Nights have been good, no great. The other night, as I prepared to put Elli to bed she ran for her bed to jump in. I really want to make a habit of holding her and rocking her and singing to her. I called her name and opened up my arms. She made a run at me and jumped into them. That would have been enough just to feel her squeeze my neck with her toothpick-frail arms and wrap her equally as tiny legs around my waist but she leaned back to see my face and I started to sing. "Jesus loces me this I know..." As I sang each word she repeated them after me. The truth is, that It was an amazing thing, but not for the reason that you might think.
Just two nights earlier, our first night here, she had another throw-down. It was bad and had as much to do with going to bed in a strange place as with daddy being gone. He left just minutes earlier with Josh and she really wanted to go. So I took her fighting tooth and nail, straight as a board to put her jammies on and get her in bed. Her behavior was unacceptable and when she chooses that behavior she is taken away from the "fun". In this case it was time for bed so to bed we went. We'd already had a bath and were on our way there anyway. There would be no singing and cuddling and kissing goodnight that night. She was thinking she was going to punish me. She actually camevpretty close.
I eventually decided to lay on the bed across from her, stare at her in the face and sing very cery slowly "Jesus Loves Me". I knew she was very angry and she needed the Holy Spirit to calm her heart. She stared at me intently without making a sound or even blinking an eye. By the time I finished the song I was sobbing. I was shocked at how one little girl could be so angry. I had to leave the room. I went back in several minutes later and at that point she had turned her body toward the pillow. I asked her if she wanted to lay down and I touched her back. She melted into the pillow and I covered her up and kissed her cheek. I prayed over her and she was asleep in minutes.
She had heard the song. Not only had she listened to what I was singing, she had learned the words. She was mad at me, but maybe she really wasn't. Maybe she was just mad at the world. Maybe she was mad at what she didn't understand or that she herself didn't understand. Maybe she wasn't mad at all but didn't know what else to do to express her utter dispair at losing any form of control over her life. The paradox of having a forever family and going to America but having no idea of the reality of it. The reality that she did have experience with was not as great as what was ahead but itvwas what she knew... Maybe second best was good enough.
What a lesson to all of us. There is always One who knows whats ahead even if we don't. Only complete trust in Him will open our hearts and minds to what is really the best. Only her complete trust in us will enable her to enjoy completely the life ahead of her.
That trust is coming along more every day. Since Sunday we have been in different situations with people that she didn't know or feel comfortable with. Every time she ran to Michael or I for security. She occasionally messes with Kate's head (and heart) by running to Josh when Kate wants to hold her. There's nothing dumb about her. She is very smart. Sometimes too smart for her own good.
Since Sunday we have learned that her platelet count is normal and we are excited to be able to have and appt. already set up at the International Adoption Clinic so that we can learn what to do about her meds and how to get her off of them.
We had a bit of a scare when we went to the Consulate and they were upset about several date discrepancies. Thankfully we were able to contact Haikou eventually and they altered dates to the satisfaction of the US Consulate.
Wednesday morning we woke up to get ready for a morning of shopping on Shamian Island. We went to grab the camera that houses our 1,000+ photos only to realize no one knew where it was or who had it last. We couldn't download pics bc MJF did't feel good about bringing the laptop. So we left with no time to search for the camera and wondering if we had left it, accidentally, on the boat from the river cruise the night before. I began replacing my petitions to God for the return of my good health with sheer begging for Him to reveal to us where that camera was. As much as I tried not to make it so, the day was a bit hampered by the knowledge that we may have lost every meaningful picture we took from this trip.
Thankfully, it took only the entrance into our room to jog Josh's memory and her pointed out exactly where it was. That was a sweet gift since we were prepared to tear apart the room looking for it.
The evening is ending nicely, the hotel found out it was Josh's birthday and sent up a chocolate birthday cake. Not a chocolate flavored birthday cake, an actual birthday cake made from 6x6 pieces of decorated chocolate to look like a present then the bow on the top made from white chocolate. When you open the present there is cake and whipped cream on the inside. A waiter brought it up on a silver tray with a clear plastic dome over it and a card addressed to him on the front. Very cool, very cool, indeed.
Now it's time to get back to packing. There really is a lot to do. It's ok though because I'll do just about anything to get us back to the states.
Thanks for following along with us on this journey. It's been an amazing one and I hope you'll stay tuned because it's really not the end, is it? It's just the beginning...