Monday, January 12, 2009

Adoption Day

Yesterday it became absolutely, positively OFFICIAL!!!! Rebecca is ours!

The process consisted of a trip to have a family adoption picture taken and then a trip to civil affairs to take an oath that we would never abandon or mistreat her and that we would treat her the same as our biological child. That question seemed odd to me considering Emma was right there too and I would think it would be obvious how well loved she is along with Ryan.

Later in the day we went to the local police station to have her passport picture taken and to apply for her passport.

Our day started out a little on the stressful side with Rebecca waking up at 4 a.m. crying her poor little heart out and leading me to the door. Presumably asking me to take her back to Amanda. It took a good 30 - 45 minutes to get her calmed down, but she did let me hold her and comfort her which I felt like was a good thing. The rest of the day she was okay though.

On a brighter note, she was playing with me at the Civil Affairs building and we were peaking around things at one another and she would just light up with the most beautiful smile!

On a not so bright note, at least from my perspective anyway is that she prefers Brian to me. I've read that it is normal for the child to bond with one parent on the trip more than the other so I'm just going with the flow and taking every opportunity I can inch a little closer. At bedtime she kissed Brian and Emma (Ryan was already asleep) but when I went to tuck her in she pushed me gently away. Maybe it's time to break out the m&m's :-) I'm okay though, I fully trust that all will be well in time.

Okay, now that I have all the mushy mommy/adoption things out of the way ... let me tell you about Xian. It's a city rich with thousands of years of history. We are staying in what I guess is the downtown area and are close to the Bell Tower and Drum Tower. Susan was telling me yesterday that these are what were used ages ago for people to know the approximate time of day. The bells would ring in the morning time and then the drums would signify the evening time. They are both beautiful and I hope that later in the week we can get a little closer and get some photos.

We are staying in a hotel, but the rooms are more apartment like - think Ikea style and that will give you an idea of what it looks like. Glass and aluminum type sliding doors that separate our sleeping area from the rest of the room. Orange chair and an orange, black and white type art thing where the kids area is. Very unusual but fun too.

Now for the serious stuff. Friends, please pray - Linn, I hope you are still following along. I can't share the details but there is some very real and painful things going on with some families in our group. My heart is broken for them and I pray and pray and pray some more that we can share the love of Jesus Christ our Saviour as well as the love and kindness of friends with this family. More than anything though, I pray that the words we speak are the right words - not words of how we feel, or think - but the words the Father wants us to share.

And now to lighten things up a little, for those of you who find great pleasure in aggravating the bejabbers out of me, let me tell you my little story. You know who you are. We had a quick dinner at McDonald's last night. Well, they should rename it Spicy McD's, but that's another story. We still need some things for our room, namely water and dish washing detergent. Brian was absolutely worn out so he took the girls and headed back to the room. Ryan and I headed out in search of the supermarket. We had been told it was at this big mall by the Bell Tower. Keep in mind I do not have a cell phone on me, nor do I have the address of the hotel but hey, I'm a big girl and how hard can it be to find a supermarket in a mall, right? It's only a city of 4 million people, that can't be hard. So off we go. The main intersections have these underground tunnels such that you can circle under and get to any of the 4 corners you need so we successfully navigate our way to the mall. But we get to the mall and the doors are not your typical mall doors. Instead there are these big plastic pieces that hang down to cover the doors that are probably no more than 6 to 8 inches each but they cover the entire doorway & you can not see through them. The first set we try to get through, it looks more like a movie theater so we exit and go to the next door. Woohoo - I see beauty products! A little surprised to see a Revlon counter in a Dillard's type store, but still it's a store and therefore progress. We finally figure out how to get out to the mall and holy mackeral there are about 8 stories in there and we were on the second level. Overwhelmed puts it mildly. I find the mall directory in my small town Oklahoma/Kentucky mind thinking that all the other signs in China seem to have English on them too so theoretically the directory should too. Not.

It's getting closer to the sun going down so I say forget finding the supermarket that supposedly exists in a shopping mall and decide to head back to the hotel. From where we started and had gone, we should have been able to head straight back down the other side of the street and get back to the hotel. In a logical mind that is. The main roads has this big barrier type thing in the middle which forces you to use these underground tunnels to cross the street. Instead of trying to navigate backwards it seemed way more logical to just go down the street the hotel should have been on. But, someone must have moved the stinking hotel while Ryan and I were out. We walked and walked and walked with me getting just a tad more scared with each step we took. When I finally get to the point that I think I'll ask someone for directions, I pick the fanciest hotel I could find assuming that someone there could speak English. Wrong. I wrote down the name of the hotel, they all shook their head no. We wrote down the name of the restaurant next to the hotel. Again, lots of pitiful looks for these lost Americans but again shook their heads no. Out of the hotel we go heading in direction we should go but nothing looks familiar. Finally we do start seeing things that we had seen from the tour bus that picks us up at the front door and delivers us back to the same but then we start passing things that did not look familiar. Ryan is cracking one joke after another and I'm trying to decide whether to cry or thump him on the head for joking. Really, how difficult would it have been to put a hotel business card in my pocket. But me being "I am woman hear me roar" didn't think such a thing necessary. A city with 4 million people, surely someone speaks English - right? Umm, no - it wouldn't appear.

I finally told Ryan that we needed to get back to where we could see the Drum Tower and then we would back track. Thankfully, once we did find it then Ryan started remembering things he had seen. Believe it or not, but a "Super 8" sign was THE sign Ryan needed. He remembered us being close to a Super 8. Not me, but he seemed to know what he was talking about. We go down this alley and I remember Susan telling me that this area was famous for making flags and I knew that was close so I was starting to feel a little better. I had lamented several times that with our last trip that we really didn't have a chance to experience the real China. As the bible tells us, ask and you shall receive - pressed down, shaken together ... well, this country girl experienced the real China walking down that dark alley. There were people sitting under little lean to type structures with their fires blazing. Earlier we had passed people street vendor carts with people cooking and selling food. I was scared to say the least. Not that I was scared of the people because I wasn't. But I was afraid that we would never find our way back. I had no way of calling Brian, no way of calling Amanda. We live in such a just google it and get mapquest directions world that we take for granted way more than we (well, I) should.

Once we emerged from the alley of flags and fires, Ryan recognized a few more things and then before we knew it we were finally back to the hotel. God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good. Thank you Father for getting me safely home!

I'll post adoption day pictures in a little while, the kids are up and ready to go!


amy said...

if its any consolation- i would have been lost to. can't wait to see pictures!

Leslie said...

Man Carolin, I would had been scared out of my mind. Your a true brave soul. I'm so glad you found your way back to your hotel.

Broke my heart that Rebecca was up at 4am leading you to the door. Brought tears to my eyes, for the pain she must be in.

Praying for all of you and your travel mates. Give Rebecca and big sis Emma, and big brother Ryan, a big squeeze from us.

Hope today brings smiles, giggles, and wonderful bonding time with you and Rebecca.

Teresa said...

Caroline definitely preferred my husband to me when she finally warmed up. I used to joke that I was the woman who accompanied her daddy to China for her. It was that way the whole trip. It wasn't until we were home that she started to warm up to me.

I will be praying for your travel mates.

Norma said...

what an adventure you are having. so glad Rebecca is settling some.........she and Emma will soon be best buddies!!!!!!! we are praying for you all.

Anonymous said...

That is definitely something that would happen to me! I'm glad you guys made it back and I am so happy Rebecca is officially in the family! Can't wait to meet her and see you guys!

Nancy said...

I'm glad that you share your adventure, we hope to go get our daughter in Xian early March, I will take note of the hotel address. Thanks. Enjoy your trip

Mommy to Jade Zhen.