From D.C. to Beijing

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Why I told the good, bad and mostly ugly

I told the truth about our trip finally because it was scary. N and I read and were as educated as possible about what a child from an SWI might look like. I had worked with children who had autism.

When we got Eva she scared me to death. She was terrified and her fear manifested itself in a way that very much looked like autism. She rocked hard, hit her head, looked out at nothing, registered no pain, hated to be touched, would look at her hands or feet, had no idea how to play with toys.

We brought her home and now almost 3 months later you would not recognize her as that child. She is happy, smart, learning to talk even though her palate is not repaired yet. She like a few kisses and like to be hugged some too. She will rarely kiss us but she loves to kiss her mei mei so I have no doubt that she will soon be kissing us too. She runs and jumps and is starting to interact with other children. Sh understand everything I say.

The issues we are still dealing with:
1. speech. this will be an issue until her palate is repaired and then we will take it from there as far as speech therapy goes.
2. attachment. this is greatly improved but it still needs work and N and I are still plugging away at it
3. sensory issues. she hates baths and some other textures. she does not like to pick up some textures of food and is not to excited to put food into her own mouth-----but she now will put the tooth brush into her mouth and brush some!!!!
4. behavior. this is something N and I are a little stumped on. she is very badly behaved in public. not all of the time but enough that it makes life difficult. I am weary because she is almost 2 but her emotional age is no where near 2. this is something we will have to keep reevaluating.

I want people to know that we signed up for a special need of cleft lip and palate. We did not sign up for the attachment or sensory issues. But guess what she has them. MY BABY! MY CHILD has them and as her mother I will see that she get the help needed.

I do not love her less because of these issues that I did not want her to have. I love her more because she has them. It is hard work to day in and day out love and take care of a child who is unable to show love in return. But we went to China to bring Li Tong home and nothing in the world was going to stop us.

We were scared. We did not know what to do. We questioned our ability to bring her home and parent her but this adoption stopped being about what was best for us the minute we committed to her. It became about her. She is the most important. She is worth ever single tear that was shed in china. We were given the greatest gift on Feb 4th 2007 and we can never thank our agency or China enough for that gift.

Feb 13th-14th

Today we had to wait in our room at a certain time while our guide took our paper work to the consulate. Everything checked out fine and then we had the day to shop and take it easy.

I think this was the night we ate at Cow and bridge or it might have been Monday night. All of the families from our agency went. I bet you cannot guess who did not get to eat and she had to leave early because their child was making such a scene in a restaurant full of babies?!!?

If you guessed me you were right!

Eva pitched a huge fit because she did not want to sit in the high chair.

You can also see why we bought very little in China. I wanted to do the cute think where I bought her 16 gifts so she would have one for every year until she is 18 but that did not happen.

Feb 14th

We went to see a temple and for the life of me I cannot think of the name. We had the babies blessed. Now I know by now you can guess which baby did not want to be good for even 1 minute so she could be blessed?

If you guessed the little Mongolian spitfire you are right!
It was a very nice temple and it was great to be out of the hotel. We then headed to the book store and well N was in heaven and Evie not so much. So guess who had to take her down stairs and wait for N to find some food?

We ate and then headed for the swearing in ceremony. The wait was long but the ceremony short.

She was ours and we could bring her home.

All of the families except for 1 ate at Lucy's. Eva was her charming self and pitched a fit and
N had to walk with her so I could eat.

We packed for our trip home the next day.

Feb 12th

Today was the day she had her visa picture taken and her medical check.

Well I bet you cannot guess how the medical check went? she screamed and cried the whole time. She especially hated the doctor who looked at her palate and checked her ears. We made it though and later that day we went to the zoo and had a great time.

It was so hard for me to be with the other 3 families from our agency because their children were so much better behaved. Even now Eva is so hard to take in public. She is stubborn and very strong willed.

IT was embarrassing to be honest. I felt like a horrible parent and person that I could not help her to behave better.

By this day though Eva was starting to bond a little more with us and she would let n walk her around without me for a little while.

We also bought her some music cds and she started to dance. She still dances and it is the cutest thing.

Feb 10th

We got up early and we were on to warmer weather! The flight was about 3 hours of pure hell. She slept for about 45 minutes and then it went down hill from there. She kicked and did not want to be held. she would slide into the floor and scream while I tried to pick her up. I know she was terrified but the people on that plane wanted to kill us. I have never been the object of that much negativity. It was terrifying. I was scared they were going to take her from us because I was not a good enough mother to make her behave on the flight.

We landed and got to our hotel fine. We saw our new guide Bob and he walked us around the island ans showed us places to eat and shop. We also rented a stroller.

Later that day we went out and bought a better stroller and shopped a little.

The warm weather was heaven.

Feb 8th-9th

This day was honestly the darkest of them all. Our guide was coming tonight to bring by all of the final paper work and we were to check for any problems and the next day we would receive all of our paper work back.

Eva had such a horrible day that I finally just handed her to N and told him to take her our of the room. I did not care where they went as long as he gave me an hour alone. When he left I cried and prayed to heaven that I would find the strength to deal with Eva. Her continues crying and wanting to be held but hated me to touch her, not being able to take a shower or be out of her sight for even a second had pushed me too far.

I do not remember how long he was gone for but I do remember she was not crying when they returned. N said that she cried for about 5 mins and then was ok.

The guide dropped the paperwork off and everything was correct.

We woke up on Friday and it was the same as the last few days. She cried when I took a shower. She would eat breakfast and N would eat but I didn't get a chance.

We got all of her correct papers and passport. She was all ours. I finally left the hotel room and we got to the next building over and Eva got sick all of me and some on herself. So I saw very little of Hohhot and we have almost no pictures.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Feb 7th---The day the sun was supposed to shine

today was day three and I had truly believed those people who said she would get better by this point. but it was not to be. She hated us still. She was still behaving very much like a child with autism and I think it was at this point I tried to tell N of my concern. N was just as shell shocked as I was.

He went our for snacks and we ordered room service and I did not leave the hotel.

Eva was now starting to walk which was great but she would fall on the hard floor and yet register no pain. She still hated things to touch her and mostly she hated us.

We had kidnapped her.

Feb 6th or as I like to call it the day that went on forever

We had to take her to get her passport photo done. She cried the entire way in the car. I thought the drive was going to hit one of us he was so angry. When it was time to get her picture done they made N and I leave the room because she would not look at the camera. I could hear her cry but could do nothing for her. I wanted to die in those minutes that seemed to go on forever. I hated myself for not being able to make her feel safe. I hated N for not banging down the doors and getting my baby and I really really did not like Eva for crying so much. The other family with us their daughter went in without any trouble at all.

The photo was done and we went to a store for baby supplies. It went ok and that was the last time I left the hotel until Friday.

Feb 5th

We had breakfast and then went to sign the other papers

At one point N had gone to get copies and I had to put my fingerprint on something and the Director held Eva and she cried for me to take her back. I was so happy I thought she must know I love her and things will get better.

Many people told me that by the 3rd day we would see her start to come around.

I have something to say to those people. YOU WERE SO WRONG!!!!!

But anyway the papers were signed and at this point I believe the adoption was final. She was ours good, bad and mostly horrible.

Oh she cried and cried. Those first few days she cried so much. I cried and started to truly doubt if I could bring her home.

But N and I had already agreed. At this point I loved her because she was a wounded child but she did not feel like mine.


Ok this is were I warn you that if you don't like what I post too bad. Meeting Eva was one of the most incredible and heart wrenching experiences of my life. It was mushy and horrible all at the same time.

We open the door and there is our guide with the director and the nanny carrying Eva. When I first saw her I was sure so sure it hurt that this was not my baby. She was so little and had no fat on her anywhere. The last pictures we have of her she was 1.5 months old and here she was at 21 months. She was ok while the nanny held her but when the nanny gave her to the director to give to us she was not happy. the shrilling cries were so heart breaking. Here this was supposed to be such a happy day for us and it was a horrible one for Eva.

N and I read the books. Not just the pink happy joy adoption books but the scary ones too. The ones that talked about RADS. We were as prepared as we could be having never adopted before.

Eva did not want me or n to touch her. When we had to hold her for the picture she was so angry. she has this growling cry that to be honest sounds a little feral. We filled out the paperwork which gave us custody of her for the night. She passed out in my arms while we finished the paperwork. Everyone left to room and we were to see them again to finish the paperwork at 9 am the next morning in the hotel.

Eva woke up for a second saw N and I and passed out again. She woke up a bit early I think it was about 5am and then we went to breakfast.

She hated us! Oh my word how she hated us. She hated for N to even look at her. She hated me but she knew she had to let one of us feed her and change her.

She was listless and was shut down. Here she was 21 months old and she would not walk and could barely hold her head up. she has special needs but they were supposed to be a cleft lip and palate. I was not prepared for the degree to which she seemed autistic. She would stare at her hands or nothing at all. she would not crawl and would barely hold her head up.

It was terrifying. I kept thinking....WHAT HAVE I DONE!

I was hoping beyond hope that she was just shut down. But N and I had agreed before we left for china that NO MATTER what we saw in Eva that we would bring her home. Even if we thought we could not be her parents we would bring her home and find her a better family.

I had worked in a group home for children with autism so Please understand I had seen it close up. I had take care of those boys in that home and knew what autism looked like. I was so scared I am not even sure I told N that I truly believed her to be autistic.

She had trouble with things touching her skin. She had the most horrible rash on her skin. She did not register pain AT ALL. She would hit her head on the floor or fall or bang herself and it was nothing.

She hated to be given any love or affection. She hated to be held but she hated to be put down.

Feb 4th The first half

Today we got up early and took a taxi all by ourselves to the Forbidden City. It was incredible. We had a great time here but had to hurry because our 6pm flight had been changed to a 3 pm flight because we were going to finally meet Eva. We were supposed to do this on Monday but it was moved to Sunday.

We packed up and checked out of our hotel. We meet our guide in the lobby and she took us to the airport. She was also flying with us on the plane to Hohhot. It was nice to have her on the same flight because N and I were worried about the in country flights.

We landed in Hohhot around 4:30-5 ish. We checked into our hotel and we were told we would get Eva about 6:30ish.

At about 6:30 there was a knock at the door and our lives changed forever.

Feb 3

We got up very early. I believe it was about 4 am. We got ready and headed down to breakfast. The food was pretty good and then we waited for our guide to take us to the great wall.

We stopped at a jade factory which we enjoyed and got a few things.

Warning!!! I am not much of a shopper so N and I bought very few things in China.

Off to the great wall. It was incredible! Honestly there is no other place like it I have ever been.

We then had the most incredible lunch.

We headed back to our room for a nap and then off to see an acrobatic show.

After our nap we were not terribly hungry so we went on a walk and found a little convince store. We got a bag of cool and tasty snacks and then waited for our first taxi ride ever.

It was cool and the show was great.

We went to bed as soon as we got back to the hotel.

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We got up very early on Thursday February 1st. We drove to National airport and got all checked in for our flight to Newark.

N and I were so excited and nervous.

We got to Newark on time and then we headed for our gate. We had a long lay over. I think it was 3-4 hours.

We had breakfast and bought a few snacks for the plane.

I do not like to fly and I was so nervous about flying for almost 14 hours.
We flew continental and it was very nice. There were tv's in the seat in front. It had movies and also some games. The food was pretty good and they came by often with drinks. The think I liked best was I was in the middle and N was on the aisle and someone else was in the window. The flight attendants came by and tried to seat people so they would have a seat between. They found a better seat for the woman in the window and so I moved over and N and I had a row of 3 seats to ourselves. It was heaven. I cannot imagine how bad those 14 hours would have been.

I sleep about 6 hours and N slept none.

We landed in Beijing and we were met by our guide Sarah would would be our guide in Beijing and also Hohhot.

She was very sweet. She took us to our hotel and got us all checked in and found a phone card so we could talk with our families.

We were so tired we went walking and we saw a MD's and ate there. It was good. We went back and passed out on the hard beds.

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Our trip to get Eva

Ok I have put this off for many many reasons. It was a very personal trip with a great deal of unexpected emotions for both N and I.

I am sure there are many events that I have already blocked out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

For the love of Elmo and Teletubbies

Eva has a cold.
She has watched teletubbies while half awake on my lap most of today.
She says uh oh and hello with the British accent of the teletubbies.
She loves Elmo so much that she kisses the TV.
She now sings a little song that goes a little something like this.
.........Nana mama Mei Mei...................Nana(n's mom), me and her baby Mei Mei
She still looks at her picture book we sent her to China that has pictures of my parents and N's parents.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Church today

We took Eva to church today. It was her first time in the nursery and I must say she did very well. She had a problem at snack time because she cannot eat the goldfish but I came prepared with a cereal bar and she was fine. She did spill her cup of water and hit a toy but other than that we were very please.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

GRR What in the world!!!

This is the third day in a row that evie has taken an hour nap down from a two hour nap!

Really what is this?! She cannot possibly be ready to give up her nap yet.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Really is this normal?!?!

Today Eva was sitting in the floor with her baby and I was trying to find the Disney channel. I flipped past the movie 7 brides for 7 brothers and she was enthralled! She watched it for 30mins until it was time to go see N. This from a child who does not like tv.

I think we may have a dancer on our hands.

Eva and I are now signed up for 2 classes offered through our community Ed program. She needs a little more social interaction with children her age so we are going to give it a try.

PS. please send all good thoughts to the mama because Eva has NO impulse control. This has made going into public a nightmare. I am really not sure how to work on this.

PPS This is a picture of Eva with N's peeps! He loves them and she loves to feed them to him!

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Ok Ok I know this is not the update you were looking for. I really really am going to post an update soon. Unfortunately for me little miss LaLa has not been to keen to let me have my measly 1 hour of peace at night the last few evenings. I have no idea why this is.......

I need help with things to do with Eva. I mean people WHAT DO YOU DO ALL DAY LONG WITH A 2YEAR OLD!!!!

If I have to listen to Elmo's world again I might just go crazy!

I am so glad that my baby does not like TV but I need ideas of what to do all day long.

HELP!!!!! And I may just reward this help with cute little Evie pics.

Crazy ama who misses school.

OOO and I might even post pics of our new car. Which I love so so much even thought N bought it for himself.