Monday, August 15, 2011

day two

Jet lag makes blogging hard. I have a ton of things to share but this computer sits about a foot from the bed and I'm tired. Well, I'm not tired from about 3:00am-6:00am but thankfully Hope is (she slept 10 hours last night!) so my only "fully awake" time is still spent in bed. Anyway, here's a recap of some of the last day or so.

To begin with the funniest story, today we went to the Civil Affairs office to officially adopt Hope. I think. I don't know, everything is in Chinese and done through a translator so I may be completely misunderstanding what we're doing but I do know we signed a bunch of things, answered more questions (that we've answered 101 times along the adoption process anyway!), and all three of us left with red ink-stained hands/fingers b/c in China a signature is only good when a fingerprint is next to it. Then we needed to get a family photo taken for..again, I don't know what for. For something important. We just say yes and follow our translator. So we walk in the rain (mist, really, but but it counts as rain to me) to a Kodak shop a few blocks away. We are ushered in to this tiny store and have our picture taken in front of a red backdrop. All good. Hope doesn't smile for any picture but looks adorable anyway. Then we move to the computer to pick the best one. Kind of like the Target photo store only it's hot and there are 6 people in the room that probably only should be holding two. They photos seem all the same expept Hope's eyes are looking in a different direction in each one. Andy and I have this plastered fake smile kind of look but Hope looks adorable so who really cares, right? Well, we just point to one and say, "that one." Then the Kodak worker saves the picture on the screen and we think we're done. But we look at the screen again and there is a major close up of my forehead. Like full screen close up. And we realize that the Kodak man is photo shopping my wrinkles. And pores. And literally starts pointing and clicking at every inch of my face. And Andy and I start laughing and no one standing around seems to think it's funny. He makes me look porcelain-like and says he's finished. And doesn't even take a second look at Andy's face. Or gray hair. Nope, the adoption family photo ends up being an untouched photo of Andy. A deer in the headlights kind of photo of Hope and a five minute photo shopped picture of me. Oh my goodness, we could not stop laughing. But while in China, you just do what you're told, don't ask questions and keep thoughts like "seriously, this is all we got accomplished today? We signed papers and took a photo...and erased all of Julia's freckles, wrinkles, blemishes, pores, and basically 39 years of living off her face?" All for the small cost of $50. And two hours.

Now, on to the star of the blogger-show. Hope. She is currently walking the halls of the hotel with Andy b/c she woke up from her nap just sobbing uncontrollably. He took her out to try and settle her down. Poor thing. She is having a hard time today. She hates being in the hotel room and I can't blame her. There isn't much to do in here and things like turning the lights on/off, trying to open the door, playing with the phone, tv, and basically anything that does not involve doing what she is allowed to do is what she chooses. But I kind of feel the same way. There is only so much time you can sit in a small hotel room w/out going crazy. We're not even done with day two and we've all had our fill. I think she woke up from her nap and saw these hotel walls and just flipped out.

She, does however, love to be in the stroller and about anywhere but in this room. Yesterday we walked around for a few hours and she just sat in her stroller pointing and telling us all kinds of things. We have no idea what she was saying but she was loving it. We had lunch at a small restaurant down the street yesterday and she sat perfectly still for the whole time. Andy and I kept saying to each other, "There is no way she's this perfect." Caleb was a nightmare-ish crazy kid during every single meal we had with him in China. I'm talking running around the tables, throwing food, refusing to eat, yelling, bouncing off the walls crazy. Hope was the complete opposite. Yesterday, that is. Today she is likely dealing with all kinds of grief, sadness, confusion, and who knows what else and she is basically either a handful (lunch was a Caleb-like experience today minus the running around but plus a broken porcelain spoon) or sobbing. Thank goodness this is our fifth kid and second adoption or we might be acting the same way. Our heart breaks for her. We keep telling ourselves that Caleb did a lot of the same things while in China but was completely different once we got home. So we're looking forward to home.

Speaking of our 5th child and 2nd adoption. While sitting in the Civil Affairs office answering questions and promising to love and care for and never leave Hope, she drops an animal cracker on the floor. I lean over to get it but our 23 year old male translator beats me to it and picks it up. He tells her in Chinese something to the effect of "It's dirty. You can't eat it." He's really sweet about it and just trying to help. But she tears up and starts whining/sobbing. I'm thinking, "Seriously, fake-wipe it on your pants and just give it to her." I can guarantee you a million dollars Kara never ate a fake-wiped animal cracker or any piece of food that had ever come close to the floor let alone the floor of a government office in another country. That kind of thing would have sent me on a germa-a-phobic frenzy back then. Today? Well, my thoughts were different. Like 5 kids and half a world away different. But I laughed at the irony of wanting to give her the dirty cracker as I had just made a promise to the Chinese government that I would take extremely good care of her. Probably wouldn't have looked so good for me to have picked it up and fed it to her.

Click here for photos


  1. It sure doesn't take long for those hotel walls to close in on you; fortunately for us our first hotel had a great garden and the second one had a nice outdoor pool. Still, you have to be pretty creative to deal with it with a four year old.

    Sorry that she is grieving, but you know it's good for attachment, so hopefully it doesn't last long or happen each time she wakes.

    I know what you mean about the 5th kid, but you're probably right about it being a good thing you didn't give her the cracker.


  2. Andy and Julia, Hope is ADORABLE!! Can not wait to meet her!! We are so excited for you guys and your family. What a huge blessing. Praying for you. Roger and Melinda