I feel like I have somewhat of a "clear mind" in our guide Miko's words... David has taken Nathan to the pool, and the girls are in the bathtub so I am going to attempt to begin this post - it might be long it might be short - it just depends on how this night progresses - thats just one of the many unknowns in my life right now...
I think I will start with the ugly......ugly might not be the best descriptive word out there - but lets just say some things about adoption are not pretty. I have said it before and I will continue to remind myself that my own adoption was not pretty - it was actually horrific - but boy am I ever glad Christ was willing to go through the horrific just for me. So Monday's gotcha day was rough. I have been sitting here at the computer for quite some time and I just can't seem to get past that sentence. Monday was a long day and I at one point felt like I was in a pit and couldn't get out - and not that I just couldn't get out but that I had drug my whole family down there with me. The 23 Psalm was near and dear to my heart this day - clearly I wasn't walking through death but I was in a valley and it wasn't pretty. I went into the Civil Affairs office where we were to meet Abbie with no emotion. I had no idea what to expect. I can say during this whole time of preparing for her to come home I have reminded myself over and over to expect to be surprised. I think I was more thinking that in terms of her cognitive well being and it never occurred to me what her social well being might look like and what grieving would look like for her. I am so thankful that we had Nathan and Linnea with us as we met her as I think they were very beneficial in bringing her in our fold. She came out in her matching dress and bent right down to Linnea. (I should note here Linnea is not fond of having a big sister around and is very much jealous and she does not like Abbie touching her all the time.) If it weren't for the kids I am not sure Abbie would have willingly come sit over by us. We had been told the day before when Abbie sees something she wants she is going to go after it - even if it means putting it in her pocket. We saw this when she saw the gifts we had brought for her. She wanted them right away. She is very strong willed - something else we noticed right away. Just within the first few minutes of meeting her fear and doubt begin to set in with me. She didn't want to be touched or bothered - she wanted what was hers and that was it. This was nothing like Linnea's gotcha day - that day was a fairy tale so to speak and I was longing for those kind of moments. As the afternoon progressed things got worse. Abbie refused to be in pictures with us and then she had a meltdown which included kicking, head butting, pinching and hitting all while I am holding her. This was heart wrenching and I lost it emotionally as well. Abbie was grieving and this was her way of doing it. I had been prepared for tears but the rest not so much. It was HARD. Even today as I sit here and right this I cannot begin to imagine what must have been going through her mind or even what is going through her mind right now. We somewhat got ourselves together and made it back to the hotel. We came in and she wanted a bath so the girls got a bath. This seemed to make her happy. Then she wanted her fingernails painted like Linnea's. Well that started out ok but didn't end so well. We are not even sure what set her off but the tantrum ensued and she again kicked, hit, head butted, pinched and cried, until she fell asleep. At this point I was physically and emotionally spent. And to be honest I was missing the sweetness that I had on Linnea's gotcha day. This day had been traumatic for all parties involved. The funny thing is last year when we adopted Linnea and she did so remarkably well - our friends Daniel and Jenny adopted too and their daughter was not doing so well - she screamed and cried and didn't want to be held but didn't want to be put down and David and I can remember saying we're praying for you guys... the couple we adopted with this week had a seamless transition and said those very words to us "we're praying for you guys" We for sure are feeling the prayers of His people as we make little strides everyday. The meltdowns are fewer - we see evidences of Gods graces everyday!!
The bad - well so we have gotten word that the United States Consulate has been closed for an emergency. This is not good news. The Consulate Appointment is the last thing you do in China and it is your ticket home. You cannot leave until you have this appointment. Our appointment is not until next week. We have been told that they are closed all week and are not sure when they will reopen - however when they reopen all the people that had appointments this week will be first to have their appointments whenever they do reopen and this will push all the other appointments to a later date. What does this mean for us - well so far we are being told that it looks like our stay will have to be extended for a few more days. We do not have confirmation of this - but we have been given the official heads up. At this point if that does happen we are thinking that David will go ahead and fly home with Nathan and Linnea and I will stay here with Abbie as we wait for a consulate appointment. The hard thing right now is how to handle flights as we don't know for sure when I would get to come home. And we don't know for sure if we will even be affected - but we are preparing for it just in case. Please pray for us and all the families affected by this - there are a lot of us here right now and not just from our agency. Lots of mama's and daddies wanting to get back home.
The good - I must end on a good note!! Abbie is doing well considering the circumstances. I mean she has known nothing but an orphanage for the last 6 years and then the foster family she stayed with at night and on the weekends. I can't begin to fathom this. She has two emotions happy and mad there is not middle ground with her. For the most part she is happy!! We love her giggle. And she can talk!! She calls us mama and baba (daddy) she repeats things we say to her and she knows her new English name! She likes to love on us and be cuddled. She is ours!!! And most importantly we feel your prayers. I was telling a friend earlier - this is spiritual warfare for us. Satan would love nothing more than to have Abbie and lots of other orphans left here in this country where people hang crazy pictures on their doors to scare the demons away. God is good and sovereign and HE is right here with us.
I can feel my eyes starting to get very sleepy - so I will post some pics for you and head to bed. So far we have gotten Abbie, made it official, and applied for her passport. Tomorrow is a tourism day. Thanks for keeping up with us!! Much love!!