Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 2's in the books

Well, she slept great last night, thank God...and by "she", I mean Stefanie. She's been up at 3 every morning until last night. I absolutely believe that your prayers helped. It was, in my humble opinion, stress that was keeping her from sleeping, and it's not like we didn't have stress in bucket fulls last night, but she slept anyway. We're moving into the marathon part of the trip, and without rest, well, I guess she'll make it, but it would be really, really rough.

Maggie slept too. After the grief, she was a chatter box before she went to bed, talking, laughing and all the rest. Of course, she was calling out for her foster grandmother the whole time...or she could have just been telling us about her...we really have no idea...we just know we heard her name about 1,000,000 times last night. This morning, she woke and called for her one time. No answer, obviously, and then she went into her shell.

I remember Corinne doing this too...a lot that is going on is bringing back memories. We traveled with 14 families that trip, and there were 14 little Chinese zombies walking or being carried all around. I kind of think they/she is going into survival mode. She doesn't particularly like us, but she knows that she needs us to stay alive, so she'll follow us around, stay quite, but she certainly isn't giving us anything. She'll hold our hand, but doesn't really grip your hand. She allows us to carry her, but she leans away from our body. She looks at us intently, until we realize she's looking, and then she turns her head 180 degrees the other way. Oh well...normal stuff, I've come to learn...and having watched Corinne go through it, I know that it will come out ok, but it's really sad too. Poor thing. I wish that I could communicate with her, and tell her that it will be ok, but I can't. She can't even interpret our actions, much less our words.

Anyway, in the morning we went to breakfast at the hotel. With Corinne, she would make me peel her grapes, try to hide food by dropping it under the table and acting like she was asleep...heck, she still does those things. Not Maggie. She seems to get a little pep in her step when it's time to eat. At least meal time isn't an issue. Like father, like daughter, I guess.

Not much else today...walked around the city, ate at a local restaurant....oh, and no Starbucks or McDonald's which is as odd in China as it would be in Franklin. We were told there were two coffee shops in town. One owned by a Chinese person...word is it's terrible. One owned by an American...word is it's pretty good. I'll scout it out in the morning.

Hit Walmart...yep, no Starbucks or McDonalds, but old Sam Walton's figured out the Guiyang market. Odd place...completely underground. I asked why, they guide told me the rent was cheap.

Just too tired to go out for dinner, really, too tired for dinner at all. We ordered one adult and one child's meals in the hotel, and shared them. It's hard to understand, but just being here is exhausting. Between the challenge of the city, and the challenge of the're just spent at the end of the day. If you haven't done it, don't underestimate it. I've even done it before, knew what to expect, and I forgot how draining a day can be.

Couple hints to the future traveler. Skype is great...ok, so maybe everyone in the world except me already knows this, but it is really nice...and really video call your family back home, especially when you've left kids at home. My kids like it a matter of a fact, I just got that how you say Davis, my 6 year old son. Also, we brought a blow up mattress and pump, and it has been great. The other option if you are traveling with an older child is to pay additional for a roll away bed. The blow up mattress is free and disappears during the day...thanks Scott and Sharla for the advise.

Again, Graham is doing great and Maggie is doing well with him. He wants to be the one that does all the "good" things with her like hold her hand or feed her foods she likes...and we get to do the things that might make her cry. One of those is messing with her pictures. She holds on to those pictures, and frets over them like they are diamonds and pearls. Of course, she loves the pictures of her foster family, but she does the same with the pictures of Stef, me, Graham, Davis and Corinne.

She picked out a book at Walmart. I just wanted her to "want" something...anything and I was going to get it for her...thank God it was small and cheap. She held on to it for dear life, and played with it for quite a while when back at the hotel. She was quite all day, I can't think of one word she said today other than calling for her foster grandmother when she woke all the way until tonight when she played with the book in the hotel room and whispered a couple words...wonder what she said.

Big day tomorrow...actually, not. We're hanging out until Friday waiting on the passport in a city whose name means something like "precious sunlight"...because you see it so infrequently that any glimpse is "precious". I'm just trying to convince myself that it is fog.



  1. I'm guessing y'all are waking & having breakfast soon. Corinne just went to Mimi's house. She and Gray had a good time playing here today. They are so easy with each other! It is very, very cold the 20's and it was snowing a bit this morning. Hoping Maggie feels a little more comfortable today...I'll remind you what you told me....something seems to "click" at the 72 hr mark. I went back and looked at E's photos on our blog on her first day with us and zombie is the best description. So glad y'all have seen the other side but it so hard to walk through that and see them suffer. All we can do is pray for her and you. Looking forward to more of "China through Brook's Eyes" journaling...its been entertaining.
    Praying for a "good" day...whatever that means?!?!?

  2. Praise God for sleep for all of you but especially Stefanie. I wish so that I could send you a Starbucks. Only a few days until Guangzhou and much more familiar places for you. Maggie sounds like such a little trooper. It all sounds so very familiar to Corinne's first days. I am so grateful Graham is there. I know you are still exhausted at the end of the day but he is a diversion and another person to talk to at times. What an incredible experience to give him insight into his sisters lives and worlds. He is such a great little boy and I am so proud of you Graham!!! We will get Corinne and Davis back tomorrow. I missed them as soon as they left. We had gotten our routine down and the house felt strangely empty once they were gone.
    I look forward to your update today and pray Maggie is not as fearful.
    We Love You.
    Mom and Dad(Sammye and Steve or Saucy and Pop)

  3. So tell us more about Maggie. She looks like she is "well fed". She looks like a good size 3 yr old? And her hair looks thicker like E's or is it like Corinne's? What size do you think she is wearing? shoes? Is she completely potty trained. E won't even consider it!
    It was good to hear Graham's perspective....bless her broken heart....I know its so hard to watch her be so sad.

  4. Breathing deep here and praying every moment through for you. Maggie is just beautiful and Brook, you are so right...her grief now will subside and her attachment to you will be strong...already evident with the photo book. Praying for the fear to be cast from her and for peace to come to her broken heart. Hang in there! We hold you close in our hearts and can't wait until you are home! Stefanie...try to rest...sounds like the "boys" have Maggie covered! Starbucks is just a few days away...enjoy! Love you, Anne

  5. Praying for you all, especially little Maggie. My stomach turned to knots reading this post. Reminds me of Mei Lin's first days with us, too...thank God we both know everything improves day by day. Know we are covering you in prayer.
    Love you guys! Cindy

  6. Oh, and btw, she's absolutely beautiful! Can't wait to meet her. And my girls are excited to see Graham in "their" China.