Friday, May 31, 2013

Exploring Guangzhou

A 9 story pagoda at the Siz Banyan Temple.  It used to be the tallest building in the city.  Hard to imagine that when looking out over the city's skyline.
On Friday we visited the Six Banyan Temple.  It is an old Buddist temple dating back about 700 years.  Approximately 50% of Chinese in the southern part of the country are Buddist.  Prior to entering the temple, I had a glimpse of what Dawson's future may have looked like had he never been adopted.  A relatively young man stood on the sidewalk begging.  All the beggars I have seen during my 5 trips to China have all been disbaled in some way.  This man was no different.  He had no hands.  I am always saddened to see anyone in such desperation that they must beg on the street, but when that person is disbaled, it is even more heartbreaking.  And on this day, I saw who might son might have been had he not been listed for international adoption adn been chosen by a family.  I am praising God for sparing Dawson from that future and praying for the poor gentleman who is an outcast in this society and who begs on the street to survive. 
Dawson sucks on either the blanket or his shirt sleeves.  So sweet!
He is a good sleeper but he does seem to grieve when he wakes up.  It doesn't happen every time, but many times he has woken up from nap or in the morning and has been inconsolable.  Eventually, it passes and he will start chattering away and smiling.

This is how I found my sweet boy on Friday morning.  Despite putting him to bed with his shirt tucked in - in hopes of avoiding him being shirtless the next morning.  I stood at his crib in complete shock wondering how he managed to shed his pants and raise his shirt without changing his position in his crib. 
After dinner on Thursday night, we decided to take a stroll in the neighborhhood around our hotel.  Scott had been to the pharmacy the night before and had come across an outdoor market.  In hopes of burning off some of the delicious Chinese food we had just eaten, we set off to explore the market.  The weather was a bit cooler than usual which made it certainly more enjoyable.  It was a wonderful opportunity to take in some of the local culture - beyond the walls of the 5 star hotel we currently call home.  We made a pit stop for some cold water which provided some cute pictures of the 3 additional boys I am spending most of this trip with.  Next to Dawson is Parker and then there is Peter, Mary Margaret and Scott's new son, and Turner, their oldest son.  These boys are all well-behaved, and it has been a pleasure exploring Guangzhou with them.  Peter is precious with Dawson.  He calls him Sho- Ba Ba- which is Cantonese for "small baby".

Blogger did not want to cooperate with me so many of the pictures from the temple did not get uploaded.  It took over an hour for these few which are also out of order.   I will try again later.

Here Dawson is taking a breather from being in the carrier which is really more like an oven!  He and I are both soaked after an excursion with him next to me in the carrier, but it is helping my back a lot and is superb for bonding!

I am so thankful and in awe of how well Dawson is doing and how well we are bonding.  One might think a mother would instantly love her newly adopted child  - afterall she has oohed and ahhed over pictures and thinks she truly loves this child whom she has waited so long to hold.  Yet that is not always the case.  Praise God, it is the case with Dawson and me.  Sadly, it was not the case for 2 other families who met their children in the same room and at the same time as I met Dawson.  Two families have returned their children to the orphanages.  That breaks my heart and makes me angry all at the same time.  I know I am not to judge, yet I can't help but think about the little girls' futures.    I simply can not imagine sending the child I have waited and prayed for back to life in an orphange.  It is essentially abandoning them again.  These 2 girsl, one almost 9 years and one 3 years, spent the night with their parents, ate meals with their parents, and then after 2 nights, they were sent back to their respective orphanages.  Two little ones who once again suffered  rejection from a mother.  Will they be taunted and ridiculed by the other children and the staff at the orphanage?  I am afraid so.  Oh, dear God, why must there be so much sadness and heartache?  I know the answer yet my yearns for it to go away.  One day.  One day all of this shall pass away.  My heart longs for heaven where there will be no more outcasts and no more rejects.  No more stares at my precious little boy because he is different than the "perfect child".  Lord Jesus, Come!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Medical Clinic

Goldfish were a hit and if placed just-so in between his "fingers", he could feed himself.  We had fun with this and when he dropped one, Dawson laughed and laughed.

Dawson with his new friend, Peter.  Peter is 11 and is being adopted by Mary Margaret and her husband Scott.  Peter is doing amazingly well in his adjustment!  This family has been a tremendous blessing to me!  We have spent each day together since I arrived in Guangzhou, received our new sons together, prayed together over numerous meals, and have developed a lasting friendship.  I thank God that they are here with me and that they live only a few hours from us!

Dawson is still loving his lamb and continues to come out of  his shell more and more.  He is much more lively now and even a little naughty at times!  He refuses to look at the camera when he is not in a photogenic mood.  He also flips that head around when I try to wipe his nose or mouth - if he doesn't want it wiped.  Yep, he is a typical 2 year old : )

At the medical  clinic- prior to the traumatic needle stick. TB is now tested with a blood test rather than the skin test as before. Parents are not allowed in the room and since Dawson has only little arms, his blood draw was from his foot. As Elvin said in referring to the room for the blood draw as the "magic room", "Child goes in the room happy, comes out sad."

A Dum-Dum sucker helped the tears disappear!

Dawson weighs 11 kg and is 88 cm tall. 
We will know his TB result in a day or two.   Praying it's negative so we don't have to go down the same path we did with Leiney Grace!
Dawson and I are doing well with bonding. He sleeps well and thankfully I have been too.  Tomorrow we are visiting the Banyun Temple.  I have never been and since Dawson is from this province, I thought we should go to capture some pictures of his home province and its history.
Thank you again for your prayers, comments, and emails.
We can't wait to get home! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Shopping and Playing

Dawson is a superb shopper - tolerater!  He endured lots of shopping at Pedestrian Street today and was a great sport!

At the police station doing an official step of the adoption process - applying for Dawson's Chinese passport so he can travel.

Dawson and I had lots of play time in our room today.  He loves the green ball that Lilly loaned me for the trip.  It lights up all different colors.  Dawson thinks it is pretty neat and knows just how to hold it, drop it so it will light up, and pick it back up.

I am feeling so tired and physically worn out.  I am not used to carrying around a toddler for most of the day.  I am concered about managing to get us and our luggage through a train station and several airports.  I know God will provide just as He has thus far!  Please pray for physical strength for me.  Dawson is doing very well adjusting! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Different Dawson

Before bed last night, Dawson was still in shock.

He slept well in his crib and cried out only once.  A few soft pats, and he fell back asleep until 7 15 this monring.

He did not like the bath or the shower, but he did get clean.

And once he knew we were preparing to leave the hotel room, he became quite cheerful.

Dawson is officially a member of our family and no more one of the forgotten!  Praise God!

Elvin, our fantastic guide for the 3rd time, was interacting with Dawson.  He said he understood a lot.  Here, Elvin told Dawson to "Give me a hug" and he did.  Then Elvin said "Give Mama a hug" and little Dawson walked right over to me and gave me a wonderful hug.

Dawson's nickname is "Chip" short for chipmunk.  Do you notice the bulge in his left cheek?  He pockets his food at the end of each meal.  Here he has a wad of breakfast sausage.  He takes a little bite every now and again.  He still had it pocketed at 12 30 when it was time to eat lunch.  He agreed to spit it out in my hand to get some fresh Ramen noodles in our room.  This is a first for me although I know it is certainly a common orphanage behavior.  Any tips? 

Dawson can hold his cup!

Dawson loves his lamb.  He asked for it this morning before we left the hotel. 

We went shopping on Shaiman Island after nap time today.  Dawson loved these "Kissing Pigs".  Once you pull them apart, they make noise and one wobbles back over to the other.  he was so happy when I handed it to him!

At dinner at Cow and Bridge, which was quite tasty, Mary Margaret had Dawson all giggly from her tickles.

As Dawson felt much more comfortable tonight, he finally played with some of the toys I brought.  He AMAZED me with what he can do with his feet and his little arm. He prefers nesting the cups for now rather than stacking and can do them all physically by himself, but he does need some help on getting all the sizes in order. 
Today has been a great day.  I am seeing a glimpse of Dawson's personality ,and he is truly precious!  His smile lights up a room, and his laugh is adorable. He is such a people person.  He speaks to people as we walk through the lobby and waves with his arm.  He is quite the little charmer as my aunt already pegged him!
I am so blessed to be his mama and stand in awe of God's goodness and provision for us..
Thank you for your prayers and sweet comments and emails.

Monday, May 27, 2013



Dawson's shirt says "Enthusiast"- He was anything but an enthusiast with all the drastic changes he endured today!  He was dressed in red, white, and blue.  Not sure if that was interntional or not.


That was our Gotcha Day in pictures.  I will go into more detail later but to sum up little Dawson - he has been very stoic and in shock for most our time together.  When interacting with his Ayi and one of the orphanage workers, he would perk up, share a beautiful smile, and utter some words in his adorably sweet voice. However, other than that, he has been utterly scared to death.  He did not cry until we were back in the hotel room for some time.  He cried and cried, but as I started putting my shoes on and then his shoes on, he smiled and spoke a few words.  I bet he thought I was taking him back to his Ayi.  Poor precious baby.  He tolerated the carrier well, and we ate Chinese food at a nearby restauarnt.  He accepts food from me and ate well.  He did allow me to put his PJs on, drank a few sips of his bottle, and fell asleep in my arms.  He is sleeping in his crib now.  I am praying that the Lord will allow him to find peace and comfort with me.  I know it will take time. 
Thank you for all of your prayers and for the encouraging comments.  A huge thank you to Tamera and her daughter Breanna for great pictures and video!