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.