Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Safari Zoo

Today we went to the Safari Park Zoo for something to do on a day without any meetings. We had a good day together and Lexa seems to be more and more at ease each day. She is very smart and copies everything that Jadyn does. If Jadyn takes her shoes off, Lexa takes her shoes off. It is so adorable to watch them together. Lexa is also attempting some English words. She seems to be picking things up pretty quickly and is understanding some basic things. She loves playing in the bath and dumping water on her head. She laughs easily and loves when I tickle her. She has a contagious smile. It is so big and lights up her whole face. Jadyn has been the BEST big sister. It just warms my heart to see Jadyn putting Lexa's wants before her own so that Lexa will be happy. We have been careful to make sure Jadyn has her special times too, but she has been so giving, kind-hearted, and sensitive to Lexa's needs. Andy and I get a kick out of the English translations on the signs. Tomorrow we have our consulate appointment and Bao Song Qi officially becomes Lexa Joeley Lloyd!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sickness, Sightseeing, and Swimming

I had to skip a day of the blog because I became very sick early Friday morning (3 am). It seems that Jadyn and I probably ate something bad or something our bodies were not used to. It was horrible. I can't remember the last time I felt so terrible. Thankfully, it only lasted for about 7 hours, however, I continued to feel nauseous and tired for the entire day on Friday. We had planned to go to a market and do a little sightseeing that day. I did not want to miss anything since I probably won't be back in China for a LONG time, so I decided I would "suck it up" and go along to the market. BAD IDEA. First, Guangzhou is extremely hot and humid. Second, many people in China smoke. Third, the sky is covered in smog. Fourth, the market consisted of open tubs of Chinese herbs, dog food, live fish, scorpians, and raw meat. These, combined with me already being nauseous made for a very difficult day. I felt so sick and had to run to the bathroom on several occasions, thinking I was going to throw up again. :( Thankfully, I did not. Of course, my sweet Lexa was having a difficult time because "Baba" had to take care of her a little more than "Mama" and she did not like it. However, it did help Lexa to realize that Andy is a caregiver too and actually probably helped with that. She seemed much better with him today!! We are really missing Nathan and Noah and can't wait to get home so we can ALL be together. We are so very thankful for Skype! And for wonderful parents who love and care for them! Thankfully, I woke up today feeling much better. We did a little more sightseeing and learned some Chinese History by visiting the tomb of the 2nd emperor and looking at all the artifacts. Then, we just came back to the hotel and had a good afternoon together. We played with bubbles, colored, and watched a movie. However, the highlight for us was taking the girls down to the pool. Jadyn got some quality time with Dad swimming in the water. At first, Lexa just looked at the pool with a face that said, "No way!". But, gradually, she became braver and braver and before long she was sitting on the steps splashing with Jadyn. It was so cute to see her progression. You can see it in the photos below. She is so beautiful and so very sweet. She just loves to cuddle and I treasure all of those times, knowing that I missed so many cuddles the first 3 years of her life.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Orphanage Visit

Today we went to visit Lexa's Orphanage along with another orphanage of another family in our agency's travel group. It was a very LONG day! We had to ride in the van a lot today. The traffic in China is crazy. It just takes so long to get anywhere and it took 2 1/2 hours to get to Lexa's orphanage, then we age lunch, and then went to the other orphanage. It was nice to visit the orphanage and just to see where Lexa lived and went to school. It was also nice to see how much the caretakers love her. Lexa was in a really good orphanage that had a preschool where she learned a lot in the last semester. Her speech had been delayed, but her teacher told me today that Lexa's language has increased rapidly since starting school and she was no longer delayed in her language. Lexa was happy to show us her seat in her classroom. There was one of Lexa's caretakers who was out of town and so she was not there. I was told that this particular caretaker loved Lexa so much and would do special things for her. She actually bought Lexa the dress she was wearing on "Gotcha Day" with her own money. It is wonderful to know that someone was loving and taking care of her. It is hard to see all the kids who are still waiting for their families. Our guide teased us about looking for which one we want to take home with us next. I was not sure how Lexa would react to leaving, but she was ok. She seemed happy when we got back in the car. She is still very clingy to me and still not wanting Andy to hold her at all. She will play and laugh with him, but she only wants me to hold her. My arms are so sore!!! We ate Chinese food for lunch and then went to the other orphanage of our friend's daughter. We had an adventure with the "squatty potty" in the orphanage and Lexa ended up peeing all over me while I was trying to help her with it. (Squatty potty's are the worst. I seriously hate them.) Then, we had another long ride back to the orphanage. On the way home, we received the good news that the US consulate has reopened and that we will have our appointment on time!! Yay!! However, on the way home, my precious Jadyn got sick. The poor girl, who has been such a trooper and so very helpful, threw up 2 times. I am sure it was the combination of the Chinese food and the bumpy, bus ride. She seems to be better, just very tired. Then, when Lexa saw Jadyn upset, she became upset and had a difficult evening. She had a crying spell and just seemed sad the rest of the evening. Although Jadyn getting sick triggered it, I am sure she was sad about our trip to the orphanage, but I think it helped her to have some closure and to understand what is happening a little more. As I look back on today, it feels like so many ups and downs and I am exhausted!! Tomorrow, we will have a sight seeing day. I am looking forward to that and hoping that it will just be a fun day of bonding for us.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pictures of the Day

I am too tired to write a lot today, but we are making progress. Lexa seemed more comfortable with us today and we had a fun morning playing outside at a little park. She loved playing with the balls and going down the slide. Then, we had the medical exam today and that was fine. She also ate and drank more today. In fact, tonight she ate a whole bowl of congee (rice soup). Here are some pictures of our day. Tomorrow we go visit Lexa's orphanage. We are hoping this will bring a little more closure for her. Also, there have been some problems with the U.S consulate and there is a chance it could affect our consulate appointment on Monday. Please pray that we will still be able to have our appointment on Monday. There was some white powder sent there this week and the consulate shut down the entire week. People who were supposed to have their appointments are stuck here until the consulate contacts them and reopens. We are hoping this will not affect us too!! We don't want to be stuck here and have to change our tickets and leave our boys any longer. Thanks for praying!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Officially Ours

Today was a hard day for Lexa and it is so heartbreaking to see her sad and afraid. She has times where she is happy and playful, but then there are times when she just needs to cry. I am thankful that she wants to cry in my arms and receive comfort. I have heard of children who have had crying spells that did not want to receive comfort from their adoptive parents. But, it is not easy to see your child so sad and there is nothing that you can do to help "fix" how she is feeling. All I can do is hold her and pray. Another difficult thing is that Lexa is hardly eating anything. I think she is just too upset to eat. She will take one bite and eat nothing else. (and it is food that we know she likes) I am praying that she will be able to eat and at least drink more tomorrow. Today we had an appointment at the Civil Affairs office again to finalize the adoption. It was a little scary because this unfriendly man was asking us very direct questions about why we would want to adopt, and why we want to have 4 kids, etc. His accent was so strong and it was hard to understand what he was saying and he was questioning our motives and all I could think was, "Oh my word, we got this far, please don't let this man tell us we can't adopt her now!" The scariest part was when he asked Andy if he knew Lexa's Chinese name. I knew he knew the name they called her, but I didn't know if he knew the full name. He did great though! I didn't know what the guy was going to say if Andy did not know it! After the interrogation, he stamped the paper and said we were finished. Whew!!! After this appointment, we went to the department store to get Lexa some shoes. The ones on her feet were way to small. She was so excited about her new shoes and didn't want to take them off all day. Then, after they were off, she put them back on. :) We went to a Chinese restaurant with another adoptive family this afternoon. Lexa and Jadyn had a special bath bonding time tonight. Lexa was so afraid of the bath at first. She never was in one before and cried when we first put her in. She did not want to sit down in it. I asked Jadyn to get in with her and we gave the girls some cups and Lexa just started copying Jadyn and playing with the cups in the water. She loved it! She laughed and smiled and loved pouring the water on her body and even dumped a cup of it on her head. Tomorrow is another appointment and Lexa will need to get a medical exam. I am not looking forward to this as she will need blood drawn for a TB test and I am told they will not let the parents in the room with child. I would appreciate prayers for Lexa and her grieving and for the appointment tomorrow. Here a few pics from today!