Tuesday, November 22, 2011

No breakfast...but breakthroughs

As we near the end of this journey to Jillian, Jim and I both agree that it has been almost breezy (that's right...I said breezy...)compared to our first trip to China. We're not sure why...maybe because we knew more what to expect, maybe Lia made it easier for Jillian, maybe because we have a little more parenting experience under our belts...who knows??

But heartache comes even in the breeziest of adoption situations...and we have had a few rough days as Jillian tries to figure it all out. Yesterday morning she was so very happy about leaving the room for the elevators. But when we took a turn to the breakfast buffet...the dark storm clouds rolled in. We think she wanted to go back to the little playground they have here...and there was just no communicating that we would go AFTER we ate. Finally...I decided to bring her back to the room while Jim took Lia to eat. That poor sweet baby girl just cried and cried...probably close to an hour of LOUD wailing. No attempts to console her worked...so I just let her cry it out. She broke my heart into a thousand pieces along the way...but I truly felt it was more grieving than not getting her way. And I needed to let her do that...and stand by her side for when it was over.

(and let me just assure you all that Jillian was NOT reaching for me as it apprears in this photo...any attempts to get closer to her only resulted in more crying. Poor thing.)

When she finally began to calm down, I convinced her onto my lap and we blew bubbles until Jim and Lia returned. She ate some breakfast they brought for her...and all was well.

Until it was time to go out again...and she needed to wear a sweatshirt. We planned to walk for awhile...and it was just too chilly for her favorite Tar*get shirt. She was not inclined to put ANY of the options we gave her on...and what ensued is what I like to call a "Chinese stand-off". Jillian clearly understood that we could not leave until she picked one of the three sweaters I laid out...but standing by the door glaring at me seemed a better choice. Jim, Lia and I sat calmly on the bed waiting for her to make a choice. For about twenty minutes. Finally, the tears came...and we endured crying for the second time. This time, she cried herself right to sleep.

...and she woke up two hours later...a changed girl. We got ready to go out again...and when I held up her little sweatshirt...over she came, put it on...and off we went. Like magic. Jim and I kept looking at each other sideways...waiting for the other shoe to drop...but it never did. Jillian was affectionate, followed our directions, held our hands when asked...and really could not have been more charming and, more importantly, happy.

Feeling secure enough to let Daddy help her try on one of the new pair of shoes we have for her. She didn't keep them on long...but a move in the right direction!

I feel like that was a huge breakthrough. When we got home, she couldn't get her clothes off fast enough to jump in the tub with Lia. She wore clean pajamas that we laid out for her. And she didn't want her socks OR shoes on to sleep.

Sweet little piggies...she loves to rub her feet on the sheets as she falls asleep at night:

This morning, we had our appointment at the American Consulate to take an Oath of Citizenship on Jillian's behalf. We had to be ready early...and I was worried about getting Jillian in clean clothes. Once again, she changed out of her pajamas without a backward glance and put on the outfit I had laid out. Shocked is an understatement...

We are so so thankful for how far Jillian has come in one short week...and how trusting she is becoming. We are so proud of Lia for working so hard to be the best big sister. It is a lot to take on so quickly when you are almost 7...but our big girl has once again made us so grateful to call her daughter.

I had a chance encounter at the Consulate with a middle aged Chinese man. He sat down beside me and was asking about Jillian. He said she looked "happy" and that her face was "happy"...and that we were so lucky to be adopting her. I held up Lia's hand on my other side...and agreed with him that I was, indeed lucky...TWO times over. Our road to parenthood was a long one....but here, on this side of it, I would not change one thing about it. We are ready for the next chapter...family complete...dreams exceeded. Let the good times roll...


Alyson and Ford said...

Beautiful story of your day, love seeing her grow into your family. What a blessing you all are to each other.

Alyzabeth's Mommy

Kim said...

I am up early again, checking for updates on your blog! Wonder how much of her life in China she will remember as she grows older. My now 9 year old son was 3 when we were in China. No matter how much I want him to, he barely remembers anything other than the French toast at the White Swan Hotel. Thank goodness for photos! Love yours as usual.

The Byrd's Nest said...

Oh the grieving hurts a Momma's heart so bad. We just want to swoop in and take it all away! At least one thing is for sure...Jillian has always stood up for herself, that is quite obvious. She never let anyone else walk all over her . If she had needs...she let all of them know it. That my friend is a good thing. She's the cutest little stinker:)

Praying for you and the rest of your trip oh...and especially the plane ride home:)

Marla-Dee said...

"Chinese Standoff" - LOVE that! It is so hard to sit back while they go through what they need to, but in the end, your actions caused her to be stronger, more trusting and more confident. What a sweet little girl she is. I am very happy for you and your family and I know you will have many years of continued happiness on the way!

Almost home! Sending you prayers for your safe return! And thank you for sharing your journey!

Chasing Dreams Photography said...

What a story my friend. I am keeping you all in my prayers as you head home...love you!!!! Thank you for allowing me to follow along on your beautiful journey..xoxo

Sunny said...

Oh Kate! Beautiful post. I can't wait for each update during your trip. Aren't we so lucky? Your girls are such a blessing! Your are in my constant thoughts and prayers. Much love~

Janet said...

Thank you so much for your posts. We are leaving Thanksgiving AM for China, with our daughter, SIL, 2 grandsons (15 and 8), to get our new granddaughter/daughter/sister, Emily Margaret, who is 3. I know God has our back on this trip...I needed reassurance, and He guided me to your blog, through a chance comment on my fb page. Your daughters are precious, and you are all very blessed. I'll pray for your safe return home!