Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Consulate appointment...big steps with Maggie...

...we think...or hope...or pray. As I type, Maggie is lying in bed with Graham, all cuddled up as Graham feeds her a baby bottle with juice. Now mind you, she's turned a bottle away the past few nights because she didn't want to go to bed, and Graham and Maggie were "rough housing"...big time, just 5 minutes ago so maybe she's playing coy so as not to go to her crib...but still, she's doing it.

See, every other day, she's real good with us in the morning, and a little more distant in the evening...other than "rough house" time. With me, for instance, she'll let me be close in the early part of the day, even reach out for me at times. However, later in the day she starts pushing boundaries, and is generally...well, a 2.5 year old adopted child...think my description of the night on the cruise. Tonight, she was still 2.5, but, for at least tonight, she wasn't so "adopted" behaving.

Oh, we all got our first kiss today. Mine was leaving the consulate. I think I was first...but, I'm pretty sure it was by mistake. Stef was holding her as we went down an escalator a step ahead...and below me...and I kissed the top of her head...she turned around laughing...she laughs at almost everything...and kissed my belly. Hey, it's a start.

Tonight, we were just sick of eating. Seems we're always planning the next meal. We ordered in a simple...aka cheap...fried rice for the kids and peeled a few oranges for them that we bought from a local fruit vendor. Then, we went out walking. We stopped at, of all places, a little Italian place and Stef and I shared a bruchetta and the kids split a tirimisu. Everyone was happy. Stef started asking Maggie for a "ching". She went to kiss Graham, but he got bashful and it didn't happen. Then, she walked around the table and actually kissed Stef on the cheek. As we left, she kissed Graham, and finally got her guts up and kissed me...it really was more of a "mush her face into my cheek while laughing" kind of thing...but I'll take what I can get.

Oh...they just finished the bottle. Maggie rolled over to go to sleep with Graham. Graham whispered, "how about a little more juice". Maggie burped. Stef moved Maggie to the crib.

The visit to the US consulate sort of reminded me of the visit to the medical clinic, but in a better way. I was sad seeing all those despondent kids...and parents who were either wide eyed or still in denial. Again today, I saw all sorts of kids, with all sorts of terrible stories. I overheard a grandfather tell about his new grandson. The child is 10, and he's deaf. He was abandoned at a railroad station when he was 6, then spent the next 4 years in an orphanage. For a moment, for those of you with kids, imagine one of your kids living that life. He was adopted this week by this man's daughter and son in law, also deaf. He said that the child has some real problems. Go figure. I don't know what they are...I didn't hear all the details, and adoptive families don't always need to give all the details...but we all sort of know what their talking about. The child has been hurt..not hurt, but traumatized. Maybe even for the rest of his life. His story, just the bit I know, is heartbreaking. I'm sure if I knew the details, I'd cry.

Today, however, I felt excited. With each child was a set of really great parents. I was in a room with people who were willing to not just support these kids, but bring them into their home and give them the rights and privileges of being called "Smith" or "Jones". We've got it pretty easy this time, Stef and I. Maggie...knock on wood...seems pretty O.K. I'm sure we'll hit rough times, but many of these kids are really fighting their parents right now...or will later, but their parents are bringing them into their families anyway. I helps me understand what it means to be adopted into my Fathers family despite my fighting and pushing back.

A couple notes about Maggie. We hit the 7-11 and bought everyone some treats. The big hit was a chocolate thing, that had a coconut thing on the inside. Maggie loved them. More than she wanted to shove the whole bag into her mouth, she wanted to share those little morsels of goodness with her brother. She laughs when she "poots" on the toilet. She will talk to herself...or maybe she's talking to us...we don't know, when she pretend plays. We took a great video of her doing this and we'll get it up later...no way we'll pull this off tonight. It's cute...and kind of long. When I carry her, sometimes I start telling her that she is a sassy little girl...I can do this because 1) she is, and 2) she has no idea what I'm saying....or maybe she does because she will point her finger in my face and start giving me the "what for" in Chinese. I'd probably be totally embarrassed if I actually knew what she was saying...the locals are probably looking at me and saying "I can't believe those Americans don't reprimand their children". She said her first English word today..."woman". Graham calls her woman when they play rough...tonight, she started saying it back. When she plays by herself, she sings. I always kind of thought they were sweet little children's songs...maybe even a Chinese version of Jesus Loves Me. Found out today that she's singing the Chinese equivalent of the Barney intro song. Oh well. That's it for now.


1 comment:

  1. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every one of your posts and seeing your photos and videos. I've been praying for you, too. I just love Maggie's "spunky" personality and I look forward to meeting her the next time I'm down in Nashville (January). May God bless your time there and allow you a safe journey home.

    Sarie Beckett