Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thursday, December 19th

     When I woke up this morning, I could tell that I was improving.  I had not developed any more symptoms, and I wasn't quite as weak or dizzy.  We moved slowly through our morning routine, getting a late breakfast, because there was nothing planned for the day.  Miko had given us a specific time in which we must be in our room so that she could contact us.  It was a great feeling when we met up with her and took possession of every last document that we needed in order to leave China.  We are finally done  with everything we need to do before we exit China with Emily, and enter the US with the newest little Jacobsen!!!

    Once we were sure that all was in order, we repacked the suitcases.  We had organized them in the hotel room to be able to find our things easily, but now we packed up for the ease of getting home... (what a great word!!)

    I didn't really have the strength to be out and about much, so I was really glad that we'd seen all the sights we wanted to see, as well as bought all the things we needed to buy!  We basically stayed around the hotel all day, playing in the room.  Emily stuck very close by Daddy!


Oops -- here's an unguarded moment when we let her get
too close to the computer!!  

Her cold left her with a bad fever blister on her lip.  
It looks pretty swollen in this picture, but it's not quite that bad.

For some different scenery, we went to the hotel kids' play room for awhile.
She's not really comfortable in places that she doesn't know well,
 so she didn't really want to play that long----
 but it gave us something different to do.

  Several of the families who had consular appointments before us have already left.  The rest of us got together for supper as a farewell dinner.  We went to a Chinese noodle house that was very close by.  One of the other couples had discovered it, and Dan and I had never been there.  I wish we had found it earlier!  It's funny how you get set in your ways.  The hotel had several entrances and exits.  When we were leaving on the van or bus, we always went out the front.  The main shopping centers we went to were out the front as well.  Directly behind the hotel was the garden area where we often took walks. We got used to heading one particular direction out of one side exit whenever we were going to eat.  It was just easier to get across the street that way.   As a result, we never really explored the area out the opposite side of the hotel.... which was where this noodle house was.  Emily was not being cooperative at all, and it was a stressful meal for Dan.  I couldn't really help much, because she was even less cooperative with me!  But, I needed to eat to get my strength back, so Dan pretty much just let me eat and visit a little bit with the other families.  Everyone was so excited about heading home!  I wish that we all lived closer together so that we could meet up every now and then.  As it is, of our 4 families that were eating together tonight, we're in 4 different states--- not close at all.  :(  

   Emily started throwing a fit, so we left before the others finished.  After taking it easy all day, I really am doing better, but just walking across the street  (briskly, -- in order not to get hit by the crazy traffic) left me out of breath and weak, and I had to stop to rest before we could get into the hotel!  I can tell that I won't be too sick for the plane ride home, though!!!  --- and, that's the main thing at the moment!!

  We skyped with the kids for last minute instructions on how to have the house ready for Emily's arrival (take anything breakable or valuable off shelves, protect the lamps, have the computer room door closed, etc.!!!  ha ha!!  Well, we were laughing, but entirely serious at the same time!

  One more night, and we're on our way!!!

Wednesday, Dec. 18th

   The entire trip to China for all adoptive families is built around the important appointment that you must have with the US consular at the embassy before they issue your child's US visa (that obviously we must have to re-enter the United States!).  Our appointment was set for today.  Everything has been revolving around this big day -- the medical exam is required by the embassy, and the reports from the doctor must be given when we turn in the rest of our paperwork.  This basically is the last step..... a very important day----
   And, I woke up feeling horrible.  I was very weak, dizzy, and ached all over.  We made it to breakfast, but Emily's diaper leaked while she was sitting in my lap, and the 2 of us had to rush back to the room to change clothes.  She did not like it at all that we were breaking the routine, OR that we left Daddy in the restaurant, and it was I rather than Daddy who was carrying her back to the room.  She screamed so loudly all the way from the restaurant back to the elevator and then all the way back down our hallway that we were making very big enemies of people who were wanting to sleep in a little later.  The fact that I had to be moving extra quickly to change both her clothes and mine, and run back down to the lobby in order not to be late for the van taking us to the embassy did NOT help my weak-and-dizzy feeling at all.  In fact, when we finally got into the embassy and were waiting for our turn, I felt so bad that I almost lay down on the floor.  I was trying to stay away from people in case I had something that was contagious, so I avoided all the happy conversations of families who were all there "in the same boat"..... getting so very close to the end of the entire process!!!

  When we finally finished, we had to walk a block or so from the embassy to meet Miko and the driver.  I was having to work really hard just to keep one foot moving in front of the other.  As soon as we got back to the hotel, I went to bed.  I did take the time to email some people at home with a desperate plea to be praying for me!!!  I basically stayed in bed all day --- which honestly suited Emily just fine!  Ha!  My being "out of commission" further cemented her attachment to Dan and rejection of me.  For supper, I was too weak to walk anywhere, so we just went to the Cantonese place in the hotel.  Even though "the routine" would have called for Emily to be in my lap for the meal, I couldn't hold her.  That was OK by her, since Daddy had been her sole playmate for the day!!  You could just tell that she wasn't so sure if she could trust me or not!  Seeing that in her face definitely didn't help to cure my feeling rotten!!  But, there was nothing we could do about it then.

   Dan was very concerned that I had picked up some weird Chinese virus that would get worse before it got better, and that I wouldn't be well enough for the flight--- just 36 hours away at this point.  As soon as we ate, we went back to the room, and I went back to bed.  It was a great day to get past the consular's appointment milestone, but an awful day otherwise.  Thankfully, I know I have lots of people praying for me, and we've seen God answer lots of prayers throughout this whole process!!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tuesday, December 17th

   In spite of the fact that I closed off last night's thoughts with how Emily is in the beginning stages of building trust, it is so interesting to see her wake up every morning.  Dan and I are still waking up early due to jet lag.  We are sleeping better each night, but we generally wake up before Emily.

   Her behavior first thing every morning is exactly the same.  She wakes up groggy, but somewhat startled, opens her eyes to see us either in bed with her or in the room with her, and immediately crawls straight out of bed and gets as far away from us as she can.  She goes into the living area (the hotel room is like a suite), sits down on the floor and stares through her grogginess until she fully wakes up.  It definitely is a statement of her LACK of trust in us still.... there are no good morning smiles and no cuddles (she doesn't give any affection at all, and I can only give her tiny kisses if she is in my lap already --like when we are riding on the bus-- and I'm coming at her cheek from behind her line of vision!  She tolerates it that way, and might even be starting to enjoy the closeness!  But, NOT in the morning.)  I get up and fix her milk and tempt her into my lap with that.  She is making good eye contact most of the time, which is great!!

   I have to wonder, too, if her getting out of bed so quickly might have something to do with the fact that the kids were not allowed to get out of bed by themselves.  This might be more freedom than she has had before, and --given the freedom, she'll opt for getting up before the freedom is taken away.  I don't know for sure what the orphanage morning routine was, but she was still sleeping in a crib.  There is a crib in our hotel room, but she screams mightily at the very sight of it, so we actually never even tried it!!   It's quite obvious that she does NOT have a good relationship with a crib!!  --Most likely she spent lots of hours in one, having to entertain herself, or wait for someone to come get her out.  If we had been planning to put her in a crib when we get home, we would have tried making her sleep in one here, but since we aren't, there really is no point!

  Today brought more rain.  It rained yesterday as well, so we've had some dreary days.  Again, we are SO thankful for a large hotel with lots of walking space inside.

  We still met up with everyone in the lobby and got our seats in the big bus!!  Today's outing was to Shamian Island, the place where all adoptive families used to be required stay while in Guang Zhou.  Families who are here for their second adoptions (or maybe third or fourth!) have fond memories of their prior time in China.  Many have wanted  to revisit the shops and restaurants, so a trip was planned there for everyone.  It used to be full of souvenir shops, coffee shops, etc. that would attract Westerners, and quite a few of them are still there.  Now that China doesn't restrict the foreign visitors so much, though, and also now that the American Embassy has moved, some of the shops have moved or closed altogether.  One place that has stayed open and is famous with all adoptive families is a restaurant/cafe called "Lucy's."  It has good Western food!  So, we went in a few shops, and I bought a few more gifts that I wanted to pick up, but then headed to Lucy's to get out of the rain.

Emily is enjoying a snack... she wouldn't eat any "real" food,
but she loved this chocolate!!  It was a Chinese version of Nut*ella
with wafer-type dipping sticks!  We'll be buying some of these
to help keep her happy on the plane trip home!!

   While we were here, we visited more with several of the families that had come in for lunch, too, as well as met some other families with different agencies that were there.  It's amazing to see the camaraderie that exists between people who have come from so many different places, but are all here for the same reason!!  We get a chance to glean advice from those who have done this before, we offer encouragement (or at least some sympathy) to those whose children are struggling, we all laugh together and share stories of the funny things we're all doing in "survival mode!"  You have an immediate kinship with all of the adoptive families, and we all do as much as we can to help each other make it through these days.  Everyone has their own personal adoption journey story to share... how God worked in their hearts to get them to this particular place at this particular time.  It's incredible to see how He works!

  The afternoon was just the same as before--  the bus took us back to the hotel (this time we'd already had lunch, and the lobby pastry place missed us!) and we had a naptime for Emily in the room.  Emily had managed not to have any major meltdowns..... of course, we'd done our best to ward them off as much as possible.  She still acts out a lot in the room (still intent on tearing up the TV, breaking the lamp, etc.)  She is really starting to be quite clingy to Dan and not want to have much to do with me.  If I try to play with her in the room, she walks away and goes to get in his lap.  She won't look at the toys unless he's getting them out, and then she'll play nicely.  She wants him to hold her and doesn't want me even to hold her hand.  We try to get her to do some of her favorite things with me, but she even refuses most of them now if it's not with him, too, -- or just with him.  It can be frustrating, but since we were forewarned, it was definitely expected.  Our main tactic is to continue to have me be the one giving Emily her milk every morning (with her in my lap.... she doesn't get it if she won't stay in my lap.... and thankfully, she has shown that she really loves her milk!!).  She also still sits in my lap at all mealtimes; even if Dan has been holding her, he puts her in my lap before he sits down.  She sits in my lap on all bus rides-- and since these 2 things have been the routine basically from the beginning, she doesn't balk too much.  

   Tonight we went back to the Malaysian restaurant that is close by.  I wasn't feeling 100%, but I'm hoping that it's not a big deal.  Emily came down with a cold/bad cough a couple of days ago, and hasn't been completely up to par, either.  We had an adventure trying to buy children's cough syrup in a drug store where the salespeople knew only a small bit of English.  They were very helpful, though, and it has seemed to help her.  Since she doesn't like to eat most things we try to give her ---even things that are yummy -- I took one look at the nasty brown cough syrup and told Dan she'd NEVER swallow it down.  We tried mixing it into a Chinese porridge-type stuff in an attempt to camouflage the taste, but she spit it right back out.  I wasn't surprised a bit!  Finally, we poured it straight into a little medicine cup, held her locked in Dan's arms, and I stuck it up to her mouth.  She opened her mouth and drank it right down!  My jaw dropped!  Oh well --- God's divine intervention, I suppose!!  Or else she has really strange taste buds!  We're praying that her congestion gets better before the plane ride home.  We're learning her little quirks -- and one is that she likes rubbing kleen*ex on her nose!!  She's not really that great at blowing it when the tissue is there, though!

  So, we went to bed hoping for the best.... tomorrow brings the day we've been waiting for:  the appointment at the US embassy!!