Friday, February 1, 2013
A Day of Rest
Today was a day to rest. Many families took it easy today. Tomorrow morning we fly to our final destination in China to get things ready on the US side of this journey.
Though Mom and I planned to take it easy today, Liliana decided that taking it easy would start exactly at 6:00 am today when she woke up. When she did wake up, it was still dark in the room, and she began to cry until we got out of bed. She was slow on her feet and found herself falling down and having a hard time getting up until well after breakfast. I'm not sure why this happened, but her tiny legs are just barely strong enough to hold her body up. Her legs get tired quickly, and she currently has the stability and walking abilities of a child who is just starting to walk. She can walk without holding a hand, but it is much safer with one
.Our morning breakfast was leisurely. What do we eat here in China? Well, actually Mom and I have tried to keep our food choices fairly true to local customs. The breakfasts here in the hotels are a big affair. There is table after table of all kinds of food ranging from an omelet station to sausages and bacon, to Chinese vegetable dishes, to cheeses and breads, to pastries, to hard boiled eggs, to steamed rolls, to juices, to salads, to yogurts, to melons, to cereals, to ... well, you get the point. Your meal can be as American or Chinese as you want. I usually try to mix it up with a little of both. Lunches, dinners, and snacks are a mixture of things. Yes, you can get American fast food around here fairly easily, and you can also eat some great Chinese food as well.By the way, though she may be small, Liliana can eat! Some of this may be a result of being an orphan. Based on what we saw at Swallows Nest, she was fed very, very well, but who knows what memories she has from Luoyang. No matter what, the girl eats! She also does not feed herself much. So we are doing that for her right now. This is actually good because it gives us a chance to build relationship with Liliana as her provider. In time she will develop new habits, and in fact we have seen growth already.
We spent the rest of the morning talking with families, packing bags, helping Liliana nap, etc. This evening, we went out for an early dinner (had some great dumplings and Chinese dishes). After dinner we strolled a few blocks. Liliana had her first time out in the baby carrier, and she did quite well. Up until now, Mom or I have just carried her. Today I strapped her on my front facing in to see how she liked it since we will need it tomorrow when we go to the airport. While strolling the streets we got some stares from locals (that's natural). We simply greeted them with smiles. Traffic in the streets was heavy. One intersection had three police officers, a traffic light, and at least one crossing guard.
Traffic on the sidewalk was also busy. Yes, the locals ride their motor bikes on the sidewalk. So at any time, you might get run over just by walking on the sidewalk. Did I also mention that they park their cars on the sidewalks too? Taking a stroll is a risky affair.
This evening when we returned I received Liliana's Chinese passport. She will travel back to the US using it. Once she lands, it is null and void because she will be a US citizen at that point.
Putting Liliana down this evening was difficult. Rachel was on Skype for a few minutes of it before we lost the connection. This was probably the most difficult going to bed session yet. Mom saw it coming based on how Liliana was acting just prior to bed. She is starting to pick up on our routines. After we prayed and sang, I rocked her in my arms as she cried. Previous nights the crying was more of a whimper and lasted only a while. Tonight is was an emotional release and took much longer. She eventually did go to sleep
. Though difficult to go through with her, the reality is that that cry as probably a very good sign of some healthy bonding. You don't let your guard down with people you don't trust, and you don't do things like cry real loud with caregivers about whom you are unsure. So I am praying that this was a breakthrough. I'm sure there are many more similar nights to come, and I pray that in those moments I am able to remember this little paragraph and allow it to mold my thinking and actions.
As I stood there rocking Liliana to sleep, singing and humming to her to comfort her, God showed me how this really was a picture of Him and us. This is how we should come to God ... with all of our brokenness, flaws, and pains ... to lay in His arms and cry out to Him so He can bring perfect peace and rest. Over time as we do this, He brings healing. So often we try to fix ourselves up and get ourselves ready to be with God when really we need to come us as we are and lay in His arms.