On Tuesday, we knew we had a big day ahead of us. We knew it wouldn’t be an easy day. Even though we knew this, we were not prepared for the emotional punch in the stomach. I thought it would not be as shocking this time. I was wrong.
The day started by us going to finalize the adoption at the registration office and notary office. We then took a van with just our family, our photographer friend Renee Booe, and our guide Vivian to Bo and Elle’s city, Luoyang. Their city is know for their peonies. Someday I would love to travel back for their peony festival. Luoyang is less crowded, and has more trees then Zhengzhou. Our first stop was the passport office. From there, we headed to the orphanage. Elle was excited to see her old friends. The orphanage had moved since we had been there for Elle. It is in a much nicer building that was bigger and brighter. When we first pulled into the courtyard, there was a sweet little pond, and around it was about 15 children under the age of three and their nannies. Across the courtyard was Maria’s Big House of Hope. Neither Elle nor Bo were taken care of there, but they do great work. We then went inside to see Elle and Bo’s caregivers and their friends that haven’t been adopted yet. The nannies were happy to see Elle and Bo had the same family. They couldn’t believe how tall and strong Elle was. They committed on her long hair and summer tan. :). Next we went into their classroom, and meet three of children that are still waiting for their families to find them. One boy was blind, one had Down syndrome, and one was in a wheel chair because he didn’t have legs. They all were so sweet! Renee was taken by the little boy in the wheel chair. He really wanted his picture taken, but we were told we could not take pictures of the children. The boy who was blind started speaking to me in Chinese. I asked Vivian what he was saying. She said he was asking when his mama and baba were going to come for him? The nannies said they were still looking for his mother and father. I loved hugging and talking to the little boy with Down syndrome. Bo handed his friends ring pops. They loved them, and Bo was proud to give them out.
When we headed down stairs there were probably 40 or more children all under the age of 4 in the lobby. They all called out “Zhi Er!”, which is Bo’s Chinese name. Sweetness! I asked if I could give them suckers. The nannies said yes, and then I was surrounded by them. They all ran up to me with their arms out crying , “mama.” It was emotional. Gabe and I went around to the children that couldn’t walk to unwrap and give them suckers too. One older boy wanted to hug on Gabe. It was so sweet. Then some more children ran up wanting me to hold them. Bo then stepped in between us, and pushed them away. He hugged my legs turned to them and declared, “my mama!” in Chinese. It melted my heart to see him understand I was his, and he didn’t want to share. At this point Elle was wanting to leave too. She was clinging to me, and the excitement of seeing her old nannies had worn off. When we stepped outside of the doors, Elle started crying. I looked at Renee and MJ, and we all cried. Once we were in the van Gabe started crying too. We all just looked at each other with hopelessness in our eyes. By the time we were back to the hotel, Gabe was saying he doesn’t want biological children because then he can adopt more. :). He is amazing. I love that kid’s heart!
The next morning we went to breakfast. Renee, MJ, and I all kind of stared at each other. We were without words. We emotionally felt like our souls had gone 10 rounds with Rocky. We tried to rally, but spent most of the day in a state of shock and exhaustion.
Bo is doing better than we could ask for. He is trusting us, showing us more of his personality every hour, starting to say a few English words like happy, bye bye, and potty. He is doing all of this with an upset tummy. He is a trooper!
Today we will rally. We are going to go to an ancient temple, and watch a Kung Fu show. Today I will focus on the moment, and enjoy everything.
I know I have said this before. Please if you have ever considered adoption, consider it again. I promise there is room in your heart, and the hearts of your children. I would be happy to talk with anyone about our experiences and the process.
May today be filled with beauty and love!