Friday, September 19, 2014

We're Not Dead Yay!

Sorry for my total absence of posting.  The VPN wouldn't work on my Kindle.  I tried downloading it over and over but it didn't want to work.  So the only VPN we have is on Mike's laptop.  But Mike was in Henan while I was in Guangdong.  Now we're finally back together, but the internet is spotty at best, so my updates might be a little sparse. 

Mike and I both picked up our assigned child on the 15th.  Jake, as might be expected considering his older age, came easy.  He and Mike were a little bit cautious with each other, as one would expect, but they bonded over swimming, which they did every second of every day until they came up to Guangdong on a VERY long train ride.  We only go once a day up here.  It's way too hot to go outside very often.  More on that later.  He came with a lot of super cute baby and little Jake pictures, which he likes to show very often.  The orphanage was super good about making sure he came with a past to remember, which we really love and appreciate! 

Gotcha with Finn was a little bit traumatic.  He was very excited.  Before the appointment, I went to the store and our guide, Judy, called the orphanage and asked what his favorite snacks were at my request.  He said over the phone that he was so excited he couldn't think about what he wanted lol.  However, when the reality came he was less excited.  He wouldn't look at me at all when they brought him out.  He was trying really hard to pretend we weren't there.  When I said hello to him he burst into tears.  I got pretty upset at that point and I think the nannies thought I was sad because he wasn't happy to see me, but that's not it at all.  I did try to explain that wasn't why I was tearing up.  Genuinely scared or hurting children make me very sad.  I cry when kids are undergoing painful medical procedures too.  I was just really sad that he was scared and hurting.  He wanted absolutely nothing to do with me for about three hours after we got back to the hotel, but he came around pretty quickly.  He did routinely refuse to hold my hand for another day or two and he always wanted to sit next to Judy.  But it's all going good now.

When we finally reconnected Finn was very tired and already in bed and he was NOT excited at the presence of Jake and Baba.  He kept shaking his head and saying no.  Then he shined a light in Mike's eyes and Mike pretended to scream and cover his eyes before falling on the floor and theatrically dying.  That was all it took for Finn.  He was won over.  Now he's a hard core baba's boy.  He wants Mike to carry him all the time and wants to snuggle with him.  Jake is interested in me, but since we can't really communicate very well, we're still not sure what to make of each other.  His body language cues aren't great, so I have a much harder time understanding what he wants.  Mike speaks some Mandarin and Jake speaks a very small amount of English, so they are working it out better than Jake and I do.

Jake is pretty much exactly as we expected.  He's 11 and that should be enough to explain it for most people who've ever had an 11 year old lol.  He is by turns excited by childish things and petulantly being dragged on family outings.  He rotates between enjoying his new taste of freedom and being annoyed at us because we make him do things like eat or take a shower instead of playing on the Kindle or watching TV.  Basically, as aforementioned, he's 11.  He acts just like our bio kids did at 11, but he's under a bit more stress.  He is quite annoyed that we aren't all able to communicate.  He speaks very well and he speaks a lot, and he's not happy that we aren't able to understand what he's saying.  I get frustrated in the store because I can't get any of my questions answered, so I can't imagine how he feels with parents who can't completely meet his needs because we just don't understand what they are.  His special need is pretty much exactly as expected.  Except since he stopped receiving physical therapy from Love Without Boundaries a few years ago it seems he's gotten a little lax.  He's realized that he doesn't have to use his left hand in most cases, and he's gotten lazy about working it out since he can do almost everything one handed. He's a smart, smart boy.  We were a little worried he might be slower to learn English as foreign languages are much harder the older you are, but communicating is so important to him, I think he'll come around pretty fast.

Finn is pure energy.  100% on all the time.  He's always running, always yelling, always jumping, always moving.  He's adorable.  Everyone loves him immediately.  I don't know what he's saying to people but evidently it's funny, because they always laugh, and the ones who also speak a bit of English almost inevitably tell me that he's funny.  He is certainly mischievous.  He is a straight up practical joker and a great lover of getting into trouble.  He dropped 400 Chinese Yuan in the toilet yesterday laughing the whole time.  He also likes to throw away important documents, hide the hotel room key, and run away as fast as he can when we are out in public.  In our family we call this 'a runner' and we had another one in our daughter Gillian, so we used a monkey backpack with a tail that served as a leash.  We wish we had it here!  Finn's condition is certainly serious.  The doctors here say they've never seen a worse case of Beta Thalassemia Major.  However, he's better off than we expected.  We thought he would need to be immediately hospitalized but we no longer believe that's true.

I will post about China in general later on today.  Right now we're headed off to do a little sightseeing with another American mom staying here in our hotel.  She is also adopting an older child with Thalassemia. 



  1. awesome post. Brings back memories :)

  2. Thanks! Yes, I think it's like labor and when ever anyone talks about their labor it all comes back lol

  3. I'm so excited to hear more! Will be praying for you.