Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Power of Prayer and "Are you CRAZY?"

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has prayed for this child and our family. If the story of our journey doesn't convince you of the power of prayer, I don't know what will. GOD is SO GOOD and WORTHY TO BE PRAISED!

I can't remember ever being so scared! I've done the "mother" thing before, but I did not feel adequately prepared for meeting Hayden on Gotcha Day. All the books we read and classes we took taught us to understand what she might be feeling and how to help her feel safe when she is with us, but I did not know what to expect or how to respond when she walked into the room. My anxiety about that moment was made 10 times worse by our guide here in Nanning. When we were driving from the airport to the hotel (meaning we had just met him), Glen told us that adopting a six year old (she's only five, but he kept saying she's six) is very difficult. Then he told us that she may decide she doesn't like us and will tell the officials that she does not want to go with us, and that they would not make her. He said we may have to leave the country without her!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

I spent the rest of the night continually reminding myself that God has brought us this far and would not leave us now, and that we have prayed more over this moment than just about anything I can remember.

The ninth floor of the Majestic Hotel is reserved for adoptive families and there are several of us here now. Monday morning I met a mom who has five biological children in their 20s and two adopted Chinese daughters. Her family is here adopting two more girls, sisters who are 7 1/2 and 8 1/2. It was so helpful to talk to her. I asked many questions about what THAT moment would be like and she talked me through it. And she told me things to do when we came back to the room. After talking to her, I was finally able to breath again.

We left our hotel and rode to another hotel where we would meet Hayden. Many families were in the same room waiting. And then, I saw her walk by! For a few minutes, she stood with her orphanage director and peeked into the room, and then ducked back. Over and over. Finally she walked in the room and came over to us. She was tenative, which was to be expected. When her orphanage director, a beautiful young Chinese woman, directed her to, she gave Darrell and I hugs. I handed her a gift bag that contained candy and bubbles (recommended by the experienced moms). She enjoyed a tootsie pop and just watched us. By the time we left the building, she would hold our hands. And we were so relieved!

We came back to the hotel, showed her our rooms, played bubbles (pronounced pow-pow in Chinese), and gave her the baby doll. Then for a while she pushed her baby up and down the halls in the stroller BLAS gave us for her. She only has one volume--LOUD! And, just like we were told in the reports we have about her, she talks and laughs a lot! She is absolutely delightful! After about 30 minutes of us chasing her up and down the halls, she came back into the room, plopped down and said something in a loud voice. Glen (BLAS guide) laughed. I asked him what she said. She had said, "Are you guys CRAZY?" or "Are you guys NUTS?" I don't know what you think, but I think she will fit into our family well!

She also had LOTS of fun taking pictures with McKenna's camera. And she likes directing who is in each shot and where they are to stand/sit and if we should show the victory sign (what we thought was the peace sign, with two fingers held up). As a matter of fact, when the official government photographer came to our room to take the official picture for the adoption decree, Jingshu (she doesn't know her English name, yet) told Darrell and I to do the victory sign. And we did. So, it's official--at least for the time being, she is the director/commander/boss in our family.

I must say, though, that she is very well behaved and polite. It is apparent that she was well cared for and trained. And, my favorite part: she is extremely neat and organized! I had to come all the way to China to get a child that cares about such things as much as me! (Logan cares, but not quite as much as Jingshu and me.)

Speaking of Jingshu, when we have mispronounced her name (we had heard two pronunciations) she is quick to correct us.

Darrell already mentioned the food street. Let's just say, we needed a guide to order dinner! Our guide didn't stay with us for dinner, but suggested we try the food street (smallish stand-alone food court next door to the hotel). It is a row of small Chinese food vendors. This is NOT your Chinese buffet or even any Chinese restaurant I've ever been in! There is a picture of every item, which may or may not be a good thing. And STILL we couldn't figure out how to order for ourselves! We saw a family that we recognized from the 9th floor, and their guide was with them, so Darrell asked if we could borrow her. She asked Jingshu what she would like to eat and was told a chicken leg, rice, vegetables, and egg. The picture of chicken that the guide pointed to was a whole boiled or baked chicken including the HEAD! We were SO thankful that what showed up was just a chicken leg. We also had good rice, sweet and sour pork (that had bones in it), spicy beef and vegetables, bok choy, and steamed buns. Most of it was delicious. Jingshu started with her chicken leg, then rice in a small bowl, to which she added some of her hot tea and some beef, pork, and eventually even the steamed bun! And she ate every bite!

After dinner we went swimming, which you won't see any pictures of because, to make swimming pictures even worse, every person is required to wear a swim cap. Take just a moment to enjoy a laugh as you imagine us in those!

Bedtime went very smoothly. After her bath, she let me wrap her up in a towel and hold her for just a minute. She actually has been more affectionate with Darrell than with me. And even that is not much. She loves to play with us, entertain us, laugh with us (sometimes at us when we try to repeat what she is saying), but has not yet turned to us for comfort. She is very independent, which we knew to expect. Right now, we stay close, show affection by gentle touches to her back or arm or by stroking her hair. She doesn't pull away, but does not in any way respond. It's okay. A time is coming when she will be much more dependent and need us. We look forward to many opportunities to nurture her!

Glen asked her yesterday if she wanted to sleep on the small sofa pushed close to the bed or in the bed with us. She told him she wanted the sofa. After bath time, her favorite show happened to be on TV (which the report we received yesterday told us was a part of her bedtime routine). She arranged her "babies" (the stuffed dolls that she came with that are characters on this show) all around her and settled in on one side of the huge bed. When that show was over, we turned off the TV and dimmed the lights. That is when we saw the silent tears slide down her cheeks. Our hearts were breaking for her, understanding that she misses everything familiar, not the least her ma ma and ba ba. I slept in the middle of the bed and just stroked her hair and shoulder. She fell asleep with her back to me and slept all night long. In fact, we had to work pretty hard to wake her up this morning for our adoption proceedings.

When she did wake up, she was happy. SHE WAS HAPPY!!! It is so obvious that our prayers have been answered. She has been very well prepared for our coming. She LOVES her foster family and is grieving them. That is a very good thing, because, even though it makes this transition painful for her, she knows love. And if she has known it before, she can know it again, though it will take some time for her to be willing to trust and invest her heart again.

Today was a very good, very long, day. Official meetings this morning made her officially our child. The orphanage director gave us not only the cameras that we sent in the care package, but also many pictures from Jingshu's years under the care of the Liuzhou City orphanage (including foster care). We have PICTURES! Yeah!

Then a trip to Wal-Mart, which was a good thing because it's been 7 long days since the Adcocks have been to Wal-Mart--setting a record, I'm sure! As with everything, Wal-Mart in China is quite different than in Arkansas. First of all, it is several stories high and has many things our local store does not have. Like live seafood. (I'm not talking about lobster here, people.) And many, many different flavors of packaged chicken feet. We didn't go looking for these things. They're just there, right in the aisles! As if people really WANT them!

We had pizza from Pizza Hut for lunch. Even the newest little Adcock liked it, even though it was new to her. WHEW! Afterward, we crashed (all of us) for a nice, long nap.

Jingshu has dressed and undressed her baby at least 100 times today and we've colored and colored and colored. Oh, and we've (she's) taken a gazillion pictures. Either her aim is getting better, or we're doing better of ducking into the picture!

Just now, she got up and turned the TV off and got her "babies" settled and crawled into bed, right in the middle, next to her new Ba Ba, who is already sound asleep. I stopped typing to lay down next to her until she was asleep.

I am SO in love with this little girl! She is BEAUTIFUL! And I can say that, right, 'cause she doesn't have my DNA and I didn't even pick her out myself. But let me say this: She couldn't be more perfectly suited for us if she did or we did. I CAN'T WAIT to hug her and kiss her. But, I will wait. We've waited this long to meet her, so I know we can wait a bit longer for her to welcome our affection.

Tomorrow we will do some sightseeing here in Nanning, the capital of Jingshu's province. And on Thursday we hope to travel 2 1/2 hours to see her city. I wonder how she will feel, going back so close to what is familiar? We have changed our minds many times about whether or not to go. I think it could be hard on her now, but I also think she will value the photographs and the knowledge that we were there.

More later...

Tracy Adcock

Follow our Journey to bring Hayden Home


Anonymous said...

Tears are still streaming down my face, Tracy.

She woke up HAPPY!

What a blessing.

Love you all,

Sarah Hedlund said...

I'm sitting here crying. I'm so happy for you guys, been praying all week. Sounds like she fits right in. Praise the Lord! Can't wait to see her!

Mo said...

What a delightful post Tracy. I looked at the pictures before reading it, so you writing just brought it all together. I will continue to pray for you guys as everyone adjusts. Your family is even more beautiful than I remember and Hayden is a very blessed girl (as you guys are).

All the Arnolds said...

Unbelievable! And, soooo believable! God is amazing...thank you for showing us a glimpse of Him through your faithfulness.

And, you bet your sweet bippy I laughed out loud at the visual of the swim caps!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing God we have!! Lord, thank you for bringing this sweet girl and her new family together.

Can't wait to meet her and I am so thankful for a smooth transition so far!

Love you all!
Suzanne and Walt (Lucy and Max, too)

Anonymous said...

Wow, Tracy, so much to take in and process for you and your family. May the Lord continue to go before you. What an adventure! Thanks for sharing your heart with all of us. Love, Jeanne

Suzy said...

Oh what crazy things this post has done to me emotionally - the really high highs, and the really deep sadness for her silent tears. I'm so glad you have each other now - that she is finally with her forever family.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing such precious moments! You(meaning Hayden too!) are in my daily prayers! Its such a blessing to me to hear of God's presence through every step. My heart aches for Hayden as she goes through such a huge transition but she will one day realize God's great gift of bringing her to your family. I can't imagine any more of a precious family than this little girl could be a part of! I look forward to witnessing her realization of God's gift and watching her fall in love with you guys and truly know who her MaMa & BaBa. The pictures have been so sweet and I was thrilled to see her love her doll! Love to ALL of you! Suzanne

Cindy said...

Congratulations Adcock family!! We are so happy for you all!
We have enjoyed seeing your pictures and reading about your amazing journey. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. It is bringing back lots of memories. Jingshu is adorable! We are anxious to meet her.
We are praying for you! GOD IS GOOD!!
Cindy - for the Voelker family