Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Daddy Post: The Good, The Bad, The Crazy Signs!

Currently, we are stuck in our hotel room because of a big storm that blew in this morning.  I thought it would be a good time to write my "Daddy Post."
To think of the life Cora had during the last eight years really makes me wonder how she made it this far.  She never had a father to teach her right from wrong, to pick her up when she fell and got hurt, or to make her feel safe.  It really hit me when I went to tuck her in last night, she got so giddy it looked like someone was tickling her.  I realized she must have never had anyone wrap her tight in a blanket, give her a hug and a kiss, and tell her good night.  It only took a couple of minutes for her to fall asleep.  I'm sure this is partially due to the exhaustive days.  More so, I think it is because she knows that she has a Daddy who loves her and is watching over her as she sleeps. 
Cora showing us her bed amongst the other 20
It was so neat to see Cora come alive at the zoo.  I know we missed so much of her life up to this point.  However, the blessing in this is that we get to be there for a lot of her "firsts."  It was obvious she had never been to the zoo.  Prior to this,  animals were only pictures in a book or images on the television.  She was manually turning my head and pointing to every animal we passed saying their name in Mandarin with so much excitement.
Yesterday, we went to Shamian Island to do some shopping.  Two years ago, we met a Christian shop owner named Judy.  As soon as we walked up to her, she lit up with excitement and was amazed that Mia was the same girl from two years ago.  Of course, she got to meet the rest of the clan and gave us some good deals on all of the stuff we get to tote back home.  The boys were going nuts.  We are coming home with swords, daggers, nun chucks, and legos. 
Ethan, samauri warrior.  I hope the sword doesn't put us on the terrorist watch list at the airport.
Ok, time for the things that make this trip and transition difficult.  Amber already explained the rejection she experienced.  With Mia, we had holding sessions where we would hold her against us, kicking screaming and scratching, for about 30-45 minutes at a time.  We figured this would work a second time.  It did wonders for her attitude, obedience, and her rejection of Amber.  But it was like trying to hold on to a wild cat.  From that point on, I think she realized we weren't going anywhere and that we were in this no matter what.
The first couple of hotels had much to be desired.  Smells of cigarette smoke, hot air conditioners, and lovely odors of sewage were the norm.  The beds are like laying on a carpeted floor.  The scary thing is I'm getting used to it.  We survived though.  And Guangzhou is more like being at home.  Great breakfast buffet, pool, cold ac, and no smoke or sewage!
Toting 5 kids around China is a daunting task.  Thankfully, we have my father to help out.  We do a lot of walking, or rather we do a lot of carrying.  We have a toddler who has to go potty at the most inconvenient time and place.  Lots of waiting in airports and for buses.  So far we have flown 4 times.  Just two to go.  If we make it through a meal without a spilled drink or complaint, it will be a miracle.  Now that I think about it, it's not much different than at home!  Ha.
We have had other challenges, but nothing we couldn't handle.  We look at this as an adventure.  We weren't put on this earth to be comfortable and complacent.
Here is Mia doing her thang mid trip on the side of the road.
The safe in the room went dead with our stuff in it two hours before our appointment.  They had to hand saw it open.  Real nail biter!
Bottle of water on the floor right before we meet our new child.
Don't have the actual pic, but Corbin managed to wedge himself in some exercise equipment at the orphanage.
I have been making a little hobby out of capturing the signs that are a little off on their translation.
I wore my glasses anyway

I'm still looking for the floor slide.  Sounds like fun!

It's a buffet!
Not sure if we should be washing our hands here? 
In many ways, this trip has caused us to open our eyes and hearts a little more.  It has been so neat to see Cora find her place in our family.  Like a missing piece in the middle of a puzzle, God has fit Cora in perfectly.  She looks up to her brothers, and helps her little sister.  This morning she helped Mia put her shoes on, and she is always letting us know when Mia is getting into something she shouldn't.  She is warming up to Mommy, and gives this Daddy the biggest hugs imaginable.
There is a romantic side to traveling abroad.  I might have to frame this one.
Yes Amber, I will love you no matter what.
All my kiddos... plus some other guy.
It's official.  She put on Daddy's sun glasses.  She is a Leggio. 
James 1:27- Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Even though Cora may not have been in severe distress up to this point, I know she was headed for that life since kids age out of the orphan system in China.  In just 5 short years, Cora would have been out on the street to be abused and taken advantage of.  This is one reason we elected to adopt an older child.  Is it worth the discomfort and stress to travel across the world just to save one orphan?  Without a doubt. 


Alicia said...

Joe, thanks for your words today and we cannot wait to meet Cora! Thankful to call you and Amber our friends!

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

Love to see the adventure from dad's perspective! What a treasure!

Cynthia In Denver said...

Photo bombed in China! That's awesome! We made it to HK, so now my internet can pick up your blog! We enjoyed meeting your family the other night! Emma so enjoyed meeting and playing with your girls. Cora will do just fine.

Shay Ankerich said...

LOVE your post Joe! So true and raw!!! Hope I can talk Scott into writing for me while we are there too! Praying for your return journey!!! High fiving you all in the air! XOXO

Ann said...
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Johanna said...

finally getting to read this! I am in tears as you talk about getting be her "first" for so much! What an honor! She is so beautifuL! I Love your family's matching shorts, we would have had fun together in China! haha!
Love you, praying for you!
updating my blog right now!