Thursday, 10 May 2012

I Guess Roller Coasters have Ups and Downs! ~ Steph

What a crazy 24 hours!  Last blog post had Li Lin sleeping soundly.  The day had gone relatively well.  Around 2 am last night, Li Lin was tossing and turning and we thought she had to go to the bathroom.  We brought her, she woke up... and would not settle!  Loud cries, deep sobs and anger.  The three other kids all woke up at the start but settled back into bed and amazingly slept for the rest of the 2.5 hour episode!  Li Lin did NOT want me and only wanted Sara to hold her, while continually crying out for her foster grandma and pointing to the door, asking to go out.  Eventually, Sara was utterly exhausted so she lay in bed and I sort of held Li Lin sitting beside her.  She forced her way off the bed and wet herself on the carpet!  We got her changed in the bathroom, and amazingly she let me hold her while we changed her pyjamas, and let me continue to hold her as Sara went to lie down.  She wouldn't cuddle in, sort of leaning over to one side like a listing ship.  After about 15 minutes of quietly sitting in my arms, she pointed away from the door to the bed and asked for mama!  I quickly brought her to Sara.  She lay down and promptly fell asleep and remained so until 8:00 this am.

Breakfast was ok.  She once again ate more than she has been, which is good.  After breakfast we went for a swim.  After the swim the plan was to go to the attached playroom, which she has really enjoyed in the past.  However, Li Lin found some hand lotion and really liked it.  When daddy took it away after she'd gone back for the 6th time or so, she started crying, to the point of having to be brought upstairs to the room.

The next plan was to walk to the Carrefour to buy a few things.  We decided to attempt it as a family and got to the end of the hotel's driveway before figuring it would not work, as Li Lin was all worked up.  Sara, Li Lin and Hudson returned to the room while Rykauna, Logan and I continued on to buy the few items on our list.  Li Lin was once again calling for her foster caregivers, so Sara brought out the album that had been given to us by the orphanage workers.  When Li Lin saw the pictures of her foster grandma, she placed her hand on the picture and was wracked by deep sobs.

In the afternoon, we had to get some paperwork picked up but left early with the other family and our guide to visit East Lake once again.  I took a few really cute pictures but they were on Rykauna's camera because we forgot ours, and the memory card for Rykauna's can't be read by this laptop... so they'll have to wait.  East Lake was once again beautiful, but this time it was dreadfully hot!  The paperwork time at the notary office was dreadfully long.  Li Lin did really well for more than an hour but eventually started asking to go outside.  This is becoming a pattern - she really likes the outdoors.  She settled fairly quickly once she was back on the bus.

After we got back to our hotel room, the kids all played really well.  We decided to run down for a quick supper while moods were high.  A brief disagreement with Li Lin about underpants led to another breakdown.  In this one, she got quite upset at baba (that's me), and when we eventually left the hotel room to try and head down, she continually waved me away saying 'No daddy' in Mandarin.  This led to a change of plans and I went down to buy food and we ate the food in the hotel room.  By this time, Li Lin was happier and Sara gave her a bath.  She was great in the bath, came out with a happy smile and played freely with the kids for the evening.

As the kids crawled into bed and some lights were being turned off, Li Lin started whimpering and calling out for her caregivers.  We had previously made a larger hole in one of the sippy cups so Li Lin could drink better.  We got some milk into the cup and Sara rocked her and gave her the cup and she settled in pretty quickly and drifted off to sleep.

We have come to recognize a few different types of cries from Li Lin.  First is the deep gut wrenching cries of grief.  These were very present the first few day, and once again this afternoon with the picture book.  Another is the sad, whimpering cry of sorrow.  This is what we witness whenever Li Lin is tired.  It seems linked with the loss of whoever it was that put her down for her naps and sleeps.  Finally, is the angry wail of a child who is not getting their way!  Li Lin is a bright cookie and likes things done her way and lets us know when things are not to her liking.  When this occurs, she is likely to remain in such a foul mood for quite a while.  Sometimes, she is just a 3 year old being stubborn like a 3-year old does.

On a positive note, Li Lin is already picking up some English.  She knows the meaning of NO, and LOOK.  She has used the phrase "Don't want that" in context.  This morning as she was digging in to a pack of lifesavers (and sharing, she's really good at that) she echoed Sara from previous occasions and clearly said "One at a time".  We figure she should be fluent in English by the end of the summer!

Tomorrow we do one last quick visit at the Civils Affair Office to pick up Li Lin's passport and the official adoption document, and then around 6:00pm we fly for Beijing where the next and final stage of our China adventure will take place.


  1. It must feel so helpless to watch your little girl so through so much grief and turmoil! Praying that he little heart heals very soon.

  2. praying for her precious little broken heart. and for each of you that patience, wisdom and love will be given. Thankful for the english words she's picking up! Little Li Lin - God has a big plan for you... and He has given you this wonderful family to help guide and love you along the way.

  3. Oh! How I admire you. You will have a lot of the ground work done before you get back home. But we do have to be realistic. It will not be over. Roller coasters tend to work overtime. This too will come to pass. Eventually you will have a well adapted, obedient little impish girl. She will soon take her cues from the other children.... the beauty of having them first.
    My prayers continue for you and yours... for continued love, wisdom and patience as well as more energy. I am sure that you are exhausted. Hang in there dear ones. God is with you. I cry for LiLin and also for all of you as I realize how difficult and heart wrenching it can be. Love you all.
    Mom xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoox

  4. Ahhhh. I felt the emotion reading this post. Though different situation completely, we have adopted internationally before and the grieving for the past...embracing the future is a tough hurdle to cross. Clearly she was very attached to her caregiver which is such a wonderful sign. Her bond with her signifies she can bond and will eventually transfer it to you. Though it's hard to see this is a great thing in the right-now. Praying for you all and for Li-Lin <3

  5. Many prayers for you all in this period of emotional termoils. Your writings tell me Li Lin already knows and feels that you are special.Yet in all hurts there are periods of pain, discomfort, adaption and acceptance. Your being there patiently loving, caring, cuddling, laughing and even crying give Li Lin a beautiful and solid base to hang onto for now and in the future. I wish you HIS peace of mind and heart and patience but it sure must be hard on the human side. Again many prayers. Ropa

  6. she sounds soo sweet and like so much fun! I can't wait to meet her. Praying for you all as you start to organize the trip home!

  7. Praying, tears, praying, tears, more tears, more prayers... Such a roller coaster for you all. Loving your little Li Lin already:) I echo Janna's comment "God must have big plans for Li Lin!". So keep encouraged, you are doing an amazing work for our Great God!! Love Sheryl xoxo

  8. Oh goodness, so sorry for all of you!! What a difficult time watching your child grieve. Sending lots of hugs your way.

  9. Li Lin is grieving in a healthy way which is to show all her emotions.So amazed to know that she can already speak some English! Smart little one! Lots of prayers in this hard time!

  10. All the difficulties will pass become memory. Li Lin has accepted you two as her parents, she has started to call you "baba, mama". You are doing wonderful.

  11. Awww, sweet Li Lin - I am emotional after reading your post... thinking about how much this beautiful girl has come through, how much she has lost in a moment. You are all doing wonderful, given the circumstances. Praying so hard that the Lord will heal her broken heart, through your love, just as His love healed our broken hearts when we were adopted into His family.

    No words can describe these moments - I know how emotionally exhausting it can be, and yet I know you are given an inner strength to work through these times - praying for you all.


  12. Allan and Lucy10 May 2012 at 21:27

    Dear Steph and Sara,
    Each post was so well written and we are deeply touched, could not read while we were on the cruise. Now we are in Orlando, FL. It was past midnight, although we were very tired, but could not stop reading. at times, tears were rolling down our cheeks when we read Li Lin was going through emotional roller-coaster, she was missing her "grandma and grandpa" so badly. Then we rejoice when she was playful and even picks up English "one at a time". She is such a cutie! and definitely she is very bright and lovely.

    We love the picture when she slept on Steph- her Baba and we love Steph's prayer over her. We are glad to know that Sara is able to utilize her Mandarin in ordering food and communicate and build up bonds with Li Lin. It is also great to know the parent-born kids are having deep empathy and love on their adopted little sister-Li Lin.
    Pray that Li Lin will be quick in finding her new love and comfort in her new and permanent family. Pray that Steph's prayer will be all answered by our gracious father.

    with love, Allan and Lucy

  13. Looking forward to more posts from Beijing. Praying your trip went well and little LiLin will resigns to the fact that she is very much a part of your wonderful family. Loving, praying and crying for you.

    Tante Carole xoxox

  14. Praying your flight goes well tonight! Marianne