Sunday, December 9, 2012

Early Morning Clarity

Last night was the first night I’ve slept well in China.  Yay!!!  I got a solid eight hours and feel much better:).  I think it helped that we kept the windows open.  The temperature in our room has been blazing hot, but last night it was crisp and cool refreshing.  I’m also very grateful to have two hotel rooms.  The girls enjoy their little slumber party atmosphere in the other room.  They’re old enough to take care of their basic needs on their own.  And we’re right next door if anything major does come up.

So this peaceful morning has offered me the opportunity to think.  Here are some of my thoughts:

Cali is far more wonderful than I had envisioned her.  She is exquisite.  She is (no pun intended) like a piece of fine China.  Exquisitely beautiful.  Exquisitely precious.  A treasure to be shared and yet guarded.  Her spirit is as innocent and pure as anyone’s I’ve ever met.  She will be a great blessing to anyone she comes in contact with, of this I am quite sure.  And yet I want to be careful to keep her shielded from some of the coarse this world has to offer.  She is an extremely precious spirit of our Father in Heaven.  Of this I am sure.

The wheelchair is going to be far more challenging than I had envisioned.  This understanding for me is mostly about our home.  I’m not yet sure how this is going to work out, but I am trusting in Heavenly Father that with His help we can do this.  My already inexpressible gratitude for Chrissy Probst and the rest of the amazing people who are striving to build us a home has multiplied many fold in the last 18 hours.  A new home will make worlds of difference for our sweet Cali and for our family as we support her.

One comment on our last post included this sentence: “What a blessing Cali Rose will be to your family.”  As I have been pondering this morning, a little stroke of inspiration came to me.  It said, “One way that Cali will be this great blessing is by the spirit of peace she will bring to your home.  You, Dad, can never utter another harsh word.  Voices cannot be raised in anger.  Patience must guide your actions as a father.”  You will have to meet Cali to feel of her sweet innocence.  It just cannot be described in print.  But clearly, becoming impatient with this one is out of the question.  Such an action would simply be unacceptable.  She is as pure as a baby straight from Heaven.  Again, you will have to meet her to understand.  But once you do, you certainly will.

A reaffirmation of a thought Christi and I have discussed previously:  Our adoption journey has given us the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people.  People we never would have come in contact with otherwise.  Good people are drawn to our children, and Christi and I get the benefit of coming along for the ride.  There are many that fit into this category.  People in the local community.  People in the blogosphere.  Other adoptive parents.  People who have supported the Puzzle them Home project.  People we’ve known for years.  People we’ve barely met.  It’s just amazing how many wonderful people are drawn to our amazing children and how blessed Christi and I are for the association.  Two of these people particularly came to mind this morning.  First is Kristen, the wonderful woman who laid the groundwork for us to adopt Cali.  It was her who first discovered our sweet little girl in the orphanage.  It was Kristen who pushed for her to become adoptable.  It was Kristen who first yearned to add little Cali to her own family, but eventually found that it wasn’t right for them.  It was Kristen who posted Cali’s profile to the waiting children list.  It was Kristen who communicated with us regularly as we went through the adoption process and who expressed so much joy at each step of our journey.  Cali remembers and loves Kristen and will be excited to meet her again.  I am so grateful that our journey to Cali has brought us in contact with such a wonderful person. 

The second person that came to mind this morning is sweet Teri.  Teri, who loved Graci before we ever saw her profile.  Teri, who wanted to adopt our little Wang Chun Ling, but found that it wasn’t right for her family.  Teri, who has offered tender and tongue-in-cheek commentary to our blog for the last several years.    I look forward to meeting her in person someday.  Graci won’t quite understand the depth of feeling and emotional investment that Teri has had for her over the years, but I am sure that Grace will feel Teri’s love. 

Oh, we are blessed.  “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.  Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.”  Our happiness and our quiver is full!  At least for now…:).


She is Ours!

We got herJ!  Cali is ours.  She is the sweetest, most perfect little thing.  You will all love her so much;)  Her endearing, high-pitched voice is precious.  Her meek temperament and unassuming manner are delightful.  When asked which option she prefers, she always answers, “I Don’t care.  Just pick one:).  She is breathtakingly beautiful and just perfect in every way.

When she was brought into us at the civil affairs office she was super quiet.  It was almost impossible to coax even one word out of her.  But now, only six hours later, she has become way more comfortable and is saying all kinds of things.  I can’t say enough how great it is to have Graci!  Her ability to speak Chinese and her proximity in age to Cali have made it easier for Cali to begin adapting to us.  Thanks, Grace!!! 

We all went swimming tonight, and it was a grand success.  Cali loved it.  She sat on a built in bench in the hot tub at first.  Then she ventured to the pool and she and I went around with her hands clasped around my neck.  We found a small-scale inner tube play toy and she was able to fit her legs through the middle and keep the tube around her waist.  While wearing it around her waist like this, she paddled all around the pool with her hands.  What a sweetie!

We are very much in love and so excited for all the kids to meet her—Taylor, Parker, Lexi, Elli, Xander, and Sophi—you will love this sweet new sister of yours and she will love you right back!  She is a perfect fit for our family.

What a beautiful day.

Before I forget,  I also wanted to write about yesterday…  Graci’s China family outdid themselves.  The aforementioned tour bus first took us up a harrowing road on one of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever been on.  The views from the bus window were straight down.  It reminded me of our trip on the narrow-gauge railroad between Durango and Silverton Colorado.  Pretty scary!  The views at the top were spectacular.  Following that the bus took us to a zoo/amusement park.  We saw some unique animals, including some amazing eagles and vultures.  The most unique thing we saw was the dogs.  There was a Golden Retriever, some Rottweilers and other common dog species on display in a cage at the zoo.  Interesting.  Perhaps a bit unsettling.

Later that evening they took us to the airport and sad good-byes were said.  It is so very touching to see how loved our Graci is by this wonderful family.  Our flight was a late one and we didn’t arrive at our hotel in Xi’an until almost 1am.  Getting settled in and tucking Jess and Graci into bed took quite some time and I didn’t get to bed until two in the morning.  We are still adjusting to the local time, so I woke up at 7am and couldn’t get back to sleep.  Needless to say, I’m exhausted as I write this at 9:30 pm!  I think I’ve fallen asleep at least three times while writing this post. 

But despite the absolute exhaustion, today has been a fantastic day!!! 

Tomorrow we could use your prayers.  We will be finalizing the adoption and doing all of the associated paperwork.  If all goes according to plan, by 10:00am tomorrow, she will be completely ours and we will be so grateful!!!

Love you, Cali Rose!