Saturday 6:37 p.m. Guangzhou
Dear friends and family, my gosh, I can't tell you how many, so many, thoughtful, encouraging, prayerful e-mails I have gotten and from some of you that learned of Meiying and I through someone else. The China adoption community is amazing. I am so appreciative of your sharing your own experiences in older child adoptions, your wisdom, your attachment advice and most of all that you simply reached out to me. I wish I could meet each and every one of you and give you the biggest hug and thanks. My friends and family, you are amazing. I love you all so much for your tenderness and your support. Marisa, thank you for skyping w/ me and letting me cry. Thank you to Kelly and Cheryl and Adriana for also offering to skype with me. You're all so wonderful.
The moment that Meiying woke today, she was still sad and angry. Didn't want to Skype with "Daddy" and immediately started signaling for the phone again. I got us dressed to go eat and then she wouldn't budge and started crying again. I literally picked her up and carried her to the bed to try and jump on the bed together (Adrianna). She was like a rag doll and wanted nothing to do with it. I somehow managed to get her to stop crying and we went to eat. She was still making eye contact w/ me, but was very distant and clearly detached from me other than the eye contact.
We returned to the room and it started all over again. I thought, nope, we've got to get out of this room so at 8:00 a.m., we left for the White Swan and Shamian Island. I hooked up with another mom from our group, also traveling alone, and the 2 of us decided we just needed to band together and keep ourselves busy and away from the hotel rooms for as long as we possibly could. She adopted an 11 yo girl who is deaf and spent 9 years with her foster family in a very remote northern village rarely leaving the village home they lived in; dirt floor, no schooling. She is hesitant walking on different surfaces and up/down stairs. Her name is Amei (pronounced ahmay) and she spent the last 3 weeks at the orphanage in shock and grief before Metcha Day. She then slept for 20 hours over the first few days with her new mom. What these children endure is, well, I can't even find the right word for it. It's just heartbreaking. Hard to wrap my brain around this country too. Apparently there is a big wave of opinions happening in China regarding American's adopting; it's negative. I won't get into here, but when you see these children who have no future and that they are being adopted into loving and devoted families, it is hurtful to hear the locals sentiments about adoption. Anyway, Amei turned the corner on day 3 with her new mom and she is doing really, really well. She is such a sweet, "little" girl; 11 years old and only 46 lbs. Oh my. She loved watching me talk w/ my hands going and my facial expressions. She just kept watching me and laughing. Her little nose crinkled with her smile. Her smile is contagious. And because she is deaf, she is non-verbal, but watches everything and smiles constantly as she is taking in her new world. She had a good day today with us. Meiying was hot and cold today. There were moments of playing and interracting well w/ me; calling me Mommy again and coming to me, holding my hand again like earlier in our week and really holding, not jump limp-fish. And then after those moments of intimacy, she would withdraw and signal for phone call. I took it all in stride today. I feel much stronger. I would just somewhat detach, but stay smiling, happy eyes and connected by trying to redirect her attention.
We did a lot of walking around Shamian Island; ate at a good restaurant, had some Starbucks, went to a Park (more like the Duke Gardens) and just visited with the Oregon family that finally arrived on Shamian and many other Americans that were wandering the Island as well. It was good to have Amei's mom, Leiba, to spend the day with too. She is a good energy person. We stayed focused on our mission together today. Strong women banning our energies and convictions to become even stronger!
The moment Meiying and I arrived back at the hotel, Meiying began crying before we even got on the elevator. I walked the hall as stoic and calm as I had been all day. She has continued crying in the room and dialing probably 50 times attempting to make an outside call (still blocked) and wailing in between her unsuccessful efforts. She did allow me to sit calmly next to her and gently rub her back acknowledging her pain. So, that was good; she didn't shrug away from me. She is one smart, strong, scared, sad little girl right now. My heart hurts so much for her. I actually started (finally) feeling that motherly love towards her today; probably because I had my own emotions in check. It's 7:00 and she's already gone into the bedroom; no dinner, refusing to eat. That's okay.
From all of your emails, I feel that we're going to get thru this. Baby steps and much time and much help from an Attachment Therapist. I can't remember if I mentioned in my last post that she was processing a lot yesterday; showing me the picture of her foster brother and showing me the picture of her bed at her foster home. Both of these pictures were her way of processing the pictures of her new sister and her new bedroom that we spent a lot of time talking about earlier yesterday with the translator. She definitely is making the connection to her what her new life will be and processing the grief and detachment from all that she knew. I think it's so good that she is processing everything, crying, detaching, slowly reaching out to me; even if she pushes me away again. It's all so important to the healing. She's a tough cookie. I told Derek that she's going to give us heck. She's super smart, super independent, very athletic, knows how to play with everything and everyone so normal-like. She's stubborn. Of course, opposite of everything that I thought she'd be...LOL
I got a few pictures today and will upload them soon. Beautiful orchid garden, Judy. Unbelievable. I sort of felt like I was a little outside of myself today though, going through motions, but that's okay. One more day checked off. Oh and we met another family who has one of those translation (calculator things). We tried it out, but Meiying didn't seem to be able to read the pinyin...so I'm not sure that would help. Trust me, she's going to learn english really quick. We were playing mini-basketball in the White Swan hotel playroom and I was counting, 1-2-3 go and she was repeating it right along with me and all the way up to 10... in english. I was singing Doe a Deer and later I heard her singing it using the right words...in english. She's going to be fine once she let's go a little more. Thanks again everyone. I will try to answer the e-mails as time permits. Xie xie everyone!!!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Feeling like her mother and baby steps
Posted by The Ordinary Horse at 7:32 AM