Monday, February 27, 2012

Shamian Island Medical Exam - February 4th 2012

Today would prove to be our busiest day since we arrived in China.  The day started out with breakfast in the Cafe at 8:00am.  There was a bit of a struggle for Gracyn & Jadyn to get along.  Gracyn would tell Jadyn....Wu Ah Ni, which means I love you in Mandarin, and Jadyn would turn her nose up at her and look the opposite direction.  So Gracyn spent most of the morning yearning for her baby sisters affection, and Jadyn wouldn't budge.  They fought most of the morning, kicking, screaming and even biting.  :(

Breakfast was actually pretty good.  A large buffet style with American & Asian dishes and tons of variety.  From noodles, to congee, to French toast, waffles & omelets.  I had dried bananas & Pineapple.  That was all I dared to try.  
9:00 am we were on the crowded bus with all the families.  Some of which we had not seen since our departure from Beijing.  It was so nice to see everyone with there new little ones.  They all seemed to have been adjusting so well.  Moms, Dads, and children.  

When we got off the bus on Shamian Island which was beautiful I might add, we went straight to a small store where each child's photo was taken for their Visa.  CCAI really knows what they are doing.  Talk about holding your hand...They have held ours every step of the way.   Our guides gave us all the details we needed to know, before we entered the clinic for our children's medical exams for their Visa Approval.  Any of the children who were over 2 years of age got an added bonus of getting a TB Skin test as well. Wouldn't you know our Jadyn was one of those lucky ones.  Jadyn was so scared.  The clinic was so crowded,  we were warned about how busy they would be.  We all sat in a very small sitting area until the visa photos were developed and could be attached to our child's paperwork.  

When our guides had each child's picture ready we started the long process of going through three different stations.  1st height, weight, & head circumference.  Then an ENT exam, which I don't know how they were able to check everything in the 30 seconds it took for the nurse to complete it, by just squeaking a toy in Jadyns ear.  Poor Jadyn clung to me with everything she had.  She was so scared.  She wouldn't look at anyone else, she would not get down and play with all the other children either.  The only two who would not get down to play were again her, and Long-Hi.  Poor babies you could see how scared they were, but every other child seemed carefree and safe playing with all the toys and other children in the clinic.  I tried to encourage Jadyn to play with her sister and the others, but she would have nothing to do with anyone but Mommy!  She would barely gaze in Davids direction when he addressed her in any way by calling her Jadyn or Xin Xiang.  She clung to me like a magnet.
  Finally Jadyn had to be examined by the Doctor.  All was well and we were free to move on to our final step, The TB  Test. Jadyn barely flinched when the Nurse placed the tuberculin syringe in her forearm.    Gracyn held her sisters hand and told her how brave she was, and what a little warrior she was.

When we were finally finished it was back to the hotel for lunch and naps.  The girls were out in less 
than five.  It was McDonalds which was across the street for lunch.  The fries tasted the same, heck even the nuggets were the same.  
David had a double cheese burger and it was pretty close to home, but I still wasn't eating it.  

We played with the girls a bit, with Plato, and puzzles and coloring until it was time for dinner.  We met all the families down in the lobby for a group dinner at a place within walking distance called Macaw's. 

Before we met everyone there David decided to rent a stroller for the remainder of our trip.  So I wouldn't have to carry Jadyn everywhere, cause my arms and back were killing me.  So off to the Resturaunt we went.  David pushed Jadyn in the stroller as she screamed bloody murder for momma.  The entire way there she screamed... Momma Baw Baw.  The guides tried to console her and she was not having it.  She was angry now and by the time we got to the Resturaunt she was drenched with sweat from getting so worked up.  I hated seeing her cry, but knew at some point she's going to have to let Daddy help.  David almost left with her until I gave in and let her sit next to me in her high chair to eat.  Food brings this little girl comfort. She acted like she was starving to death.  So she was now happy when food was placed in front of her and she wrapped her arms around my neck and said, " Wu Ah Ni Momma." Yep she just wanted her Momma and all was right in the world.  
After dinner she even let David push her back to the hotel and we went for a Starbucks break.  I had not even had one cup of  coffee since we left Charleston and tnow there was one seven floors below me.  What was I thinking?  So it was coffee and then bath & bedtime for the girls.  

Night time brought about three episodes of Jadyn crying for me in hysteria.  She eventually calmed down after waking the entire 7th floor up on all three occasions.  Poor baby, just was so confused and almost in a trance like state each time.  
I hope when we are home she will know we don't live in a hotel and we are not Nomads.  Maybe then it will be easier for her to rest, and not be so frightened

Guangzhou ~ February 3rd 2012

Today yeah......we were finally going to Guangzhou.  

Guandong Province
We were telling Jadyn all morning that we were going on a "Feji," or "Feji bye bye," which means plane in Mandarin... She liked the idea as long as "Momma go Feji."  All is good as long as Momma goes.  The girls went for a walk and the playroom with Daddy.  Each day we make sure that David takes the girl on a fun outing to help with bonding to Jadyn.  I mean what a great example for Jadyn to see just how much affection Gracyn gives to her Daddy or Baba - then for Jadyn to mimic that same affection.  God knows, it has to help with her acceptance of David.  After a quick nap we all had some "wanna be" rendition of American ice cream....far cry and I actually spit mine out because it tasted horrible.   At 2:20pm we set our luggage out in the hall and we were on our final bus ride in Zhengzhou headed to the airport at 3:00pm.  We said our goodbyes to Vivian & Yisha after our entire group checked in at the airport.  

Yisha on the Left & Vivian our Guides...We will miss you both!
While all the families checked in one at a time, the kids all played and ran around.  Even Jadyn got down and at least watched all the other kids play...... It was a start.  Then she would realize I was watching and strat crying for me to hold her.  


Daddy and the girls ate turkey sandwiches after we got through security, they said they were really good.  I didn't care I wasn't eating any meat that didn't seem to resemble Turkey.  My stomach was having a hard enough time eating the very little I was already eating.  
We boarded the packed airplane and the girls fought and cried as to who would sit next to me.  Thank God there were three seats across a row, so I was able to sit in the middle of the two so they didn't claw one another's eyes out.  They fought more today than any other day thus far.  Love between them seems to have been lost somewhere, but hopefully it will return soon.  Now fighting and refereeing, on top of everything else was an added stressor. 

Gracyn seemed to give in to what ever Jadyn wanted except when it came to me.... She would cry and say..."but I was your special baby first," Gracyn was done with the whole sister thing for sure!!!!  Poor Jadyn must be my stress eater because that little girl would eat everything in sight if you let her.  

We arrived in Guanghou around 8:30 pm,and got our luggage and headed to the bus with our new guides, Kathy & Jocelyn.  We had to have a separate van just for all of the familys luggage.  I know we had so much.  

Air Traffic Control

When we got to The China Hotel, The Marriott, I was pleasantly surprised as it was the nicest hotel we had been to so far.  Equipped with our very own Starbucks.... A taste of home!  


The Bathroom - My favorite

We did some heavy duty unpacking and then it was a very late bedtime for all of us.  Hopefully tomorrow will bring a new day.   
Sister Sleep....

One More Day... February 2nd 2012

February 2nd 2012

So the morning started out like every other.  We woke up around 7:00am, ate breakfast and then it was back to the room for some heavy duty packing & re-arranging of luggage, as we were leaving for Guangzhou tomorrow afternoon.  We got Jadyns passport, cute cute.  She looks so much like Gracyn in her photo:).

Jadyn on Left Gracyn on Right......Oh my Those LIPS!

After packing our luggage, re-arranging , and weighing it, it was lunch then nap time for the girls.  Jadyn cried for Mommy at least four times already and holding her has become an all day affair.  Jadyn and Long Hi who were both from New Hope seemed to be displaying the same pattern of behaviors.  They both scream when they were first placed in their cribs at the Hotel.  Jadyn screamed like she was being harmed.  And both of them cry a lot of the day to be held and picked up.  Jadyn becomes very irritated and cries if others try to hold her.  Luckily Long Hi's Dad David speaks Mandarin.  It had to help out a lot when it came to communication between them.  I so wish I knew Mandarin more, to just help out with being able to meet Jadyns basic needs.  I thought about Jadyns choice in her quick bond with me, but what if I were not the one that Jadyn had clung to? What if it were David?  I know deep down it would really hurt me had she chose David, but right now I would do anything to have Jadyn want David to hold her.  Just to give me a break from a very heavy 32 pounds.  Because let's face it... I was out of shape and my arms and neck were killing me.     
We decided not to go on the tour for the day to one of the temples.  We knew I would not last holding Jadyn the entire time, so David took the girls to the 5th floor play room so they could bond.  They had a great time with Daddy.  Gosh if he were my Dad I'd choose him over me, so why didn't they????  Oh well for now I had to endure.... I keep praying ~ God, please help Jadyn understand that we love her, we would do nothing to harm her, and we are not going anywhere.  So far all the days have been pretty much the same.  We had our final meal in Zhengzhou at Mama Mia's with spaghetti and pizza.  

At bedtime Jadyn screamed for an hour saying what sounded like "Go vay... Or Go Way."  We didn't know what that meant, and we even called one of our guides who was not in her room at the time.  When we gave Gracyn her medication with a sip of water Jadyn pointed at cup looked at us as if to say dahhhh....and said "Go Vay...."   What a relief to get her to stop crying as we had just figured out why she had been crying.  It was not until later on from David who spoke Mandarin that it actually meant "give it to me...."  So what she said was, "hey that drink your giving Gracyn give it to me." Gosh how awful did we feel that we couldn't even meet a basic need like getting her a drink. No wonder why she didn't trust us.  We couldn't even communicate properly.  I wondered at the revelation just how families made it through this transition.  All I know is, each of us are so ready to go home.  

For now we look forward to moving a step closer to home and heading for Guangzhou tomorrow.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

SEE....... February 1st 2012

February 1st 2012

Jadyn woke up three times during the night.  She woke up delirious and confused, crying for "Momma."  I found it just amazing that in less than 48 hours she found comfort in calling me just that...momma, and my face brought some sense of calm during her night of many terrors.  She was so confused each time she woke up.  Just like I was when we arrived in Beijing.  I woke up half a dozen times myself, wondering where I was.  So I cannot even imagine what she must be going through.  Oh she cried so much.  Her poor broken, little heart, was trying to make sense of all the things that just weren’t quite right.  When she and Gracyn woke up around 7:15 am she had a smile on her face and was ready to conquer yet another day. 

Little did Jadyn know Mommy would be gone for most of the day to visit MBHOH, otherwise known as Maria’s Big House of Hope.   I didn’t want to bring the girls. First it was a two hour drive one way.   Second with our entire family in the van, it would have been very uncomfortable.  So at 9:00am I went alone with two other families. David, Carolyn and their little 20-month old Hutch and their new adopted daughter Sophie, who might I add is just precious! They were from a town right outside of Dallas.  David was a Pediatrician and Carolyn a Physical therapist.  The other family, was Steve and Becky with their new little boy who was 2 ½ Cooper.  Steve was a Vet and Becky was an ER Nurse.  They were from a town right outside of Nashville.  Oh that little Cooper was having a time.  He really wasn’t talking much, and wouldn’t have much to do with Steve up until that point.  He was adorable.  Spiked Mohawk hair was definably perfect for his personality.  Stoic tough little man was his game, and no matter what.... he would not bust out a smile.  I tried though. 
The Scenic Drive to Luoyang

I thought about MBHOH, on the nice drive, and about how I had always wanted to volunteer there as a nurse before we adopted Gracyn.  I couldn’t quite imagine what the Chapman family had gone through with the death of Maria, but I also couldn’t imagine all the lives that would not have been the same if not touched, changed,  or saved by Marias death.  How so much good had come from something so tragic within their family.  It reminded me of the song Steven Curtis Chapman wrote called “Beauty Will Rise.”  Beauty did rise from the ashes of her death, and little did I know that my own daughters journey and life had been touched by Maria and the Chapman family. 
Maria's Big House of Hope....
Entering MBHOH
Roots of Hope

Maria on the Right....The Face and Life of an Angel.

Beauty Will Rise - Steven Curtis Chapman

As we entered into the CWI in Luoyang I was overwhelmed by the obedience and calling of all the volunteers that greeted us at the door.  The head nurses name was Mariah, and what a small world to find out she was from Beaufort SC.  I mean what are the odds.  She had only been home once in over a year and a half.  Then we met Mike the director, who not only ran Show Hope, he also ran the other three homes in China sponsored and partnered with New Hope.  Of course as soon as he told me that, I knew I was going to ask him a million questions, not even knowing if my P.I. skills would get me any answers that would help put the missing pieces back together of Jadyns puzzle.  I told him Jadyn was at New Hope in Beijing and because Jadyn would have to travel several days prior to Gotcha Day to her "founding" Orphanage it was impossible for us to visit as she was already in Zhengzhou :(.  It broke my heart that we were not able to visit the orphanage.  To my astonishment and pure jaw dropping surprise, I found out, not only did Mike our Tour guide at MBHOH Know my Dang Xin Xiang, he knew that prior to her going to New Hope in Beijing she most likely was somehow linked to Maria’s Big House of Hope and Luoyang.  He knew the connection after I questioned him about all the babies whose names were on the outside of the door - Most of which had the same surname as our Jadyn..Dang.  So in that moment it no longer was a dwelling which helped thousands of orphans in China, it was now a place where our daughter was most likely saved.  I got a bit emotional as a rush of pure joy filled my heart and I realized how God placed me there at that very moment.  That it was no accident I was just where God had planned for me to be.  How I almost didn’t even go because David was having such a difficult time with Jadyn when I was gone.  But God made sure I would be there, when the director Mike could be at any of the four locations at any given time, but he stood before me - to give me the few missing puzzle pieces I would later give our daughter.  Later Mike and I exchanged emails and he assured me he would get me any and all medical files and any contacts of those who cared for Jadyn at New Hope.  It was more than I could have asked for in one day.  God answered a prayer that I have prayed countless times since our referral.  So after the amazing tour of Maria’s Big House of Hope, which I cannot explain in words how it made me feel, I glanced at the two murals on the wall and they both had very different meaning to me on my way out. 

I was instantly reminded of the verse…  "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7 NIV). 
The illustration by Maria called “See” became symbolic in more ways than I will ever be able to my own words.......

Seek and I would See…I asked and I could never have dreamed the door would be found, let alone opened.  Thanking Him for blessing me with answers and prayers of a mothers heart.

It's Official..... January 31st 2012

January 31st 2012

Rise and shine early in the am and the girls got up at 6:30.  We all ate breakfast, but even the smell of fried noodles were making me feel nauseous.  We were on the bus again at 9:30 to the Civil Affairs Office.  We had 24 hours to make up our minds about Jadyn.  Just in case we decided we couldn’t handle her, or if we decided her special need was more than was documented.  Give her back....Are you kidding???? After our signature and a family pictures it was final.  After that point deciding not to follow through with the remainder of the adoption would therefore be considered abandonment and punishable by law in China.  Of course there was no turning back or deciding not to bring Jadyn home, because she was our little girl, and would FOREVER remain part of our family.

Jadyn wouldn’t let me put her down the entire morning.  She cried most of the night the night before, saying “Mama bow bow,” each time I attempted to put her down, which means – Momma hold me or pick me up.  Oh gosh, she would scream if I tried to rest my arms, and David she would have Nothing to do with.  She wouldn’t even gaze his direction.  Gosh I can’t blame her because his voice alone would scare me if I were a little one. 

From the Civil Affairs Office it was off to the Office of the Notary in Zhengzhou.  There was no elevator in the building so all of us had to climb six flights of stairs to have our documents notarized which was the first step of many in the finalization of Jadyns adoption.  Below is the picture of the Notary official.

After the two girls rested, we thought it would be a good idea to let David spend some time with them both, so I went to the Lotus Center with some of the other new Mommy’s to pick up a few things.  It was interesting.  A three level shopping experience, the first floor had multiple individual stores, the second was food and such items, and the third floor was toiletries, clothes, shoes, etc.  I picked up some Chinese twinkies and a few other snacks for the rest of the week.  I had a great time shopping with Karen, who was now by herself since her husband had left for Shanghai after the adoption of their sweet little girl Danielle was finalized by the notary.  She was from Michigan and I enjoyed her company.  I felt like we had known one another all along.  After we were finished shopping our CCAI guides Yisha and Vivian helped us order KFC in China….Wow, that was an experience. 

Karen & sweet baby Danielle...Dan Dan

When I got Back....Happiness
When I got back to the room, I was welcomed back with open arms by both Jadyn, and Gracyn.  By Daddy too, who I could see was a bit stressed.  When I asked him if he was ok, he told me Jadyn cried for nearly an hour for me L.  It was only after Gracyn touched her arm and said, “It’s gonna be ok,”  did she finally stop.  Just like that she stopped crying – Gracyn was the soothing salve to her wounded heart.  Thank God for her!  After Jadyn stopped crying all three of them enjoyed some time at the nearby park. 

We all ate KFC for dinner, but it wasn’t like home.  Gosh I didn’t even eat KFC at home, now I was eating it in China. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Gotcha Day... January 30th 2012


January 30th 2012

The Song That describes All of our Waiting

I was fine right up until it was time to leave. My heart started racing and I felt so overwhelmed. As David put it..... The baby was crowning after almost 6 years of gestation. A 2 1/2 year old little girl who God chose for us, we were about to meet for the first time. Even though I had gone over this day a million times in my head and had even experienced it previously with Gracyn, nothing could stop the negative thoughts and apprehension I was feeling. Is that what pregnant women go through? Telling God..".No, I'm not ready for this.... can we just go back to BEFORE?" As if you can stop the forward momentum of the high speed train of labor or reverse the clock of time. It was already in motion and there was no turning back. Everything in the last years and months had led us up to this special day, but I wanted to go back. I felt like I was suffocating and if had the chance would have taken the next plane home with my family in tow. Why? It all comes down to not being able to see what lies ahead. But in that moment my faith fizzled out like a wet firecracker. Why? I can't explain why it did, but I could not help but wonder, was this really our dauhter? I mean when your pregnant, he or she is yours. You carry them and feel them, knowing they are growing deep inside. The moorings of their being only to be released at just the right moment. The moment you knew God had prepared for you. You feel every movement and hear their heartbeat. You see their hands and feet with each new sonogram and you feel as though you could hear them speaking to you words of love. There's no doubt that you must feel something like.....Wow, how wonderful God is to allow me to feel such a bond, an undeniable feeling of His hand in the orchestration of the life growing inside you. It's your just seems like it would be so easy to fall in love when love is woven within your body, one strand at a time into a little baby.
So there in that moment of "crowning" I felt lost, and unsure of God's timing, His presence, His choosing of me. They say Faith is believing in something you can't prove is really there until after the miracles have occurred. I think that's why God made prove to those with little faith like me at that moment, that there is no other reason other than Gods very own hand in special miraculous blessings in life. Because there was no doubt, I was not in labor or had felt the awe of a child grow inside me. There was no doubt that people around me friends, family, and other would want to know why I wanted to adopt this little girl at 2 1/2 years of age. It seems unnatural and strange. And nothing at all like those who experience the blessing of childbirth. Because my faith became muddied in the circumstance, I denied myself the "leap" as they say. I ran the opposite direction in the moments of time stretched out in front of me. But as the door opened into the Civil Affairs Office, on Monday morning, I saw the profile of her face. My heart knew it was her all the way from the door. She was an "Empress in red." My faith was lost for minutes to hours, but was recaptured in a fraction of a second when God chose to "push" me because I failed to" leap." Just like that my faith returned. I'm so thankful of His almighty reminders in life. Yes, I may not have carried Jadyn within my body, but I dreamed and prayed for her, just like Gracyn, every moment that I waited for Gods answered prayers. So life all changed in a matter of seconds.

The day seemed so perfect. The girls had an instant bond. So very sweet together. Like they had been waiting on one another all along. They held hands, kissed, hugged, played.....All was well in the world until bedtime. Poor Jadyn, the language we do not speak, the questions we can't answer all became overwhelming at bedtime. Bedtime....was all but three hours for all of us:(. Jadyn screamed hysterically, which I had been prepared for. She looked around our hotel, as if to say, "where am I, and who are you people?" One word she knew though even in the hysteria, and that word was "Momma."  She screamed and cried and latched on to me with dear life. While Gracyn cried and cried, wanting to know why we didn't love her anymore. She even asked, "when can we take her back to her orphanage, cause I want to go home." Poor babies were fighting over my affection all night long. Gracyn, cried real tears of grief because now she had to share the love from Mommy & Daddy and she too, wanted to go back to before. With three ours of sleep after all of us had shed many tears, a new sunrise would bring a new day. Another day for Jadyn to learn to trust us, & to realize she is safe in our family.

Gotcha Day Video.  The 1st Kiddo of the Day!

Jadyn Willow XinXiang Lyon

Oh what a sweet face

One Happy Family

Happy on the bus ride.

Daddy will bribe you with Panda Bear...

One day at a time, sometimes turns to one minute at a time, but each day we know it will get easier and easier for all of us.

The Lyon Family