Thursday, August 27, 2015

3rd and 4th Day

Last night Hugh sobbed, he just collapsed in Dan's arms as Dan was telling him how much he loved him and was kissing him.  It is almost as if he exhaled and it all came out.   He cried hard and was inconsolable for a bit and fought going to bed.  I just laid next to him and he finally put his two favorite fingers in his mouth, started sucking and fell fast asleep.   I have been co-sleeping with him and he will wake up and make sure I am still there.   This morning he woke up, ran over to me and we kissed and hugged.   He woke up very happy.   It will be interesting to see how tonight works out.  

Today was Hugh's medical appointment.  Let me tell you he was a trooper!  He didn't even cry when they he had a blood draw.   Basically, he appears to be healthy but has really bad eye sight which his host mom forewarned me.  

I am just amazed at how well the 3 kids are getting along.   While we waited for the medical appointment the boys played cars.  All three of them were laughing incredibly hard, just having a great time together.   Today, Kai started showing some of his rigidness.  While serving dinner tonight, Kai counted the number of sausage I served Hugh and made sure that I served him the exact same amount.   Same for the grapes and carrots…I told him I am not playing that game and we aren't counting every time I dole out food.   We will see who wins that battle…sometimes his rigidness just wears me down and he wins.  

We also had the joy of witnessing Hugh's motion sickness today, puke and all!   Dava Thomas shared with me that Hugh had motion sickness and she is right.   He has been using SeaBand's on his wrist which have worked but today somehow he ended up in the back seat of a mini-van.  The traffic in Guangzhou is awful, a lot of jerky motions and it was inevitable that he would get sick.  The worst was the Tanzmanian Devil (Kai) decided to melt down at the same time.  I am sure our guide wanted to escape that car.   It was not a fun car ride.   Dan handled Hugh because puke is honestly more preferable than dealing with the Tanzanian Devil.   We made it back to the hotel and we went and had a very expensive lunch of over $100 because we were so desperate to feed the T-Devil.

Kai has been wonderful in ways, by including Hugh and wanting to engage him. But any trip outside the hotel usually means that he will go into melt down mode.  On the fourth day we decided to go to Shamian Island, which is the island that all adoptive families use to be on for their adoption trip.   There are a lot of cute shops and a place called Lucy that serves good American Food.   Have I mentioned how oppressive the heat is here with the humidity.   Me, a person that boast that I never sweat had perspiration running down her back.  It was the perfect storm for Kai to have a tantrum and he had a doozy!    While we are driving back to the hotel, Bei says I want to go to the zoo tomorrow and I thought to myself, he, Dan and Hugh will have a great time, because there is no way I am going with the Tanzamanian Devil.   I love the kid, but he can be a handful!   Hugh is very easy by the way.   

Tomorrow is a free day and we want to stay by the pool.  Right now, at 5:00 in the morning it is storming.  The pool has been closed 2 of the 5 days we have been here.   Not a good thing when you have three little kids, because there is nothing else to do in this oppressive heat.  
Friday Hugh gets his TB vaccinations read to make sure he doesn't have TB.    

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Processing of Love

I find myself at a different place with Hugh, than the other two adoptions.   Falling in love with a 6 year old versus a 27 month old  and a 14 month old with lots of needs is just a different process.   One of the things I needed to do is to go back and try to imagine Hugh's history.  The bad stuff, the laying in a crib for so many hours during a day that your head is incredibly misshaped.  The many times that he was sick with no mama or daddy to comfort him, to hold him when his throat was so sore and he had a fever.  When his teeth were coming in and he cried excessively did anybody give him something to soothe his pain.   I need to roll around in his life story and remember where he has been and what has happened to him.  For me, it helps me process his story and build my love for not just an ordinary 6 year old, but an extraordinary 6 year old who has survived things that no 6 year old should have to in a life time.   

If I  think I am  just adopting a 6 year old from an orphanage, I would be doing a huge disservice to Hugh in the long run.  My expectations would be of a 6 year old who was born and raised in America.   For me, I need to go to those bad places in his life to see that he needs to feel the love like a baby feels the love from his mom.  I need to meet his basic needs first and move from there.   He needs to know my love for him is secure and I need to do that by rolling around in the pain and trauma he has experienced. 

I don't know if this makes sense to the average person, but it is my way to process the adoption of my little guy.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Second Day

Today we went to the civil affairs office and Hugh became a permanent member of our family.   He is a joyful little boy.   I am so incredibly impressed with Kai and the fact that it has been 2 days and there has been no jealousy!  He has exceeded my expectations in so many ways.   I see him trying to connect with Hugh and some of the time Hugh will accept, other times he doesn't want to hold hands.  Kai is really good at taking turns and it something we taught Hugh all day.  Overall he did well with it.  Bei has been a champion big brother.   Playing with Hugh and keeping him occupied while we had paperwork to do.   The two of them play catch with a stuffed animal while Kai cheered them on, laughing the entire time.  Hugh is a sweet little boy.  Easy going but independent.  He wants to do most things himself.  Tonight he grieved for the first time.   I asked him to give Dan a hug and kiss before bed time and Dan held him telling him how much he loved him and was kissing him.  With that Hugh's body went limp and he just started sobbing.   I went and hugged them, but he wanted to stay on Dan's lap.   There has to be so much going on in that little boys head.  So much grief and fear.  Another mom told me that he may be afraid to go to sleep because things might change when he wakes up.   There is so much healing that needs to take place with that little guy.   He is incredibly lovable, we just need to meet his needs of where he is at.   

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Where is the Parachute?


Oh my gosh…where do I begin.   Well let me tell you if I ever say I want to go to China again and take a 21 hour flight with two kids (specifically Kai) duct tape me and lock me in a closet.   I knew the flight was going to be a long one when Kai began asking me "where we going?" and "what day is it?" every minute on the minute, without reprieve.   It is like the old water torture, one droplet on the forehead at a time until you can't take it anymore.   The other "fun" part of the first leg of our journey was that Kai was mad that we were in a bulkhead seat…seriously kid?  Then to top it off, I noticed that Kai was picking food out of his teeth that was stuck between for the first hour while we were on the plane.  Yes, dirty, germ soaked fingers in his mouth but I understand when you have something stuck and it just annoys you, so I let him be.   After about an hour, Kai handed me the chicken that was stuck in his tooth EXCEPT it wasn't chicken but his tooth!!!   The kid had pulled out his own tooth!  I am assuming it was loose.   Ironically, Bei had lost a tooth earlier in the day!   

So we get to LAX and it is 11:30 p.m. Minnesota time.   Kai has slept one hour on the plane to California and Bei hasn't slept at all and is exhausted.   It is around this time that I wonder, why on God's green earth did I ever think a night flight to China would be the best way to travel.  Note to self…no crazy night flights anymore!!!  But wait, we have this same flight back from China…oh joy…   Anyway, Bei hits the hard bench like seats of China Southern and immediately falls asleep.  Kai eventually falls asleep and both boys sleep for about 5 hours total of the 15 hour plane ride.  Which means we go back to the torture of one drop at a time, "where are we going?"  "What day is today?"  Let me add that if a person that weighs 100 pounds more than you advises you to ditch the warm cover up because planes have those wonderful ultra thin blankets that wouldn't keep a heating pad warm, don't listen!!!   Then when that same said person says he was warm the entire trip as you froze the entire time, try not to stick out your tongue and give him a raspberry sound.    

To be honest yesterday I took my eye off of the prize.   Twenty-one hours of flying time about did me in!  It was about 5 hours too long.  I really didn't think about Hugh much because I was busy surviving.   

However, I will ask that you pray for all of ours transition tomorrow.  Prayers that Hugh is prepared and is ready to accept us as a family.   Prayers that Hugh's motion sickness is not too bad while we are in China but more importantly on our way home.  Prayers that the boys are ready to accept a new brother.   Prayers that Dan and I able to meet his needs and connect with Hugh.  

BTW, Kai is befuddled about what happened to Saturday.  Friday we left for China and today is Sunday.  He keeps saying/signing that we forgot Saturday.  He is so cute in his rigidness.  

Friday, August 7, 2015

Itinerary for China



Guangzhou Itinerary




8/23/15    5:40 a.m.   Arrive Guangzhou

8/24/15   2:30 p.m.   Meet Hugh!!

8/25/15   9:30 a.m.   Finalize Adoption

8/26/15   2:30 p.m. Go to police station to apply for Hugh's passport

8/27/15  9:30 a.m.  Take Hugh's Visa photo, and do medical exam (TB Test)

8/28/15  9:30 a.m.  Sight seeing

8/29/15  9:30 a.m.  Check TB results

8/30/15  9:30 a.m.   Sightseeing tour to Chen Clan Academy (I have to check and see if this is the school Hugh attends)

8/31/15  3:30 p.m.  Family will get passport

9/1/15    8:30 a.m.  American Consulate

9/2/15    3:30 p.m.  Receive Visa

9/2/15   9:30 p.m.   Fly home!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Warning...Cuteness Ahead!



We received a second update about Hugh!  These cute pictures came along with the update.   What amazes me is that he is in long pants and long shirts.  It is in the 90's with humidity around 70% in Dongguan.  Most orphanages don't have air condition but it makes me think that the Sunshine Academy where he goes to school and lives has AC.

Here is the update we received about Hugh. 


Questions:


1.      Please provide current measurements including height and weight and shoe size.

Height:107cm chest size:53cm head size:49cm weight:20.5kg foot length:15cm teeth:22

2.      Please provide updated pictures.

Yes.

3.      Does he sleep on the upper or lower bunk of the bunk beds?

He sleep on the lower bunk.

4.      Did he have a birth note?

No.

5.      Does he have a favorite Ayi?

Chen Min Hong.

6.      Are there any photographs of him that can be sent with him when he leaves?

Yes, if you want more photos, you can provide U for us.

7.      What is he being told about being adopted?

We tell him when he sees gifts.

8.      How does he feel about being adopted?

He feels happy about this.

9.      What is his primary language?  Cantonese or Mandarin?

Putonghua.

10.  Does he have motion sickness when he is in a vehicle?

Yes, he does.

11.  Does he like little dogs? 

He has not approach to dogs, we guess he likes puppy.

12.  Does he take a nap?

Yes.

13.  Are there any special stories that we should tell him as he grows up?

He likes to imitate animals and he is more active after he comes back form America. He often be together with teachers.

14.   Is there anything you would like us to know about Zhou Xiao Hua?

He is a quiet boy. When he feels bad he tells teachers actively. Sometimes he cannot express very well. He would like to do things on his own. And he can dress and feed himself. He can use bathroom on his own. He has a little difficulties in learning.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Travel Approval







We finally have received Travel Approval to go get Hugh from China.  Our "Gotcha Day" will most likely be Monday, August 24th.   This has to be one of the fastest adoptions I know of.   We decided around January 20th that we were going to adopt Hugh.   Our social worker had our home study completed in 10 days!  Our adoption agency initially had us going in November to pick Hugh up!  I am so grateful that everything has gone so smoothly that we can go 3 months early! 

The feelings I have going to get Hugh are different than the feelings that I had going to get Bei and Kai.   Previously, I went to China scared, terrified of the unknown.   Feeling like God was going to release his wrath on me through a child that we couldn't manage or connect with.   When we adopted  Bei, I was going to be a parent for the first time, there were so many unknowns of just parenting a child.   With Kai, his entire medical history and all his needs were a huge mystery.   I felt like I spent the first two years just keeping Kai Kai Sweetie Pie alive.   For Hugh's adoption I feel more confident and secure in my parenting.   I know the struggles that we may face will be something that we can overcome as a family.  I have reached out to professional therapist when Bei struggled with separation anxiety and I will do the same again, if needed.   I know the rewards we will gain by adding another one to our family.  But most importantly, I know that God and I are in this adoption together.  That this is not some devious plan to get back at me for my sinful life, but instead I am following his word and his lead.   I am actually excited for this adoption.  Especially, when I read what his host mother, Dava wrote about him.   The words that she uses to describe him are "he is a pure joy and a blessing".  Dava's niece wrote this about Hugh "He has been such a joy the short time that he has been here.  His parents are going to be some lucky folks to have such an angel.  And this boy is smart too!  He is more familiar with the alphabet than my 5 year old!"    The adoption agency posted that he often tells the orphanage staff that his "mommy and daddy are coming to get him".   How could I not be excited to wrap my arms around this sweet little one and begin our life together.