Good morning to all our friends and family and a giant congratulations to the other members of our travel group who flew to other Provinces in China and had their Gotcha Day’s today!!
Our kids are all tucked in for the night and I’m reflecting back on yet another day full of God’s amazing grace. Our newest member of the family is adjusting and working through his grief a little at a time.
There are moments I look at him in complete wonder. And can it be only 24 hrs since we first met, when it feels like he has been our son forever?
Xian, in the Shaanxi Province, is known for it’s Terra Cotta Warriors. Here are the spoon and fork warriors…Wesley and Elyana thought they were very funny.
Wesley is already protective and cares for Elyana very much. He steadies her if he thinks she is going to fall and shares all his snacks with her. As we were headed to breakfast he put his arm around her on the elevator. They are Baoji brother and sister….something we never planned and only God could’ve orchestrated.
The kids were helping him figure out his Leapster today. He has used the camera on it the most. He thinks it’s hilarious when he gets funny pictures of us.
Jenna is so great with him. He likes to be silly with her and cracked up taking pictures with her all the way to the civil affairs office.
Today was my birthday and anther VERY BIG DAY in Wesleys life. It was his official adoption day. We signed paperwork, put our thumbprints, and his handprints on documents making it official!!
He is such a happy and well natured little boy. His joy is contagious. He is an answer to our prayers and an orphan NO MORE!!
After watching John and I put our blue thumbprints on all our signatures, it was his turn. His hand print was stamped on 3 official documents.
The picture above was taken after all documents were signed and somehow this special moment was captured. I cannot even tell you what this picture does for my heart. As I picked him up he put his arm around Ryan and I and planted a big kiss on my cheek. I will treasure this photo forever.
After our morning of paperwork, we headed back to the hotel to eat some authentic Chinese take out from a restaurant in downtown Xian, just a short walk from our hotel. It’s a cheap and WONDERFUL place to eat or get take out from.
We had another appointment later in the afternoon for Wesley to get his photo taken for his passport. Just he and I took the bus ride with the other families, so that Elyana could nap and Ryan, Jenna and John could have some down time.
Wesley will not let me get very far from him, so John and I agreed I should go with him today. If I walk into another room for very long he comes to find me. At the civil affairs office I had taken Elyana to the restroom, and John said he was very anxious and worried until he saw me. It makes perfect sense. Why wouldn’t he worry another drastic change could occur. Especially since we had to do paperwork today in the same building, and even the same room that Gotcha Day occurred in yesterday.
As we waited for his turn to get his passport photo taken, he was drawing his letters and numbers for me. He can write in Chinese, write numbers, and Mandarin Pinyin. His Kindergarten teacher at Baoji looked so wonderful. A few weeks before we had received our TA (travel approval) we had received a video of him with her writing his Pinyin (Mandarin letters). She used to be an orphan herself and is now a teacher there. Another God story.
After his visa appointment, we stopped on the way back to the hotel at a baby store so that the families could buy supplies if needed. It was the first store we had taken Elyana into on her gotcha day. The place we heard her laugh for the first time. This time it was Wesley’s turn. He picked out a snack, play dough for Elyana and a cool car for himself. He is ALL boy.
Here he is with a new buddy of his that was adopted also. He is the little guy that found the cool cars. I think they were talking cars here and comparing wheels and engine roars. lol. The really did chat in the bus together about what we may never know. And shared cookies. These kids are amazing in every way. I admire them. For all they have endured and can still smile.
After a long day of paperwork our guide managed to do something so VERY special….she called all the families together in the hotel and had a surprise cake for those who shared a birthday this week. A sweet girl named Emma (the little boy pictured above is her brother), Elyana, and mine today!! I have been craving one of these beautiful Chinese cakes and was so sweetly surprised that Sherry, our guide had thought of us. This was a birthday I will NEVER forget.
(The pictures were so dark, so I hope you can play the video if you would like. The cake was beautiful and had some really yummy fruit on top!!) The kids all loved it and asked for seconds.
This evening was crash in the hotel room, rooms service, play like crazy with Dad time!! These are the much-needed moments that encourages great bonding and attachments. We are off the grid and able to relax.
Wesley has a very funny sense of humor….and would sneak up behind John…telling us to shhh not tell him…then he would lasso him with the glow sticks. Then crack up laughing!!
He loves to play with John and get comfort from me. I’m thankful he is getting more comfortable with us both.
Elyana is having a good time playing with her new brother. But please pray for her and all of us as we adjust. She told me this morning very honestly that she wanted things back the way they were. This little girl has prayed for her brothers for months and was so excited to be here she could barely stand still…ok so she didn’t stand still. But I believe she is processing everything and just misses home. I encouraged her to share all her feelings and told her pretty soon we would be back home and all settled in and we would all feel better. It’s really hard for her to see him cry. She doesn’t like it at all. She tries to go over and pat his shoulder. Elyana has come so far, but I have to think it hasn’t been all easy for her trying to process everything. We know God is at work though…in us ALL!
Above…Ryan was being attacked by his little brother and sister. It was so funny. We all had such a good laugh tonight. Medicine for the soul.
The things that have been easier than expected…
Paperwork….the first time it seems so huge, but this time it felt so quick and painless. I pray it continues this way in Guiyang for Hudson and finally in Guangzhou.
Food….he is not picky at all. He ate green beans for breakfast along with fried rice and bacon! Their bacon is so good here. It tastes like ham. Tonight he ate a cheeseburger and loved french fries dipped in ketchup. His foster family really did allot with him and exposed him to many types of food. We were given over 100 pictures along with a baby book on his Gotcha Day!!
Potty….he knows how to use the squatty potty, regular potty, and is very independent in this area.
Communicating basic needs….he can tell us when he has to potty, is hungry or thirsty.
Attachment….he is forming a strong attachment to us. He especially likes me to hold him and has asked for a few kisses today. Even when he was crying this evening, he was rubbing my back. He is VERY, VERY sweet and affectionate. I can already feel him finding comfort in love, amidst the deep pain.
Things that are harder…..
Grieving…..sometimes he just stops what he is doing and just stands and cries such an anguishing cry from the depths of his little heart. In those moments there is nothing that will console him. He is missing his foster parents and simulated brothers. It’s so much harder than I ever expected to watch a child in pain from grief.
Communicating…. I really wish I had learned more mandarin. But he is catching on to some English already, though sometimes he only copies us to be silly. We have been using an app that speaks Mandarin. He doesn’t ever talk back to it…but he smiles when we tell him in Chinese he is a good boy, and that we are his family. But in the moments of grief I wish we could understand him….even though this would most likely be even more heart wrenching for us.
Thank you all for the birthday wishes and messages via Facebook, text, email, messenger and on our blog. I apologize for not being able to personally respond to every message. I want you to know though that each one means so much, and your prayers ARE working!!! We are truly in awe of what we see God doing right now….and we continue to trust “He is faithful to complete the work He has begun.” Thank you for being here with us in Spirit!!
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” Ps 91:1
Goodnight from Xian,