Raining... in Nanchang.
I am awake. it is only 1 am. I am sure I will go back to sleep(editor note-she did I am jealous :)), but for some reason this seemed alright to get up and take a few minutes in the quiet night to sit and write. I wanted to share my thoughts, to describe my heart and my surroundings. My life has just changed and I don't want to forget how I felt... in these very precious moments here in the home province of my daughter, so many many miles from her forever home, where life is so very different.
Just knowing that I am only here for 12 days places a feeling of urgency in my heart, I look forward to experiencing so many things, on the outside of the walls of our hotel, but inside, the need to give Julia a stability and a chance to know she won't be left without us, presses us to retreat to our quiet room. I can look outside, and we have traveled a bit to some government offices to have paperwork signing done. But otherwise we have chosen to just 'hunker down' as a good friend taught me to do when your children need more attention than the world around you.
But today... the 15th (here), is our sightseeing day.
Today we will go outside. On our trip to Walmart yesterday I was so interested to see Julia's response to the world that she knows. So many interesting things were in the Walmart, I would never have believed if I wouldn't have seen it with my own eyes. I was happy the meat department didn't have live animals! But it was pretty market place-ish otherwise! LOL!
So many women approached us (Julia was snuggled into the sling on me) with sweet greetings to her, and clucked their tongues like they were calling a horse. Funny how even our friendly noises are so different! Julia would look at all of them and even smile for them if they were entertaining enough! She is not unfamiliar with good attentions I am guessing. Katie would do that too... but I said to Randy later, after a whole hour of store interactions, that Katie would be grinning, and waving and wanting to bless each of them with a hug. It made me smile to think of her with us, and not being the center of attention here. She is so personable! It was interesting to imagine our world as it is now, and the interactions I receive daily from it, while I hold Katie and walk through a store. So much change will come, but I know one thing, we will always have interactions from those around us! Now I am just more culturally diverse... just a little picture of the races of the world, the three of us in Superstore! I have seen here the beautiful and kind interactions of a culture, I wonder if it will be as kind and respectful when we get home.
Julia has a ready smile and a dimple in a sweet spot on her chin. I just love to tickle and kiss her cheeks and it is wonderful to have them received. a great feature in this home is our giggles and antics(after 22 months of hard training, it is clearly not just me that gets into trouble!) I am so blessed that our family is more joyful than it is not. I reflected yesterday with Randy that I was so grateful to feel again that I am a good mom. That God made me to be a mommy. some how that can get lost in my exhaustion. My desire to be really focused and on task, pushes my nurturing to the side often....probably because focused and on task are the weaker parts of me.... My heart breaks when I see my daughter, after my day has run the gauntlet of laundry, cleaning up, errands, potty training, shopping, time outs, nap deadlines and any other thing that enters the day that does not allow me to focus my heart on what really matters. I am confident that she knows my love for her, but I long to just find the balance so that my day is focused, and not so I can get more done, but so that my effort of staying home with them, will be an investment I make every day ... on purpose... and that they love the time as much as I do. and that I love the time with them to the measure of how much they deserve to be treasured.
Over the next few quiet...and not so quiet.... but away... days, I am looking forward to: Taking photographs. (I love photography. I really do! In the struggle to quiet myself to just stop and take a moment to see the world around me and then look at the details, I find this hobby to be invaluable. It refreshes my spirit to take in the beautiful details. Having what I notice in those quiet moments captured is a treasure to me. it is my art, and I see Chinese beauty here! I am so hoping for the opportunity to photograph some special places.
I also look forward to exploring the small town Julia was born in. I am eager. anticipating. ready to go now. When we would talk about the option over the past years, we wondered on the wisdom of bringing her back there, but now that we are here, I feel like it is a link to her story that we must make for her. I don't know that we will spend a lot of time with her caregiver or even go to the orphanage. I really just want to see her hometown. I want to feel the climate of her people, and breathe the air her birth mother breathes. I want gather pieces of her life from here, the places that matter, not the big city that she has only been in for these past few days.
I look forward to Julia growing more and more at home with us. It has been the hardest part these past few days to taking the lead on the attachment with Julia. She has shown amazingly great signs to us that she will attach well. It is with purpose that we are attaching me as her primary caregiver first... but the hard part of that, is the absence of the connection time with daddy. Julia is strongly connecting with me, and to the extent that daddy's comfort won't soothe her. So hard on daddy! I look forward to the shared joy of being hers. She is his hearts completion. All I know is the day she leans her head in to his shoulder and sighs with relief that HER DADDY has rescued her... will be the day my husband SOBS like a baby himself! :) we have some work to do before that can happen, so I look forward to that transition... maybe in the next 10 days... maybe further along.
What else... well typically I should be listing things like trying the great cuisine of the area, but ... nope... that won't be on MY list. or maybe I should look forward to seeing some of the great sights here. I guess I am ... sort of.... but really.... my mission here is so singular. So focused. We are going to see some amazing places... and we are going to experience some fabulous culture... but we are so not here on a sight seeing tour. We are here because we are blessed to love. We have been given a little bundle of joy. And being with her... even just here in our hotel room... is a focus I would like to not lose. I am sure that if we were to return, it would be more determined to sight the place out. but I am not here for that right now. I am going to do what it takes to get what I want. And I want my daughter to know I am her mommy... and Randy is her daddy... and I want her to feel safe... and stable and secure. So the blessings for this trip will be the fruit that is produced in those areas. I am excited for that fruit!
so that is my diatribe. my minds journey for the morning... although early and it might have a few more trails in the day to come..
The best part is just having her! I just am so happy to have her. I love hearing her breathe as she sleeps... and the soft baby cheeks I can now kiss...and the chubby little hands that now squeeze around my finger and I love her brilliant, alert beautiful brown eyes. The best part of this trip is already over... if the trip were over, I would be ready to come home now .... but I will take in a few more quiet moments, it won't be as quiet with the two girls in the house.... my friend Tara was right... these precious moments with just Julia are so special, and she deserves to have all of me and all my attention right now! I am so grateful I don't have so many other things that the regular day holds, for these few days away in a quiet place, I am fully hers, and she is fully ours, and we can ... just be.
I am going to go make sure she is still covered... and crawl back into bed for a nap... for the rest of the night. If I think of it that way, like... shutting off the alarm clock after it rang, and deciding NOT to go to work after all... I may just return to the land of sleep... grateful for a few more "stolen" zzz's from the day! or... maybe Jetlag will just not allow me ... but I can at least try!
Hope your day is great. we will be savoring ours.