Tuesday, March 8

A Journey of Faith

We're plugging along here in Guangzhou. I've had little time to blog, honestly, because we've tried to stay out of the hotel room and keep busy, both for our sake, and for Eli's.

The reality is that we are finding ourselves in prayer more than we could have ever imagined. I wasn't even sure what to blog, which is why the posts from Guangzhou have been sparse. I decided to be honest.

We've been having some good times once we arrived here, but this is definitely one of the hardest things we've ever done. Some of our prayers were answered when we met up with the other couple from our agency who are here at the same time, adopting a four year old as well. They share our faith, and the conversations we've had have been helpful for us. We've enjoyed their company more than we can put into words.

The hard work with Eli has started, here in Guangzhou, once we could establish that we were now his parents and he was not returning to the center. I was once told that kids often handle the initial shock of adoption one of two ways - they shut down or they fight for their lives. (Not all kids do this, but many do, even if it is subtle.) Norah was a kid who shut down. We didn't see her true personality until close to the time to leave Vietnam. Eli is clearly fighting for his life. He's made it clear that he doesn't want me to replace the nannies, and he's attaching much more quickly to his dad. That's okay, and not unexpected.

As we make our way through this, we realize that some of what we're experiencing with him comes simply from the upheaval in his life. Some comes from having few boundaries or consequences. We've been hit, kicked, spit on, and had things thrown at us. I'm happy to say that all of these behaviors have diminished greatly already. The first few days were horribly exhausting, but he's already accepting no and learning that we mean what we say. For instance, just now, he climbed up on my lap and pointed at the computer. I told him no, and he got down and moved on. The first few days, that would have been him grabbing the computer anyway, smacking me as I told him no, and him throwing anything he could find near the computer to the ground.

Anyway...enough of the tough stuff. We've had a lot of good moments too, and I don't want the hard times to completely overshadow the good.

We went yesterday to have his TB test read. (It was fine.) Today we stood in the US Consulate and held up our hands and took an oath. Everything is nearly finished now....we are only waiting for our guide to pick up Eli's passport with his visa tomorrow afternoon. We are hoping to leave GZ a day early and head to Hong Kong (where we will fly out of) so that we can do some sightseeing with the other family we are here with. The consulate just changed some of their procedures and we now are faced with being able to leave a day earlier. Rather than change our flight, the day in Hong Kong sounded like fun.

Yesterday and today we had a lot of fun just exploring on our own with the other family....we've taken the subway and headed to some tourist destinations, but we also found a hidden mall where the locals clearly shopped. (Things were dirt cheap.) Today we wound up at a mall and had the best meal ever, for about 10 USD per person. (It was a five course meal, complete with salad, soup, dinner, and dessert. I don't think I'll eat tonight.)

Some pictures from today and yesterday:

Hey, cold stuff isn't so bad! McDonald's ice cream is pretty good. After all, he likes the "Kentucky Chicken." Why not McDonald's?

At the Chen Clan Academy. Beautiful place in the midst of the city.

Oh yes he did. He found one even in China.


  1. Way to stick to it Mom and Dad. I can only imagine looking into his little face and loving him SO much and wanting to give in to his every whim. I don't blame the nannies at all for that. I want to encourage you though. Sticking to the rules, the consequences, etc is tough...but it is the best and most right thing for Eli. You are such strong parents. He doesn't know it right now and he might not for a while but he is one lucky little guy. I'm continuing to pray for you both...for strength, stamina, stick-to-it-ness, patience and faith. I'm also praying for him...especially today for attachment and bonding with his Mama. You are blessed.

  2. Heather,
    Your post leaves me wanting more, as usual. I hear your strength in between your words. Eli is your son, and you are doing what is best for him. It is what a mother does. You didn't go into this without educating yourself in many ways. God has brought you to this moment, lean on His promise to never abandon you. His strength is made perfect in your weakness. I will continue to pray for all of you, and will add more prayer for Eli to "see" you as his mother in all of the loving things you do for him. He IS fighting for his life, his new life, filled with abundant love and the promise of a future and a hope.

  3. As always praying for you, but also knowing good things are in store. Cannot wait to see everyone. We all miss you.