We couldn't get the internet to work yesterday, and this morning at first. Plus yesterday was such a long day. So we just passed out last night. First, I have prayer requests, Calvin is sick, lots of congestion and coughing and running a bit of fever today. Also, for his heart, he is really shy, they told us at the orphanage yesterday, and every little change upsets him. I mean like a different shirt, going to eat, me going into the bathroom, etc...all normal at this point but still emotionally exhausting. He is definitely preferring me at the moment, but we really need to both be able to take care of him because of Georgia, and it is really wearing emotionally for only one person.
Yesterday, we started at breakfast. Calvin ate really well, but would only sit on my lap to eat, which was a little difficult with chopsticks, lol. Our guide picked us up at 9:30 and we headed off to the Civil Affairs office where we met Calvin the day before. As soon as we walked in, he stiffened up. You could tell he was scared. We sat down and waited a few minutes, while our guide went into the office to talk with the officials. A few minutes later two ladies came out, and made a point congratulating us and presented us with the adoption decree. And it was official, and finalized. He's an Ohler! Then, we took a picture in front the official red wall with the two officials, and we were off. About a twenty minute ride to the notary office, where we have the adoption decree, notarized. We tried to capture some pictures and video of the traffic and driving. I just can't tell you how crazy it is. It's hard to capture though. We arrived at the notary office, and the guide tells us, it's up on the 5th floor. No elevator. At this point, Calvin only wanted me to carry him, and he is close to 30 pounds, by the time we hit the 4th floor landing, I thought I was dying, lol. We were only there for a few minutes, had some paperwork stamped, and had a family picture taken (not sure why?) and then we were headed for Calvin's hometown, Luoyang two hours away. The suggested we go to the restroom before we left, and it was a fairly yucky squatty potty, but I managed, and didn't get my boots wet. The drive there was long, but had some really beautiful scenery. Closer to Luoyang are many hills, and lots and lots of caves. We got there around 1pm, and had an hour to kill before our scheduled time at the local police station to apply for his passport. So, we had lunch with our guide at a local place. Very hole in the wall, no English, questionable looking place but our guide said is popular with the locals. She ordered for us, and our lunch was really good. Two different kinds of noodle bowls, one cold rice noodles with a sesame peanut dressing, and one hot, with beef and broth and ginger. Also, sandwiches, which our guide referred to as pancakes, but we like thin crispy flatbread for the bread part and grilled pork on them. Very good, and all for around $3. Our guide wouldn't let us feed Calvin the cold noodles because she said cold noodles aren't good for kids. After lunch, we headed over to the police station to apply for his passport, we had quite a wait here, and visited another squatty potty. One of the orphanage staff met us there, as she had some of the required paperwork. Then, she rode back with us to the orphanage. We were welcomed to the orphanage by the director, who had brought Calvin the day before. His orphanage is large, 6 floors, and around 600 children. The first floor was all office stuff, we were allowed to go to the 2 and 3rd floors. The second floor had therapy type rooms, and the third had sleeping rooms, and classrooms. From the first room we walked into, it was all I could do not to dissolve into tears. I'm crying now just thinking about it. I don't think I can find the words to explain. To do justice to these precious children. They were so happy to see us. Some would come right up to you, they would pose for the camera. Many had obvious special needs, but had such a light in their souls! They just need someone to love them. To go to bat for them. A family. We were allowed to bring candy, and Michael handed it out freely. So many smiles! Room after room. It was crushing to see all these children, and know this is their reality. Day in day out. The nanny's and director seemed to genuinely care about the children, but there are so many kids.....and it was dark, and dreary in the halls, rundown, would be kind. At the end, they took us to see his crib where he slept. A room full of cribs. I counted 24, and was told two kids sleep in each crib. We walked in one room, full of babies.Maybe 9-12 months old. Lots of them, lying on play mats around the room. Some of them crying. Beautiful rooms of babies? How does this happen? We went in one classroom with 3 older boys, one was deaf and had a scar from surgery. They told us he had a facial deformity and had surgery in the US to repair it. He was so proud to show us his artwork he was working on, and got so excited about the candy, that Michael ended up giving him a whole handful. We got a little video of him, We took lots of pictures, and some video. It was, sigh, I can't put it into words. Please, if you have ever heard that whisper think about these precious children. Calvin didn't want to be there. I was concerned that having only had him for a day, and him not being thrilled with us, that he would want his nannies, and it would be hard. Instead, the nannies were so happy to see him with his family, and some wanted to hold him, to take pictures with him, but he didn't want to do anything with that. Some rooms, he didn't even want me to walk into. Toward the end, we ran into one nanny, and he just fell towards her. She held him for a bit, and then he willing came back to me. After we left the orphanage to start the long drive back, he was the most animated, we had seen him. Little bits of humor, almost smiles. By the time we got back, it was 630pm, and we were all tired, he wasn't feeling a hundred percent, and we were hungry. We walked with our guide to a local restaurant. By this time, Calvin was fussing and pushing me away, but when we sat down in the restaurant he went into full on melt down. He just lost it, and was screaming, tears pouring and fighting me as hard as he could. We left the restaurant, our guide was getting it to go for us. We stood out on the sidewalk as he screamed and fought me and about a thousand people walked by staring at the redheaded lady with the screaming Chinese little boy. Whew. He would lean as far from me as he could, and push and twist but if I actually let him go, he'd freak out and grab me. So sad, and hard. He fought me the whole walk back to the hotel, and I didn't think my arms were going to hold out. We got back in the room, and he calmed down a bit. We took a deep breath, and fed him. He likes to eat :) Then straight to bed for him. I sat by him while he drank his bottle, and after a bit, his little hand came over to rub my arm. I wish this process was easier, but it just isn't. So please keep praying for all us. Early this morning, I was talking with God, and thanking him for loving me, despite my fighting and pushing him away. Despite my fears, and lack of trust, even after all he has done for me. I still hurt him, but he just keeps loving me. I can't do that on my own with Calvin, but I've been praying that the Holy Spirit will come, and dwell, so that I can do what he has called me to do. Adoption has taught me so much about my Father. Thank you for all your prayers and comments! We miss you all. The video of the sweet deaf boy.
|Me waiting for our driver, see the next picture down.|
|Yes, thats our van parked on the sidewalk!|
|this is why it isn't safe even on the sidewalks.|
|Our lunch, chopsticks on the table in that round thing.|
|what to say?|
|They were so happy to pose!|
|hallway at the orphanage and our guide.|
|The deaf little boy's art work, he was so proud to show us.|
|His sleeping room. Two kids to each crib.|
|out side of orphanage|
|This sweet girl was probably about 10? with cerebral palsy. She had a hard time taking the candy from us in her hands, but her smile was bright.|
|Main mode of transportation around here.|