Monday, August 01, 2005

Mixed Emotions

Well, I am back in the blogosphere. There have been a lot of things I have considered writing about but, except for the last post,* have kept quiet. My list of things to write about is growing, but I have decided to develop those ideas in another place.

Yet there are still things to post here. Mostly (and probably for a long while) the topic will be adoption, both in the personal and the general sense. But related issues would include: relationships, racism, the meaning of culture and how cultural heritage is established, and maybe a thing or two about China. I think in the next few months I will often wax educational on you. You have been warned.

But for now, I think I would simply like to update you. This is a "what's going on and how I feel about it" post.

What's going on is we have received Ms. Bao's official paperwork (AKA referral.) It is a pile of stuff written in Chinese, with a few pages of translation. These few little papers evoke quite a bit of emotion. And the emotions run the gamut.

First there are the pictures. The child is beautiful. BEfriekingYOUTEEFUL. Looking at the pictures makes me feel excited and happy but also impatient... because I want to hold her and love on her right now.

On the front of the referral is a little space labelled "Child's name," followed by three Chinese characters. Wu is her surname. I don't know weather I should laugh or cry at that name. It is, of course, completely made up. A real kid with a fake surname - the name that is supposed to tell you what family she belongs with. A lost child with the name Wu should be returned to the Wu family! But for Ms. Bao, the Wu family consists of all the other kids admitted to her orphanage that year. They're all Wus. It's a big family of siblings with no mom or dad to be found.

The referral goes on to give a bunch of medical and developmental information. Her thorax is "normal," her fontanel is "not closed," her heart rate is "120/minute." Blood tests, immunizations, X-rays...

And then, three lines about how "this child" came to be admitted to the orphanage.

I am hesitating: first, because I can't see through my tears to type this, and second, because I don't know if I should.

She was admitted to the orphanage on January 9. There is one minor detail given about how she was found. Her birthday was estimated, which tells me that she didn't have a note attached to her. (And as much as I hate the overuse of the word "precious," I think it fits here:) A precious baby was born, and no one knows any details.

Since before they could even understand, I have sat with Ms. Boo and MMr. Bug and told them all the details of their birth story: when I went to the hospital, what the weather was like, what I said to them when I first saw them, what happened when they went to the nursery, the specifics of our snuggling times and on and on and on....

For Bao - three lines. And maybe that is why I don't want to share the exact words with you all... because it's all I will have to tell her, and maybe I want what little there is to be just between us.

So, in light of this, there are parts of the referral that are oddly positive, to me. Like the bevy of boxes on a list of developmental milestones that are unchecked. I look at all the things she hasn't done yet, and sort of hope that she waits until we can see it. I want to be her "noticer," because I will remember for her.

And, of course there are the things that would make anyone smile: "she laughs with joy when she is being teased....when she sees food she wants to eat it" (yes, this is definitely one of my children...) "likes to be held by people....when she is hungry or wet diaper or someone pass by her but didn't hold her she will cry." I really like that last one because it tells me that despite all the things that have happened to her, she hasn't become passive or turned inward. And then, there is her "most favorite activity: like to be held and sit in a little rocky chair." Oh, little BABY, come on home with ME!

So, that is my girl. And that's a little bit of how I feel.

And everyone is asking what happens next, and when we will go to China. So, by way of update:

We have to take Bao's medical info to the pediatrician and get is input as if we think it matters because we are keeping this child no matter what. Then we send in our "acceptance" letter to the officials in China. They issue travel approvals for Bao (and the other girls in the group from our agency.) We expect to travel in mid- to late September, but the date of our travel will not be finalized until our agency has made appointments for us at the US Consulate.

In the mean time we will be getting visas, completing paperwork, and collecting various items for the trip to China. It's a lot of stuff on my mind and I am a bit overwhelmed, though not stressed (yet.) For those reading this who are the praying sort, I covet your prayers.

Over and out.

*The previous post is not one of those things that I have necessarily been wanting to write about, but it reveals one of the topics I'd like to write about. And, it may help you get to know me better... if you want.

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Blogger yomama said...

yo! and yehaw!

so happy to here that things are progressing. a wonderful story indeed!


Tue Aug 02, 09:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Helen said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Tue Aug 02, 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Patti said...

I am so stoked! Yes I said stoked-don't know why. If you still want the ticket it's good till January and can only be used with Spirit Airlines. It's worth about $200. Love you

Tue Aug 02, 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

After reading your post I am reminded of all the gaps and questions that remain in the lives of children of adoption. We have a little boy who we are adopting also.

Moments come over me when I realize how much we missed. Those many, many days before he came into our life. I'm reminded then that he was held in the hollow of his Heavenly father's hand. God was there when he was created, when he took his first breath and He will be there always in places and times we cannot.

Thanks for sharing your journey.

Cheryl...from the belly of the whale...

Wed Mar 28, 01:40:00 PM  

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