Ok, so I will tell a couple of stories on myself.
We were in a travel group with a family who brought their two precious well behaved children with them to adopt a toddler. Their son was two or three and their daughter was four or five. We were all riding in a very tiny van discussing what brought us to adoption when they made the statement that their other two children were so easy that they thought this would be a good time to adopt. I about fell out of the seat and the bus because I was laughing so hard.
Those of you who know me (and I can't imagine why you come here if you don't really know us) know that I have been madly in love with John Hinton since the moment he was plucked from me via C-section. That little detail becomes important later. However, loving him is the only thing about this kid that has ever been easy. Here is a little laundry list of things that were less than easy with him: breast feeding, formula, reflux, all formulas, all cereals, extra fluid on the frontal lobes of his brain (this requires multiple specialists), RSV, breathing treatments (multiple times a day, every day for years since he was six months old) (this requires a specialist), ear infections (this requires a specialist), tubes by five months (this requires a specialist), tubes again (this requires a specialist), Kawasaki's disease and hospitalization (this requires a specialist and multiple echocardiograms), horribly rotten teeth (this requires a specialist), allergies and asthma (this requires multiple specialists), allergy shots every week for over a year, one pupil is bigger than the other (this requires a specialist), the croup which because of the asthma, requires an ER visit, the staph infection that required surgery and a hospital stay, adult doses of asthma medicines and steroids that make him crazy, not to mention his generally depressed immunoglobulin numbers which require multiple blood draws, and a double dose of sassy from his mama. Oh, and he has always woken up for the day between 4:30 and 5:30. I don't know why.
So, while loving him has been easy, keeping him alive and raising him have been a real challenge. Seriously, everyday I pray for God to give me strength (to stay and not hurt anyone or myself), patience (not to snap), and understanding (so maybe I can be better at this).
If anything, I thought maybe we would get one with some immunity and a laid back disposition if we adopted. I was wrong, but it worked out.
And he is mischievous on top of it all...
So back to China. We had to fly from Beijing to Guangzhou to get Sam. Here comes the C-section story. After you have a C-section you have pudge of fat. Much like a beer gut. It just is what it is. So we are going through the security line to fly and I'm wearing tights and a dress. Well, apparently the Chinese version of TSA is convinced that I am smuggling something in my left over belly fat and continues for what seems like forever to poke it, prod it, and rub it. If you want to tick a woman off, draw attention to her pudge then ask her about it in a language that she does not understand. When she cannot respond, start yelling at her to draw more attention. My mood was sour. As you can tell, my hopes and dreams of loving China and taking family vacations back to discover Sam's roots may have been dashed. I don't like people touching the pudge. Period.
You don't want to miss tomorrow's blog. It is about our guide who I affectionately will call Crazy Ass Becky or CAB. I added the CA but she really did go by Becky. I may even let JR guest blog it because it all involves me being off by a magnitude of ten when it came to time to make our orphanage "donation" when they handed Sam to us. They don't like when you only bring 10% of the money. Donation makes it seem optional but it is not optional.
While this post is meant to be light hearted and poke fun at myself, this was the night that Sammy laid his head down for the last time in the Shantou Welfare Institute in his steel crib, the only place that he had ever known as home with the only friends and caretakers that he ever had. He didn't know that he would get up before the sun and travel by bus for five hours to meet strangers who would take him from everything familiar. What a terrifying experience to lose everything and have no control over it.
On the other hand, it was the last time he would go to sleep without a kiss from someone who hopelessly loves him. From that point on, he will sleep with his favorite blankets in his bed and in PJs that are his. He will always wake up knowing who will be there. There is no schedule for meals. There is always more. I will always have expensive organic cream for the dry patches of his very sensitive skin. His hair will be conditioned and soft. He smells like lavender. He bathes and brushes his teeth. He knows that the bath tub is fun and not something to be terrified of. He knows that bobos are meant to be kissed, it's important to tell someone when you are bleeding, that you don't have to make friends or be nice to strangers to get food, and that you don't have eat everything because there is plenty.