Saturday, November 14, 2009

Home Sweet Home

As Kevin alluded our trip home was eventful - 26 hours of events to be exact!  We rose nice and early, without an alarm, hmmm think we were eager to get back!!  We had our last made for us breakfast buffet!  I never did venture off from the french toast, fresh fruit, and bacon ritual -- they don't differeniate meals in China - for breakfast they eat the same as for every other meal -- noodles, dim sum (oh I did have a few of those, yummy), potstickers, to name a few things I know the names of!  We checked out, paid for our $10 bottle of water (I only had one the first night before I could find the 7-11).  Then onto the bus, with a prayer over our luggage (as I did ALL MY Christmas shopping, and REALLY wanted it all to make it back so I wouldn't have to shop again !!).

The airports have been such an adventure -- picture this... Each of us with a very heavy backpack, I had a passport holder across my shoulder (learned after our trip in to have those MUCH more readily available and together), then I had a small bag with snacks for Faith (her foster mom had given her a nice assortment from Walmart of favorite crackers and jello shots), then a had a BIG shopping bag filled with all those souveneirs I'd be devasted if lost - like the 12 years of silk outfits I bought her! Then I also was carrying her backpack, and Kevin had, well HER LOL!!  So we were heavily laddened to say the least! My shoulders will never be the same -- note to self -- Chiropractor next week!!

Anyway, at every check point - in China there seems to be a few more than here -- they have health checks (in Beijing we had to walk through heat sensors to make sure we had no fevers!!), at least you get to keep your shoes on that makes live easier, and there are so many people, they have what feels like 10 x more people to serve you, so lines fly!  NOT SO much when we got to San Francisco, esp. Security - though still faster than our wait in Orlando 3 years ago when we were there at Christmas!!  BUT I every check point we had to unhook all these bags and backpacks, I was striped of my very small hand santizer in China, which really sent me over the edge , as many of you know I"M A germaphobe big time!!  Luckily our new friends gave me a replacement .. somehow their's made it through.  Funny, how much more diligent I was about fighting the germ warfare!!  No more quarantine worries, though being sick would not be good either .. but again I digress.

Our first plane right to Hong Kong was great!  Faith fell asleep taxiing to take off, and slept the entire hour!  Our next flight was 10 1/2 hours from Hong Kong to San Fran ... as Kevin mentioned it was bumpy , at least for the first 2 hours!!  Happily one of those hours was 3 oclock, the divine mercy hour, so I felt so protected - not to mention we had 2 other very prayerful families on the trip with us, and I knew they were praying right along with us!! Where 2 or more are gathered in My name...  One of them also had holy water from Fatima on her, so that was great to bless ourselves ... God knew that trip would be a holy water blessing type of flight!!  Faith was not as pleasant as she had been to HK, one she was awake!  She was a major stinker to me until she did finally fall asleep.  I am not sure if it was because she wanted to play and some attention and I was trying to sleep ( I mean I did give her attention BEFORE this nap thing).  I found myself getting so frustrated by our lack of communication , and the switch that goes off between fun playing and violent behavior - -its a hair trigger and without a place for timeout lol not fun.

When she finally dozed off, and I sat looking at that beautiful face, and pondered how much nearly 4 years what its been through -- abandoned at 9 months old, bonds already formed, then put in a foster home with many children coming and going through 3 years, she hoards thing so she's obviously had to fight for what she needed, now without any way of explaining her life is upside down again - as the tears rolled , I prayed - Lord, Heal this relationship between us, guide me in your holy Spirit to mother her according to what SHE needs and not what I want or dreamt - again God gently reminded me this isn't about me. It is about his plan for Faith's life, and we just get to be the blessed vehicle who is allowing Him to work through us!!  Once again, without deserving it, God had heard and answered, the next flight was magical -- a complete 180!!  A wonderfully sweet young woman changed seats with me so instead of being across the aisle (middle seat) I as able to sit with Kevin and Faith.. GOD Bless that young woman!!

Faith and I had a blast, as Kevin slept --we colored, she discovered stickers - putting them on her face and onto the paper, then back onto her face, she was cracking me up!! We played the hand-stacking game, and she let me tickle and kiss her, we shared a snack, and ventured into the 2 x 2 airport potty together (without her melting down out of the sight of Daddy).  IT was amazing, I just beamed as she held my hand, and all the people flooding to the potty (we were right next to it)  smiled at my daughter, congratulating me  -- LIKE I had anything to do with her beauty, or winning smile!!  I was just honored to call her mine!!  Faith finally feel asleep, and this time, rested her head on my arm!!  Thank you Jesus for the blessing of that flight -- even when it got so bumpy I thought we'd fall out of the sky!!  Again, the bumps came during the divine mercy hour - and I could hear God speaking to my heart, "I will bring to completion the Good work I have begun," giving me confidence, that although the current ride (both real and figurative) was very unsure and unsteady - HE was in control, and we were safely in His hands!!

Oh lunch is here.. Wendy's.. ah been dreaming of this spicy Chicken sandwich. will have to finish in a bit!!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Well we made it home after a very bumpy ride from Hong Kong to California and then again from California to Boston!

I'm off for the night but just wanted to say we made it back!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Last batch of photos from China

Well, that's it my last batch of photos from China!  Bet you were getting sick of looking at them, I know I was getting sick of taking them!  Can't wait until this time tomorrow plus a couple of hours - we will be on the ground in Boston!

Oh, and a funny side story speaking of planes.  That snowstorm in Beijing that delayed us an hour and was a total nightmare for our friends going to other provinces, remember that post a while back?  Well, apparently it was induced by silver nitrate they flew into the clouds.  Lovely no?  Oh well, we got lucky!

Also great news - we have her Visa and Passport IN HAND!  Thank God.

See you all in a little bit - but as Allison says we have to hang low at home with no visitors for her to adjust to her new home and her new brothers!



Throughout the blogs you've probably seen references to butterflies, and wondered if there was a back story to that. Well , just so happens there is an amazing one!!  I've been meaning to share it all trip.  So as FengHua naps, and Kevin returns the stroller a local merchant let us borrow, as well as fetch my clean FOLDED into the smallest pile of clothes you've ever seen laundry, I will share.

We received a call on April 30, 2009, asking how serious were we about accepting a referral for a deaf child.  My heart skipped a beat, as I have always known, that one day I  would have a deaf daughter.  So much so that over a year ago, long before we were matched with a child I began sign language classes.   These classes are a community type, run by this wonderful woman Marianne, who not only teaches us signing, but more importantly shares with us deaf culture.  A story that stayed with me, was that drivers who are deaf in Australia, must place a special butterfly sticker on their car window to alert police and other drivers, that behind the wheel is a hearing impaired driver.  Immediately one of the kids in the class asked, "why a butterfly?'  She explained that butterflies are deaf - and that they are often used as symbols for the deaf. 

Now flash forward to July -- we had been told on April 30th, when we accepted the referral to pursue being Wu Feng Hua's parents that we'd be traveling in 6 to 8 weeks.  We knew that delays would be possible especially because we had yet to be approved by the Chinese government to adopt, we were in a long que of parents waiting to have their files reviewed.  The Waiting Child list (which has older and special needs children) is separate, and if a match is made you are taken out of line, and in essense cut the others waiting for healthy baby girls.  I don't like that analogy of line cutting, but its how it works, I didn't design it, I'm just subject to it.  Now it was mid-July, and we received a call that delays would push our trip to September! I was devastated, I had applied for a child no OLDER than 18 months, and had accepted the 3 year old  with intrepidations. **oh side note -- right BEFORE we got the call for Faith,  God had revealed to me during my prayer time to be prepared for an older child, it was such a strong feeling, I remember crying that night, saying God please NO, I've have missed so much of her life at 3, I wanted a baby to share as many memories as I could.  He gently calmed my worries, helping me to see, that all the time we have will be filled with firsts and it was His perfect plan **

This particular day in July, I was in Faith's bedroom, praying on her floor under the window.  I was thinking that the 3 year old, would now be an almost 4 year old by time we were allowed to bring her home.  She would have been in the same foster home for 3 years, and would be so attached to them, she'd be so scared and angry with us for taking her away.  Also on my heart was that no one could explain to her what was happening, lacking language to communicate such a complicated thought.  I began to pray the rosary, to meditate on these things, and Jesus, and to hand over concerns as I often do.   It happened to be a Sunday, which is the day to recite the Glorious mysteries.   The first mystery's fruit was Faith... hmmm I thought, pretty reassuring godcidence!  Next, came Hope , something I had just prayed for the day before.  Third fruit, Love of God ... without that none of what we were being asked to do would make sense, would even be possible.  I finished with the 5th mystery, of which the fruit is Trust in Mary's Intercession ... at that very moment, I heard a strange noise outside the window,  the direction was difficult to decipher, and its nothing I'd eer heard before.  I was drawn to look out, and there in the backyard was the BIGGEST Butterfly I had ever seen in my entire life!! 

My heart filled with a peace that surpasses all understanding, God wasn't telling me the journey was going to change, or that it would be easy, but that He'd be with me, and this butterfly, with no hearing was such a sign of hope, faith and love.  The next day, I saw another butterfly, the day after that another, not this time a live one, but a picture of one.  From that July afternoon forward... EVERY SINGLE day until we met Faith, I have seen a butterfly!  They've been painted on the face of my friend's beautiful adopted daughter's face, they've been on the doctor's wall when I was waiting for my flu shot praying we'd be healthy on this trip, they've been on clothes, and many cards at my shower, they've been around just as I've most needed them, or as surprises when I least expected them.

We continue to see them now, even after His promise of uniting us has been fulfilled.  On the way to the American Consulate I prayed for a sign that we'd be able to complete the paperwork with the copy of the passport, and take our oath with the group - and there it was flying by the window.  I was very filled with anxiety the day we went to the temple and the garden, concerned we'd not be able to leave with the group, that Faith's cough would be something more sinister than air pollution, and that perhaps I was not the best choice as Faith's mom (the enemy was hard at work on me that day!!)... as we boarded the bus, I once again asked my loving Father to help me see His love in the form of a butterfly -- they were EVERYWHERE!!  We saw one almost immediately leaving the hotel, and the flittered about the bus in the middle of this big busy city!! It was amazing, we even stopped at a red light, and the merchant right below my window had a big butterfly baby toy recorder hanging from his awning!  The garden was filled with butterflies, including little yellow ones, that I had seen around town on another particularly tough day when God had sent a small winged messenger of hope to me!

May you all think of God's protection and love, whenever you behold the delicate and graceful beauty of His creation, the butterfly!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Last Day in Guangzhou

WE pray!  We have received an email from the adoption agency that they are VERY confident that Faith's VISA will be ready with the rest today!!   YEAH!!  We will know at 7 p.m. tonight, so keep those prayers coming!! 

We are laying low today, Faith and I both have yucky coughs, I had the doctor come check us out, and he said it was most likely the air quality that has made us sick (NO kidding doc!!), but that we'll both be fine!  We are taking Claritin and Alavert, and drinking lots of water.  He also advised we stay in the hotel A/C as much as possible today.  We went for another hectic elbow to get food breakfast lol, and then retired to our room.  This morning with Faith is going so well, she is starting to recognize play time vs getting ready time.  She is got the most mischievous smile lol , which we now recognize and can thwart certain behaviors before they escalate.  IT is amazing to us how quickly we have been able to learn her personality, and how the very vacuum we are forced to live in has been responsible for the bonding we have been able to achieve.

We also decided to remove ourselves from the larger group for the majority of the day, we sort of realized the irony of being called to coccoon at home, but yet here we are with other people and babies constantly.  Unlike Wuhan, when we were alone , and that too may be have been attributing to our more difficult day.  It is nice to have families in our same situation to share, and exchange notes with, but its better we retreat to regroup.  Which brings me to something Kevin and I were discussing this morning -- when we come home, though we CAN NOT wait to see everyone and to introduce Faith to everyone, we are asking everyone (family and friends alike) to give us a week to rest, acclimate to the time change and her new home, and to allow her to bond with the boys.  Thank you for you understanding, and respect of this wish -- although it may seem like a long time since we've all been waiting over 6 months to meet her, it will be the best for her in the end.  We will let everyone know when the visiting GREEN light is on!!   Thanks!!

I wanted to share my special morning with Faith , we spent over an hour 1/2 !!  Passing flashcards back and forth, I was signing the words when she'd look at me, but mostly she was just practicing her sharing, which she did so well with!  Then we brought out the crayons, to color in the flashcards, she once again was so calm, sweet and an excellent sharer!!   I am learning as much from her some days as she I.  A more relaxed atmosphere, definitely produces more advantageous exhanges between us.  We shared smiles, a few kisses, and made meaningful eye contact -- it was such a blessing!!  THIS entire episode was proceeded by Kevin and I praying the morning prayer and daily readings from the Magnificent.  ONCE again, the breakthroughs and blessings have come following time of prayer and thanksgiving to God.  As I reflect on the days behind us, and how many times this has happened, its more proof of HIS loving touch in this journey!!   And my belief that sometimes those rough patches were gentle reminders that we'd lost focus ... Worry about nothing, Pray about everything :)

The Faith dance

The Faith dance is easy, its one step forward, two steps back... and just repeat, over and over for days on end !!  We had been so blessed with easy days , feeling like we'd made headway in our bonding process, and we REALLY have.  Today, however, was a exceptionally challenging day.  This is the day, typically adoptive families are on the plane home, and Kevin and I can see why, because by now, you are DONE, stick a fork in ya type of done!!

But alas we are not done, so here goes the account of today ...
Breakfast as usual - ok there has been some really positives of a trip like this no dishes, cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, no LAUNDRY.. it comes FOLDED and everything from the adorable Chinese laundry around the corner!  Breakfast prepared every morning, with LOTS of choices, albeit Chinese style breakfast - dumplings, congee, salad lol ... with french toast and bacon thrown in for good measure. REALLY amazing fruit too, which with the toast and bacon have been my staples.  Its super crowded, and I miss my decaf coffee, but all and all I can't complain.  Faith did allow Daddy to go get his own breakfast again, but was a little more mischievious while we were eating, which should have been our tip off of the day to come!! 

We were off early this morning for a much needed sight-seeing trip - I couldnt walk around the same shops, or the hotel one more day.  We went to a local temple for a traditional baby blessing, I couldn't bring myself to kneel before another god, even for a cultural experience, so I was the designated picture taker.  Kevin felt a big sacreligious, but out of respect for where Faith is coming from, he was a good sport and went in with her for the blessing.   I got video of it, something to see that's for sure.  She was a stinker though the entire visit there -  she is getting so much more comfy with us, and is starting to test limits and boundaries.   Here again , the good news is its not JUST with me, Kevin has started to be tested too.  Today we wanted to explore her new found freedom in life, and was a crazy girl climbing and running away from us.  LUCKILY the locals in Guangzhou let you borrow strollers for your visit, so we had something to corral her in.  We have both experienced an increase in physical outbursts, which both infuriate and break your heart all in one.  You know its frustrating at not being able to communicate, but its also how they seem to have socialized her to play.  We have witnessed similiar behavior in the other older children around us.   We are just perplexed at teaching our children hitting, kicking, spitting, and biting as ways to play!

After the temple we visited a beautiful garden, we have often felt like we were in Disney during this vacation, this was another one of those moments!!  Kevin purchased her a little pinwheel is keep her busy, which I tried giving to her (as we still have me doing the majority of caretaking, and giving things to her).   See, here's the fine line we must walk in order to create an atmosphere of being safe and loved, and learning right and wrong.  I have struggled with this a lot in the last week, and am so grateful that I am relying on the Holy Spirit, and not my own human emotions to guide my own behavior.   This beautiful little girl, is so filled with confusion - new sights, smells, people , I can not even imagine!!  but in the same sense, anything we allow now for the sake of her adjusting, will only further confuse her when we suddenly say NO in  a month or so, when she is more settled, and its no longer novel and 'cute'.  So this need to be firm and loving, instead of indulgent and loving, is definitely adding to our challenges.

We had many a power struggle today, each filled with lots of prayer!!  She may not like me very much right now, but I know she is feeling secure and taken care of.  I see my role for now is not the one I pictured myself in, but God has so well equipped me for it with my preschool background, and all the lessons learned parenting Ian and Adam.  He reminds me over and over, gently and lovingly, that this journey is NOT about me, its about Faith.  About her having opportunities for a life undreamt of here.  She will have language, and the ability to really express herself - not needing to hit someone to get them to pay attention to them, or being able to tell a joke or express a funny story instead of reverting to rough play and slapstick to get a laugh.   She is so bright, has the most amazing memory , God called us to , in  a way, civilize her.  I am reminded so very often of the Helen Keller story, and how Annie Sullivan first found her student when she arrived at the Keller home.   Underneath that wild child, was a brilliant young woman -- just waiting for someone to be patient enough to let it emerge.

So, today we shed some tears.  I found that my window has a 'kneeler' that on the 15th floor, brings me closer to Heaven, and provides a wonderful place to seek His divine counsel and strength.  Once again, I think Kevin and I were reminded to not stop praying , to turn constantly to Him for help.  Tonight we made time to do the rosary together with Faith between us in the bed, she was a wiggly girl, and suddenly I was inspired to get the lotion and give her a massage (she loves these), it was an amazing transformation and she soothed down, and even massaged her daddy's hand while we prayed.  One of the fruit's for today's mysteries was "Trust in Mary's intercession"!!

 It is quite frankly the only way we are finding the courage to continue in a journey that is so arduous at times, it is hard to express.  The fruit of the labor of love, is always more love!!  Today's therapy was singing  -- in the shower, kneeling at my window -- just praising God in song.  One that was particularly helpful today was, Rescue  this version was sung by the Women of Faith singers.. and the words I will leave you with tonight...

You are the source of life, I can't be left behind
No one else will do, I will take hold of You
I need You Jesus to come to my rescue. Where else can I go?
There's no other Name by which I am saved
Capture me with grace, I will follow You

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Oath Day

Tuesday in Guangzhou -- LONG but one of the best days YET in our trip!!  This morning at breakfast the big deal was letting daddy finally go get his own breakfast, up to now I've been dutiful chinese wife, fetching his meal!  NO more of that ;)  she even watched him go out of sight, and then turned back to me and continued eating.  She is so funny eating, she picks up the food with her hand, and puts it ONTO the fork, then she eats off of that. We did buy her today a set of kids chopsticks and small spoon, like she'd be used to eating with, basically they put the plate up to their face and shovel in the food.  We haven't taken out this set yet, as its way too much fun watching her learn to use a fork.

After breakfast we hit the shops! OH that are magnificent.   You say, "best price," and suddenly they find wiggle room in that price.  I could have gotten a silk scarf today for 50 yuan, which is about $7 ...  I really didn't want it, but she thought I was bargaining!  I KNOW I should have just got it, had daisies on it, would have found some place to wear it, or give it as a gift.  I did finish my Christmas shopping today.. shhhh, don't tell my family , they are all getting gifts from China.  I just bought a kid, this is all I can afford LOL!!  NOW we really need to pray all my luggage gets home!!

After shopping it was time for lunch (see photos of dad and daughter sucking up noodles in our hotel room, mom had gourmet Ritz and Peanut butter crackers, yum!!).  Then we put her in the adorable purple WITH BUTTERFLIES of course, chinese cotton outfit for pictures with the rest of the adopted babies. There were 10 babies adopted on this trip.  They are an 8 yr old boy, 3 1/2 year old girl (who you all know very well), 3 1/2 yr old boy, 2 20 month old girls, and the rest are 10/11 month old babies.  All look so different, all absolutely ADORABLE!!!  We have tried to get pictures of each and every one of them!!
Trying to get them all to sit on this red couch, and not kill each other, or run away, and then LOOK at the camera -- OH it was hysterical watching the photographer try to get Faith's attention with a colorful bell.  We are trying to tell our guide to translate she's deaf - actually about 5 families at once said, she can't hear you LOL.  So he gets RIGHT up to her with the color bell bracelet, which then she assumes HE IS handing it over, and when he doesn't she starts pitching a fit.  OH yeah, it was great -- this right after she head butted our friend (we were RIGHT on top of each other for the picture)... OH and then there was the whole power struggle for the barretts to stay in, which will explain the 'LOVELY' messy do she ended up with in the professional pictures, so glad we get to pay for those lol!!  I was NOT relenting on letting her take them out, it became a game, and stubborn Portagee mom was determined to win!!   At this point I was thinking, she may not love me, BUT she will respect and obey me.  Yes, pick my battles, I understand, trust me, if you were here, you'd know, this was a pickable battle ...and lest there was no milk involved!!

After the photo escapade, we boarded a bus to the American Consulate to sign her VISA application, and to take an oath that the information we have given is true, and to promise to care for this child as our own, and as an American citizen. The first cool thing, was she sat on my lap the ENTIRE ride!! (She sat and 'read' a book with me this morning too!).  The next cool thing, was they had received at least a fax copy of her new passport so we were able to procede with the VISA application with our whole group.  The waiting room had toys ("OH joy", says the germophobic mom, "yippee" says the tired of corraling a squid dad).  After everyone was called to this little window to sign the papers, then we all stood and had our oath.  It was amazing, JUST as it was about to start, Faith, who had been wondering like a crazy woman, came right to Kevin to be picked up - which he did, she even allowed me to touch her leg, while we raised our right hands and swore to be her loving, caring parents forever.  Yeah, not a dry EYE in the place!!  OH and the best part of all of it, was this was all taking place during the Divine Mercy hour of 3 p.m.!!  We love that one of the couples that God so graciously placed us with, is a praying outloud kind of folk!!  RIGHT before the processing began, the 4 of us held hands, and prayed out loud that her passport would not be an issue, and that all would be ok!!  Very cool moment, and of course, our good and GRACIOUS God faithfully granted us that prayer.  We were told it is in transite, and we now just pray its in our guides hands by Thursday for that VISA to be attached!!!  *please pray with us for that!! thanks!!

When we returned to the hotel, to change for dinner, returning to our favorite restaurant, Lucy's.  Food is cheap, beer is cold -- and its all outdoors!! Its awesome!!  Dinner involved some more memorable moments... first, Kevin lifted his beer to toast our big day at the Consulate, and FAITH clanked his glass -- she totally knew what to do !!  We all roared, and then raised our glasses to her, which is obliged us with clanks all around!!  After dinner, the kids ran around, and for the first time, SHE JOINED in, even holding another 3 year old Karla's hand!!  They were skipping, and she was pulling poor Karla lol but for the most part, really enjoying the other kids, interacting.. it was another teary eyed moment for the adults who have been watching her slowly emerge from that silent chrysalis!   Praise you Lord Jesus Christ, for the blessings of this journey -- and the wonders who have allowed all of us to be witness too!!

More photos and stuff

Ok, more photos above.

I'll give you the short version, Allison will fill in long version - crazy day, group photo that was tough to organize, morning shopping/walk, oath at American consulate, Faith is officially ours now, cry cry cry, back to hotel for dinner and walking around town, Faith had no nap - I'm off to shower....

Love Kevin.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Italian food in Guangzhou

There sure is.  Pretty good Italian food too.  I got the Pineapple Ham Pizza, Faith and Allison had spaghetti, you can see it in the pictures!

Then after dinner we planned to stroll the park with Jay, Mary, Bernie, Sylvia and families but the rain put an end to that!  We got wet on the way back to the White Swan!

Two wet kids!

Faith had to have an X-ray this am for the TB test.  They test her for TB but since she was vaccinated she shows positive since the vaccine worked so they make her have an X-ray - it's the American government that doesn't trust China vaccination records.  Silly stuff.

We are having some trouble with our invisible guide here, she's no Susan or Claire that's for sure but as a group of ten families we are doing ok.  At this point I can't wait to be home!  We did video AIM this morning with the boys and boy do I miss them now!  I need to beat Ian in a game of WarHawk and wrestle with AJ!!!

Enough for now, getting tired!

PEACE  -  Kevin G

God's grace continue

This morning, Monday, we slept in for the first time.  We arrived at breakfast around 8:15ish, almost an hour later than we've done since leaving Massachusetts.  We were feeling pretty good about ourselves, nothing to do today but wait in our room from 9 to 11 for our guide to complete our Visa applications at the American Consulate.  We needed to be available in case they had questions or needed more paperwork.  We no sooner sat down for our breakfast, when someone mentions having the TB tests rechecked this morning.  Apparently, they were due to be read THIS MORNING, and our guide (who sadly is NOT as amazing as the last 2) , failed to mention this to Kevin or I!!  PANIC again lol.. this time not an attack but a mode so to speak!  I started rushing around the diningroom seeking out other families on our trip with older kids.  I bounced from table to table with the same discouraging stories about our guides lack of well GUIDANCE lol (I laugh now, this morning, um not so much!!)

FINALLY BY THE SHEER grace of God!!!  I run into the mom with the other 3 1/2 year old on the trip, she is in the hallway, as I was rushing now OUT Of the dining hall back up to my room to call this exact woman!  God totally rocks.  Anyway, I find out she was heading down to meet the man taking them over to the exam office at that VERY moment, I run BACK into the dining room (YES I'm loosing weight on this trip!!) grab Kevin and Faith, and rush them off to the meeting spot.  I sit back down and realize I HAVE THE MONEY in the sling we carry, and passports etc.  I RUN back down the hall, luckily Chinese like to do things at a slow pace!!  I am sure I was quite a spectacule running all over the place like the frantic American I was lol!

God is in control, and yet again, another emergency was diverted through his Good Grace and Mercy!!  I was so out of sorts after that I took advantage of the 2 hour room sabbatical for pray -- I definitely was in better condition than poor Kevin when he returned from yet another bout at the doctors with the angry squid, who this time had to be X-rayed! She had a false positive on her TB test because she'd be innoculated - yes IF you can figure out why they do that test, when they know she's been vaccinated for it, please let me know.  My uneducated guess, is they don't trust their own vaccines or the Orphanages record keeping!!  Anyway this time, in addition to squirmy girl, he was also dealing with upper 80s with LOTS of humidity!!  He is also losing weight, and looking rather HOT if I do say so myself :)))

We then napped together, WE are so going to miss these daily quite times and naps when we return home!  Especially Kevin, who has really mastered the fall asleep in a moment, in the middle of the day routine!!  He is usually out before his daughter, who will lie there very quiet and cute, but does tend to fight the actual act of sleeping, once out, she's OUT!! Nothing wakes her (I guess another plus of being deaf).  We went for a nice shopping trip after a brief paperwork meeting in the middle of the 11th floor !! That was fun :)) Faith run up and down the halls for 1/2 hour, letting me chase her, and catch her in my arms, and even submitted to a kiss or 2 on the cheek!  After the 1/2 hour I was now the sweaty one, sort of longing to be ignored ... SORT of , but NOT really!!  I LOVED every second of it... She's such a giggler!!

Then off shopping, when we got home it was time for milk and a snack. This is when we got another sign she is warming up to us, in particular this time to me!  I was giving her the juicy juice boxed milk we still have from Wuhan, and she was periodically pushing it away.  I went to give her one more sip, she LIKES to play games a lot, she is  MAJOR JOKER, more evidence is totally our kid!!  Anyway, this time, I could see BIG TIME mischief in her eyes, she puffed up her cheeks filled with milk, and BLEW IT out... however, she doesnt' realize mom is a trained preschool professional, and totally saw this coming, I put up my deflector shield (aka hand) and she wore the whole mouthful on her face!!!!  NO we have no pictures, we felt at that moment, discipline was far more the priority over memory catching lol.

So Faith had her first time out!!  One thing the Adoption Agency director told us was not to treat then like they are 'special' then you'll have a spoiled kid on your hands, do what you would to any child that age, who behaved that way.  It has been the best advice, because we are building bonds, but with respect and limits.  She sat there very obediently, allowed me to clean her up (with no scrunched fussy face I usually get when I go near her and she's mad), then she gave me a kiss, and copied my signing "sorry", she fully cooperated with me as I changed her clothes, gave me another kiss, and climbed into bed for nap. 

Kevin is beign a  meany waking her up now, so we can go for dinner, another American Chinese place (unlike our chinese american places at home lol) , loving the beer here!!  It is the safest thing I can find to drink lol .. and after this week I need a brewski :))))  Thanks again for the continued prayers... oh MORE GOOD news, Faith's passport is CORRECTED AND in transit back to Guangzhou.. HAPPY DAYS!!   God Bless.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday in Guangzhou

So strange to awake on a Sunday morning, without having Mass to attend  - I don't like it , but we did something very special to celebrate the Lord's day... but I'm getting ahead of myself!   I woke up this morning struggling with a panic attack, it seemed ill placed, since there was nothing going on today to provocate it, sometimes just lack of sleep and an overactive mind is all I need!   Faith woke today without her usual meltdown, which was wonderful ... she cuddled up to daddy, and woke up slowly but happily, such a treat because it just breaks our heart to see her like that, and wonder just how scary it must be still to her. 

At breakfast we learned one of the dad's traveling with us had a possible hernia, and was going to visit a local hospital to assure it was safe for him to travel.  He came to our table before he left, to ask us to help out his wife with their new baby, and to pray for him.  I instantly removed the crucifix and miraculous medal from my neck, that I had been able to place on the relic of Padre Pio's to bring him peace in the whatever God had planned ahead.  He actually put it around his neck, honestly thought he'd stick it in his pocket, which really touched my heart.  Things like cross necklaces and blessed artifacts don't bring you luck, or miracles, they are merely sacramentals, the things that help remind our human brains with what can be seen, that the unseen is hard at work around us - filled with mercy, love and compassion for whatever situation we are presently facing.  (As an aside - he did have the hernia, but PRAISE God is able to finish out the trip, stay with his wife, and postpone surgery until arriving back home on Saturday!!  Our doctor traveling with us, who is fantastic, will help him arrange everything when he gets back!!)

That was the downer at breakfast, the upper was Faith and I had this fantastic game of throw the napkin going on for about 1/2 hour, we played tug of war, we threw it back and forth, she played peek a boo underneath it.  She giggled and laughed, and we really enjoyed each other's company!!  I know it was productive in bonding, because leaving the restaurant, I asked Kevin to ask her to hold my hand again (she is much more compliant when Daddy requests something of her).  She fussed, but eventually relented, which was HUGE, because just 3 days earlier in Wuhan, she collapsed into a ball of jello when the same request was made, and NOTHING could sway her differently!! That was the day I ended up carrying her on my shoulder.  The moment, like so many of these small breakthroughs brought me to tears.

When then, as Kevin blogged joined a few of the other families in the Swan Room (kids playroom set up on the hotel - which is fantastic!) for a good hour of interactive play -- Kevin helped Faith learned 'sharing' lol, and we were able to interact with other people and children, which was a much needed reprieve of trying to play in a 2 x 4 hotel room!!    Faith is really starting to come out of her shell, and its amazing to watch our caterpillar emerge from her chrysalis -- before long, we truly believe she will be transformed into a beautiful butterfly!! (Thank you Suzanne for that analogy - it hit the situation RIGHT on the nose!!!)

By far my favorite moment of the day, aside from more shopping!!  Was the little private service, we and the family (with the sick dad) that we've really grown close celebrated in honor of the Lord's day.  Devout church goers themselves, we struggled with missing Mass, while here in China. We were told there was a Catholic church a few blocks away , but given the strict laws against teaching Christianity to minors, we felt it would be safer to remain at the hotel and share today's Mass readings together.  I always have the Magnifcat on me (monthly magazine of the Church's daily mass reading, plus awesome morning and night prayers).  We went to their room, because they have the 10 month old, it is easier for us to travel  -- we each took turns reciting today's reading.  When we had finished, we had a moment to collect our thoughts, reflect on the readings, and then share a moment where you've experienced God the most during the trip thus far. 

I started and shared with them what I had blogged about how patient God was waiting on my returning his love, and that I was grateful for this child, and was prepared to do the same on waiting for Faith to be ready to choose herself to receive my love.  JUST as I finished my sharing, AS IF ON CUE, Faith REACHED out to me from her carriage!!  I had been trying to take her out since we had arrived, and she had fussed at me and refused to allow me to take her out.  She is so hardstrong - a great quality unless you are trying to get her to do something.  First she hugged me, then she lifted her hands to get out.  It was such a gift from God, a kiss from the King (as one of my bible studies once called it).  OF course there wasn't a dry eye in the room!!

I told Kevin as we were leaving for dinner shortly after this amazing moment, that perhaps God was allowing this to be so hard, because HE knew that NOW I'd relish every moment and not take a one for granted.   With my boys, I feel like life was so hectic, trying to finish school, work, care for the house, etc, that maybe I missed some precious moments other kisses the King had sent but was too busy to notice.  In this situation, of working so hard for every smile, kiss, connection, I am much more appreciative and aware.  I am grateful that God has given me so many beams of light in this darkness ... and the whereforeall not to miss a second of it!!

Way to go England!

Ok the pictures first again:

Just got an email that AJ's team England won the championship after going into double overtime and shootouts!  Those boys played some great soccer this year.  AJ got a goal in the semi final round but couldn't make the last game.  Ian and AJ are in Cambridge with Faith's Godparents Heather and Rich and they are having a great time!  Thanks Heather and Rich!!!

Had dinner at Lucy's again tonight but this time I went with the crunchy noodle thingy.  It was good.  Hope that was chicken in there.  Had a Guangzhou beer to wash it down.

This morning we went to this play area that was very cool.  Lot of the other families were there, it's amazing watching all the parents establishing relationships with their "little ones".  Faith had a blast - need to work on sharing but it's getting there!

It's 10:17pm here on Sunday, 9:17 MA time....I'll end with a photo...  PEACE!  KG

Sweating in Guangzhou!

Ok, we are in Guangzhou still (actually to the end of the journey so maybe I won't tell you that so much anymore).  It's not the heat, it's the humidity!  It's warm.  Little one was asleep so I just went for a stroll to the park area.  Awesome place this Guangzhou!  All over the park area there are brides and grooms getting photo's taken.  I took one myself :) and if I don't have anymore Picasa snafu's you might get to see it.  You won't get to see last nights cheesburger I had because I accidently deleted those photos from late yesterday and last night.  Oops.  Stupid Picasa!

We went to a local 7-Eleven today and grabbed some water, that's a big commodity around here - water.  And much to my delight they have canned SPAM there at the 7-Eleven so if I can't find anything else tasty to eat I could go snag a can of SPAM and dig in!  I took some pictures of that too.  I wonder how many outher tourists take a picture of a can of SPAM.  Based on the look I got from the man behind the counter - not many.

You can't walk around here much without a sales pitch from somebody in a store but that's ok, they are very nice about it.  They all try to push squeaky shoes for your kids.  Tell you what, I dislike squeky shoes a lot.  Noisesome things they are that's what.  And since they don't have much effect on Faith I hope we can avoid them!

Hotel is gorgeous, more pictures of that coming up later as well provided I don't mess up in Picasa!

I also have to say that wifey-pants has amazed me with her patience and trust in God with her and Faith bonding.  I got lucky, for me it was right away, for her it hasn't been easy but it is getting better but she never has given up hope, I'd have just said forget it, and be off to the pool or whatever, not Allison, through prayer, patience and love she has been slowly taking down the wall that is between her and Faith.  It's been a learning experience for me to watch this as it all unfolds, Allison has taught me much in this, much in the way of patience, love and understanding.  Much in compassion.  I'm not saying she hasn't let it get her down, or frustrated but she quickly picks up and goes back at it!

Ok, signing off from the hotel room before the sap runs too thick!

Love and Peace everyone!  KG