Sunday, December 30, 2012

Who says we can't communicate?

Sam speaks no English. He does not seem to understand much English. We don't speak Mandarin, Cantonese or the chow dialect which are all spoken in his province. But Sam is well versed in toddlerease. When he is ticked off, he uses the universal sign language. He just lays out on the ground and cries and stares at me. Now, being that I have spent some time studying this particular dialect, I am not alarmed. However, every old lady in this town thinks this is a international incident. They come over. They point at him. They point at me. Yes, he's with me. No, i am not going to pick him up. I just wait and stare back at him and his old ladies. Even when it is 40 degrees and we are at some sort of botanical garden and he is on asphalt. I've seen these battles and my back already hurts. I have no desire to fight in the trenches. When he is ready to stand up, I'll help him. Until then, I'm considering charging admission to the show.

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I don't know what day it is

In adoption, like life, there are beautiful moments. There are also gut wrenching moments of grief and loss because we live in a broken world. Our story is no different.

Just imagine how scary it must be for him being dropped off with two white people who don't speak your language after a 6 hour bus ride when you have never even left your orphanage or ridden in a car.

Sometimes Sam will hit and throw things, mainly at mama since she is there. He has and will continue to sort out his feelings of grief, anger and confusion over his adoption, his lost culture, and his first family. We will hold him, kiss him, love him, and whisper payers of peace to him though each one of these moments. I pray one day he can appreciate that God built our family with him as a cornerstone and count it a blessing. I know that I will.

Not all moments are easy but we will be thankful in each one that it brings us one step closer to healing his broken heart and grafting us into his.

Seven days and counting until I can wrap my arms around both my boys.

We had an outing to shop, eat and play at a park and he fell asleep in the carrier on the bus. Still snoozing an hour later.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wednesday December 26th

Today Sam has been a little subdued. We will definitely have some food issues associated with not having access to ample food up to this point. We a category 4 melt down over spilled puffs earlier. JR rated it. He said the highest would be a cat 5 but that only occurs if you soil yourself. I'm glad he cried. This is only the third time he has cried at all. Often kids in orphanages stop crying even when soiled, hungry or hurt because they learn no one will help them. I want him to know that when he has a need, he can cry out and we will meet his needs.

In random facts, I think he has been potty training. He will be dry after a 4 plus hours so we sat him on potty to see if he would go and he did.

He is such a gentle and orderly child. I'm sure John Hinton will help him with his rough and tumble and reckless abandon. That or I will have to medicate both of them so they can survive. Or I'll just self medicate.

We went to the play ground here and he slid for what I'm sure was the first time. Then we did It 100 more times. I was glad to see him use some gross motor skills.

We went sighting today included a Buddhist temple which was beautiful with lovely gardens. We also went to the jewelry market and I bought ring. It was only $50 but I have no idea if it is even real silver. Our games of charades does not bring much fruit. Which brings me to dining out without our guides. Last night the three of us split 11 shrimp and one pot of tea. By split, I mean Sam eat the vast majority of it, JR got McDonalds on the way back to the hotel and I went to bed hungry. Tonight, we spilt two shrimp dishes some small bowl of white rice and two pots of tea. I'm getting better.

The low point of the day today was a guy selling dog pelts on the way to dinner. Paws and all. I thought I might die. I want to remember the good and bad from this trip. This was very bad. That was the most culture shock for me so far.

This was at dinner tonight.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sam has done wonderfully. He has cried twice. Once when we put him in the bath (his first bath. They're ale showers.) and then when we got in the van to today. He eats like horse. He is affectionate towards both of us but does favor me. He asks to be picked up by holding his arms up. He loves peak a boo. He is not very verbal and is defiantly much thinner than we are use to, but the way he is eating, that won't last long.

Here are a few pictures from today.

Merry Christmas!!!

P.S. dinner was a hot mess tonight when we ventured out. More to come but maybe I'll let jr tell it.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Good morning!

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Good night

Tomorrow we will meet Sam. He will have had a 5-6 hour car ride to meet us. Poor baby will probably be exhausted by the time he gets to us. Say a prayer for him.

My first baby is making it just fine. Making sausage with pawpaw.

Making patties.

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Great Wall

We toured Beijing. We saw the Great Wall and forbidden city. It was in the teens and twenties with a strong wind. So I was pretty much cold and miserable and then they expected me to haul it up endless stairs. Um, no. Ask Jessica, I've hated history and exercise all my life. She and I got coke at the Musee D'orsay in the cafe instead of seeing the art. A little bit of culture goes a long way for me. JR climbed pretty far. Here are his pictures.

found these in our closet...

Got warm fuzzies yet? you also cannot drink the water.

Friday, December 21, 2012

I'm trying out the VPN to see if I post directly to blogger and Facebook. If it works, Katie Cassidy will be my hero. We are at our hotel in Beijing and it is 1:30 in the morning. Tomorrow we see the Great Wall and have Peking duck. We no longer fly more than 4 hours unless we can afford first class. :)

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Location:We made it Beijing

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Seattle airport

We are here at the Seattle airport waiting for our flight to Beijing. We had a rough day getting here yesterday because of snow and ice in Denver. We got to the hotel around 3:30 home time. As much as I miss John Hinton, I know that leaving him was the right decision. He is not mature enough for the demands of international travel.

We went down to Elliot bay today and saw the fish market. I'm like my daddy, I could spend all day looking at the different fish, fruits and veggies. We had a great late lunch of Dungeness crabs and a shrimp roll. Our flight is 12.5 hours so I'm glad we were able to get out today and walk around even if it was 40 degrees, windy and raining.

Next time we post (or Jessica post for me) we should be in china! We won't see Sam until Christmas Eve so don't get too excited.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Last Call

This is the last Vicksburg blog as a family of three.  I forgot some of my favorite quotes the other day:

My cousins little girl, Alissa Grace:  "I'm part Chinese.  I fixing to get a Chinese cousin so that makes me part Chinese."

My Mamaw when we told her we were adopting and that I had been nervous about telling her.  I mean she is 86 and this is not really the norm.  "I don't know you would be nervous.  I don't see anything wrong with adopting from Japan or China."  Sorry all you adoptive families outside of China.  I can't worry about you or your feelings.  What's important to me is that she loves Sam.  I have no idea where she got the notion that Japan had an international adoption program.

Kelsey Ann about 10 years ago when discussing the expense of buying a spider monkey, "I could get two Chinese babies for that!"  Um, no you could not.

One of the most common questions we get is what do you know about his parents.  The truth is that we know nothing of his biological parents.  What we do know is that they could not meet his needs and risked criminal prosecution to get him to the orphanage where he received much needed medial care.  We will always be grateful that they gave him life and protected it.  There isn't a legal means to give up a baby in China so it is often done in the dark of night with fear of criminal prosecution. Because of this, most children from China do not come with a family history. Therefore, we are not revealing anything sensational about Sam's past.   I get a lot of gasp when I tell people that we do not know about his family.  There is no need to gasp.  I knew exactly what we were in for in this respect.  This is a leap of faith and that little piece of the puzzle is insignificant to me.  Our family will always speak of his first family in a respectful, thankful, and loving way.

Some adoptive families may find some of the comments that I found funny to be offensive or be very protective of their child's family history.  I do ask that you not ever ask those type of questions in front of Sam. I think one reason that I can roll with some comments is because adoption does not come from a place of loss or pain for us.  I say that while recognizing that there much pain and loss for Sam: his first family and then his caregivers that he loves at the orphanage.  Sam's adoption was born out of my transformative love for John Hinton and God's constant reminder that every child deserves unconditional love and devotion through a forever family and that we could be that family.

Lets do this.

Bye, y'all.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Merry Christmas!

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Less than one week and people say the darnedest things

We are less than one week away from leaving!!!! We understand that blogger and Facebook are censored in China so we are hoping to email my dear friend Jessica and she will update the blog and post in "Fried Chicken and Egg Rolls" on Facebook.

If you want to join the group on Facebook, let me know.

I want to remember some of favorite quotes from this journey. I'll start at home.

JR, when we got our travel dates: "I mean this just got real!" Um ok JR, I've been doing paperwork for 18 months and drained all of our accounts and NOW it is real for you?

My favorites from John Hinton:

He and I lay in his bed at bedtime and talk until he falls asleep.
Me: what do you think Sam will want to talk about when he gets here?
JHA: Jesus!!!

Does Sam like cookies?

We need to get one (does matter what we are buying) for Sam!

JR and JHA in the truck:
JHA: what is that terrible smell. Did someone toot?
JR: I think you tooted.
JHA: Maybe Sam did it.

Nerf bullets all over our living room.
JHA: who made this mess?
Me: I think you did, baby.
JHA: maybe Sam did it.

My Mamaw: Does Sam have a TV?
Me: um, I don't think so. Things at the orphanage seem pretty basic from what I've gathered.
Mamaw: well, he should have a TV. I mean he is in China.

One of JR's clients: I knew someone who adopted and within weeks they got pregnant with twins!
Me: oh I hope not!

Everyone, and I mean 4 out of 5 people: so does he know English?
What I say: no. He has a cleft palate so he will need lots of therapy before he can speak. We expect that he will understand us pretty quickly after he comes home.
What I'm thinking: well sure. His orphanage has only offered him milk paste and porridge and he was wearing girls clothes in his picture but they offer English as a second language enrichment classes.

Those are just a few of my favorites. :)

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Sunday, December 2, 2012


New Years Day 2012, JR and I went to church.  We had communion and open alter.  When I knelt at the altered I prayed earnestly that God would either bring me a child through adoption or unburden my heart.  JR and I had been in the China program for five months.  I was discouraged.  I was tired.  I was frustrated.  I was so frustrated because I felt like God had placed a heavy burden upon my heart for over two years but had not led us to a child.  And there are plenty of children who need families.

It was just days later that I saw Sam's sweet, sweet face and dimples.  God answered my prayers with Sam.  I hope we are the answers to his heart's prayers.  Now, almost a year later, after hours of training, lots praying, some crying, and a ton of paperwork, we are going to bring Sam home. 

Sam is my grandfather's little brother's name.  John Hinton is named after my grandfather, John Hammond Hinton.  In Hebrew, Samuel means "God has heard."  How appropriate. 

Many of you have asked how you can help or if there is anything that you can do for us during this time.  I ask for your prayers for John Hinton.  He will be in excellent hands, but we will gone 19 days.  He burst into tears when we talk about leaving.  I know he will have a difficult time adjusting to Sam.  I'll be kind and say that John Hinton is currently living up to his only child reputation and a delayed terrible twos.  Please pray for Sam.  Not only is this a terrifying experience for him to leave the only familiar faces he knows, he will be overwhelmed with sites, sounds, and people that he has never experienced before.  Please pray for our travel and for Sam to remain calm.  On our way home, we will fly one day within China back to Beijing, spend the night, fly to Seattle, spend the night, fly to Denver to New Orleans, then drive home.  That is enough to exhaust anyone much a toddler. 

I'll keep thinks updated.  We leave in 17 days...