I know I said a post about our second day in Beijing would follow - but even with all the fun we had in Beijing that is not what occupies my mind now. Its 3 am here and I cannot sleep - not for lack of trying. In less than 12 hours lives are going to be completely changed dramatically. I know how I am feeling - I cannot fathom what may or may not be going through Abbie's mind right now. Hopefully she is sleeping much better than I am.
This "gotcha" day is so completely different from Linnea's. I was reading back to last years post the hours before we were about to get Linnea - while most of my feelings are the same - there are new added emotions. Last time I had no idea what to expect - this time I am going into this day with a different perspective on a number of levels as today won't be my "first rodeo" so to speak. Abbie is 8, Linnea was 2. Abbie spent most of her time in an oprhanage while sleeping at night in a foster home, she has been cared for by 3 different nannies. Linnea was transitioned from place to place but had the same foster family for the last 10 months she was in China. Abbie was brought to the orphanage at the age of 2 she was not a baby. Abbie has been exposed to the Chinese language and culture for much longer than Linnea. Abbie is not a baby who can just be picked up and toted everywhere or swaddled all up in mommy's arms. I won't swoop down and pick up Abbie as I did Linnea. I will touch her and hug her and love on her if she will allow me - I wonder will she? Will she be happy for this moment - will she cry big crocodile tears when all the people she has ever known say goodbye to her. Will she want to go with us? Does she even understand this concept of family and how her life is about to change? I don't know the answers to any of these questions swirling around in my head.
We had a meeting yesterday with our guide Miko and the other family who is here in our Lifeline group whose daughter is also from the Guangdong province. This is their first adoption. They are a deaf couple who is adopting a deaf thirteen year old girl. Super neat family and I'll try and post more on them later (by the way blogging when you bring kids along isn't as easy as it was when it was just the two of us - so thank you faithful followers for being ever so patient - I remember what its like to be on your end sitting on the edge of your computer hitting refresh hoping for an update...I digress...) Anyway Miko was sharing what things will be like tomorrow and what to expect and how the girls might react. At one point in our meeting she looked at me closely and she said - "the orphanage director wants me to tell you - your daughter does not communicate well. She does not talk so you can understand her. It is not very clear. And she most times does not understand what you tell her. So be very patient with her." First of all I know I have not divulged much of Abbie's special needs on here and that is for her privacy right now as well as the fact that I don't know exactly what to expect. I did know that communication might be a problem. And I did know her cognitive skills are poor - I do not know to what extent. And I LOVE that her orphanage wanted me to know these things so I/we could be patient with her. I find it somewhat funny that God chose to bring to me the queen of talking - two little girls who struggle with this so. It actually brings tears to my eyes. I have never struggled to make words come out of my mouth or struggled to even understand them - I have carelessly taken these two gifts of speech and comprehension for granted.
As I was typing God brought this to mind : we at church have been going through the book of Ephesians and in ch 4 it says this : "I therefore a prisoner of the Lord urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called with all humility and gentleness, with patience bearing with one another in love." and my favorite book Colossians in the 3rd chapter says "Put on then as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another....." God has called me to this place, to adoption, to walk in manner worthy of Him, being His daughter, to be patient and bear with one another. So Maoming friends who care so deeply for Abbie - yes we will by God's grace be patient and love her ultimately praying that she sees Him. Praying that she will one day not only comprehend her adoption by our family but the adoption far greater - the gift of Him.
So does Abbie know we are coming tomorrow or even comprehend what's coming? I have NO idea!! But HE does. What I do know is to be prepared to be surprised. Expect to be surprised!! And I DO know that HE knows the unknown I am getting ready to walk into and HE sovereignly ordained it and is walking along side of me. HE is weaving a story far greater than I can imagine. HE is in control. So thankful for these truths and really that is all I need to know.
So I must try and go back to sleep - big day coming!! Its mothers day and I am going to be a mama again!!!
Much love to you all ~ LeighAnn