Safe In The Arms of the Shepherd

Safe In The Arms of the Shepherd
This is Who we want our children to know!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How many times, YiLi?

YiLi is and always has been doing marvelously well since the moment we met one month and a day ago. But . . . she doesn't like to hug and most definitely does not want to be kissed. We all know that is not unusual at this stage of just being home, right?

So we are working into it with a few stiff little hugs and such.

YiLi and I have built up this little tradition already. When I tuck her into her bed at night, I tuck the softest blanket of them all right up around her little chin, very carefully so that she knows it's important to me that she be warm and toasty, and then I ask the question: "How many times shall I kiss your head goodnight, YiLi?" We have made it a game. She never answers, so every night I decide on a number and then I kiss her head that many times. I started low. Last night was twelve, and she gave me the tiniest giggle. Tonight I asked, as usual, "How many times shall I kiss your head goodnight, YiLi?" Only tonight, she said "Hmmmm . . . (with that little smirk of hers), and THEN SHE SAID: "Five!"

Blesses this mama's heart, that's for sure!

Goodnight everyone . . .

Monday, December 26, 2011

To China and back plus a month

So much time has passed, so many life events, I am just asking God to help me as I write this post to bring you all up to date. I could not seem to come here before now, so here goes . . . joy and sorrow, endings and beginnings, thankfulness all the same because God knows what is best and works all things for good for us because we do love Him and we have been called according to His purpose.

We met YiLi in Jinan, the provincial capital of Shandong, China on Sunday, November 27. On to Qingdao the next day by bullet train and then we flew to Guangzhou on Tuesday night . We met Gan the next morning at the Civil Affairs office.

Gan asked to go back to her orphanage after a day and a night. She suffered greatly, and I do not think, even after being prepared, that she truly understood what adoption meant until she was face to face with it. We were told that it was not personally about us. I truly have come to believe that there are a few children who would rather stay in China no matter what their future life will be like, and Gan was one of them. I did not want to believe that until another mother went over to meet her daughter from the same orphanage and checked in on Gan for us. She told us that Gan was resolved to stay in China, that she would have refused any family, that the director had cried many a tear over her decision. So for a reason that only God knows, Gan did not come home with us.

My sister Leslie had sent porcelain Christmas ornaments shaped like Chinese dolls, lanterns, and pandas for each of my three girls. As I wrapped a box for each girl in the upstairs bedroom, I had my private grieving session for Gan, and laid a dream to rest. I do know that God brought Gan into our lives for a purpose though, so we wait to know that purpose. We are hoping that if Gan knows we are not trying to convince her to come with us, that she and her orphanage will allow us to sponsor her as she gets older. Maybe we can make her life a bit easier.

YiLi is a joy. She has the most endearing personality. She has been with us for one month now, and we can hardly remember life without her. Rick and I are feeling younger by the minute, laughing, skipping, playing, learning, seeing life anew from a child's viewpoint. I think I will let the pictures say the rest: