Saturday, July 28, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
After two nights of fits of crying, she was back to sleeping through the night last night. We are getting a comfortable routine going. Naps are still an issue: how much, how little to give her or how much she will allow. We are also working through areas of insecure attachment/separation anxiety. She has been going into tantrums when we set her down. Touching is not enough for her. She demands to be held and usually by her mommy.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
The very last picture I took in China.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Lily getting a Cheerio as comfort after her treatment at the clinic.
Monday, July 16, 2007
F.Y.I.- I’m adding lots of pictures from the trip and of Lily to my photo website. Please feel free to visit.
Also, we are only able to post to our blogs from here. We cannot view our actual blog pages. I can tell I have some comments but I am unable to view them while here in China. I look forward to getting home so I can view them. Heck, I just look forward to getting home period!
Update: My luggage arrived today. YIPPPPEEEEE!!!!
Thursday, July 12, 2007
First I'll do all my complaining. If you'd rather not hear me vent, kindly move on past the following list.
- I've been in a foreign, non-English speaking country for one week without my luggage. United Airlines has done nothing except route my calls to India where someone whom I can barely understand reads a script that says how sorry they are. Other than that, they have done nothing. But they assured me that I could be reimbursed from 0% to 50% for any purchases I make to cover what has been lost. Very comforting for a man that's been in the same pair of pants for eight days straight.
- I went online to confirm that my direct deposit went through for my paycheck. It didn't. But I was reassured that I'm not the only one this has happened to. Very comforting to a man in a foreign country that is quickly running out of Chinese Yuan.
- My daughter whom I met for the first time on Monday is terrified of me.
OK. I got it out of my system. Now for the good stuff.
- The package our friends back home sent arrived today. My old t-shirts, socks, underwear, sweatpants, and dirty tennis shoes never looked so good. I promptly put on my sweats and headed down to the hotel gym and used the treadmill. That was just what I needed.
- I was able to email someone back home who has someone working on fixing the payroll problem. I have enough in savings to carry us through. Praise God our airline tickets home are already paid for!
- Today I made excellent progress with Lily. Julianne went and hid in the next room and gave me some alone time with Lily. It is beginning to work. She let me hold her and feed her with no screaming. We then played with her toys for about twenty minutes. She smiled and giggled with me. She mimicked my noises and I hers. It was such an improvement from the previous forty eight hours. We still have quite a ways to go, but today was absolutely wonderful.
Our God truly is an awesome God. And those are not just words...He's proving it to me over and over. You can't help but notice in all my above complaints that the focus is TOTALLY on me. But our Lord refuses to give up on us. Philippians 1:6 reminds us that "...He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."
This whole experience with Lily has given me a glimpse of what God must experience from us. It shows me even more clearly what love is. It's not a mere feeling. And it's not always reciprocal. And I don't mean to imply that I don't have feelings of love for Lily. I do and they are overflowing. But I can see that they are not conditional. My love for her is not determined by what she gives to me in return. Sure, returned affections is greatly desired, yet it is not the condition for loving her.
A verse I had been meditating on (apparently not enough) prior to leaving for China is 1 Peter 5:7-8 which says, "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." What a powerful verse that is. He will willingly take upon Himself our anxiety, not because He is some unknowable, invisible force. Nor because it's His job. But rather, because He cares for us. Wow. Indeed our God IS an awesome God.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Since both Lily's suitcase as well as my own suitcase have vanished into the abyss of United Airlines lost baggage, we had to replace some of her belongings. As for me, I've had my share of challenges. NOTHING in the country fits me. Even with all the weight I've lost thus far, I'm off their charts. I can't even find a shoe larger than size 9 here. With the use of a few borrowed t-shirts, hand washing in the bathroom sink, and using an iron to dry my clothes, I'm getting by. Fortunately our dear friends back home went to our house and packed up more of our belongings and Fed-ex'd them to us here in China. They should arrive Thursday.Lily seems to be doing just fine. She has been a bit more fussy today, but the bonding has begun. Bonding with Mommy that is. She wants to be in Mommy's arms constantly today. She screams when put down. She SCREAMS when in my arms. This is all very normal we are told. I'm just glad she is bonding with Mommy first. My time will come.
Tomorrow we are off for a local tour of Nanchang. This will be followed up with dining at a local restaurant for lunch. We are told we will experience the "local flavor." With some of the things I've been seeing in the hotel restaurant, this could be scary. One I found most interesting last night, which I DID NOT try was "Sauteed duck tongue with chicken feet and hearts." I'm usually somewhat of an adventurous eater, but the was pushing the envelope a bit for me. I was proud of myself though; Today at lunch I sampled the four-inch long squid on my seafood skewer.
Lily and Mommy playing
Monday, July 9, 2007
Lily Grace just moments after we got her.
Mommy and Lily
Daddy and Lily
Our first family photo
What I've longed to see
Monday, July 2, 2007
So as I prepare to set forth on this new course, I find myself reflecting on the previous course that brought me to this place. A path filled with joys, laughter, pain, regrets, hopes, dreams, adventure, etc. I’m no different than anyone else. My experiences are unique to me, however, in the grand scheme of things, quite common.
Every new parent assesses (hopefully) past experiences to prepare for assuming the role. Again, I’m no different. As I've mentioned before, mine was not the happiest of childhoods. Nor was it the worst. What positives can I take from what I've learned from my parents and transfer to Lily? Two things come to mind right away: 1) My parents had clear expectations of me. I did not get in much trouble (early on) because I knew what was expected of me and I knew there would be consequences issued. 2) Along with the clear expectations was a clear sense of right and wrong. True, these things are written on our hearts by God Himself, (see Romans 1:20 & 2:15) but He used my parents to reinforce this. Although I later rebelled, I knew right from wrong.
But I grew up in a non-religious household. We celebrated Christmas and Easter but the holidays were void of any true meaning. Christmas was Santa, gifts, fudge, and peanut butter kiss cookies (YUMMMMM)…but Jesus was nowhere to be seen. Likewise, Easter was ALL about the giant See’s Candy eggs. You can imagine my let down when I found out Santa and the Easter Bunny did not exist. What’s even sadder is the reason I had trouble accepting this fact was because I so-did-not-believe that my parents would actually buy me all that stuff.
So where does all this reflecting take me? Of course I want Lily to be happy. What parent doesn't want that? But first and foremost, I want my daughter to know Jesus. I want her to come to the saving faith in our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. We will do all we can do to guide her, but ultimately it is the work of God Himself. We will do our best to lead her in His ways (this is easy to say now!) and teach her His truth.
In one week this new journey begins. It started long ago in my heart, but next week it becomes real. God grant me the wisdom and patience to be the father you would have me be. May I put You above all else.