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 me...like 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.