Monday, October 13, 2014

Three Weeks in China Recap

It feels longer though the time flew by! We're happy to be back home after three weeks in China. Going overseas for a visit always feels like a short time to be there, a long time to be away.

As many of you know, this was a much-anticipated trip! A trip that we had planned and longed for for almost two years. We went to get our second son (our first adopted son): Silas who is two and a half. We had "met" him through pictures and reports when he was a year and a half. Now it was time to go!

Gotcha Day was hectic. We were so terribly eager to be liked. He was introduced to us in fearful tears, standing in his Sunday best. We held him, we fed him crackers, we showed him how his picture was already on our phones and in our folder. Playing silly in the small play area at the registration office made him chuckle and open up to us.

The following days were full of more to-do's, outings, and much learning about each other. We watched Silas go from very submissive to a typical toddler. We were still pretty foreign to him, but being able to speak Mandarin to him helped build a bit of trust.

His acclamation seemed to be off the charts as we compared his affectionate behavior to that of some of the other adoptees, still trying to fight off their new parents. But we started to see that this little guy learned how to gain favor. He was content being held by others and I started to wonder if what I had seen as bonding was simply a survival tactic. I wanted someone to tell me that it'd be alright, that our hearts would be knit together seamlessly. 

It's a scary place to be when your view of the future is so shaken. I wondered what it would look like. I'm sure he wondered, too. I realized that we were in this together--highs and lows--time will tell, the Lord will guide, and we need only worry about today.

Our last week in China was purely personal--it was our first family vacation. We went to where we {three} use to live to visit old friends. It was also a busy time cramming as much goodness as we could into our last few days.  Meanwhile, we were now learning to function as a family without hotel buffets, maids, and guides. 

Silas takes better to his dad, and I'm okay with that. His dad is pretty awesome. We two have been having mornings together, though. It's when he's most happy and most affectionate. He seems to love this one-on-one time. He mimics the things I say and is obviously learning how to show love. He no longer spits in the air at me when copying my kisses, and head-butting is only occasional.  

Progress in our relationship seemed so super quick while we were in China, but it was more of a pattern of foreshadowing. He clung quickly in just a couple of days, then he relaxed a bit. His quick attachment turned to clingy-ness, which then turned to a firm hold... then he relaxed a bit. I see his adaptation (and ours) working in waves as we readjust ourselves and let go of our fears and pretenses.

Our adoption process is far from over and I doubt I'll have any shortage of stories to tell! 

If you like these adoption posts, let me know by commenting or sharing.