Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mmm, Scabies!

So, many of you have seen that I posted a few times about this horrible rash Alba came to us with.... it was pretty nasty. (that seems to be a theme here.)

Well, her foster parents said it was a "seasonal allergy" rash and sent medicine, but it was all in chinese and I have no idea what it was with the exception of a little calamine lotion. We gave it to her as instructed, but she was getting worse instead of better. She was crying, itching, and on top of the mourning, I just couldn't stand to see her in that much pain and I had a mama's intuition something wasn't right.

The last day in province I asked about going to the doctor and our guide said if we could stand to wait until we got to Guanzghou it would be better b/c there would be a western doctor with western medicine. So, we decided to wait and Holt (our agency which I cannot recommend highly enough) made us an appt. for as soon as we arrived here yesterday. They swept us out of the lobby as soon as we arrived and got us in to see the western doctor (who is Chinese by the way) right before he left for the day.

Scabies he said. Well, actually he said it was a seasonal allergy but that she had obviously had a previous case of scabies that they only treated about halfway. So, when the seasonal allergy came out it was pushing all those dead scabies to the surface. yummy!!!! The good thing is they're dead, so they aren't contagious. So, now were treating our daughter for skin mites (scabies meds, allergy meds and an antihistamine).

Not sure I saw that one coming, but you gotta go with the flow, ya know!?!?!?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Finding Place

I know I have days of blogging to catch up on. My sweet friend Leigh Ann even told me last night, "We need a new blog update!" But, I've honestly been so physically and mentally exhausted at the end of each day that I usually just go to bed right after Miss Alba. Last night I even sat down and tried to make myself do it, but I couldn't.

This morning though, 5:30am my time, I've been inspired.

Yesterday, we went to see Alba's "Finding Place" as they call it. This is the place where she was originally found after her abandonment. The original report said she was "found on the side of the ----- road with nothing", but the report we got when we officially adopted said she was sound at the "community service station on the side of the ------ rd." So, I was hopeful. Maybe her bio parents did care enough to leave her somewhere important, somewhere people would definitely see her and help her.

We traveled outside of the city about 30 minutes.... the area we were traveling through was nice and the university is there and a train station, so I started immediately forming ideas in my mind about where she came from, who her parents were, had they been students? Did they travel in from another city so as not to be caught? I don't think so.

First of all the train station is being built, so it would not have been active at the time of her abandonment. Secondly, after going through this pretty nice area, we turned down a road and I looked at DP and said "I hope this isn't it...." The driver pulled over got out, and our guide said.... "this is the rd., we just have to find the service station. He's going inside to ask where it is." My stomach turned. All I could think was Oh My God, Oh My God. I'm telling you, it was nasty.

Long story short, after asking about 5 people where it was and driving up and down this dirty road, we concluded that the road is actually the abandonment sight and she was taken to the community SS to meet the police when she was found.

I just started crying. I looked down at this precious child, she's given me heartache and fits over the last 4 days, she's made me happy and warmed my heart as well. I already love her so much. How could her bio parents, after 3 months or even 3 days, walk out onto a street (that was so dirty and dusty our driver asked us to roll up the windows as we were driving down it) in the middle of the slums and drop her on the side of a filth infested road? No belongings, no chance of a future....

It's really been bothering me since we went. I just look at that face and think, "you've come a long way kiddo..." I don't understand it. I really really can't comprehend how they could do that. But, maybe what they did isn't the point. Maybe what I'm going to do from here on out is what really matters.

This morning I woke up thinking about it. In that quiet place where only God can be, I started talking to Him. We've had alot of good one sided conversations while I've been here, but this morning He spoke to me. As, I was laying in bed telling Him everything I just told you, the story of Christ's birth came to me... the Son of God was born in a manger, the place where animals lived, there was filth everywhere and it smelled, it was probably just as unsanitary as this; bugs, dust, poop, the works. But, He grew up to be the Savior of the world. If Jesus came into the world with such lowly beginnings, what give me the right to expect more?

I've realized this morning that where you come from and how you got here isn't as important as what you do with it. I've always believed Alba Lee is destined for great things (God planned for her to be ours before she was ever born, so I know he has a plan for her life.) I believe both my girls are and that they will both grow up to serve Christ in some capacity.

Such different beginnings, one born with a silver spoon, one born with nothing, yet I feel God's hand on both of their lives. Who would ever think that two children coming into the world so differently would have the exact same opportunities to give and grow God's love in others? To be and do whatever it is they are called to do for the Kingdom....

Who would have ever thought God would give me the opportunity and resposibility to give and grow God's love in them?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Today was better.... still very hard, but it was better.... she passed out completely naked after her bath.... so cute. I'll post more later, but here are some pics from our day....

AMAZING art presented to us by the orphanage.... a gift. Seriously, one of the first times I cried... it was BEAUTIFUL!!!! Can't wait to hand it in her room.....

Celebratory Dinner with Everyone

Alba and Mama at the Park

Deda signs the official adoption paperwork (today)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Gotcha Day

Well, it definitely wasn't like it is in the pictures....

We arrived at the civil affairs office here in China at 9:30am and I could see her screaming thru the glass walls in the lobby from our van. We went in to get her and she was wigging out... I couldn't even hold her b/c she's so strong! DP had to try to hold her and comfort her, but to no avail. Other people's children were fine, on at least whimpering silently, but Miss Alba lost her freaking mind.

We were there about an hour and a half and she never quit screaming, she never quieted down and she never gave up. She's a Phillips. She's definitely got Deda's temperament. :) Once we got to the van she passed out, then woke up 30 minutes later screaming. And so the day went....

Lots of screaming for her grandmother, crying and repeating herself over and over, serious grieving, but it's natural and healthy, just hard to watch. She also has a HORRIBLE rash on her lower half which they said was a seasonal allergy rash, but I don't know. SO, I think that made it even worse. AND, the translator said, "I don't know how they raise her. She raise differently. She spoiled."


At one point she woke up from one of her passout sessions screaming her guts out and dragging me to the door. She wanted me to take her home. I told her we could go outside or go to the park, but she could not go to nana... mama and baba are home now. She agreed, I thought, but as soon as we got outside she was on a mission...

I mean, you should have seen her, this little two year old dragging me by the hand walking around, she was determined. When we got back to the hotel, all hell broke loose again. She thought she was getting to go home and when it didn't happen she was mad all over again.

After trying to console her over and over and saying "Boo Nana" which means "No Grandmother" (we had already had the translator explain several times that grandmother was taing care of her until her American mother and father could get here to take care of her. Now we are here and nana's job is done. Mama and Baba will never leave you , they are your forever family.") I said "Boo Nana" very firmly and walked off. I just picked up the markers and stickers and started coloring. She calmed a bit and accepted she wasn't going to get what she wanted, for that night at least. Then, it was bath time. I had to wash her b/c she was stinky. I did it as quickly as I could, she screamed some more, and then i got her out... when that happened, a switch flipped. She let me put medicine on the rash and she liked it when I "blew on it" :) Then she finally ate. First thing she had eaten all day. Guess what she ate? Baby puffs. We had no idea what she would want and spent about $50 on every noodle and fruit on the menu so she could pick what she wanted. She wouldn't touch it. But then, the can of generic walmart baby puffs I brought from home made her happy. She ate 3/4 of a can telling me the whole time how good they were... then she spoke to me without screaming for the first time and she slept!

She slept from about 9-4 then again from about 4:30 until 8. The poor baby had to have been exhausted.

Anyway, she just woke up and is staring us both down, so I better go. But, I wanted to update you on what's happening. If I could sum up the first 24 hrs in one word I would say "scream". I wish it could be something more poetic, or insightful. But, when I think about it, that's all I can hear. It's the only word that come to mind.

But, this face is definitely worth it....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hello all, here are a few pics from our touring yesterday. Sorry about the quality, but this is all I am able to do for now... I will post alot more pics when I get home.

shot glasses:

My Favorite thing at breakfast. they are little shot glasses of drinkable yogart. they are super yummy and as Tyrone says, "you always have to coat your tummy when your in another country"

Tienman's Square:

Main Entrance Gate from shot from the square

The Banquet Hall where the big dinner for the olympics was held

Close up from outside the main entrance. Lions guard everything here. This is the male lion. You can see the ball under his foot means he is male.... the female always has a baby lion under her paw.

On another note, Mc broke her collar bone Friday night. unbelievable. So please be in prayer for her and my parents... it is probably going to be a hard week as she is in a sling and can't do much for herself.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Wall was Steep!

First of all, I apologize thoroughly b/c somehow I made it to China without my camera cord and I can't download any pics from the trip thus far. The good news is though that I have my phone and I CAN take a few pics with it and send them to my computer, but you're not going to get to see any of the great ones until we get back. :(

Yesterday, DP and I packed up with our friends the Kromingas and headed out for a day of touring. Our guide was a little late, but once he showed up, he took us to the "Jade Factory" Which is basically a 30 second tour followed by "here's our jewelry store", buy something. It was really cool to see al the jade and learn about the different qualities, etc. What we call Burmese Jade is the nicest quality jade.... and it is very expensive. the prices are almost equivalent to diamonds in the states.

After that, we headed to the wall. Our guide suggested we head to a different part of the wall than the one we paid for, bc he said this one was better, cleaner, and not as crowded. So, we opted for that and headed on. When we got there, there were a couple of options on which one to climb.... DP of course wanted to climb the one nicknamed "hero's peak" b/c if you make it to the top, you're a hero. awesome. About 1/8 of the way up I thought I was going to vomit.... I've never done that much cardio at one time in my life, ever. 45 minutes in, and straight up, we did come out on the top!

After that, we went to the "Summer Palace" which is where the "Dragon Lady" lived.... her son was the Emperor, but was only 8 when he came into power and so she ruled the country.... Later, he tried to rise up against her and was defeated. She threw him in jail and for another younger nephew to be Emperor. She ended up ruling for 58 years!

After all of the touring, and especially the wall, I was exhausted!!!! We were going to go out to eat, and try some local fare, but I just couldn't do it. I think I may have jet lag.... for real.... I'm dizzy and feel kindof crazy, so if this doesn't make any since, that's why!!! :)

Anyway, more to come tomorrow!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Longest Day of My Life, Literally!!!!

Yesterday, wait, was that yesterday for you guys? Well, Wednesday anyway, I got up about 4:30.... the flight wasn't leaving until 9:30, but I wanted to shower and go over the checklist 1 more time. My 7am we were headed out the door to drop Mc off at her "Aunt Cat's" and go to the airport. Luckily, saying goodbye was not nearly as dramatic as I had expected it to be, and having Blake as a distraction was an excellently planned trick..... she just gave me a hug, said goodbye and was on her way. No tears, yeah!!!!

Our flight left about 30 minutes late, and we were surprised to see our old pastor Ridley and his wife Lisa on our flight.... for some reason it made me feel better and less alone. :) We landed in Chicago, and had about an hour layover. Our flight there was delayed a little as well, but we finally took off and were headed for Beijing!!!! the flight was fine and although the last two hours drug on, it was much better than I had expected it to be.... (I'll tell you what though, those peeps in business class and first class are living the life.... that section on an international flight in NICE!!!!) I was able to catch about a 2 hour nap but that was it.... I'm not great at sleeping on a plane anyway and the adrenaline that had been pumping through my veins all morning would not allow me to settle down. Anyway, we landed in Beijing about 3:30 their time (2:30am Nashvegas time) and had to go thru immigration, customs, baggage claim, etc before we met our guide and driver.

Lydia, our guide is super sweet and her english is excellent! We will not see her today, but Saturday she has a day full of stuff planned for us!
The traffic getting to the hotel was horrible. We hit rush hour and what should have taken 30 minutes took 2 hours.... with no AC!!! There were three families in the van, and I think we were all DONE by that point. Once we got to the hotel, we just checked in said our goodbyes and went on to our rooms.

DP and I did walk down to the local "supermarket", a term I will use loosely, and buy several bottles of water, and a bottle of wine. we came back ordered room service and showered. I was cracking up as I put on my PJs and looked at the spread..... Water from Switzerland, Wine from Australia, and a little "Japanese Fried Rice" from room service. All while sitting in my hotel in China!!!!

After that, 8:15pm to be exact I took an ambien, called mom to tell her we were safe and cashed out! We had been up at that point for 27 hours not including my little catnap on the pane and we were exhausted!!!!

This morning I woke up about 4:30, so 8 hrs of sleep did me right. We're off to see the GReat Wall today. I'm really excited! Hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures tomorrow!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It was a great weekend, and then it wasn't....

Have you ever been so exhausted by something that you don't even want to sit down and think about it? That's how I feel right now. The last week has exhausted me mentally and emotionally, so much that I've been putting writing this post off for a while! But, I know if I don't do it, I will hate myself when the girls are older and I want to look back and remember....

Last Wednesday marked "one week from leaving." That day, I felt bed all day and cried myself to sleep. (And, those of you that know me, know I'm not a crier.) Thursday I felt pretty bad too....

I think it's that I feel like I'm prepared for whatever comes my way with Alba. We took classes, I've read books, I've prepared myself for the worst. I think I can do it. Unfortunately, no one has written a book about how to leave your other child, the one whose been your constant companion and precious joy for the last five years, behind for two weeks.... two weeks and one day. It's devastating, and I feel broken. Really, I'm not being dramatic. It is REALLY hard.

Anyway, Friday was looking up and Saturday we had a lovely day full of friends... a great soccer game, lunch with our besties, a neighborhood potluck and drinks afterwards with our neighbors the Wards (which, if I haven't mentioned it before, we seriously could not have lucked out more on that end... they are pretty awesome.) Sunday, we spent the day packing and finishing up Alba's room, watching 9/11 stuff, which made me cry of course b/c I'm already an emotional basketcase, enjoyed some time with the lifegroup and had an all around great weekend. Then, the tears came....

I've noticed Mc being a little quieter and clingier than usual and acting out a little, but nothing serious. And, when I ask if something is wrong, she says no... then, last night, as she was brushing her teeth, the tears came. Big crocodile tears... she said she didn't know why. She just felt sad. I've really never felt worse as a mother. I know this is all normal and it happens to everybody, but honestly that doesn't make it easier. Finally she looked up at me and asked if she would have to watch all baby shows when Alba got here, and if Dora and Diego would have to go away... (b/c everyone knows those are shows for big kids, right?) She asked several more questions after that about the trip and the whole getting a new sister thing. Things I've been wanting her to ask for weeks... and, I think in the end, she felt better. But, I did not. Once again I cried for hours....

Today, I've been weepy all day (and honestly, she was a little weepy on and off today too)....I cried this morning, cried dropping her off at school, cried tonight after she went to bed, cried on the phone with the computer man.... I feel like a crazy person!!!!!! (It doesn't help that she's told me 3 times today she wants to "be wiff me forever" and that she "doesn't want me to go to China."

So, that's all I got. The journey has been wonderful, but here at the end, it's tough. I feel satan's attack from all directions and would covet your prayers for us and Mc and Alba during the next few weeks.

I promise my next post will be more positive!!!! :)


Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Pics of My Girl

Mama's on her way Sweets!!!!! :)