I'm Laura. Bride to one and mom to three – one of whom we were led to adopt from China. And ever so thankful for God’s amazing grace.
One year ago today we got “the call”. It was the referral call that we had been waiting for from our agency since we had turned in our the first few documents 21 months earlier (plus our dossier ten months later in Nov ’13). Yes, this was the day we were referred Lucy’s file and saw her for the very first time! Getting that call was sooooooo huge in so many ways! We had had a terrible time earlier that day. Somehow USCIS managed to schedule Chuck, myself and our nanny for three different days that week for our fingerprinting appointments (don’t even ask me why fingerprints “expire” as this was our second time having to get this done). So, after talking to some adoptive friends and our agency, we thought it should be OK if we instead all went in at the time that the first appointment was scheduled. But no. Long story short: the local office was less than welcoming and so we drove the hour back with me on the phone with our agency trying to understand what I needed to do next to get the appointments rescheduled and this time for them all to be at the same time.
Well, it has been since April since I posted to this blog. Please forgive me. I went back to work that month. Enough said. 😉
In general, Lucy has adjusted wonderfully and we are so thankful to God for that! She enjoyed a great summer and took to our park district’s swimming pool like a fish outta water. She also took to our new nanny very well – another answered prayer! She’s progressed with her speech since her palate was closed in April, has weekly speech therapy sessions and probably has at least 50 words now, has started to put two words together and can recognize 13 letters all by herself now. Yay, Lucy! Thank you, Lord!
Today was a big day though. Lucy and I drove down to the University of Chicago’s International Adoption Clinic. We met with the same doctor who reviewed her file back nearly a year ago now when our agency first matched us with her. We decided to go to this clinic for several reasons – but the main reason being her height. Or, more accurately, lack thereof. It can be typical that children who are adopted internationally may not have a growth spurt until they are home six months. But Lucy has now been home seven months and has only grown a half inch. Between that and the fact that she has always been extremely petite (even when comparing her to the Chinese growth charts), we are concerned that there is a specific reason for her lack of growth. So, Lucy was a big trooper today with the phlebotomist at U of C who needed to fill nine vials of blood for all the various tests the doctor wanted run. We would appreciate your prayers that answers would come over the next week that would point us to next steps so we can get our precious little one growing up, up, up!
We will also be scheduling her with a orthopedist to make sure she doesn’t have anything going on with her hips. When we first got Lucy, her feet turned in quite a bit and we thought she might need bracing on her legs. But, as our pediatrician expected, her feet have straightened out some already. However, when Lucy runs, she rotates her hips pretty significantly. It may simply be because she just didn’t get a chance to run much at her orphanage and her body is still figuring that motion out…or it could be that there is something going on with her hips. So, again, we would appreciate your prayers on this as well. Thank you so much!
As I write this we are T minus 12 days and counting until Lucy’s initial palate surgery (scheduled for Good Friday). I am dreading this day and yet, in a way, excited for it too. Dreading because I know no matter how much I might try to prepare Lucy for this, she cannot understand what is about to happen. Her sweet little self doesn’t realize that most everyone else in the world doesn’t have that cleft she has in the roof of her mouth. I’m also dreading this surgery as I don’t want to see my daughter in pain (what mom does?). And honestly, I don’t really want to be the one in charge of pain management meds when my little girl can barely communicate. I’m also dreading having to feed her by these special syringes they will give me at the hospital for her and wondering how she will do with the post-op arm restraints (so that she can’t get her hands in her mouth). But I am trying to rest in the Lord and am praying that He will give me peace and wisdom beyond myself so that I sense Lucy’s cues and can help her eat, rest and heal as best as possible. I am leaning on these promises:
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. — James 1:5
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. — John 14:27 Read More
What a difference one month and one day make. 30 days ago, this sweet girl was an orphan who was driven seven hours to a big Chinese governmental building and brought into a room that was totally overwhelming with people whose skin color she had rarely seen and with lots of other toddlers just like her who were crying over the trauma that was theirs that day. This was our first glance of her in person:
Yes, God is so VERY good! And we are so not worthy, but He has blessed us with our precious Lucy! She’s been in our arms for three days now as I write this and it is amazing to see her transformation in just three short days. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the many prayers said on our behalf! We know so many have lifted us up and we are so very grateful.
For years we have been praying that Lucy would be loved on by her nannies or her foster mom. I believe that prayer was answered today. When we arrived in Zhengzhou, we received more details about Lucy – like what time she usually wakes up, when she goes down at night, preferred food and drinks, etc. But the answer to our prayers read like this:
She will look in the mirror when the foster mom combs her hair. If we ask her, “Who is the most beautiful girl?”, she will point to herself. And she likes to be dressed pretty.
We arrived in Beijing, by way of a 2 hr layover in Hong Kong on Thurs, 1/29 and got into our hotel around 1pm local time. All in all, we were in the air for about 18.5 hours and it was about 26 hours door to door. Yep, that makes for one tired couple! We enjoyed some Chinese food for lunch (and the BEST jasmine tea!) and rested a bit, then went out for Thai food for dinner after walking around a bit at the local mall. Funny thing was that in neither meal did we get any rice. We didn’t realize we had to actually request it for lunch – we thought it would simply come with the kung pao chicken we ordered, but no (bad American assumption apparently). Then when Chuck ordered the massaman curry for dinner, he did order the rice but the wait staff never brought it (we did get the bill revised when we went to pay).
Beyond tonight, I am doubtful I will have much of any time to post to the blog until we are in China. Yes, it is now that soon!! Well, we think it is. Our agency received our soft Travel Approval from China on Friday afternoon (I let out a scream so loud I scared Chuck). 🙂 Yep, that loud. It called for a few happy dances around the house as we were all together – well, almost all of us – save that one precious and oh-so-important little girl in China. Next steps:
Our agency thinks we will still be able to depart on January 28th so that we will get our precious Lucy on February 2nd!!!
I suppose I felt like Christmas was a bit bittersweet this year. Of course Henry and Audrey had a great celebration and loved tearing into their gifts on Christmas morning (regardless of how thrifty we were with our purchases this year) and we had our nice visits with family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And while I tried to keep a joyful spirit in remembering first and foremost that the holiday is all about celebrating our dear Savior’s birth, it was all I could do but to keep thinking about Lucy and wondering what she was doing that day…deeply wishing she was with us…thinking, most likely, she knows nothing of our Savior and of all the joy that is Christmas Day.