Thursday, March 15, 2012

bruises, blessings, and bumps in the road

today was an amazing day-the best by far. everything has shifted. God has heard all your pleas and comforted us.

the morning started out with us trying to call our agency. i have been voicing how unhappy we have been and the agency has been working on fixing things, but nothing concrete had been done. we tried calling several times, but the phone system is in Chinese. i wonder why that is?? the front desk kept connecting us to collect calling...only to get the Chinese again. i had it!

we called and asked to see the hotel manager. a wonderful(and handsome) young man named Thomas, the guest relations manager came to our room and heard everything we had to say. he explained that the hotel was experiencing growing pains  and was on a learning curve due to the increased volumes of adoptive families staying here since the White Swan closed for renovations. it all made sense now. the staff has not fully adapted to orphan children invading their 5*star hotel. he said he would address our concerns with the staff and offered to move us to a cleaner room that would accommodate four people. we were so thankful to be heard and that something was going to be done.

then at breakfast, we spoke to another young man from Austria, named David, who is a manager in training. we have spoken to him before, but not like this. he was so kind and i will be praying for his success for the coming year. i left breakfast happy. i had finally scored some tea after not getting any for the last three mornings that i had requested it. jasmine...yum.

then it was off to medical examinations. we learned so much about our children. shianna was listed as mental retardation, BUT the child can't see! she needs glasses. she has a vision related learning disability. just like A has. she is excited about glasses as she has been taking baba's to wear around and giggle at herself the last couple days. i told her we would get pink ones and she was happy about that. the poor thing had to get 4 shots. she cried. i felt so bad.

she is such a love. tells me she loves me. always walks arm in arm with me everywhere. loves when i spin her around. gives me kisses and hugs liberally. refused to have baba blow dry her hair...wanted mommy to do it. she started calling me mommy instead of the Chinese "mama." my heart has grown two sizes bigger i am sure. funny has made me love E and A even more. adoption doesn't divide love-it grows it exponentially. anyone who says that a parent will have to split their love is talking out of ignorance.

basha is too funny. smart. smart. smart. she is learning so much english, it is astounding. she doesn't really sense pain in a normal way, so she can get hurt and not even flinch. she was playing with a girl in our travel group  and she whacked her face on the bus window leaving a huge bruise. she never even said ow. of course her passport photo will reflect her new "color!" she grabbed my hand to walk to the photo taking room! so cool. first time!

basha and her buddy, tim
 adopted and loved

after the medical appointments we hurried back to the hotel and packed up our things we were bringing to the orphanage. S ran out and grabbed, gasp, McDonalds to eat on the shuttle. we headed took a couple of hours to get there. when we got close, the girls put on their coats. they knew where they were. the driver was lost, but the girls kept telling him where to go. we got there and met basha's classmates. they all came out into the hallway and crowded around us. two stole our hearts. one was her foster sister. a girl with down's syndrome(in purple collared shirt). just hugged us and hugged us. i loved on her for a long while. i wish i could take her home. but i know full well that she would need more care than i am capable of giving due to S's work schedule and my having four children-two with special needs.

the second was a boy(in red) who stole my heart. i never wanted a son. but oh my...he got me. i will be praying for them both. anyone want to adopt these children so they can be in my "extended" family and i can love on them always??? anyone?

we passed out pull back cars and jelly treats...sort of like jello shots without the booze. we brought 36 cars and probably 50 jelly candies.

i passed out fancy paper to the teachers to write special notes to our children as mementos. then we were invited to see the 3-6 year olds. friends of ours inquired about a little girl they fell for and wanted to adopt. we got video of her. we were told she is not yet available for adoption as she technically has parents. broke my heart to hear that this awesome family wouldn't be able to adopt her yet. i say yet...i just have a feeling. perhaps she stole their hearts to open them up to adopt another child. annalisa wasn't meant to be my daughter. she was meant to open me up for basha and shianna. i will always love her and pray for her for giving me that gift.
basha and her teachers

shianna and her nanny


next, we moved on to the baby room...uh...they weren't getting me outta there without a fight. i went in during feeding time. they were eating rice with veggies. looked good. they were all fat and happy. not one i picked up had a wet or dirty diaper. the nannies were playing with them. i picked up one who was too little to sit up and eat. i sang to him(?) and rocked him. he loved me if i do say so myself. then his friend started crying because dinner was over. i picked up that little butterball and sang All Is Well. the baby stopped crying and i loved on him/her a while. if i could've gotten away with putting this child in my backpack and casually walking out...i would have. S was in the hall talking to Miss of the directors.

when i first read basha's finding story...found by a policeman... i fantasized that he had cared for this child, but eventually had to bring her to an orphanage. i dreamed about someday thanking him for saving my beloved child's life. i felt it would happen. it seemed like a silly childish dream, but i held onto it anyway. a momma can dream can't she?

well, after they made me put the baby down and come out(babies needed to go back to their rooms) S told me that Miss Pan told him about basha being found by a policeman, who cared for her, and eventually brought her to an orphanage. then they told me that policeman later married Miss Pan's sister! S said he had been giving this policeman/angel's email address.
basha, me, and miss pan after i heard about her brother-in-law


you think those blessings are enough? not! then a familiar lady came out. it was basha's foster mother. i wanted to grip her and thank her a million times for caring for my child. she kept thanking me. we gifted her some of S's famous homemade hot sauce. not sure she will use it. perhaps she will regift it. we wanted to honor her with a piece of basha's new family. we sat there thanking each other. thank, thank, thank you....on and on.

foster mama

it was time to go. they gave us a gorgeous calendar thingy which will be hung in my home even before we unpack. basha's teacher gave her some school books. and as we were walking out, our guide, grace, showed me phone pictures of shianna's baby picture and told me she would email it to me. a baby picture. i got more than i asked for. i thought this visit would be painful and sad...instead it was joyful and completing. we had information on our girls' childhood...drawings, pictures, and the knowledge that they were loved. the center was clean, colorful, and they followed rules similar to our OSHA daycares in the states. the children were healthy and obviously loved. i was told shianna is so tall due to good nutrition as an infant. she is thin, but i think she is like me...just naturally slender. she eats! really eats! basha too. that kids packs away more than overweight adults could. maybe she'll be a competitive eater someday.

the girls seemed fine leaving. said goodbye. no tears or depression. just a simple goodbye. not what i had expected. i expected loss, sadness, meltdowns, but nope. nothing but smiles. we gave Miss Pan and another worker a ride to a nearby bus station. basha watched out the rear window until they were out of eyesight, but didn't show any emotion except smiles.

now for the 2 1/2 hour drive home. about one hour or so away from the hotel we pulled over on the seriously busy highway. i mean scary busy. like wreck=dead busy. we blew a tire in our van. the driver and guide jumped out to see the damage and basha jumped out after them. i couldn't get to her because S was sitting on the door side. i started screaming for someone to get her. it was rush hour(6PM) and the whole van was shaking from the trucks whizzing by. S must have aged 5 years scrambling to get to her. she was put safely back in the van, and we went into shock. S couldn't think straight and i shook uncontrollably.  it took the better part of an hour to get it fixed. it was harrowing.

we rolled into the hotel by about 7:30. we switched rooms to find it was a suite. gorgeous. ok, 5 *star...i get it...yup. it is phenomenal. 1 1/2 baths, big tub, separate glass shower and commode stalls. a master bedroom and a living/office area. the children went berserk looking at everything. they have never seen anything this gorgeous. i admit, i was happy. i didn't imagine we would be gifted this too. i just wanted a clean room and permission not to have an extra cot in a tiny room(required by China because shianna is 13 and counted as an adult...laughable-she is far from it). thomas went above and beyond. there was even a fruit plate. the bellboy refused a tip. oh and the overlooks the immense pool and patio area. way different than our previous room. tip-splurge on the suite. we spend alot of time in our room as our guide hasn't been guiding us anywhere.

i'll try to get some pics, but now we are "living" in it and it doesn't look like when we walked in. i am happy. we ordered some food from a yummy restaurant and the girls went swimming in the tub. yes, it is big. 

we are having a great day. finally! we saw some of China's beautiful landscape, had an amazing guide, were treated like valued guests, and had an experience at our girls last Chinese home.

wait a minute. i think i might be liking China. it felt good. i felt welcomed. i felt AT HOME! what a difference being heard and acknowledged can make. this girl has a big smile on her face. two of my adoption agents called from TX and i shared our wonderful day with them. we will be getting a better and more attentive guide in a day or so too! oh happy day. diedra said she could hear the smile in my voice. they sent hugs and i felt them. the kids feel my difference in attitude and were more obedient. basha asked me to spin her around and into bed! they went to sleep in fifteen minutes. progress!!! i am awash in love.

i feel the prayers and protection. not even a scary breakdown on the highway could damper the mood. besides, who gets to tell a story of being stuck on a Chinese highway? some thrillseekers just might pay for that kind of of was free! well, we did pay the driver a generous tip for saving basha from being flattened. it was the least we could do.

later we skyped the children at home. we told them some of our adventures. we told them about the orphanage visit and how we are going to get an email with a photo of a baby picture. S then said he had a surprise...he pulled out real photos. one of each girl. their finding pictures. i burst out crying. my adopted children have baby pictures. they have a beginning. shianna is less than a week old and basha is several weeks old. this day couldn't get any better. i can't wait to show them off tomorrow. i advise anyone adopted from Shenzhen SWI to do the tour. you'll be thankful for it. now my children's lives are no longer a mystery. they have history. it will be important to them someday.  

so my complaining is done. things have been made right thanks to a few angels among us.

we are headed out to the Safari Park in the morning, so i will log off.

if you are ever at the China Hotel Marriott in Guangzhou...ask for Thomas...he will make sure you fall in love with the country.

blessings, peace, and joy to you all.


  1. You put a big smile on my face!!! PTL for His provisions on your day!
    Hoping for more surprises!

    I saw homeland tour pics on a blog a while ago and the policeman who found the child was at dinner with them (10 yrs later I didn't believe it!) Now I know how these connections are made and kept. Great story for your daughter!

    See you soon!

  2. So glad to hear you had a better day! This adoption business is quite a roller coaster- so glad we have Jesus to cling to on those scary dips! Blessings!

  3. So happy to read this...and happy to have such an immediate answer to prayers. Thank you, Jesus. We miss you guys. Much love!

  4. Wow, the power of prayer! Awesome!

  5. Yahoo! Bursting with joy for you and your family. Love you all!

  6. Haven't stopped praying for you. Happy for a happy day. :-)