Thursday, August 30, 2012

One step closer to home!

Hi!  We are packing up and heading to the airport soon for Micah's first plane ride.  We are heading to Guangzhou for some more  governmental paperwork before we fly HOME on Thursday.  Micah is doing better and better each day.  She smiles more often and even though we haven't seen the same warmth we saw at McDonald's, she is more patient and open to Reid.  I am praying that switch flips permanently before the long flight home.  A spider monkey clinging to me for 13 hours on a plane sounds pretty daunting :)  We will keep you updated from Guangzhou! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Praise God for McDonalds...

And I am not talking about the food!

Tonight, something amazing happened. We were waiting for our dinner at McDonald's. (Let me please say this is the FIRST non-Chinese meal we have eaten since Friday. Everyone needs a little comfort food every now and then!) we were waiting for our meal and Micah grabs REID'S hand and pulls him over to the display of the happy meal toys. Then he picks her up to look at them. Not a peep from Micah.  THEN our food is ready. I go bring it to the table and Reid picks up Micah and puts her in his lap to eat, and SHE DOES IT WITHOUT SCREAMING! Wait! Wait! It gets better! Then we go to leave and she let's him hold her all the way down the block. SHE EVEN SMILES!

She then asked to be put in the stroller without shrieking or wining, and then she let's him PUSH THE STROLLER!!!!! Well, we were high fiving like idiots for the next block and a half! It was like this little light bulb went off in her head that, "OK...maybe this guy is not so bad after all."  People, let me tell you it was like the skies opened up and God reached down to give us this little blessing.  She still swatted his hand away and wouldn't let him hold her when we got back to the hotel, but WHO CARES!?!? There is hope! Yippee!

Thank you for your prayers. We had a great night! We may go to McDonald's every night! (ok...not really!) 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pictures! :)

Hello from nap time in Jinan China! Things are getting better since my last post, but I can't say we are in parenting heaven by any stretch of the imagination.  Micah is still suffering a lot of grief over the loss of Ms. Zhou and anxiety about who the heck we are.  We knew this would be the case so it is not shocking - thankfully!  If we weren't prepared for that, this would be a lot harder than it is. But to be honest, it is still pretty hard.

What does this look like?  Well, for starters, she can be pretty grumpy and whiny.  There are times when she doesn't want to even look at me, much less be held by me.  However, she will hardly let me go into another room without her, door closed or not.  When we leave the hotel, she clings to me out of desperation not knowing if I will leave too.  Not that she really likes me very much! But I think she views me as all she has got, so she tolerates a spider monkey.  She will not let Reid hold her unless she is getting to push a button on the elevator, or reach something that she wants, or if they are in the pool together. It takes a lot for her to even let him touch her.  She'll fuss and swat his hand away or reach for me and whine or scream. And this girl has some PIPES! It is disheartening for him and a real beat down for me.  I have to do all the feeding, rocking, consoling, carrying, dressing, etc... Again, we were prepared for her to pick one of us to cling to, and we are trying to be patient.  After all, this is really only day 2. Cut this baby some slack!  Trust me, we ARE!

Last night, we took her for a swim, and she absolutely loved it.  Reid was already in the pool when we came out of the locker room, and she practically leaped into his arms.  Again, not because she likes him, but he was the one in the pool, and that is what she wanted.  I stayed out of the pool and he ate it up! We'll take it! We will be swimming again everyday to help her bond with Reid more and more. 

You may be wondering, was it worth putting her in foster care for only 4 months.  Without a doubt the answer is yes!  Since being with Ms. Zhou, her brain is now capable of attaching. She knows what it feels like to deeply trust an adult, so we assume she will develop trust in us more quickly than if she had never felt that.  She can eat solid foods and has grown a lot in Zhou's care. Until living with Ms. Zhou, she had only had bottles. The pain is great for her right now, but 4 extra months in an orphanage does a lot more damage than being separated from a foster mother.

Last night, I sort of lost it.  Let me be honest, not sort of, but really lost it.  After she was asleep, I  felt really homesick missing the children who I am already attached to. The little ones whose smells I can imagine and who understand me when I speak English to them.  The little boy who turned 2 yesterday (and I wasn't there), the other one who starts his VERY first day of school today (and I am not there), and the third one who I experienced all this adoption stuff with 5 years ago.  I REALLY miss that guy! Perhaps it is because his presence in my life gives me hope that I will one day feel like a mommy to Micah like I do to my Caleb.  Ugh! It physically hurt! I know that Micah will "get there." I know that Reid and I will "get there" too.  Probably before we know it, we will feel that mama and papa bear sensation arise and she will "feel" like our daughter.  But right now,  it just feels like we are babysitting this cute little Chinese girl. The Lord is clearly ironing out some gracious patience in me that I am lacking.  I just want to get to the other side RIGHT NOW! You see that?  I obviously need this lesson.  I went to sleep last night at 7:30 and didn't get up until 7...and that is with jet leg! I was pretty exhausted. Clearly this "patience lesson" takes a lot out of a person!

Some things to be thankful for:
1) The boys are doing really well at home.  We have been able to Skype and they love it.  Although, they keep asking if we are coming home "tomorrow" even though they know we are not. They are holding it together MUCH better than mommy is! Jo Lena and Beth are the BEST!

2) When we put Micah on the toilet, she goes to the bathroom.  It is amazing!  She can't tell you that she needs to go (not that we could understand her if she did), but she will go if we put her on it. Don't worry, she still wears diapers wherever we go. Welcome to Chinese early age potty training.  Pretty cool!

3) She is a GREAT sleeper! She does sleep with us in the bed, and she does wake up through the night and whimper.  However, we just pat her back and talk gently to her and she goes right back to sleep.  She takes great naps, too! She and Reid are asleep right now in the bed together.  Of course, she has no idea he is there, but hey, you can bond while you are asleep, right?

4) The Lord does give us moments of real love and empathy for this little girl.  She has the sweetest smile when we see it and she can be so playful.  She runs to me with a big smile on her face and arms open sometimes. She was an orphan, and now she is not. She has a mommy and a daddy, and 3 big brothers who can't wait to hug her, and kiss her, and love to yell at her through the computer! "HI MICAH!!!!"  She is officially a Porter and we feel so grateful that the Lord has chosen this little girl to be a part of our family. 

Now for the pictures :) 

 The view from our room.  That is not fog. It is smog. Yes, I am serious.

 Micah and Ms. Zhou.  Clearly M is not thrilled to be in our hotel room yet.

 With this smile you can see why our hearts melt for her. 

 The entourage plus one more behind the camera!

This is .5 seconds before she melted down completely.  Camera flash...then wailing for an hour. 

 Precious girl absolutely worn out on the floor with our robe.

 LOVING the pool, and her daddy...sort of.

 I guess Micah and I were both a little bewildered here.  She was a REAL trooper while we had government appointments ALL DAY LONG!

Today we got to sight see around Jinan.  This is our faithful tour guide, John.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

We have our little girl...

and she is asleep on the floor of our room!

We have had quite the roller coaster day. After 4 hours of sleep, we were picked up at 7 a.m. for the airport in Beijing.  (The Beijing Airport is unlike anything we have seen, by the way.) We arrived in Jinan at 10:30, and went to the hotel. We were supposed to meet Micah in our hotel room at 2 pm, bu she was taking a nap. So at 3 pm, our room doorbell finally rang. In walks Ms. Zhou (foster mom) carrying Micah, Ms. Zhou's daughter, our facilitator/translator, the orphanage director, and one of the orphanage caretakers who took care of Micah for the first 15 months of her life.  That is a lot of Chinese speaking adults in one small hotel room with a toddler. I tell you it was a circus!

Micah wanted nothing to do with us with all of the other wonderful Chinese people around to choose from.  Who could blame her?  The following 2 1/2 hours consisted of a lot of craziness: trying to get Micah to interact with us by playing peek-a-boo, giving her crackers, getting money exchanged (they didn't like the bills we brought so we will have to try again tomorrow at a different bank), getting "official" photos taken with our screaming child (they will be in frames for SURE!), asking questions about Micah's history through a translator, a lot of trying to hand over Micah to us followed by crying.  What we really wanted was for everyone to just LEAVE and let us figure it out!

When they finally did, Micah was GREAT...for about 7 minutes.  Then she realized the entourage wasn't coming back.  Well folks...she lost it!  I mean REALLY lost it!  She was crying so hard she threw up all over me.  It honestly broke my heart for her. We prayed and we sang, and she screamed.  She didn't want to be put down, but she didn't want to be held.  She was inconsolable for about an hour.  Then she did the craziest thing.  We were in the bathroom, I was holding her, and she was screaming.  She grabbed my hand and put it on the hotel bathrobe hanging on a hook in there.  I took the thing off the hook and handed it to her. She immediately put her thumb in her mouth, flopped over in my arms, and calmed down.  The girl loves terry cloth! Who knew!

Well...I lost it then.  I just felt so sorry for this poor little orphan girl who didn't know who to trust and didn't know if she would ever get to see the one person in the world she knew to be mama (Ms. Zhou). And I was really missing my other thumb sucker at home.  It seems that Silas and little Miss M already have something in common! We laid her down on the floor, covered her in the robe, laid down beside her, rubbed her head, and she went promptly to sleep.  She still is...on the floor...with her thumb in her mouth...clutching a huge robe.  Lord, give us the grace and wisdom to give this little girl just what she needs! 

We will try to post pictures in the next day or two. Thank you for praying for us!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

We made it!

We are here in Beijing for all of 9 hours. It is 2 a.m. and we get picked up from the hotel at 7 for a 9:30 a.m. flight to Jinan.  We will be meeting Micah in about 12 hours.  We can hardly wait! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hi Family and Friends!  I am going to try to fill you all in on what we are up to while we are in China. Wish me luck with that!  If you want to follow us, you can look here. (That is if we are able to figure it out over there!) Micah, we are coming soon!