Monday, July 20, 2015

the sweet girl

the moment we met was quiet honestly, awkward, as meeting your ("older") child for the first time throughout the process of adoption is for most i would assume. she smiled sweetly in the doorway--eyes hidden behind her novelty sunglasses. she wore a fancy dress with a ribbon tie and sheer overlay, a floral pattern underneath. her hair pulled into a the familiar ponytail we have seen in all her pictures. 

she greeted us with a smile and gently came into our embrace. she is 85% gentle and silly spirit and 15% put brother in his place serious.  

we feel she's picked up an impressive amount of receptive english language--that or she infers what we are trying to tell her and brother and she then, with great "confidence and conviction" tells him in mandarin. 

the hotel we stayed at while in hefei had a nice heated indoor pool and hot tub.  the little dude was weary of the pool but LOVED the hot tub. xinhua was quiet the opposite--she didn't care for the hot tub at all, but loved the pool. she even held onto her daddy's back and let him walk her around the pool. this seemed like the most frightening thing in the world to the dude, so he hung on the sidelines. 

the second night together, we split the kiddos and xinhua and i stayed in one room and the dude and daddy stayed in the other (momma HAD to sleep). (the first night was full of excited, noisy, and active chaos as described in the previous post).
a storm came through--lightening and thunder, bangs and crashes, downpours and waterfall like rain washing over our hotel room window. sweet girl became afraid and got up to turn on the light. after she got back in bed she whimpered "momma" and held my hand and feel back asleep. 

the next day was uneventful aside from walking around the small shopping area near our hotel. xinhua was more quiet this day and we allowed her to be and to have her space--we were just happy to be in the same room as her while she played on her kindle. that night as we laid in bed my sweet girl started to cry. she sat straight up and began wailing. i thought at first she had an earache from swimming in the pool for 3 days, as she had grabbed her ear and cried and screamed. we walked next door and got baba (daddy) and the dude to come back over and called our in-province guide to ask her to talk to xinhua and find out what was upsetting her. sweet girl told her that she missed her foster mother; so we helped her call her. the foster mother reassured her she was loved madly by both herself and me, and we relayed through our guide that xinhua could call and write her foster mother whenever she needed. 
to me, it's not a competition for love. i cannot deny the incredible role her foster mother played in her life for 8 years. i cannot and will not demand she forget the bond and trust she had with this woman and exchange it for instant and unwavering allegiance to me. that will come with time. trust, love, and belonging comes with time and cannot be forced, or faked. 

since that night she's had her quiet moments (i'd be more worried if she didn't) and her moments of frustration with little brother (but honestly, he's a feisty dude), but honestly, she's been more than resilient. i believe she is strong because she has to be:
when we had returned to the states, we were to move a week later, so life was still not going to "settle". two days before the moving company was to arrive, the hubs had to drive down to atlanta to close on our new house--the kiddos and i stayed "home".  we went to the pool, had junk food, and lots of fun. the next day, i had to drive down to atlanta due to a snafu with the schedule for our power, water, cable, internet, everything! to be turned on. (this put me driving down to atlanta and back up on the same day, the day before we moved!). the hubs stayed "home" with the kiddos.  i ended up not having a quick turn around trip, and on my way back the hubs called and said luke had been upset for a while and wanted to know when i was going to be home. oh, trust me, i had wanted to be home HOURS ago! i asked about sweet lucy, and he said she was doing great and even trying to calm him down. 

when i finally arrived back, they were in bed, so i went up stairs to kiss them goodnight and show them i was indeed back home. luke was good and gave me a big hug and kiss. lucy, who had been great all day, and even helping "baba" (daddy) with luke, immediately said "mama", and the tears came. she cupped her hands in front of her face and sobbed as she hugged me. i don't have to state the obvious, but i will: my heart sank. my sweet girl, strong for everyone, until she didn't have to be.

she was known as the "helper" in her orphanage. her nanny/foster mother's right hand girlie. she is here too. she folds laundry with me, better than i do, she helps wash dishes, she helps serve food, she-helps. she has such a servant heart. 

we are homeschooling as much as we can for now--lots of ground to cover. she has made incredible strides, and continues to impress us with her desire to learn. on her own, one day last week, she brought us a piece of paper where she had written out the englsih alphabet in upper AND lower case letters. she's become very fond of math lately, and every little milestone is a great celebration. no progress is too slight to escape notice and jubilee. 

we received the greatest treasure ANY adoptive parent could when we met them in china---HUNDREDS of photos of her (and also of her brother, but his post is next...) from her time with her orphanage/foster group.  y'all, Half the Sky really is all about the children. i cannot describe the overwhelming feeling of joy that i have hundreds of pictures of her from her young toddler years to current. most families have only pictures that came with updates--we have developmental milestone, memories, activities, etc. recorded--in photos! 

until i can scan some of those and share them, here's a few of our sweet lucy-girl: 

feeding koi :)

meeting birdie for the first time! :)

she loves gnarls barkley too (the dog, hasn't heard the rapper yet!)

childhood complete: merry-go-round! 

call her dr. doo-lucy! 

everyone loves stello!

first time on a trampoline!


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