family picture

family picture
We "want our very serve as HIS signature to all mankind so that all may know His work," Job 37:7

Monday, June 25, 2012

Gotcha Day

We are still not sleeping great. We both start waking up at 3 AM Changsha time. E was able to go back to sleep but after 40 minutes I decided to break open the melatonin. I was finally back to sleep around 4:20. We started off the day at 6:00 a.m. We dressed and packed for our day and then skyped with the kids. Leila asks us about 100 times to come home and I do wish I could just zap back and forth. They all seemed happy and excitedly talked about getting to go to church with the Hocutt's. Of course, this news makes leaving them so much easier. We headed down stairs and found lots of families. There are 3 families here at our hotel adopting and then there were two families coming back to bring their children to visit the place of their birth. One of these little girls was in the same orphanage as our son. They were going today to visit the orphanage. We finished our meal and then headed upstairs to gather our things and get ready to meet our guide Ashley. 

We meet him in the lobby at 8:35 and started making our way to the Civil Affairs office.

When we got there, we were told that they would not be there for a long time. It was also here that we found out that 3 kids were coming from the Hengyang City orphanage.

After 1 hour passed and 3 other families showed up (2 more adopting from Hengyang and 1 from another city that I can't pronounce). Forty five minutes passed and a lady came in holding a couples baby. I offered to take pictures. It gave me something to do and it was wonderful watching this family unite. It was beautiful and the baby was beautiful and did very well. Another 15 minutes later I hear the elevator and I saw a man walking in with a little girl of 4, and then right behind him 2 more people holding babies and one of them was mine. I just grabbed E's leg and said, "it's them it's happening".

I don't know how to explain it but even though it was somewhat chaos you tune it out and have this amazing moment with your baby. We are supposed to wait to hold our baby for the civil affairs staff to check our paperwork and passports but the nanny after a few moments handed Joel over to E. Joel immediately bipassed E and came to me. He is longer than I expected. Long Oliver like legs but very tiny in weight. He has a mouth full of teeth. I haven't been able to count them all but I am thankful that E brought the teething tablets. Leila will be sad to find out he did not come with a blue paci. In fact he had zero paci. He was very sweaty, I could feel that his clothes were soaked through with sweat. He was very happy and I even was able to get him to giggle a little bit. We gave him a play phone that we bought yesterday and he immediatly knew what to do with it. We played drop the toy and pick it up over and over again. Then the Nanny gave him a cookie made of rice and he played hit my hand with a sly grin. Nana's game of "creep mousey" works internationally and this is the game that made him giggle.

He plays so well and interacts well. (Warning: Developmental talk) E and I have been very impressed with his fine motor skills. He is probably ahead of schedule in the arena. His gross motor however is still behind though we did notice that throughout the day he showed us a little more. He is crawling great and cruising well. He even tried to take a few steps. We did notice that he is hyperflexible. With my very little knowledge of gross motor development,  I wouldn't be surprised if the combination of the hyperflexiblity and the heart condition was why he isn't running at the moment. I was very impressed with his ability to engage us in play. Several times he started games with us. E said several times that we have hit the jackpot. He is a cutie that is for sure.
Towards the end of the day and at the last meal we noticed him shoveling in his food and not wanting us to help him. I think food might just be the way he is gonna grieve. He also didn't want me to rock him or hold him at bedtime. If we would have let him, he probably would have played until he just passed out from sheer exhaustion. Yes I did take notice of this signpost. I finally just layed him in the bed the hotel had brought him and laid down in the bed right beside him. It took about 2 minutes and he was asleep. It is in these moments of his basic needs that I see him struggling to understand what is going on.
Other randomness that I don't want to forget. He did wonderful letting me change his diaper and even tried to play games. He also handled changing his clothes well. I was afraid of doing a bath. I didn't want to do too much too fast. We will try that tomorrow. He has a cough that I am watching and runny nose (very common in orphanage living) I just don't want to do an ear infection here. I can't eat I am so wound up and pray that we ALL can sleep tonight. Please forgive me for not having any pictures. It takes forever to upload them on the hotels internet system and frankly I just can't do it. I will go back and add pictures when we get to Guangzhou. (MK: I added the pics from facebook for those who haven't seen them yet ;o)
Tomorrow's schedule is to go to the Civil Affairs office to finish paperwork and make Joel legally ours. We will then probably run to see if we can find a pill splitter for some of his meds and some tylenol. His teeth are really bothering him. He is cutting 4 at one time.
Thanks so much for all of your prayers. We are truly amazed, overwhelmed, and filled.

The nanny that came with him was his favorite Nanny. We have seen her in pictures before and it was obvious that she loved him. She opened a picture book up that we had sent him and pointed at the picture of E and said BaBa (Daddy in Chinese) then she pointed to a picture of me and said MaMa (nice that it is the same in English). On a side note it has been pointed out to me several times of how young I am. Our guide told us on the first night that he has been doing this for 15 years and this is the first time he has had a parent younger than him (he was born in 76). Then when introduced ourselves to the other families adopting, and it was mentioned again that I was young and too young to already have 4 kids. The last time was by the Nanny (she will forever be my favorite Nanny as well) said that I looked much younger and more beautiful in person. SCORE!!! She gave us so much information. She brought his medicine for the next 2 weeks. With a detaileled medicine schedule and lots of medical information. Come to find out that they have been consulting with a pediatric cardioligist in the states and we can contact that person. Double SCORE!!
We took a few pictures but the Nanny took a TON. She just hugged us and was so thankful and we were as well. We made sure that our guide told her how thankful we were for caring for our son. She was amazing in her response and she gave thanks to the whole team that helped Joel. They spent a lot of time with us and we noticed that we were the only family left. So we let the staff from the orphange leave and then waited a few minutes before we left. This is the only time where Joel got a little upset. The Nanny hugged me and I her and he tried to go to her. It was an instant but we both noticed and released each other and walked seperate directions.

(Reflecting: Smoking is so common.  In this picture the two gentleman are smoking.  Yep, inside and while we are picture taking)
As we took the elevator downstairs our guide mentioned that our union with Joel went better than he thought it would go. We waited on our guide to get the car and then headed back to the hotel. Joel started rubbing his eyes, the international sign of, I-am-ready-to-crash and I pulled out a a paci that I just happened to bring. He gnawed on it and then sucked on it and got very still. We got to the hotel and our guide quickly translated Joel's daily schedule so we would have some sort of idea of what we are looking at. I noticed that Joel started getting a little overwhelmed. We were near the main road and there was a lot of people walking combined with a lot of cars passing by. I think this was just too much for him. Thankfully we were able to get out of the car and in the hotel before he got upset.

When we got to the room we gave him a banana and made him a bottle. He took the bottle well and ate about half of the banana. He will not let me hold the bottle and kept pushing my hand away. We also called Jamie (family friend and pharmacist extrodinare) to discuss his meds with her. There was a typo on the directions sheet and we just wanted to check with her before we started giving him his meds. He did let me rock him to sleep. After nap he got up and ate a little bit of fried rice and milk as well as took his meds. He then played and played and played.

(Reflections: I will never forget looking out of the building onto the parking lot and the construction next door waiting for them to bring you to me, sweet boy.  I had the song 10,000 Reasons with Matt Redman from the Passion Cd running through my head.
Bless the Lord oh my soul
Ohh oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I Worship your Holy name)


  1. I loved reading every word! As you know I like the details :) Joel reminds me of Faith at this time. She grieved in the same ways and was very playful. She did fall asleep on the floor one night out of pure exhaustion, it finally caught up with her. Joel is doing amazing and so are his Mama and Baba. Enjoy every minute of it!! Take care!!

  2. Congratulations!! He looks great, he's grown so much since we were there! It sounds like thing are going really good. It took Isaiah a while to let us hold his bottle too ... just keep trying, you'll get there. Enjoy your time in China, it will go fast. Keep the pictures coming!!