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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

2 pictures

The reason I'm blogging right now in the middle of our very busy trip is twofold. First it keeps our family and good friends back home updated on our journey. We miss them like crazy and know they are anxious to know how and what we are doing here as they get little glimpses of their new brother, grandson, friend half way across the world. Secondly, I've always tried to be honest and transparent about our adoption journeys and just the plain ol' life as a mama to a large family. When we started the journey to adopt Ru, I looked for other peoples stories to follow and identify with. But I discovered that there weren't really many adoption blogs about adopting older children. There are however a lot of misrepresentations and assumptions about how it would go. But I know that adoption journeys are as unique as all the children that are adopted, and if our story can provide even one future adoption family a personal glimpse into what may be and help them walk their own journey with their eyes wide open into the amazing wonderful and hard scary journey it is, then I'm glad I've shared our story.

Ru is walking this unknown journey so much more then even we are. He walks with us, literally and figuratively, down a path of many unknowns. So much is lost in order for so much to be gained. And when your 7 years old, even if that path leads to a forever family with unconditional love, it can be a very scary thing. Ru changes every day. Every day brings new glimpses of what is deep inside him. If you've been reading, you've heard my accounts of his aversion to touch. And you know how much this first picture means to us. He put his hand on mine. It's not really a huge moment. He just put his arm on mind. But in light of all that is happening, I want to say it again. He put his hand on mine!  Unprompted. Unforced. He sought out human touch, a mother's touch, and rested his arm on mine. This moment is huge for us! He's reaching for me. He wants to be touched. Not all the time, but several times a day. He knows we're here, and he's seeking us out. Just in the last couple days, he comes to my side and wraps his arm around mine squeezing his head in between my body and my arm. In the car he rests his head against my body. He is slowly accept that we are his and confirming this with our touch.
But not all the changes are as pleasant. Surprisingly Ru's first few days with us were all smiles. Our boy was "on" 24/7 in the beginning. He was giddy, teasing, full of fun and laughter from the moment he woke up to the time he feel asleep for 3 whole days. We wondered if the crash was coming, and it did. I hesitated posting the second picture. Papa, who is an adoptee himself, gets to makes these type of decisions, and he said it was not only okay to post it but good to do so, to help those who come after us see the reality of what an adoption journey can be like. What you can't see is that the below photo was snapped in the middle of a garden, think Disneyland like gardens with admission. During a  Chinese holiday, with what I can only assume was maximum occupancy of Chinese visitors. What you can't hear is the screaming... that lasted for what seemed like forever about 25 minutes. What you can't see is the 25-ish Chinese people surrounding us, wondering what was wrong with this child i.e. What were these white people were doing to cause this poor Chinese boy such harm? This was the second time he cried with us. The other time was the day prior in a very similar incident, brought on by something seemingly insignificant. And it comes out in an explosion of fury, pain and anger. His eyes were closed and his back arched through most of it. It has happened 1-2 times day since then. Sometimes in our hotel room and sometimes in public.
It's loud, and it creates a scene. And there's not much we can do but sit with him, wait it out and pray that he allows us to comfort him. This is our reality right now. More so this is Ru's reality. This is what grief can look like. Our hearts break for him, to witness his desperation and pain. I would take his grief in an instant if I could. But of course that's just not possible. If a forever family in China could have been found for him it would have been wonderful, but there wasn't one. I wish I could make it easier for him, but for now all I can do is pray to God that loves him even more than we do, that Ru will feel our love, know that we'll be with him and love him always and that we can find ways to help him in any way we can with the transition.

Some moments he accepting us and the change. And some moments it all comes crashing down. Both pictures are such and important part of the journey.


  1. Oh Nancy~~Thank you for the honesty. Ru feels the comfort of Papa's enfolding love, and Ru knows you all ARE family~~he is grieving through the transition~ a normal and healthy process.

    Have you heard of the Mulvahills, who have adopted 15 children from China. Several were older children at the time of adoption.

    The link is

    The adoption of the older girls were challenging during the China trip. Prayer and love won~and the girls have adapted very well. Ru is very smart and he is where God wants him to be~~with your family. I am smitten with his handsome smile!

  2. Thanks for sharing your journey, the good and the bad. Thanks for being so understanding and loving. I remember how hard it was at first with Mimi as well and it's been wonderful seeing her transformation from all your family's love and patience. We look forward to seeing this with Ru as well. Thanks for letting us all share your personal stories. Love all the photos too!

  3. Thank you for this post. Once I have read an article from a 15 year old adaptee who told everyone her head was full with the new,different language. It had been the most challanging and tiring thing in her life. She couldn't do anything just crying and screaming to shut off her brain.
    It would be better I am sure. But to share this post is very useful and nice from you.

  4. I just gotta say how much I love that second picture, though I can imagine how costly it was to capture it. Seeing the sadness and compassion on your husband's face, but at the same time the strength as he holds Ru securely in his arms! Ru has freedom to process all the fear, pain and loss he needs to while safe and protected in the loving arms of his Papa. Thanks for sharing the pic and the story behind it. It's beautiful, even if it's hard to live it.


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