Monday, March 18, 2013

Gotcha Day Post from Hohhot, Inner Mongolia

Wow. Where do I begin?
How about at the beginning.

The morning started quite normally minus the fact that is was probably 2 hours earlier than I'd liked to have gotten up out of bed. Emily's sleeping schedule seems to have put a kink in routines here; however, it's just as well. I needed to get up. We all went to eat breakfast. It was a tough choice: chopped sheep entrails or Rice Krispies. I went with the ole reliable...Snap, Crackle, and Pop.

After breakfast we...I...started the pacing, doing of hair, pacing once more, pottying, re-doing of hair. Emily sat on the inside windowsill and tried to guess which car would be the one in which Molly would arrive. No way to tell because an awning was covering the front entrance.
Oh - I failed to mention. We met Molly in the lobby of our hotel. Shocker. I know. I met Emily in the totally chaotic Civil Affairs office with dozens and dozens of families, crying babies and children, and lotsa Chinese being spoken. New parents crying. Hot. Steamy.
This time our only interference was 1980's American rock music filtering through the sound system of the hotel lobby. Not my fave.

Our guide, Aggie, called us in the room and said they'd be here in a few minutes. We took the elevator, walked out and there she was -dressed in the loveliest of outfits -jeweled head and highly elaborate Mongolian cover outfit. (She was wearing leggings and simple shirt underneath.) Molly was accompanied by 3 very distinguished women who, in my opinion, looked like they'd stepped off 5th Avenue. They were kind, helpful, and very appreciative to be there with Guo Yang ("Gwoa Young"). Interpret that the best you can.

I had Kourtney filming because as I spoke with the orphanage director and assistant (and Molly's music teacher - Yes. She does play the piano.), I wanted to remember what I asked and what they answered. An interpreter was translating. Well, it's not like she was flipping pancakes, huh? Interpreters translate. Hello!

I had Aggie convey to the officials and to Molly that she did not need to be afraid - that she would be cared for and loved. I asked if she was afraid.
Her reply, "No." The SWI workers made it clear that Guo Yang has wanted a family for several years. She lived at a facility with "old people" during her early years, but was transferred to the current one back around 2008. That's when her file was prepared for adoption. They made her 'paper ready'. I found her file in 2012. She could've easily been missed.

When I asked if Molly had any questions for us, her 2 questions were:
1. "Does Emily like her?"
2. "Will we mind that she is shy?"
I said, "Oh. We LOVE shy. Shy is good. Emily is shy. Kourtney is shy. I am not shy, but shy is good. Great. Love shy!"
She has a whisper-like voice, continual smile, & dimples.

Guo Yang seems to be a very tender and loving little girl. She wanted to be the Jie Jie (big sister) to Emily (Mei Mei) and help her put on her coat, help her zip it, hold her arm as we walked through the streets of Hohhot to eat lunch.
When I was zipping my backpack, she reached to help me. She did this - not overly much - but enough to show that she's accustomed to being a sweet and gentle helper.
I, however, began to HELP HER - as a mother should - to put food on her plate, to tuck her in last night, to read to her - although I have no idea what she understood.

I opened the little devotional book - about being God's Princess and the gifts He's given to us - and when I did, lo and behold she reached over, pointed at the words and READ in ENGLISH, "Thank you for my gift." She didn't say gift correctly, but she got the other words just fine. Oh my.
Or as Gomer Pyle would say, "Surprise. Surprise. Surprise."

She recited the alphabet in English, got tangled up around the letter "N"...and skipped on over to X, Y, Z.
Works for me.
She can write her numbers and the alphabet pretty nicely.
And NO. I'm not forcing school on her....she wants to do this. She is eager and will be a little sponge - I can tell.
(Our backpacks were sooo heavy traveling to this side of the world, I told KK, "I'm gonna dump every ONE of these school-type booklets over the Sea of Wuhan - the first chance I get.)
Needless to say, I've purchased/bartered a lovely new Chinese suitcase that smells like a Michelin Tire factory and have distributed the weight of all backpacks evenly. Hallelujah! (How do you even spell Michelin?)

Miss Molly has a distinct limp. One leg is formed smaller than the other. I'm not sure if she has a club foot or if she has amniotic banding only. One hand is affected. The foot on that side of her body as the hand...and one finger on the other hand. (ABS - amniotic banding syndrome = the umbilical cord wraps around extremities while in utero....inhibiting full development of that foot/hand/finger/toe) I've known this all along and even consulted with 2 nationally known experts/physicians: 1 in Iowa and 1 in Dallas. (They've seen photos of her leg/foot.) Seems to me she needs an orthotic shoe for the affected leg/foot. That side needs to be longer...lifted up.

All that said - whatever!
We'll get it all looked at.

We had a Chinese TV show playing last night. I wanted Molly to hear HER language, see something familiar (She picked it out...something like one of our evening game type shows. Goofy at best.). I wanted her to be in a comfort zone. It's tough being 'odd man out' in language, relationship, etc. This morning she wanted to wear the same clothes as yesterday. I showed her all her new clothes but she waved her hand in the "no, no" gesture to which I replied, "Alrighty then! Yesterday's clothes are just fine." Big smile.

I'll close for now.
Well - one more thought.
I felt very strongly that yesterday I needed to mediate for more children being made "paper ready" - from this Xilinhot orphanage. Remember: Molly is the first international adoption from this facility that we know of. I had the interpreter explain to the officials - with my deepest appreciation and hopefulness - that Americans and people around the world WANTED to adopt these children. Older children. (The interpreter looked at me like I had 3 heads....but I was insistent that she convey my heart felt thoughts.) I continued to thank the orphanage director and assistants and tell them how very much I/we appreciate all they have done for the children under their care.
Let's continue to pray for those - the most innocent amongst us - who need our voice.
Those who are relying on us -our prayers and interventions - so they, too, can have forever families.
Those, like Molly Guo Yang, who has wanted a family and never gave up hope as the years ticked away.

He hears us when we pray.



The Collier Bunch said...

Wow what a first day. So great to see you and Emily with Molly. She is beautiful and will fit in with your family great. We are praying for you as you go through this transition.

Can't wait to see you when you get home.

lisa said...

Amen, sister !!!! My prayers are flowing for all of you !!!! love ya

lisa said...

Oh , remind me to tell you about the hail storm I was in " inside of Sams club" Just a little local news. Ha