix them.  We found them happily in perfect order, then next back to the Adoption Center (aka registration dept) for her passport.  The OFFICE was locked!! We could see our papers, but NO worker, after 10 or so minutes of panic (which in that state feels like 100 hours), we found a woman who opened it, gave us a cool Adoption Certificate (like when you get a new cabbage patch), a document thanking us for the Orphanage donation (Kevin is going to put that up on our website when we get home and can scan it -- it really belongs not just to us, but all of those who generously supported us making that donation!!), and her passport.  I was busy trying to keep an eye on her, because there were toys there, and riding toys to boot that she REALLY likes!!  Kevin and the guide took everything, we weren't asked to check papers over, just accept them... ANOTHER LESSON learned in the land of Adoption... unfortunately after in Guangzhou we discovered that her Passport has the wrong birthdate, the transposed 10 to 01...

YEAH NOT good!!  I brough it toour guides attention immediately this morning, and are just praying it will be back fixed from Wuhan before we leave on Friday!!  Here again is where we feel God has already laid the perfect plan for us... as some of you know, we have to stay 2 1/2 days LONGER than most adoption trips due to the Veterans day holiday.  This is a huge blessing , because that gives us the extra days to get this problem fixed and STILL GET us out of the country with the rest of our group!  Though they have threatened NOT TO board without us :)))   Our guide seems a wreck about it, but I am confident that its a minor issue, and that they will have it fixed quickly.  The most important thing is its not a document that requires TRAVEL back to that Smog-forsaken place to get a new one!! YEAH!!

Oh DID I mention that after running around the city, this time at least in a van (a bit more secure than teeeny tiny taxis), we were shuttled to the airport at 4:30 for a 8:30 flight!!  We could have stopped to grab a pizza if we wanted... um the last pizza menu I saw had prawns on it and another eel.. so um we passed!!   We inquired about an earlier flight, and were told there was room but that they couldnt do anything, we'd have to take care of it when we arrived at the airport, by time we got there no seats were left. Soooo , we buckled down for a LONG wait!!  Again, God's plans are perfect, we were meant to stay, because the time gave kevin and I an opportunity to share our experience so far, to discuss our feelings good, bad and otherwise about our new roles , our new daughter, and our plans for helping her transition in a positive , yet unspoiled way :)))   We had made the mistake that morning of offering a decade of the rosary for patience  -- you pray for it, seems you are always given an opportunity to practice it !!   Faith was good, very overwhelmed by the airport, the people, clung to daddy, very hard on him, poor guy was exhausted but I was glad to see her comforted.

We arrived at 10:00 p.m. ,  and were JAMMED INTO A bus... a stinky, people filled bus from the tarmac to the terminal (another FUN experience, but again God is merciful and provided us a seat for the journey).  Happily our LUGGAGE was there, huge fear we have at every bag carousel !!   We met our guide right away, with relief we'd soon be in a nice cozy bed .. um yeah, not so fast.. first issue, we had to wait for another family , who's flight just HAPPENED TO be delayed, fantastic.. and then well once we did get to the hotel the bed was something close to concrete.  We'll be booking my chiropractor appt. my first day back!!!

Today , we were up NICE and early again, first because of worry over the passport (I wanted to email our adoption agency) , and two because we were starving!!  Its not like you can do a McD's drive-thru on your way home from places!!  IT WAS so amazing seeing all our friends again, and their gorgeous babies, WE all cried!!  so funny how people bond in similiar and extreme circumstances, it was like we've been close friends our entire lives! One family is even calling us Auntie Allison, and Uncle Kevin to their daughter which absolutely warmed our hearts.  Oh and she came right to me lol so that was a refreshing way to start our day!!

We saw the doctor traveling with the group - from CAWLI today.  He is fantastic, so kind and reassuring.  We discussed the bonding, and he said it was VERY normal for children at 3 to latch onto one parent at a time, and that when we get home things will equalize.  It is what we believed in our hearts, and I continue to work at building her trust, yesterday I dubbed it smile at Faith day - through everything I did, I just smiled big smiles at her.  We know how much I LOVE to smile!!! (not lol, but it definitely seemed to be a good course of action, today again we are seeing more and more warming to me... hmmm, I just re-read that sentence, I'm starting to talk with a Chinese accent).  Anyway, she is healthy, very smart, funny and the doctor feels her muscle weaknesses and such will all work themselves out as she gets better nutrition and exercise. 

I'll leave it to Kevin to blog his experiences at the Physcial Examination office -- He deserves a GOLD MEDAL for his patience today!!  gosh golly I love this guy!!

Friday, November 6, 2009


Finally the last leg of the Journey is here!  We are at the White Swan hotel in Guanzhou.  It's a far cry from the Marco Polo in Wuhan but it will do!  The bed was like sleeping on a king size piece of plywood!  Kind of tired but the hot shower felt great!

Faith didn't mind the plane ride at all.  Kind of like takeoff and landing.  Only three more takeoffs and landings till Boston MA!!!  Today we go see the Dr. and maybe Faith gets some vaccinations (hope not).

Ian and Adam seem to be doing great back at home, that's awesome - thanks to all of you who have been taking care of them while we are gone, it helps put our minds at ease knowing they are in such capable hands.

I'm sure Allison will be blogging today as well so I'll end here.

Peace and Love to all back home!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Profound Enlightment today

Good Friday morning all  - you haven't even completed your thursday evening yet, and we have embarked on another day here in Wuhan. Faith was up early, and is a little out of sorts today , very clingy to Kevin, and everything that has worked for me yesterday to grow closer is not working today.  She does still allow me to care take, loves my chapstick and even kisses me after I put it on her.  After a difficult bath and dressing time, I recessed by myself to the shower.  As I always do, I took that time to turn to God in prayer for some good quality chat time... What He spoke to my heart was so profound, I had to share.

I was struck by an analogy between my relationship with God , and my budding relationship with FengHua.  How many times i thought did He reach out to me, and all I gave him in response was a polite nod - as I'd choose to attend church for holy days, or even when I decided to go each week.   It wasn't a commitment , just a nod that He was there, that he created me, and provides for me, but that I didn't want any more from Him than that.  Oh but if I DID need something, I knew he was there for me.  IF any problem arose, or a need was being filled, I knew I could go to him and ask, and most times I'd receive.

 It is here that I thought of Faith, I could just accept that she allows me to care take for her, I could say, well that is the relationship we are going to have.  She will know I care, and that if she needs anything I am here.  We could smile politely at each other, acknowledging that we live in the same house, that she is somewhat dependent on me for food, clothes, education, toys, but we'd stay at arms length.  Protecting our hearts, or my heart from any pain future rejection would cause me.  but I can't ... its not in my nature, I desire more, I desire a closer bond, I desire that we share real LOVE between each other - beyond needs, wants and cares.

That is when I realized so deeply that is exactly HOW God feels, He accepts the surface relationships, and is happy for them. But he DESIRES so much more, and he never gives up.  He arrives day after day, offering to carry our burdens, meet our needs, help us out, provide us guidance, and most of all give us unconditional love.  Unconditional... without condition.  Was I willing to do that, to give love over and over, until Faith in her own time is ready to return that, like God had done for me for 34 or so years.  Come without condition, waiting on my returning that love, on my embracing Him for the Father and King of my heart that he is.

As it is not his nature to accept no less than LOVE, made in His image, it is not mine either ... IN through HIS Grace (that freely given, undeserved gift that helps us be more godly in our behavior) , I will wait, just as he waits.  With patience, and perservance - never expecting, always hoping ...  Where does my help come from, MY HELP comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and Earth (Casting Crowns lyrics).  I hope all day and night in the LORD (Psalms)  -- because if HE had given up on me, when i rejected Him day after day for 30+ plus years where would I BE right now?? Not in China, not in an amazing marriage with 3 beautiful children, not confident and at peace in my circumstances, which as a human are never easy. 

One final thought, I have often read about the growing of your faith as trips to Mountain tops and Valleys.  On the Mountain top all is amazing- we are on top of the World!! But what grows up there??  A few weeds, nothing with real roots.  No, in order for real growth to happen, you need to return to the valley.  There, although pain is there, and discomfort, and things we'd rather AVOID happening in our lives, the soil is rich, and growth can be lush - deep roots, making for strong plants (strong faith).  During the last few days I've been up and down that mountain a million times --  no wonder I'm so tired!!  I am grateful for the fruit though :)))

Growing closer together

What I have to say I love about building bonds, is that it is such a family effort.  I have loved seeing Kevin in this new role of Fatherhood.  With the boys he is their playmate, and often their ringleader lol, which is wonderful but this is different, he needs to be the 'heavy' so to speak with her as to not endanger our bonding process.  She responds so well to his direction and guidance, still loving him to pieces when he has to tell her no (as in when she wants the camera, or is trying to whack us with a toy -- this is how she plays - big SMILE ON her face, would have loved to see this in action with all the other kids in the foster home.. may explain the plethora of scares she has!!)  He is so sweet and gentle, reaching out to hold my hand when she refuses, to hug and kiss me when she pulls away, and to include me when she wants to leave me out.  He thinks of it all before I do, and wants to much to see us forge a bond.  Now I know why we've lasted 25 years together -- cuz he's just awesome!  And I'm the luckiest chick in the universe (oh yeah and he's the cutest thing too!!)  *no kevin did not write this lol

Yesterday was a really great day - better than what I anticipated when I woke at 4 a.m. knowing we had a fill a whole day so that it wouldn't drag on and on!!  We had that wonderful bath in the morning, then breakfast - she eats pancakes and fruit, and barely can see over the table (no booster seats here) and she's attempting a fork- but was elated when we showed her it was ok to us her fingers lol!!  Then we took a walk to a shopping area (pictures are up on picassa)... that was an experience, was good to see her city better.  Was strange the things you don't see in Wuhan... African Americans, pregnant women, Caucasians (we literally saw NONE on our walk today), closed doors on shops and stores, airplanes in the sky (could be the smog).  What you do see in Wuhan... kids being held by their moms off the sides of benches split pants wide open peeing on the sidewalk, men pushes LARGE wooden carts on the sidewalk, next to Mercedes parked on the sidewalk - oh and you see CARS DRIVING on sidewalks!

Next we came back for a light snack, and FengHua took a nearly 3 hour nap -- we made sure she had on a pull up this time!!  **In case neither of us mentioned she peed the bed the day before during her nap.. opps!   After the nap, more snack (no wonder I'm not losing the weight I had anticipated over here!!) ... her Foster mother sent her with yummy chinese snacks that have been a godsend in keeping her happy. We got her milk from walmart on our first day ... its in little juice-type containers perfect size for her and NO refridgeration required!!   Then over to the park again across the street.  The last time we went, she held my hand the whole time,usually if Kevin puts her hand in mine she will hold it.  But after our trek in the city where she was held by Kevin the whole time, she was not giving in this time.  She stomps her little foot, puts her hand behind her back, and tries to get Kevin to pick her up.  We were steadfast in not giving in to having Kevin pick her up.  I just felt in my heart that if we did, it would be a big blow to our bonding.  We compromised, she had to walk but just holding daddy's hand, I held daddy's hand too... it made us actually laugh to see her look at me with a little scrunched up face as to say, hmmm thats not what was suppose to happen lol.  Eventually I had a brainstorm to put her on my shoulders, without making eye contact, I had Kevin lift her up there  - there is one picture of her initial reaction (crying), but she calmed right down, I think she liked being eye level wiht Daddy. I kept her up there for a good mile or so - there is another picture of Mommy's small victory (not crying) just a few moments later!! 

When we got back, we had dinner, she had penne and butter (I wanted to be sure she was ready for mom's gourmet cooking when we got home lol).  After dinner, I went to toilet her, and change her into PJs, since she was already 1/2 undressed after going pee, I thought we'd just get on jammies in the bathroom.  She lifted her arms for her shirt, and went RIGHT back to the tub!! YEAH... another bonding bath.  This one was an hour long, and since they are silent, its very peaceful ... I just prayed the Hail Mary over and over in my head, as we played.  I had a cup and I would just run the water softly over her hands and toes, she LOVED that, lifting one foot then the other, even spreading apart her toes to get the water in between.

Then at the end of the day, the 3 of us cuddled in bed,we said our rosary, with the beads dangling over her head, she clutched the crucifix examining it closely.  The pointed it to me, and I kissed it, then daddy, who did the same, we repeated this game for a while, and then she too kissed it, followed right by an attempt to bite it lol. It was a funny moment, which turned into a night of giggles,and games and getting her very riled up before bed lol. This time it was ME doing it, and Kevin saying, Honey, she won't go to sleep, don't you think you should stop that now.  NAH... it was way too much fun, maybe I'll be more sympathetic to him next time he's wrestling with boys at bedtime!


Wouldn't it be awesome if all orphans came with KidFax, you know like CarFax... you could get information like, was this kid ever in an accident.  Have they been mistreated, and/or taken in for lots of service.  Have they had all there tune ups (visit doctor regularly), and are they filled with the proper oils, fluids, etc (vaccinations).  How many miles do they have on them (aka when is there REAL birthday)?    Do they leak?  [Ours does lol - she's peed and puked - 2x - on me already :)  ]

Just a random thought for you to wake up to!!

Sweating in Wuhan!

Ok, as always, link to the new pictures first.

This morning we took it easy, Allison took a bath with Faith - read her blog after this one if you haven't yet, it's way more well written and emotional and all that girly stuff than I could ever try to be....after breakfast we went for a walk to this cool area where there are shops and no motor vehicles at all allowed.  See pictures for a visual, since a picture paints a thousands words I'll say no more.

I'll tell ya, for a city lovingly nickna med the Furnace City (one of four in China and from what I hear the worst one) the AC in the hotel isn't so great!  It's flipping hot in here and I'm not great at Celcius but I figure if I put it as low as it goes I should be cold.  No such luck.

I think I need to change Faith's nickname from "Little One" to "Little Velcro One".  I should have gotten a stroller when I went to WalMart in Wuhan!  For a little one she gets heavy!  People who have been to China (Heather) told me I'd be stared at.  They were correct!  We got a lot of stares today on the walk.  A few folks tried to talk to us, that didn't go so well today as it did yesterday.  Oh well, a few smiles, a bow and all is good and we are on our way.

We also got to see split pants in use again today as a boy was using them today in the area with the shops (not sure what else to call it!).  If you look through the photos from above note the one of the big red building - China Citic Bank - that's where I had a bank account with 4,000 US in it for about 10 minutes, and I didn't even get a free toaster!

Ok, my arms are tired from carrying Faith so much today, hope she walks this afternoon!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Babystep Blessings

This morning I awoke very anxious, unsure, and tired.  Though for the first time since departing a week ago, I slept for almost 8 hours - straight!  Yesterday was a very difficult day for me emotionally, Faith, as is very normal for an adopted child, has selected a parent to reject, that would be me.  I am grateful its sporadic, and she does allow me to fill her every care need, which will continue to build our bond over time.  I truly felt like yesterday for her was the day of reckoning, of realizing this is not a temporary thing - vacation is over, who are these people and why aren't they bringing me home.  Everytime I look in her eyes, my heart aches for her to know the truth of what is happening... so I pray, because only He can sing that song to her heart -- and I KNOW He will.  He has obviously already done that by her comfort and ease with Kevin. 

Though as much as I long for her to cling, he is worn out at the end of the day by her -- neither bad, nor a complaint, just how this is, and how the extremes will begin to fade as life returns to a normal pace for us all.  We are just at the gateway, its only been 3 days though it feels like 100 -- mostly due to our previous sleep of 2 or 3 hours at a time, making a normal day nearly 20 hours long!!  Being alone in the province of Hubei, separated from the rest of the group was creating feelings of isolation -- living in this vacuum was magnifying every feeling and emotion.  All normal and part of the process, but no easier when you are in the middle of it.

Last night, we lay down at 8:30, and prayed the rosary as a family -- I signed a few Our Father's and Hail Mary's , when her gaze fell onto the crucifix dangling from Daddy's rosary - I stopped, and let Him teach her prayers with words I'll never know this side of Heaven.  We prayed for our health, for our safety, for strength and wisdom, we prayed for healing on this poor child who's life is a mystery to us but obviously included trauma and loss.  We praised for the opportunity to be worker's in his vineyard, and for the amazing Love God must have for us to use our own DREAMS of having a daughter (and even knowing from a very young age, that my daughter would be deaf) to do His Will.  We are so loved by our Heavenly Father -- struggles will abound in minute amounts, but LOVE will abound beyond measure!

This morning, as anxiety crept back into my heart, I feel to my knees, feeling even closer to Heaven aside the window of the 24th floor.  I prayed for strength, for peace in my circumstance, and that His Will be done in all things -- I invoked the Holy Spirit, and prayed for intercessions.  Prayer carries power far larger than any fear.  And so our day began ...

Faith does not like transitions AT ALL, and so wakes every morning crying.  We decided that after last night [I had taken a bath with her, she went rather begrudgingly,, and cried through most of it, but there were moments of calm, and when i let her go, she'd scoot back against me as a sign that although she was so unsure, she was still willing to try with me.  I gave her a little back rub as I washed her back, she loved the massage, and so I rubbed her little legs absent of any muscle, and her adorable big feet lol ... and we cried together, and prayed a lot], that we'd give bonding a little break - and focus on my fulfilling only care needs today, and not push an emotional bond. I wanted to give her a chance to process, and open on her own. 

As she sat cuddling with Daddy in the chair, I decided to shower ... I left the room, and she came waddling after me.  She went right to the tub, and looked me, and pointed inside.  She was confused, and so cried, and waddled back to daddy, but then came back... I started to run the water, and she put her hands up to have her jammies removed.  My heart leapt, could she really be seeking a bonding experience with me - on her own.  Please Lord I prayed, guide my every move.  We got in and she backed right up against me, a wimper here and there, but she wanted to be there.  I repeated last night's routine of backrub and backwash  -- she nearly feel asleep!! she Was so calm and relaxed, no more crying, wimpering.  Kevin was in the room this time, but she didn't reach for him, or try to escape, she just laid against me, as I rubbed those skinny legs and long toes.  and yes, we cried again, but this time it was just the 2 big ones, the little one was just soaking up the tub and the love!

What an amazing moment, a turning point -- not the end,nope not even close, but a beginning. She now kisses me whenever I pucker up to her, she has reduced significantly the turned up faces of disgust she was giving me when I approach, and is still allowing me to care for her every physical need.  My heart overflows at how one can love someone so much that you just met 3 days ago, did not given birth too , and know so little about... It reminded me so much of the relationship between us and God -- except he knows everything about us!!  To be adopted into the family of God, means to be loved by Him the same way He loves Jesus... there is no difference in His eyes, just as I love Faith, with the same fervor I love Adam and Ian -- for we are adopted into the Kingdom of God and loved with an everlasting love -- IF this were not true, I would not be here, and Faith FengHua would never have become my daughter - my flesh and blood.  Amen, again I say, Amen! 


Just waking up on Thursday, we'll see what today brings, she has allowed me to give her milk  and touch her leg (without waving me off, or making this big scrunchy face she gives me when she wants me gone lol), and she is smiling slightly at me, so baby steps!! She is very much like her Momma NOT  a morning person, so to be so warm to me so early is a great sign!  Two more days here and we get to join the rest of our group, we LONG for that day.. a few extra prayers for us today, would be greatly appreciated!! this is our HUMP day ... 1/2 way there but so ready to be done!  Tomorrow will be very busy with gather paperwork, and going to the airport, it will fly but today is our last isolated empty day. We are going to venture out for a nice long walk to this little outside village in Wuhan, get a taste of her culture... we've had enough of the 'taste' of the air here - SMOG (remember the first day of the Beijing olympics! If you watched the coverage you know what I"M talking about lol my lungs are screaming for mercy).   We had a long day yesterday with many trials and tribulations  -- but also TRIUMPHS!   This is far harder than either of us ever imagined, but I think that is good that we didn't come with any knowledge of what to expect - we are just taking it moment by moment, prayerfully encountering all that this adventure holds.  We just had a little impromptu game of roll the car back and forth - that was fun!!   Ok off to shower, and begin our day -- thank you again for all your words of encouragement and prayers - we'd be lost without them!!!

More Photos

We went to the waterfront park this morning - 11/5 and had a nice long walk with Faith.  Photos are above...she just woke up so I'm off!  Had a bit of an accident during nap time today, need new sheets I suppose!

See ya in a bit!

Split pants

Faith is completely potty trained (YES God's plans are truly good!) ... though what she is having to learn is how to use a western style toilet.  Here in China they have what I refer to as 'Squat Pots' its probably their official name lol but to me it just is the best description of these strange things!  They are porcelain bowls in the floor of the stall, with 2 ridged landings for your feet, and yep you guessed it , you just SQUAT over it and do you business!!  Attempting here to not cross the TMI line -- I have to say, most woman squat anyway, and I have to say not having a big cumbersome toilet in the way was kind of refreshing -- course I was only doing #1, I will explode before trying the other ... ok enough of that as that line may be blurring here!!

You rarely (ok pretty much never) find toilet paper - its a bring your own system (at least that's what I'm hoping -- cause the alterative is just icky!!!  I am making an educating inference when our guide handed me a square for FengHua when the orphanage caretaker took her potty at the Adoption Center).  They also don't have SOAP DISPENSERS at their sinks!!  Thank  goodness for hand sanitizer (aka magic soap!!). 

Aside from navigating this big potty, she also now has to learn how to pull down her pants, its not that the caregivers did it for her,there was NO NEED, in China little children wear split pants!!  And Yes that is exactly what it sounds like , there is a rather LARGE split right down the crotch of the pants- no velcro, no button, no zipper ... open, ALWAYS open!! and no wiping (seriously lol).   How does that work in the winter?? Your guess is as good as ours, they had her BUNDLED in 2 layers of pants (so yes now we have 2 pairs of split pants for exhibition!)  Kevin was concerned of their usefulness to say, go sledding!!

She's doing remarkably well with the potty, she hasn't yet learned to tell us when she needs to go , just dutifully holds it until we remember - or she holds on to her bottom when she has to do #2, which is cute -- well its only CUTE THAT its not split pants.  I don't need to be handed any surprises :)))  On that note - I'm off to get lunch!!

Love, Allison (ok how many of you thought it was KEVIN's post!!!)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Focusing on the Positive

First let me say I JUST love when someone catches me on love online and IM me, that is awesome! I have had some of the most amazing talks, and all of them PERFECTLY timed uplifts!!  More signs that God is in control of this journey.

So Today I'm focusing not on the struggles and difficulties but what is going right!! Its all part of the rollercoaster, when I count my blessings, they far outweigh any of the trials we are facing here.   That being said here's what we are Praising God for in thanksgiving for his loving province and protection:
     We are here, safe and sound, we were able to get her early Monday morning with no problems -- and we didn't die in the car rides, we didn’t lose the stupid wad of cash they made us bring, we are veryu healthy and were NOT quarantined (oh there is no spell check on this so bare with me) coming into the country or upon arriving in Wuhan, we are not fighting - as we can be prone to do in HIGH STRESS situations (I guess we are growing up lol), we are really working well as a team. She lets me do just about all her caretaking so I am part of the picture not sitting on the outskits looking but truly serving an important and HUMBLING roll!!  Another upside to her wanting more daddy time -- I get more computer time then Kevin, which everyone who knows my Facebook addiction can appreciate.  Another thing I can not fail to mention and PRAISE God's holy name in is that... She could have rejected us both and be at the hotel door screaming the whole time, bagging and trying to escape, and we could both be staring at each other praying for a way to comfort here. Instead, she is safe and happy with daddy, and that is a miracle, and a blessing! She accepts all my offers for caretaking - food, toileting (OH I need to blog about toileting here its hysterical), doing her hair, giving her baths, and wiping her nose! My prayer was that she would somehow know we were here to care for, protect, and love her.  IT is obvious that she does, through the GRACE of God, know that!!  

More pictures

Ok we got more pictures up finally!  Was a crazy few days there...  You have to figure out what pictures Faith took when she got a hold of the camera and was playing flash in your face with us....  it was fun!

More pictures of Wuhan and the Yangtzee river coming today I hope if we trek over there!

Every hour brings something new

I know I already blogged for today but... so much has happened since that blog, I have to send an addendum!!   Ok, so when I last wrote hubby and daughter were fast asleep  - she was laying on his chest/belly , cuddled up and out cold!! both were snoring, was actually quite cute.  I love that she makes these little noises - squeaks, sighs, and apparently light snoring.  That may be due to this little cold - which GOOD NEWS, no fever since this morning, no meds since 7 a..m.!!  Yeah!! 

So when she woke up, I tried to join the waking party - oh and that's when things fell apart -- but happily only temporarily it was the valley that has brought us to this next mountaintop!  This is such a rollercoaster - and boy do I dislike rollercoasters!  But there is much fun in the ride if you just sit back and let it move you where you are to go and not fight against it.   Even though my rational mind knows - its not me, its all a big transition, she will grow to love me, yadda yadda, at the moment, when you are sleep deprived, and thousands miles away from your other children (esp. the one who can't let you out of HIS sight without crying lol) your heart breaks.  Kevin at that moment had to go to the bathroom, she immediately collapsed into loud wails and lots of tears.  Yesterday, I would put out my arms and in his absence she'd run to me - still crying but at least she'd allow me to calm her.  NOT this time, which hurt even more , I picked her up anyway, determined that the body contact and my 'calm' manner would win her over. Yeah, NOT SO much!!  It escalated (it was a loooong pee lol) ... and I eventually had to give in and put her down - still very upset.  Kevin came out and she ran to him, and well, to be quite honest all those emotions I had struggling with for the last 24 hours came RUSHING out!! I left the room for a walk to pray, and bring myself back to reality - no one said this would be easy!  The halls are super short, so walking it off wasn't really working.   I came in, and collapsed at our desk - what if this never changes , what if whatever makes her so dislike woman I am never able to overcome (thank you so much Joanne for your words of wisdom -- they were ringing through my head as I prayed for guidance).

Kevin got a brainstorm and came over to comfort me, carrying her, he hugged me and rubbed my back.  That very moment was the beginning of what became an absolutely REMARKABLE turn of events over the next 4+ hours!!  Kevin said down on the bed, and called me over to them, he put his arm around me, and kissed my check.  Faith tried to swat me off, but he gently but firmly told her no, and stroked my arm gently , so watched him and copied him.  He suggested I get the colorworks, since we seem to share that common ground.  I layed across the bed on my belly, like a little kid and began to color, I offered her a marker, and her tears lessened, and she joined in - and we sat quietly scribbling away sharing markers, she likes to put on and take off the covers.  She also loves GRABBING all of them and hoarding them - a very common behavior of orphans. 

We decided at that time to give her a bath together - that was another turning point.  Kevin just sat, and I did all the playing with her, we filled a cup with toys and water, and then dumped them from way up high.  She watched me carefully, then copied everything I did. She laughed and splashed, and slipped and slided lol and though that gave me mild heart failures, she thought it was the funniest thing ever!!  We then filled the cup with clean water and she poured it over her head -- we had to repeat this several times.  The early tension and fears were melting away with every pour we made together!  I praised Jesus aloud for bringing us this light in our darkness - my heart leapt as I felt more hope then ever before!!

Our next breakthrough came just moments later, when we had dried her off, put pigtails in her hair (pictures to be posted it was what I had dreamt of doing to her hair since we started the adoption process of a little Chinese girl!!), and put on her ariel pjs.  She got angry with me, not exactly sure what I was doing, for the last 2 days it was often just how I looked at her, and RAN to daddy -- another light went off, but this time it was an idea!  I remembered the papers we received about Faith's foster life.  There was a line that ran, whenever mother disciplines or if she does not like what mother wants, she cries and runs to daddy (foster daddy) and HE PICKS HER UP!  oh my gosh... bells , whistles, sirens!! THAT'S IT!!  She was just repeating the behavior pattern her foster parents had established!!  well my dear friends (and family)... I AM over the moon to report that since this little discovery EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED!! IN fact... just a few moments ago I had to stop mid-blog because my daughter came to me to pull me to window, to pick her up , and then dragged me down to the ground to play!! YUP -- she likes me too now, she really does.

I will go into more detail in the next blog -- as I'm obviously going to take full advantage of her new found acceptance of me!!  Plus we are going to skype with the boys in just 10 minutes.  My lesson today - though to pinpoint one impossible, or to decipher God's plan ridiculous feels like the one He has given me all along -- TRUST IN THE LORD with all your heart, LEAN not on your own understanding, acknowledge Him in all your ways and HE will make straight your path (Prov. 3:5-6)... that goes really hand and hand with another scripture from Isaiah  -- God's ways ARE NOT our ways!! amen to that ... OH wait... before I GO the other really big news was...

SHE SIGNED today!!  Her first sign was the applause sign - when the deaf want to cheer or applaud the shake their hands in open palms on either side of their heads... then she signed kiss.  YES Kevin and I both cried!! LOL :))))  We are working on Mom, Dad, and Faith, Potty (which I thought for sure would be her first sign!!), amongst others!!  I was so positive after I saw how much she liked to mimic, that it would not take her any time to start signing.  It's amazing as it appears she really has no word - meaning connections at all!!  Although she is almost 4, after just 2 days with her, Kevin and I see her truly as a 2 year old -- size, behavior and development... oh JUST potty trained... God's plans are good , no doubt!!

Ok, I'm too much of a softy!

I have learned tonight I can't pick up Faith (AKA "Little One") ever time she cries.  She's currently standing by my chair with her arm on it but she isn't screaming so it's good.  Allison just gave her a bath and she had a blast!  Now they are playing play-doh together.  Faith needs to realize soon that it is her mother that knows to bring these things for her to do, it's her mother that brought us both her to get her, Dad's along for the ride.

On a totally different note if you ever want to do anything crazy and totally daring forget sky diving, forget bungee jumping, instead travel to China and hop in a cab for a ride around the city.  All cars here have blinkers but they are more like that little tray that doesn't fit anything near the cup holders, nobody uses them.  They have rear view mirrors too but those are more decoration as well.  Lane markers, they are meant to be ignored as well.  But what is amazing is everyone cuts everyone off, everyone drives crazy but nobody gets angry, it's an accepted part of the adventure.  Surprisingly I feel very safe, Allison - not so much.

Will be Skyping with Ian Adam and my mom and dad soon!  Looking forward to that.  Hmm, Faith just came back to watch me type...Allison's still playing with Play-Doh.  Never mind Faith just went back to play with her....does everyone like the play by play???

Faith and I took a nice nap today after lunch.  We gotta get out of this swanky place, lunch isn't cheap but there isn't much else around here we trust.  I've been eating pasta a lot, Faith eats congee a lot...apparently congee is some kind of watery rice dish. 

Well, I think that's enough for now, I feel I'm rambling!


Another day - another story

It is Tuesday, Nov. 3rd 1:06 p.m. (just barely Tuesday in the States - I'm still working on the time change!! good thing I splurged on the new watch with 2 time zones!! OR I'd be totally lost!!

so this morning we got up early (AGAIN) to take another harrowing ride to the Chinese Adoption bureau.  I feel like its time to describe being a passenger in China -- frightening comes to mind.  It's amazing the whole country isn't Christian by the amount of prayer I feel it takes to even step into a car here!!  Staying with in the lines is optional, changing lines when you feel it apparently commonplace, they must go through 3 or 4 set of brakes a year!  Everyone brakes and beeps, and goes about their business like they are the only one on the road - yet somehow remarkably get to their destinations!!  The speeds aren't very high, since we are in big cities, the only saving grace -- plus did I mention the PRAYER!!

We have to go back out Thursday and Friday both times we've hired car services, as they use VANS, and you feel a wee bit safer!  Boy do I long for the HUGE bus we enjoyed traveling in Beijing with the rest of our group!!  Thursday we travel to the registration office to look over our adoption certificate... NO stress there, we were told, "IF there is anything wrong on it when you get to Guanzhou, you will bare the expense of returning to Wuhan to fix it" GULP - um just having to FLY back gives me the horrors -- so PLEASE EXTRA PRAYERS we don't miss anything!!!!  Friday we return to the Adoption office for her Passport, then off to the airport and to the final leg of this amazing journey... but that is still a few days away...

So what was today like - we went to the adoption office to sign papers, including answering questions on why we wished to adopt from China -- I wish I could just gush to this woman that God called me to it, and that this has been a dream put on my heart since I was a young girl to not only adopt a Chinese daughter, but that I've always known she'd be deaf.  The answers need to be carefully worded as to not trigger the official to revoke your right to adopt.  I gushed instead on how much we've always wanted a daughter, that we admire the Chinese people and culture, and are honored to have a Chinese daughter.  Though I sat across from her with my crucifix and miraculous medal around my neck - which I did contemplate not bringing.  Although after I had the opportunity to bring the medals, Faith's picture and my rosary beads to pray on a relic of Saint Padre Pio -- I KNEW they all had to come with me!

Faith's little buddy from her orphanage (they were fostered next door to each other) was also being adopted today.  His name is Yan yan, and he is going to a lovely family in Sweden, he will have a 5 year old sister, who was also adopted from China, and who ADORES her new brother already.  We exchanged emails to help the kids stay connected!  So cool!  He has one deformed ear, but is not deaf.  Yesterday they were brought together to the adoption office, and chased each other around on riding toys.  Faith was quick to share everything she found, including 2 little basketballs.  What she didn't wish to give back was his new remote to the remote control firetruck!  Finally, mommy , a trained preschool professional, came to the rescue (sensing a BRAWL on the horizon) offering her the new Kai Lan doll in exchange for the remote.  Phew, she was cool with the trade - emergency diverted!!

I'll end with the coolest thing that happened today - we were finally able to teach Faith 'kisses', for 2 days when we puckered up to her, she stared at us like we were crazy! The breakthrough went something like this... Mom:  puckered up and sent a few air kisses. Dad: pointed to his cheek on the Mommy side.  Mommy planted a kiss on his cheek.  Faith: Miss Copycat (yeah sorta lol), followed suit and kissed Daddy's cheek.  Then Mom: puckered up towards Faithy, who then puckered up too.  Mom leaned forward, Faith leaned and planted my first KISS!! From my precious daughter on my lips!! and to be sure got it, I selfishly went back for  second -- sweet!! she got it - 2 kisses, and a big smile!!  And so the bonding baby steps continue!!

More later -- we finally get to Skype and introduce our newest child, to our preexisting children!!  We can't wait!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday in a Nutshell

I wish I could just scan my journal into the computer !! It chalk full of the day's many adventures... guess you'll just have to read the book (ha ha).  Let me try to wrap it into a nice readable - without having to use your whole lunch hour.  If I repeat anything Kevin said sorry , I didn't read his post yet (shhhh don't tell him).

Our first day together was far better than any of my anxieties allowed me to believe! She did take right to us, and actually did not cry until Kevin had to leave with the guide to change our orphanage donation from US to Yuan, and visit Walmart for water and her milk.  Her milk comes in a 'juice box' type container, very cute - but I have to be honest gives her the worse breath lol  -- not that we might dragon breath when it comes from such an adorable package!!

So it is that 3 hours I will blog about because out of the whole day it was the most significant to me.  It actually turned out to be a God directed time for us, as she is very attached to her Foster father, so naturally is gravitating more to Kevin. From the reports we recieved, I was prepared for it - but no one who has waited a lifetime for something can really be prepared for your daughter rejecting you when daddy is around ... but more on that later.  It is this time that God allowed me, to give me strength to know in my heart that this is an enormous process for her - profound loss will accompany the gains.  She must grieve, and in the process if she has comfort from any source, I would certainly never begrudge her that.  God's plans are perfect, and I have great faith :) in them!!

So our 3 hours alone for bonding ... first she cried, so hard she threw up (may also have to do with her slight congestion and cough - very flemmy). So as I caught the vomit (sorry if that was graphic) and grabbed a towel to catch the next round, I realized, OH yeah I'm her mom -- cuz it didn't gross me out, I just did what needed to be.  This lead to her first bath - which despite the bubbles and toys, and my antics only partically appeased her - but now she smelt great!!  She was super cooperative getting her clothes on, even though a periodic wimper or out and out cry would come - she does make noise , OH my yes, she makes LOTS of noise!!  She even cooperated putting her (first pair) of undies on the right way, after silly mommy put them on backwards!!  The first outfit I choose was her little jeans (p.s. wondering minds she's a 3T - barely...she is sooooooo tiny!!), a rose short sleeve, white socks with fringe and rose barrets!! OH fun!!  She loved me playing with her hair, and would turn side to side to admire the barretts, touching them, looking at me, and admiring them again.

After the bath the entertaining (aka distracting) show began!! Still distraught by daddy's leaving, pointing to the door and crying  - I began searching for common ground on which to establish my own bond with her.  I was not allowed peek a boo, which she had initated with kevin during our ride home, and belongs only to him.  When she wants you to stop or doesn't want anything she waves her open hand side to side - its ADORABLE!! Even when she is breaking your heart!! So I moved on to toys we moved from playdoh, to figurines, to finally the colorwonder markers where we found our shared activity! She LOVES to 'color' -- yeah me too, and so we sat , her on my lap for a 1/2 hour covering and uncovering markers and scribbling together.

She drew tired, and began to fuss again.  I moved to the only chair in the room,not a rocker or swivel, and she curled up close to my chest, arms wrapped around me - now back to hysterics... probably more out of exhaustion and confusion then anything, as she had stopped pointing and looking for Kevin.  I rejoiced in her trust that whoever I was I would somehow keep her safe.  I held her tight, and rocked, swayed, jossled her with my legs and body, until she feel asleep in my arms!!  What a gift I realized this was - her, my daughter finally in my arms after 2 years of dreaming.  I covered her in prayer - seeking comfort and courage for her journey ahead.  For strength to battle her cold, and that someday she'd realize the miracle of God placing her live in ours, and that the world of language and real communication was at her fingerips !!

As soon as Kevin arrived back, she returned to pretty much solely seeking his comforting arms (heck who could blame her, they've been my rock and shelter for 25 years and it's not done me any harm!!)  We have this glimmers that God allows me keeping me strong and confident that this light and momentary affliction has in it a spiritual growth necessary for my salvation, and like all from God I accept it with His Grace to bring me through.  

Although this sounds probably all dramatic and sad, there are so many lights - so let me end bysharign those!!  She allows me to brush her teeth, change her clothes, help her use the potty (I'll share why this is a funny adventure in another blog), will accept some food from me, will sit on my lap and scribble with me, and if Kevin is absent  CLINGS TO me, she even runs into my arms when I put them out.  And just before I got up to blog, she woke (she is sleeping between us) - kevin's back was to her and we were face to face. I have to scrunch my face at her instead of smile (don't ask - just know my smile invokes a wave on that magic open 5 hand!!) - I put out my hand, and she put hers in it, and drifted back to sleep! 

God Bless you all for your amazing support - I have never myself been covered in prayer before this trip.  I can not begin to describe how amazing that feels!!  We long to be home, so that you can all experience this precious child in person... but we know that each moment has a blessing in it designed purposefully by God, and we don't wish to miss a single one.  So, we wait on Him, and know we'll be home before we know it!! 

We are reading your comments

Just to let you all know we are reading all the comments!  Allison and I get them via email and we LOVE THEM ALL, THANK YOU - A thousand times THANK YOU all for the comments, very encouraging.

Ok, I better go offline now, I'm getting too sappy....  Faith is coloring with Allison and Claire our guide.

Today those two years of long waiting were proven worth every single second!

Ok, nobody can wait to see the photos so the link is first.  Today we went to The Center for Intercountry Adoption of Hubei Provence.  We had to fill out some paperwork but soon after our arrival FengHua showed up with the representatives from the Agency.  She was there with another boy who was fostered in the same neighborhood and went to school with her and he also was being adopted today but to Switzerland.  The agency was AWESOME!  They gave us a photo book and a coin they had made for her to remember where she came from.

She took right to us!  She doesn't seem to want either of us to leave her already!  Our guide Claire (American name) is also with us, she has been fantastic!  We had to trade all the american money for Yuan at a couple of banks and without her wouldn't have gone so well.  Interestingly enough for 15 minutes today I, Kevin Gingras, had a bank account in China.  I had to open it to exchange the money.  We did 2/3 of it at one bank and the rest at another.  The second bank was much easier.

Faith FengHua is currently discovering how our camera works and flashing it in everyone's eyes!  She is hilarious!  We are loving every minute of it!  When I went out on errands she got a bath from Allison and then took a two hour nap on her.  We got congee for her for dinner, breakfast probably the same tomorrow.  Apparently congee is just overwatered rice.  It's not bad. 

Another treat was I got to go to WalMart in Wuhan.  Not too different from WalMart in America.  It isn't open 24 hours like ours and I didn't get a smiley sticker!

Please keep praying for us because we aren't home yet but at least we have our reason for being here with us now!  She's got a bit of a cold but seems very happy!

Love you all - thanks for all your prayers and help, without all of you behind us this NEVER would have happened!  KG.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gotcha Day

So HERE we are - 1:21 a.m. on Monday Nov. 2nd - the day we will meet our daughter, what they sweetly review to as "gotcha day!"  As you can imagine sleep is NOT easy to come by - I fell asleep last night at 7:30 p.m. after an exhausting day of travel.   I am way too excited to get any more sleep today!! Two years of dreaming and praying, and waiting is about to be over - its quite surreal!  I wish the office wasn't so far away - one hour by taxi, mostly because driving over here is absolutely INSANE!!! NO seatbelts and no sense of traffic laws... whatsoever!!!  Extra prayers for safety please while we spend time in her province of Hubei... thanks!!

My comfort in the last few days , whenever my anxiety is great is that I serve a God that keeps His promises.  I am confident that He has called us here to bring Faith home.  The bible says, He will complete the good work He has begun.  Knowing this entire adventure is a "divine appointment" as one person on our trip said to me, is what makes all the fears and worries disappear.  He is a good and loving God, and one that only wants good for me.  We continue to hang on your prayers - there are felt these many many miles away!  God bless you all... and my next post, I PRAY is telling you all about what it was like MEETING FengHua for the first time!!! 


Photos at the link I hope!!  The connections here are only fair...

We are now in Faith's home Province - Wuhan!

Hello again from China!  We are out of Bejing now and in Wuhan!  We had a great time in Bejing!  We were able to visit Tienamen square and then the Forbidden City.  Both amazing sites!  It was just amazing to see how huge the Forbidden city actually is.  You walk from one section to another section, as one of our friends Kevin described it, it's like the movie Groundhog Day.  The sections begin to look alike!

After that we went to this neat lunch place and saw how vases were made with copper and enamel, very cool.  We bought a couple things there.  Then we went to the Great Wall and let me tell you, it's great all right!  We were still in Bejing where we saw the wall.  Allison didn't get very far up and I only made it to the first tower, my knees are angry with me now I'll tell ya. 

We have made some new friends as well!  Kevin and Annie and their daughter Megan, Jay and Mary, Sylvia and Bernie and their daughter Karla (with a K as she says), Joe and Julia and a few others.

This morning we left Bejing in a pretty decent snow storm, were only delayed by about an hour for the plane to be de-iced so it wasn't too bad.  I type this from the 24th story of the Marco Polo hotel in Wuhan overlooking the Yangtzee river.  I really don't feel like I belong in a hotel like this!

The best news is that we are where Faith lives!  Tomorrow is the day we finally get to meet her and she gets to meet us!  Our two year journey started so long ago and has brought us half way around the world and it's so very close to reality now!  God has guided us and protected us the entire way!

I'm going to try to get some pictures up here somewhere, if I do I'll post a link, that's all for now!