February 26, 2013

A 24-hour recap

Please forgive the short post yesterday. It was a very difficult day for all of us. The last 24 hours have proved to be very interesting, so we'll start at the beginning.


We went to the Civil Affairs Office around 2:30. Surprisingly, I was feeling OK most of the day yesterday. But when we pulled into the parking lot, I thought for sure I was going to throw up. We were there with about 5 other families. After waiting for about 5 minutes, we saw Meili out the window and I completely lost it. Not because of happiness; it was completely out of fear. There was no crying, by either her or us. But there was plenty of shaking, nausea and light-headedness on my end. Thank goodness I had Jon to be the strong one.


It was obvious she was very scared. When we got to the hotel room, she found a little corner she felt comfortable in and stayed there for a while. Eventually a lollipop lured her out.

(this picture was from yesterday's post, but it's the only one with the lollipop)


Part of the reason yesterday was so hard, is because seeing her in person made me realize how very small she is. She weighs only 21 pounds and developmentally seems to be about like an 18 month old. We expected this to some degree, but it's still a shock to see. Her little arms and legs are so, so tiny. She can walk, but she's wobbly.


Jon was able to get her to come out of her shell, and within a couple hours she was laughing and giggling like a regular kid. But bedtime was a different story. She doesn't cry, but you can tell she tries as hard as she possibly can, not to. Her lip quivers, her eyes fill with tears and she stiffens up. The same things happens when we try to change her diaper. She looks absolutely terrified.


She was very restless during the night, which means none of us got much sleep, and waking up is very hard for her too. The same little terrified look shows up and you can tell she's trying to figure out what's going on. We had to go back to the Civil Affairs office this morning to sign all the documents. She did OK, but I think it was confusing for her.


Once we were back at the hotel, her personality started to show through a bit again. She definitely knows what she wants and doesn't want and lets you know too by swatting away whatever she's not interested in. Oddly enough, she really seemed to want to have pretty headbands in her hair today. She would pull them out and then pat her head.



We think it's very possible she didn't have enough food at the orphanage. She finds a couple pieces of something and carries them VERY close to her. And she ate pretty much ALL day yesterday. I let her have one of those squeeze bottle baby food things thinking she might not know what to do with it, but she stuck it to her mouth and didn't remove it until it was gone, which only took about 15 seconds.



It's bedtime now and we can see the fear starting to settle in. She fights sleep with everything she has, even though she's very, very tired.


I know lots of you at home have been praying for us and it means SO much. This has been very difficult. I feel like people often paint a perfect picture of the day they receive their child, and I'm just going to be blunt and say that ours wasn't anything like that. All things considered, Meili has been doing pretty well. I have been the one having a hard time. But it is certainly not easy for her either. When she's scared, she folds inward and shuts down, and we're seeing that several times a day.


If you're still praying for us...

Pray for the times when she's the most scared - going to sleep, waking up and having her diaper changed.

I miss my kids at home horribly. It really set in today and it's been VERY hard. I'm not sure if it was triggered by having Meili with us all the time now, or even what to pray for....maybe just for peace, I guess??

Pray for her growth and development. I'm trying hard to find good food to help her gain weight, but it's difficult when I can't read any labels (is this skim milk or whole milk?) or nutrition facts.

For the rest of the trip in general. We aren't even half done. You have no idea how bad I wish we were going home tomorrow. Or at least going to Guangzhou. I'm ready to be done with Nanjing.


Time to try to do this bedtime thing again. Oh yeah...maybe pray for SLEEP too :)



  1. I know you don't know me, but I've been reading your story for a little while. Praying for you right now!

  2. You don't know me either. I am a friend of Kysa's. I'm reading your blog and praying for you.