Friday, October 12, 2012

Zài jiàn China

Its our last day in China and we are so ready to come home.  The Lord has truly been good to us, we have lived in close quarters for three weeks and all gotten along so well.  Vivienne has been the greatest help ever and such a sweetheart as always, I can't imagine this trip without her....BUT, we miss home.  We miss our beds, we miss our Ben and the rest of our family, we miss church and dear o dear, we miss BIG GIANT SALADS.

Henry is doing really great.  We went to Shamain Island today and he was SO good.  I was so prepared for him to burn out after a couple of hours but he is such a trooper.  He and I are bonding more and more every day, he craves affection and I am loving it.  He still prefers Charles but secretly, I am thrilled for them to be so close, it's really very cute:)
So as we spend our last day in China, our last day of this crazy exhausting trip, I praise our Lord for His provision, for His covering and for His lessons.  On to phase two...settling in.  We are hoping to see you all soon and introduce Henry.  Zài jiàn China!!

Monday, October 8, 2012


Henry with his friends Elizabeth and Joseph at dinner on our last night
Waiting for our luggage - this ones for you dad
On Sunday we said goodbye to our friends at Shepherd's Field and we are finally on our last leg of our trip...Guangzhou.  Everything here is really nice.  The city, our hotel and our guide are all really wonderful and we are feeling spoiled.  Vivienne caught my cold but is doing fine otherwise.
We got here on Sunday night and yesterday we went to get Henry's physical.  He was a champ as they attempted an eye exam and gave him a tb test.  Didn't cry a bit.  After a rest he and Charles went to the pool where he started to learn to swim.  He amazes us with his courage and resilience.  He is such a trooper and when our guide is with us he is full of questions.  He is picking up new English words every day but is very proud that daddy can speak Chinese;) too so he goes back and fourth, truly bilingual, truly amazing.

Today we went on a city tour of a Temple, the Chen House and an arts and crafts market.  Oh if I had money I would have had to buy another suitcase!  So much history, creativity and talent here!
We are all ready to come home though, every night Henry gets on my computer and looks at photos of family and friends and his bedroom.  He is really excited to meet everyone and to kiss his dogs.
Tomorrow we go back to the clinic to have his tb test read, Thursday is our consulate appt and then Friday we will hang out at the local park and pick up any last minute things we need to bring home and  pack.  We have to be at the airport at 6:30 am on Saturday because someone, I don't know who?, booked our flight home way too early.  But we get into Los Angeles at 11:30 am too so it will give us a full day of discovering before going to bed early.

 It has been a long three weeks.  Adoption trips are not for the faint at heart but I hope I remember every moment of it.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Good, Bad and the Ugly

Adoption is an amazing journey...I'm saying that with full knowledge that I am simply at the beginning...still in China, half way through our "Gotcha Trip".  But as I lay in bed sick, all I have to do is reflect on the journey so far and God has shown me a thing or two.  First of all, I thought I had given up control two years ago, only to realize that I only gave up the first layer.  The first one is the easy layer, the one that comes away quickly because it makes sense and you can rationalize it.  This past year, through the adoption process God has brought me to my knees, literally and figuratively.  The paperwork chase was just a shadow of things to come...waiting for your file to shuffle from one desk to another...the endless game of guessing when we would be traveling and where the finds would come from.

I feel like from day one God said, all you have to do is step out and I will do the rest....well that sounded great at the time...What a deal! right?  Except that He was speaking literally...He was in control every single step...when I thought, Oh, great!  Charles got a bonus, our car broke down.  When I scrimped and saved so that I could meet the next deadline payment, something else happened.  I would rush and stress over a notarized paper and it would get stuck on someone's desk.  Every step of the way, God provided...His way.  Every step of the way, He made me wait, taught me patience and told me to trust.
The most frustrating part?  We are here, and He is still teaching me.  Henry bonded instantly to Charles but as hard as I try, it is not coming easily with me.  Never in a million years did I expect this to be so hard, to love someone with as selfless a love as I can muster, and for it not to be reciprocated.

I look at Henry and it's hard not to draw the link between him and us as Christians.  God draws us to Himself, he "purchased" us with His blood, (sweat and tears) and we are still unsure about Him.  He proves Himself over and over and at the end of the day there is still doubt and fear.
It has only been two weeks that Henry has been our son and I know that time will bring trust and bonding but I feel the sadness that God must feel on a much deeper level, when after years of being His daughter I still act that way.  And all He can do is wait...and love, with his undying, never ending well of love.
I love this.  I love that He brings me to the end of myself to reveal things that I wouldn't otherwise sit still long enough to consider or feel.  I love it that when I look at Henry I see myself, a scared child who  has no idea how blessed his future is in the hands of our God.  I love it that He chose me to be His daughter in spite of my past, in spite of my rebellious nature.  I love it that God chose me to be Henry's mother and Charles to be his father and that every step from now on may not be easy but we will be gripping on to the hem of His garment.

But I have trusted in your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.  Psalm 13:5

Monday, October 1, 2012

Back Home at Shepherd's Field

Hi there...It has been a crazy couple of days.  We arrived at Shepherd's Field on Saturday night just in time for a western dinner of cheeseburgers/chicken sandwiches and fries...then drove hours through BeiJing traffic to the village where we happily said goodnight and found our perfectly perfect room with two comfy beds.  We woke up to beautiful weather and coffee thanks to Starbucks via and Charles took Henry downstairs to check out the breakfast room, but from my window I could hear as Henry saw his friend Bai Bai (Elizabeth), they screamed and hugged and chatted up a storm and then his other friend Joseph came out too.  What sweet kids...we gave Joseph the gifts we brought from his family and although he loved the clothes he kept having me read the card that came with it that said he was loved and that he should keep up hope.  I told him his family loved him very much and would be there soon and he tucked the card safely inside the sweatshirt and smiled.

Sunday was a day of adjustment for Henry.  He didn't have the authority of the ayis so he had a lot of freedom but without us knowing the language he definitely had the advantage.  He had a hard time figuring out the boundaries and because they had been so small and clearcut in the hotel in Zheng Zhou, by the end of day we were all spent.  After he fell into bed Charles and I regrouped and came up with a new strategy for today, Monday.  Today was much better, he is still confused some of the time but is learning who has the authority and he hates for Charles to be upset with him.  Bonding with me is still the challenge but I am patient and today we found a copy of a children's Bible so tonight at bed time I got to read him a story...He loves the story of Jonah and the whale.
Its so sweet, they only two things he keeps saying that he wants are a watch and a bible.  We finally got him an Angry Birds watch today for $2, but you can't buy Bibles in China so we are so blessed to have found one here this morning.

Anyway, we are doing well.  I'm starting to ache for home and for church but am happy to be here...the playground is such a blessing and I'm thrilled to be spending time with Jamie and Sarah.