Safari Day

Today we went to the Safari in the Panyu district with our group. It was a beautiful day, and both of the girls seemed to enjoy it.

Evangeline has made friends with a little four year old in our group and is such a little mother to her.

Our favorite was the panda exhibit. This one was so cute just sitting there eating some bamboo.

The mobs have all gone home, as abruptly as they came. The Garden Hotel is busy repairing the damage and putting the shops back in order. Here’s a picture of some of the many panes of glass that need to be repaired. In this picture, the men are painting the ply wood black.

Apparently tomorrow is the anniversary of a war with Japan (or something, don’t quote me), and they are expecting some difficulty again. Our guides have suggested we leave the Hotel early in the morning to avoid getting stuck in the hotel all day.

Most of our group has their consulate appointments tomorrow morning so we have a free day. We plan to go over to Shamian Island to look around. Do any of you know of some specific shop owners we should be sure to look for? We would like to get the girls Bibles in Mandarin. Do you know of any Christian shop owners we could stop by and see?

I have heard many things are changing on the island, and some shop owners have lost their shops. We would love to have the opportunity to encourage them in some way while we are here.

Evangeline could not be doing any better. Her foot is improved every time we change the bandage. We met a couple of friends who know the names of a couple of Shriner’s who may be able to sponsor Evangeline. We would love to be able to take her to Shriner’s for her back and her feet. She seems completely comfortable with us, and is very well behaved. She appears so happy and is very comfortable with giving and receiving love.

Eliza had a better day today. She seemed to enjoy the safari and sitting with us all at lunch as we ate. She is more quiet and appears to have more of a desire to withdraw from us, so with the language barrier, it does get a little difficult to keep her included, and sometimes she just does not want us to include her.

There are times when she just refuses to comply. We are praying about that for now. I’m really not sure how to handle that on the island, and I am sure this is all really hard for her. Ms. Zhong told us in the orphanage, she is friendly and lively, and we have only seen a very little of that personality.

We are praying for wisdom about how to develop a relationship with her, and for peace and healing for her heart. In the beginning, she wanted to hold my hand, but not now. We are asking God to give life and healing to precious Eliza through us as we walk in obedience to Christ, and choose to love his children!

‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?

The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:39-40

Blessings!

Diane

Update

Everything is incredibly quiet this am. The shop windows are empty. The military and police seem to have gone home. The broken glass repaired. Praise God! Thanks for your prayers!

Political Unrest

Apparently Japan is claiming they have purchased an island from a private citizen that China has historic claim to, and the people are very unhappy. When we left the Hotel this morning we had to wait for the police and swat team to secure the crowds.

We had a good day doing a bit of shopping and looking around with the girls.

Eliza is really struggling though. She broke down when we were shopping. The guide tried to talk to her, but she would not tell her anything she was feeling. She is just so sad. She seems better now that we are in the hotel.

When we left the market, our guide told us that protestors had stormed the Garden Hotel, and destroyed parts of the lobby.

We had to meet at another Hotel and be escorted back to the Hotel by the police because there was a lull in the crowds and another mob was on its way.

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We are here in our rooms. The Hotel is secured by the military and the second mob is arriving. We have been told not to leave our rooms.

Please pray.

Mostly Pictures

Today we took the girls to have their medicals done. We made out fine. The girls did have to have 3 shots each and a TB test, but they seem to be doing well tonight.

While we were at the medicals for the girls a little boy came in who was being adopted from Eliza’s orphanage. Her face just lit up and it was obvious she was so happy to see him. I took their picture.

Tonight we met up with another couple from Lifeline and went for a walk with them. We walked around the waterfall.

We went to the Thai restaurant across the street from the hotel for dinner. They gave us the VIP room. We’re not really sure why, but we did enjoy it! And the whole meal was only about $30!

The little girl in the last picture is almost four years old. The girls just loved her. I think the picture really shows how tiny Evangeline is.

It’s late, and I don’t have too many words today. The girls are doing well. Evangeline’s foot seems to be healing, and Eliza seems more and more comfortable each day.

God bless you!

Showing Affection

Today I thought I would share a little about the girl’s ability to show and receive affection. So much is said in the adoption community about attachment and the fear that older children will not have the ability to bond with their new parents. We are only days into this journey with our girls, but I thought I would share what we are seeing right now.

Eliza craves affection from me. As soon as we leave our room and walk into the corridor of our hotel, her hand reaches for mine, and she is content to hold it until we arrive at our destination. She wants to sit next to me. If I lay on the bed, she immediately comes over to lay with me. I rub her back and her arms and legs, and she smiles with a joy that fills her whole face.

I think she has craved a mother’s love for so long. She seems, at the moment, quite willing to obey as well. Sometimes she will say no to me, but when I say, “Yes”, she accepts it and obeys.

Eliza was abandoned as an infant, and she has spent her entire life in an orphanage. I do see some institutional behavior. She looks at the floor when she walks, with her head down, and seems to need things to happen at a regular time. We were in the room one day at noon, and she kept pointing to the clock and then to her mouth to tell me it was time to eat. If Mark wears his shoes in the room, she points and indicates that he needs to take his shoes off.

Evangeline, on the other hand, lived with her family until she was four. There is a security about her that is noticeable. She is completely comfortable with affection, but does not seem to need it so desperately as Eliza does. She snuggles up to me in bed, but seems much more comfortable and independent.

Both of the girls enjoy Mark and his humor, but don’t seem comfortable with too much affection from him. I’m not sure if that’s a cultural thing, or if it will just take a little more time for that.

We are off to breakfast and medical appointments this am. When the children are 10 years or older, there is a mandate form the States that they must have the immunizations. Please pray that they do okay with them and do not need too many. I guess they test them, and if they do not show antibodies to any of the diseases, they are given many shots at one time. That is concerning to us, but we have to leave it to God. It is out of our hands.

I’ll try to post some pictures tonight!

Blessings!

We’re Still Here!

I thought I’d post a few pictures of Eliza’s gotcha day since we have been so busy, and I am getting behind on posting our photos.

When we walked into the Civil Affairs Office, Eliza was already there waiting for us with Ms. Zhong. Meeting Eliza was a totally different experience than meeting Evangeline. Eliza was ready. She was smiling and eager. She had a back pack full of pictures, an extra outfit and gifts for us and her new sister.

I immediately had the feeling she had waited for this day for a very long time, for far too long.

She had seen almost every older friend leave to be with their families. Ms. Zhong told us that since she skyped with us, she has been telling the children, “My Baba has a sense of humor!”

Indeed, Eliza, he does have a sense of humor, and he loves you very much!

Eliza is incredibly sweet. She seems very demure, and very much like a little girl. She seems as emotionally young as Evangeline even though she is bigger in stature. Although, by American standards, she is still quite small. I think she is about the size of our Steven, who is ten.

There were no tears on gotcha day, and no hug from Ms. Zhong, just a pat on the back and a few soft spoken words I did not understand.

Eliza walked out of the Civil Affairs Office holding her new sister’s hand, with the demeanor of a child who knew this was what she had waited for all of her life.

Things have gone really well since then. The girls chat some, and are eating well. They laugh with Baba and seem to like a lot of affection from me. They are sleeping with me in the king size bed. They are thrilled with that arrangement, like giddy little school girls. Their faces radiate pure joy when we all get in bed, pray and say, Wo ai ni (I love you).

Last night we went to see the Dexter’s from The Pearl River Diaries. They are a precious family who has moved to Guangzhou and live on the Pearl River. They have a wonderful ministry of evangelism here with the local people. We had a wonderful dinner with them and sang the hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness together. How wonderful it is to remember how God has provided to bring the girls home! He is faithful indeed!

We also had the privilege of meeting the Barcrofts. They are here in China as well and have adopted two older girls. I was touched with how good God is to us to enable these three families from all over the globe to gather and fellowship as dear friends in Christ. What a blessing that was to us!

Joy Dexter was able to take the four girls in another room and share the Gospel story with them in their own language. That was an answer to prayer for us. We have prayed that the girls would be able to hear the gospel in their mother tongue before they came to the states for several reasons. One, because the language barrier will be an issue in the states for quite some time, but also because I wanted them to understand that Jesus came for the whole world, for the People of China too, not just the people of America.

Joy was also able to share a little about our hearts for adoption and how it relates to the Gospel as we are all adopted into Christ’s family.

The girls are far from understanding Christ’s love for them, but Joy was able to plant a seed that we are certain God will grow in time.

Evangeline’s foot is healing, and we are so blessed to watch the girls settle into life with us.

Mark and I are very eager to get home and see the kids. They are doing well, but are beginning to really miss us. We have another week to go. Pray for my parents and Mark’s father as well. They are home with our children and doing a wonderful job, but it is quite demanding and exhausting for them as well.

Blessings!

Eliza!

We have Eliza!

She is precious, and so excited to be with us. She has longed for this day for so long!

All of her closest friends have already been adopted. She seems healthy and well taken care of.

She is awkward and nervous, seems quite hyper, but is so sure she wants this. The orphanage director said she was ready the very day they told her she had a family.

She, too, doesn’t seem fourteen, although she has been fed well and, I believe has had many more experiences than Evangeline.

We went right from the civil affairs office to the Hospital for Evangeline. I wish we hadn’t gone. It was overwhelming and dirty and exhausting, and we know nothing.

We have a busy morning of paperwork. I am so tired and overwhelmed by the needs, and all that I must teach these two who have lived their lives among the enemy’s camp.

Today I feel the weight and the cost of service.

Your prayers mean so much to us as we press forward to rescue these two dear children!

I will write more and post pictures as soon as I can!

Blessings!

Diane

Almost time!

We are taking a brief rest before we go to meet Eliza. I just wanted to let you all know how much we appreciate all of your comments and prayers. We are so incredibly thankful for the encouragement you have given us.

We are doing absolutely fabulous with Evangeline. She is so full of love and reaches out to hug us all the time. She jokes with her Baba, and helps keep track of our things. She tries to speak English whenever she can. She seems so relieved and thrilled to be here. She tells the guide she is very happy, but her body language really tells the story.

Tonight She is going to sleep in our bed with us. 🙂 She seems completely comfortable.

The hotel is gorgeous, and we are in the executive suite which is just out of this world. I think they put us in it because of our family size. She must feel like she is living a dream after what she has been through.

Today, even more than yesterday, she just radiates pure joy. 🙂 We could not have asked for an easier transition for her.

I believe reaching out to love these two precious ones ranks right up there as one of the most worthwhile things we have ever done.

We are so thankful for the privilege of parenting these two newest treasures.

There is no greater joy.

More pictures soon!

We meet Eliza in an hour and a half!

Blessings!

Oh My Goodness!

I have so much to say about today. I don’t even know where to begin.

This morning we took Evangeline to Walmart to get some coloring books and colored pencils. She is just precious and picked out a pink back pack and several things to color with. Then before we left I suggested to Mark that we go to the toy department to see if she wanted a doll.

We walked past several stuffed animals and dolls, and then she saw a barbie like doll in a pink box with several different outfits for it and a little suitcase. She immediately picked it up and asked if she could have it.

Then we saw a Starbucks outside of the Walmart, and decided to go in. She had some fruit and orange juice.

She is just precious and we are enjoying her spunky little personality immensely.

Then we flew to Guangzhou, which was long and exhausting.

As I have said before, we were given no information about her from the orphanage at all. I asked the guide to ask if there was anything I should know about Evangeline, and the guide said she has a sore on her foot, but it was fine and the orphanage said it didn’t need anything. I asked the guide on several occassions how much I should be helping her, and he said, “Evangeline can take care of herself. She is fine.”

I didn’t know what to do about it. I pointed to her foot several times, and she would just shake her head no. I also took her in the bathroom and pointed to the shower and the bathtub, and she would shake her head no.

I wasn’t sure how much to push. She is almost fourteen, and I can see that she is very capable. On the other hand, she doesn’t look or act anywhere near fourteen. In Xi’an we had three different guides in four days which contributed to our feeling of confusion.

I also have been trying to go slow with this tiny teen and allow her as much independence as she is capable of.

So, we arrived in Guangzhou around 8:30 pm. We waited a long time for our luggage and finally met Rebecca whom we immediately loved. In a couple hours with her we found out more than we did in four days in Xi’an.

She commented on how tiny Evangeline is, and told us that in many of the poorer orphanages the children just do not get enough protein to grow.

She brought us back to the Garden Hotel and made sure our room was all set up. We are in the executive suite, and it is absolutely beautiful.

I mentioned to Rebecca that Evangeline did not want to bathe or shower, and I wondered if she could talk to her about it. Rebecca ran right in to talk to her, and immediately came out to tell that she could not take a shower because of her foot. We took her shoes off, and found a huge pressure wound that is open to the bone.

This poor child has been walking all over the place on an open wound that has not healed all summer, and I did not even know enough to change the bandage!

We changed the bandage and I gave her a shower sitting on a stool with her bad foot propped up on another stool.

I was so thankful to be able to help her. This precious tiny girl, who has born far too many burdens alone, seemed relieved to have her mother take care of her. She is not alone anymore. Never again does this dear little girl have to bear the burdens alone. Praise God!

We rented a wheelchair from the hotel, and intend to have her keep off of her foot until it heals. I guess we will watch it a day or so and then take her to the hospital if we need to. I do not think it is infected, but it is a raw open wound. I feel terrible that I didn’t insist on seeing it earlier, but she seemed to want privacy.

She is just a little sweetheart. We are so in love her.

Tomorrow we get Eliza at 2:30pm!!!

Oh my goodness!

Blessings!

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