This Is Hard

Okay, I need to whine a little. No one told us how hard this would be. Maybe we’re just wimps. But this is harder than I thought it would be. China is a fascinating country, and I would LOVE to visit it again with just Tommy or when our children are older. But trying to see China with a sad, homesick eight-year-old and a very clingy, demanding five-year-old is HARD.

So now that I have my daughter, I am ready to come home.

I’m tired of trying to communicate by pointing. Our guide has been great helping us with the adoption side. But we are pretty much on our own as far as finding food, finding a place to do our laundry, etc. NO ONE here speaks English. In Beijing, most of our hotel staff spoke English fairly fluently and many Chinese we met spoke some English. Here no speaks more than a few words. I am also tired of being stared at.

This morning our guide picked us up to go do more paperwork. On the way, the further we drove, the more Suhui clung to me and began wimpering. Our guide asked her what was wrong. Finally, our driver said that maybe she was afraid we were going to leave her. The guide asked her and that was what she was afraid of! Poor girl! Our guide told her that we were signing papers and assured her that she was leaving with us. Then Zoe taught us how to say, “I will not leave you.”

We found out that the director at her orphanage is a doctor. He was great with Suhui, playing and laughing with her. But she did not want him to hold her. Our guide said that she was afraid he was going to take her away from us.

We had to answer questions about why we want to adopt Suhui. Sign and fingerprint a bunch of papers, and then IT WAS OFFICIAL! Suhui is our daughter!!!

Her sweet hugs and kisses are somewhat overwhelming today. She will not let us get more than a few feet away from her before she screams for us to pick her up. This is pretty normal, but it is starting to drain us.

Plus, Caleb is having a hard time. He’s sad and homesick and is not getting to do anything very fun. We’ve been staying in the room alot because it is so hard to take Suhui anywhere, and we really don’t know where to go besides KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, and Carrefour. (We went through our second bucket of KFC chicken today.) This afternoon Tommy occupied/distracted Suhui(which is quite a task) so that I could have a little time with Caleb. Then while Suhui was napping Tommy and Caleb went to the game room in our hotel. Caleb was grinning when they got back and said he had fun, so may he’s feeling better.

Yesterday we pretty much let Suhui do whatever she wanted within reason. Today we have started to set some boundaries and have experienced a few tantrums. We decided she needed to take a nap. Her daily schedule said that she has a nap. And we NEED her to take a nap whether she needs it or not. So Tommy made her lay down, and she cried and cried until she fell asleep.

And, you should know that Rachel is definitely a Mississippi girl! She LOVES watermelon! She got very excited when she saw it at the breakfast bar at our hotel and ate lots.

The breakfast bar is interesting and good. There are all kinds of American foods, bacon, sausage, waffles/pancakes, bagels, pastries, toast, eggs. Then there are Chinese foods, different kinds of noodles that they cook for you. Hot-dry noodles are a breakfast food of  Wuhan that we want to try. But their are four kinds of noodles served, so we have to figure out how to ask for the hot-dry noodles. There is also chicken, steamed dumplings, rice, a salad bar, cooked tomatoes, and stir-fry-type dishes. there were baked beans at the breakfast bar here and in Beijing. Yesterday I had fried banana for breakfast. Rachel also loved the bacon this morning, which is good but a bit different from our bacon.

A couple of other things: I know that many families take their children with them to adopt. I now have an opinion on this. I would not take any children unless they are a mature 12 or older. It is just too hard. Caleb is our adventurer. He can handle about anything, but this is just too different and difficult for him. Beijing was too cold for him to enjoy and know we’re mostly sitting in the hotel room.

Another thing is we heard that you can get anything here that you can get in the States. Good luck with that! Whatever you want may be available to buy, but good luck with finding it and identifying it as what you want.

Please pray for us as we adjust to our new daughter. Pray that she will soon realize that we are not going to ever leave her. Pray for Caleb, that he would be able to have some fun and would not be so homesick. And, of course, pray for our family back home.

We love you and miss you, Eli and Titus!

Suhui met Eli, Titus, Aunt Angie, and Granny this morning on Skype. She had just awakened and was not her usual talkative self, but she eventually yelled “Ni hao, Gege!” (Hello, big brother), waved to Titus(he’s still a little shy but stood behind that couch peeking over and waving), yelled “Zai jian, Popo!” (Bye bye Grandma), and “Xie xie, ayi”( Thank you , auntie) to Angie when we asked her to.

We’re about to all venture out for supper. I will get Tommy to post some photos and possibly video later. We have video of Suhui repeating ABCs after Tommy while he writes them on her magna doodle. She loves doing this and asks us to over and over. She can also say, “ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR!”

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10 Comments

Filed under Adoption, China, Uncategorized

10 responses to “This Is Hard

  1. Angie

    Welcome to the woeful world of culture shock… Coupled with exhaustion, it’s a killer. This may be of no consolation to you, but EVERYTHING you just described is textbook. I hope just knowing that brings you a sense of peace. I pray for God to give you the creativity to deal with any & everything that arises, the blessing of good health to endure and plenty of sweet rest when you need it most!

    Believe it or not… we’ll see each other soon! Might feel like an eternity in between, but you’ll be home SOON!

    I love you.

  2. Sarah

    How exciting that you guys got to Skype your family and introduce Rachel to everyone! I will be praying for God to give all of you an extra dose of energy to deal with the culture shock and weariness. Poor Caleb! He is a trooper! Lovin’ the updates! Stay safe!

  3. Linda/Robert

    Remember what it was like when each of your boys were born? They are so wonderful and you want to just hold them forever. Other mothers saying you need to get your rest and your thinking whatever! Then after a couple of days your are totally drained and wore out. Kim, I was this way with each of my children. I did not learn from experience. Everyone could see that I was going to crash if I did not stop and take care of myself. Well, it seems that adopting is the same. I have been holding my breath here. Waiting to hear you say “I am tired and worn out and want MY bed.” I have been amazed at how you have been able to keep going not just with Rachel but with your touring China. You have just had so much to take in. It seems so easy to see from here. I guess I am saying you are doing great and being like any new mom very excited and a little overwhelmed. I love you, Kim. You are doing great and will be home soon with your whole family which does help.

    I got on the computer at 5:30. It is now 6:57! I have only had one or two interruptions. Imagine that!!! I had to get Bobby’s breakfast and lunch together, iron his shirt (why would I want to do that ahead of time), fix breakfast for the kids (of course we could not all eat the same thing), get all of Robert’s papers and a snack in his backpack (it just did not make since to do last night), try and decide if Robert’s “sickness” this morning is real or not, go over math with Celia, and talk with Megan (Trey’s grandfather is in the hospital and not doing well. The family has been called in this morning.). Also, one other thing about last Wednesday. Trey kept being the one to talk to me instead of Megan. I did not really understand but ok. Well, now I understand!!! They found out that Aubrey’s surgeries are not covered under the funding that they had found through the health department. What a slap in the face!! OK! NOW WHAT! We don’t know. Surgery is rescheduled for Feb. 24. We are trying to see about finding some other kind of funding and getting donations. Megan knew she would not be able to keep that from me. Since I have started typing again, Juan has called, and Robert is not going to school! What is the rest of my day like!?! I am to keep Juan’s babies while she goes to the orthodonist this morning, clean at Henry’s house in West Point, keep Juan’s babies this afternoon while she goes back to the doctor in Columbus, and be on standby to go to Greenville. Why am I telling you this? To let you know we are all in the same shape!! And I want to make a date with you. Let’s pray together (in spirit). I need it!! It is almost 7:30a.m. here. How about in a couple of hours? That will be 11:00 a.m. my time and 9:00 p.m. your time. I thought that might give you time to get everyone to bed. I love you, Kim, and meet you later in my prayer! Linda

  4. Keith and I are following your adventure and you are in my prayers. I know that this will be a good story one day but you must be as overwhelmed as Suhui will be when she gets to Mississippi. Hang in there!

  5. Eddie

    Keep the faith, and as Angie said, you will be home SOON. I know that won’t be the end of challenges that come with this new blessing, but God knows what you can handle, and He’s there, as are a bunch of us…your friends and family. You and Tommy are two of the strongest and most amazing people I know. You have the capacity to do this! Give Caleb a big kiss & hug and tell him how impressed Mr. Eddie (the fat guy, if he doesn’t remember) with him and his world travels. Keep the faith. Praying for you…

  6. Jennifer

    Sounds like you guys are more than ready to come home! With the pending birth of each of my children, I just grew restless wanting to hurry and have him/her so we could get back to “normal”, adjusting our lives to the new addition in the comfort of our own home. I’m sure being in another country is VERY stressful on top of the restlessness of wanting to get home and get situated into your new “normal”. Hang in there – you’ll be home soon 🙂 We love you guys!

  7. Tommy and Kim, I’m praying for the rest of the journey to be easier for you. At long last, you have your little girl and with the adoption completed, you can make it through these challenges. Remember – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
    And to look on the bright side, your daughter wants you as her family so much and I am sure other adoptive parents are having the tough challenge of dealing with a child much less prepared and accepting of the adoption than Suhui is.
    You will be home soon!! Love, Susan

  8. Kim

    I hope the rest of the trip goes quickly so You can be back soon…try to concentrate on taking all the firsts in…I know you are physically and mentally exhausted…I can tell you any time I’ve traveled to foreign countries it wears you out trying to communicate…it can be very frustrating…although I don’t think this is quite the same for kids…they are so much more flexible than we are in general….it sounds like Rachel will adjust wonderfully…she has spirit and spunk and a family that loves her…what more does she need…I’ll be praying for endurance for all of you…wondered does Caleb have a journal for the trip…maybe that would help him to concentrate on some other things than being home…if he doesn’t like to write(like Kenton)he could draw…even stick figures can tell a story…good luck and can’t wait to see you all….

  9. Kate

    Kim,
    Jennifer just sent me this link to your blog, we had book club tonight, so I am still catching up on all the things I’ve missed, but wanted to let you lnow that I do have several chinese friends here in Starkville, so when you are back and need to communicate with Rachel, you can call them and ask to translate. One of them has a 5 or 6 year old and the girls might want to play together, plus Shaz who is in our book club knows a lot of Chinese students who you consider as a nanny/ helper to help you with transition once you are back home, she would probably be a student at MSU and can work flexible hours for not much pay, just an idea…
    Also, I am reading “The lost daughters of China” it’s our February book club book that is your cpy and suggestion anf it would be so great to have you come and talk about your experience even if you don’t get to read the book whcih i will return to you as soon as you let me know you are back in town. Good luck with everything. you are amazing

    • Kate–Thanks so much for the suggestions of people to help us when we get back! I would love to come share at the book club. I hate that I missed it this week. I really enjoyed The Reluctant Fundamentalist. It made me think about things in a different way–that’s my favorite kind of book.
      Kim

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