As I sit here and type I can hear Wesley breathing as he sleeps. I can hardly believe he is finally here with us…
Our day started off bright and early. We woke up at 4am to be at the airport to fly to Xian, where Wesley would be brought from his orphanage in Baoji. (about 2hrs away)
As we went to bed last night I prayed that God would please give us all a full night sleep so that we would be strong and equipped for the day ahead. And He answered. Last night was the first full night of sleep we have all had. We all slept SO well, and woke up with such an excitement and joy bubbling up inside of us! As I got ready I felt the Holy Spirit just pouring out His goodness and grace all over us.
We arrived on time at the airport and said goodbye to our 2 guides in Beijing – Dealia, and Eve. They were both so kind.
We also said goodbye to 5 of the families who toured Beijing with us. They were on separate flights to other provinces for gotcha days on Monday. We had a great time getting to know them and hearing their stories. I wish I could share with you every story…of how God has moved mountains to get us all here. And how He provided and protected us on this trip.
It was such a beautiful snowy day, but the snow caused a bit of a delay in leaving Beijing. We waited about an hour or more for our plane to be de-iced. We were soon on our way.
There were 8 families that traveled this time to Xian (6 pictured above).
We landed a little later than expected so had to go quickly to the hotel and drop off our luggage, exchange money (at the hotel – the bank came to us…way cool), then we were off to the govt. building…where we would all meet our children!
When I saw the same doors we went through only 2 short years ago to get Elyana…my stomach did this huge lurch! We were there! A flood of emotions washed over us. All these memories came flooding back….of the first time we walked through those doors with Tracy, Susannah and AJ. It felt like you all should’ve been there with us again.
As we approached the elevator something unexpected happened. Ryan and Jenna looked into the full elevator that was about to close…and saw Wesley first!!! Crazy, just crazy.
He had arrived only minutes before us and was headed up the elevator, just one step ahead of us. I high-fived the kids and congratulated them on seeing him first. They were in shock I think!
We stepped off the elevator and went into the same government room we met Elyana in. It was very crowded since there were so many people. A nanny (Ayi) asked us what child and we told her Chu Ai Jun. She quickly pointed to him.
I held back all the tears I wanted to cry since he is older and I didn’t want to scare him. He was very quiet at first and handed Elyana a sucker from his pocket, and then handed me one as the nannies quickly and excitedly spoke to him to telling him we were his family. He was even more amazing in person!!
At one point John told them Elyana was from Baoji. They quickly said “YiXuan?” They remembered her and right away wanted their picture with her. They also told Wesley as they pointed, that Elyana was from Baoji too.
John and I gave Wesley some space as we allowed him to get used to us being near him. The nannies asked him to kiss us and he did so robotically..and very sweetly. But he wasn’t overly affectionate and didn’t really desire for us to be any closer than we were to him.
For just a minute I held him on my lap, as he colored, then posed for a photo. But then he was back up to a safe distance from us. All this seemed like good news to us. He was hesitant of strangers (that’s what we are to him) and seemed very attached to the nannies.
He colored in detail the magic coloring book we brought him as we all waited. We believe he was sort of “checking out” mentally because there was so much to process that was unfamiliar to him. John and I knew this was the calm before the storm.
Our first family photo…
He is very small, only about an inch and a half taller than Elyana and about 1 size bigger in clothing. He has a sense of humor and is extremely curious…just like Elyana was when we got her. You can tell his simulated foster family and kindergarten class have helped him so much. The nannies told us today he is completely caught up with his peers, but that he just doesn’t talk as much. (but tonight he was talking alot – Mandarin, copying our English, and even teasing us in the hotel room!)
He absolutely loves buttons and figuring out anything. He thought making the camera flash was hilarious. He shared all his snacks we gave him with us, and thought it was so funny to stick all his stickers all over Elyana. He seems very comfortable with her.
After Wesley got his photo taken for all of his paperwork and visa, we went back to the room. The nannies slipped out and we tried to distract him. He absolutely loved the idea of having his own backpack with snacks, water, a blanket, and things to do. He even seemed somewhat happy, but he had no idea he wasn’t just hanging out with us for a little bit until his nannies would come back.
This little guy is brave and we are amazed already by him. Once we headed downstairs to leave and go back to the hotel he began to panic and cry/scream as John had to hold him tight. He really would’ve run away to find his nannies. John’s strong arms held him and we tried to keep it together and not melt into a million pieces over all the grief that was beginning to shake him.
Wesley’s tears rocked us to the core. We both remained strong, but inside I was falling apart. He screamed, cried and would not be soothed by anything. He wanted nothing to do with us. In his eyes we were kidnappers, taking him from anything that seemed normal and familiar to him. I’m still crying now as I write and hear his little sleeping self nearby. There will be rough times ahead. And we are expecting it, and will embrace ALL of him. All the broken pieces of his shattered heart.
This was one of the most wonderful/horrible days all mixed up into one. Wonderful because it’s the beginning of healing for Wesley AiJun. He will gain a permanent family, not just be a part of a simulated one. He will have a Mom and Dad love him unconditionally with the love of a perfect Father in heaven. As I looked him over in our hotel room I began to cry. I felt horrible for him. I felt such sadness sweep over me for all he has endured. Amidst such sweet redemption, everything about him says loss. He has lost SO very much in five years. He lost birth parents, nannies, foster parents, foster-brother and sisters, and everything familiar to him. As I peeled off his layers carefully to give him a bubble bath….I realized this was all familiar left to him. These clothing items, and new shoes they bought him today were pieces of who he was. And we will treasure them always, and respectfully honor and handle with care… all the pieces of his life.
Once the crying stopped and we were back at the hotel he seemed somewhat happy. He stayed safely beside his book bag of security items and found a spot to continue coloring.
John began playing silly with Elyana and we heard the biggest laugh for the first time. What a sweet sound.
He thought the bubble bath was hilarious and we had to end the bath when bubbles were flying EVERYWHERE. lol. He was cracking up. After his bath, lavender lotion and pajamas…we were able to sit and have a snack and read a book. He chatted about the pictures and smiled. He is beginning to warm up a little.
We enjoyed room service and he surprised us by eating spicy beef and noodles. We are thinking his hair cut and tolerance for “spicy” are Sparks traits. He is also a tease…he will certainly fit right in.
This little guy is amazing. I know God’s Spirit was over this entire day!! We felt it from beginning to end. In the earliest moments of my day I heard a piece of this scripture in my heart…I looked it up and knew it was our promise to cling to today.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. Isaiah 61
John and I feel it is a privilege and honor to love and care for our new son Wesley AiJun Sparks.
We thank each of you who have been praying and loving us!! We ask now that you would pray for the healing to continue to wash over him and that God gives us wisdom throughout this week and into the next gotcha day when we meet Hudson.
We’ve definitely felt a spiritual opposition while here on a few occasions, but have been defiantly claiming Psalm 91 over each day. Our friends who have prayed over us and who have spoken the truth of God’s Word over our journey….THANK YOU!! I have stories to share and can’t wait to tell you how VERY much it has meant.
Well, my family has all been asleep for a while, and we don’t know how early our littlest guy will wake up, or how he will sleep. We are all completely exhausted and drained and will have a long day of paperwork tomorrow. I’ve already heard a toddler up crying in a room near us, so please also pray for the other children and families here with us.
With Love in Christ Jesus,