Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mrs. Incredible and a slight change of plans.

We wanted to give you an update on our adoption as so much has changed in the past 24 hours.  We received our itinerary this morning and we were a little shocked that it had us staying in Beijing for the entire first week.  It turns out that Mercy's province is providing a bit of difficulty during stage of the adoption. 

In a normal adoption process (for Ch*na) a family will travel to the capital of their child's province.  The orphanage transports their child to the capital from their residing city within the province.  You meet your child at the civil affairs office where a govt. official "witnesses" your gotcha moment.  Then you stay in your child's province for 1 week and at some  point during that week return to the civil affairs office to finalize the adoption in province. 

Mercy's province does very few international adoptions.  This was something that we learned early on.  Mercy's orphanage specifically has no experience in international adoption.   We have been told that the Hebei Province (where she is from) is being very difficult.  They do not want Mercy brought to the capital for a gotcha day.  This was all very troubling at the onset, but as we had to work through many things today we are beginning to see how God's Sovereign hand continues to reign in this adoption.

You see because the govt officials do not want Mercy brought to the capital, that means we actually will go directly to her orphanage and get her!!!  This means we are guaranteed to visit her place of residence and meet those who have been taking care of her.  This is actually an answer to prayer because not every family gets the privilege of going to their child's orphanage.  We will have time to ask her caretaker questions about her via our translator.  We were told we can stay as long as the process needs to.  Not sure what that really translate to. 

We will actually leave with Mercy and return back to Beijing on a high speed train that very same day.  This will need to be covered in prayer.  This day is traumatic enough for every adopted child.  Most families get to retreat back to a local hotel room so if their child is struggling they have the privacy of their hotel room to let their child grieve or to work towards bonding and getting to know their child.  We on the other hand will have to travel on a 2 hour train ride.  So this poor little girl has to not only deal with these two totally strange people taking her from the only home she knows, but then we are going to take her on a train.  It is most likely something she has never experienced before.  We have no idea how she will respond to this.  She may cry the entire time, she may be so emotionally spent she conks out or she may just shut down and show any reaction at all.  There is no way of knowing until we are there.  But my momma heart hates that she has to endure so much so quickly.

On a positive note, we head back to our hotel in Beijing where we will have already spent two nights.  We will have some time to prepare for her "hotel-homecoming" and we completely eliminate staying in Beijing for one night, packing up and dragging all our luggage to her province to unpack again.  We will only have two hotel stays this entire trip, one week each.  That is huge!  The other positive is that while we can't speak from experience we are pretty confident that Beijing will be slightly more westernized then Mercy's province.  We are more likely to see other American faces.  It is much more touristy so there is more to accommodate foreigners.  We also opted out of any sightseeing in Beijing for financial reasons, but now we will have the opportunity to tour the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and/or the Olympic Village, all depending on how our girly is doing.  We are more likely to find people who speak English and we are more likely to find western toilets!!!  (yes, I'm still slightly freaked by the squatty potty)

Now for another down side.  We will spend all day Tuesday and Wednesday in Beijing, but Thursday we will have to travel back to Mercy's province by train again.  This time we will travel to the capital to the civil affairs office to finalize the in-province part of the adoption.  When we are done we will hopefully do a little sightseeing around her province and try to snap some pictures for her of where she is from, then back on the train and back to Beijing where we will spend one more night.  We will catch a plane early Friday morning for our flight down to Guangzhou where we will spend our second week processing the US side of the adoption.

Our caseworker shared that she has never had anything like this happen before.  She also said that while this is so not normal, she has every confidence that it will all be fine.  She also feels that we will be much better served by the guide and translator in Beijing and feels we will enjoy our time there more.  Overall we see a lot more positive than negative.  It does break my heart that we won't get to experience her province's culture, not for myself, but for her.  It would be nice to have these things to share with her when she is older.

I often admire Mrs. Incredible in the movie "The Incredibles."  She has the power to stretch and be flexible in crazy situations and various trials her family faces as they fight evil villains.  I want to be flexible and stretch for my family too.  I especially want to be flexible when those evil villains control, fear and worry battle against  the good of surrender, trust, and faith.  This adoption has definitely made me more aware of how stiff and inflexible I can be.  But just like a new rubber band, after much stretching becomes more loose and can be stretched further with each use, I hope that the more opportunities I have to be stretched (and this adoption has provided MANY) the more flexible I will become too.  

Only three more sleeps!!!


  1. You will find that God has you covered in your trip, we adopted 6 times and each time He provided the guides, the places, the hotels, even American people when we needed them the most and everything was alright. Be open to "times" changing, be prepared if the train is late, the guide is late, have a bag of stuff ready for Mercy even when you "think" you won't need it (ie taking a short walk) and you be just fine. Really it will be a wonderful experience and you are being blessed with your travel changes.

  2. ;)

    The Mrs. Incredible part here reminded me of an old adage I memorized a long time ago.

    She who is flexible will not get bent out of shape!

    I'll be praying for you and thinking of you.

    I was reading this morning from Deuteronomy 33:27, which reads:

    The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

    Wow! our God (your refuge) has arms that never tire and wear out. They are everlasting. He will lift you. Hold you. Support you. Surround you. Comfort you. Keep you. Quiet you. Shelter you. Show you the way.

    And we the body - also known as the hands and feet of Christ - get to "help" do this. We collectively support you as our arms are interlocked around you. I hope you feel that GIANT HUG...in love and with support.

  3. Praying that God gives angels for each step in this journey.

    Can't wait to meet this precious one!

  4. I've been doing a bit of checking on her province on the web and recognize a few connections from my coursework on Chinese art. I'm also glad a bit of touring will be possible and not just because it would be a shame to travel so far and not to see some fabulous places. The new scenario may make this a tale of THREE cities!! You may end up with even more of her native culture to share with her.