Monday, March 19, 2012

Gotcha Day! The Real Adventure Begins (19 Mar 2012)

This is Tom writing...

Susie finally gets to hold him

Well our Morning started early in Beijing with a roll call in the hotel lobby at 0500 where we gathered with 6 families-all about to adopt little boys. All boys--That in it self was amazing. I would expected at least for China, that at least one child would be a girl. The sight seeing tour for the last two days had been nice, but we were all very anxious to meet our children. We were actually the only family headed to Kunming. However, it should be fun to get all these little boys together when we are reunited with these families on Friday. The trip to the airport and our air travel posed a little bit of an adventure. We had left the hotel at 0525 in order to make an 0710 where we first encountered a road jam of trucks all trying to get into the same warehouse. Instead of parking single file so traffic could pass, they all jammed the streets like they were vying for position in a NASCAR race. After a u-turn and some highway traffic we still arrived at 0600. Of course the airport terminal was packed--thank God Sherry, our tour guide, was with us to navigate. Quickly, we were checked in and off to the security check. Susie and I had the pleasure of having both of our carry ons completely unpacked...they told Susie she had a knife. When Susie said she did not...they inspector said "I think you do." after 10 mins of hunting they gave up and sent us both on our way. Flying was fun for me...Air China is a wonderful airline, good service, good food and enough leg space "I guess" for the average Asian man. I must have exceeded that because I could not find a sitting position where I my legs didn't rub against the seat in front of me. Thank God the man in front of me did not recline his chair...I think it would have hurt.

Civil Affairs Team

At 1030, we touched ground, recovered our bags and were off to the hotel-Grand Park Hotel. Very nice 5 star hotel. We have a beautiful 10 th floor view of the city. This gave us just enough time to freshen up, get our money, papers and gifts together and then we were off to meet Shane at Civil Affairs. We arrived 15 mins early only to find no one there...apparently this is a satellite office in an apartment building that they must only use for adoptions. About 20 mins later a van rolled up full of folks to include 2 folks who were definitely not from China-one holding Shane. I will discuss the one holding Shane a little later. Shane definitely looked confused, distant and apprehensive. He avoided eye-to-eye contact staring up. Immediately a chaotic paper chase began. First I had to write in about 100 words, why we wanted to adopt Shane and that we intended to care for him and never abandon him. Still can't remember what I wrote and I'm not sure anyone actually read it. After about 90 minutes of filling out papers, verifying papers and signing papers...all with our red thumb prints...and of course doing this while playing tag team with a very confused little who was not happy with the current circumstance--we can confidently say that there is nothing wrong with this childs lungs...he can belt out a scream. After the paperwork and the presentation of our adoption certificate, we we done...well not quite. Now we were off to the Passport office to take take care of Shane's passport.

Let me digress a moment about the couple who was holding Shane. It is amazing to see God's providence in us being united with Shane. This couple was a perfect example of His grace, mercy and hand in Shane's life. This couple (i will not use their names until I get their permission) is from the US and has been volunteering at the orphanage for over 4 years. If I understand what they told us, they have been praying for Shane since he crossed their path that the right parent would come forward for him. Furthermore, it was obvious that they had developed a special bond with Shane which became very apparently as they tried to sneak out without Shane's notice--he melted down within minutes. However, it is amazing to see how God has led and prepare Shane and us for this meeting. Thank God for all the workers who are out at these orphanages throughout the world caring and sharing the love of their Father with these little ones and making them feel a part of the FAMILY.

Brushing Teeth

On to the passport with any government was hurry up and wait. Fortunately the weather in Kunming is quite mild...almost like Hawaii. So we waited outside near a park with lots of kids. Shane apprehensively stayed in our arms but the actvity and sites made for a pleasant distraction. After about an hour we were on our way back to the hotel. We quickly found out that he was still unhappy to be with us and kept lurching for the door...."please rescue me from these white devils." so we ventured off to our first local Kunming dinner. Kunming is known for their spicy food and our guide told us that even Shane would like it because it is the flavors that he has grown up with. Ordering was an adventure in itself--no English speaking waitress. They had a picture menu which looked amazing but it was hard to tell the ingredients. They then provided a English menu but Susie said it was still hard to navigate. We ended up ordering a "chicken" and "beef" dish. Chicken was great...very hot...but not like the hot we are used too like a jalapeƱo pepper. It is hard to describe, so I'm not sure what spices we were tasting. The beef was not what I expected...I think we were eating either the back or the tail of something...the waitress said beef...I'm not convinced. Soooo, until we can we get a little more guidance on ordering, we might look for a more western menu today. Shane seemed hungry, but didn't eat much of the table food...he would chew the small pieces of meat for a long time but never was if he has not had a lot of solid food. His daily routine suggests that he is already eating solids...but we are not convinced.

The highlight of the evening came at dinner...up till now we had never seen Shane of the picture have him smiling--he would have been a great poster child. However, during dinner he opened up for just a minute and gave us a smile a glimspe of a playful personality. It warmed our heart and gave us the encouragement we needed to press on in building our relationship.

Once we returned from dinner, although he seems still uncomfortable with us...he was calmer and this made it a great time to get him in the bath and ready for bed. He slept with us last night and he is still asleep right now since it is about 6 am.

At the Restaurant

Please continue to pray for Shane. That God will ease his heart and give him peace. That we as his new parents will have His perfect wisdom to meet his emotional and physical needs. God bless you all.



  1. I'm so happy to see your united with your little one. What a precious little guy. Prayers for continued safe travel and that Shane finds peace with both of you!

  2. Praying for peace and bonding for you all. I hope today brings many more smiles. You are both so loving and patient that he will fall in love with you soon. Love you all. Checked in with Lauren today. All seems well.

  3. PRECIOUS!!! It seems surreal seeing him there in Tom's arms! I will write back to your email soon. Li'l Bit had some different ideas about how the later evening would go here. Take care and eat some bamboo in Kunming. We like all of the food, but our guide ordered mostly for us.

  4. He's so cute! Miss you guys! - kayla

  5. He's beautiful. And I loved the dinner description. Lois

  6. Lovely. Another child has a family. Orphan no more. Beautiful.