Boy did I sleep hard last night! I don't think I moved a single muscle the entire time I slept. I woke up to
Ryan someone picking up and dropping my arm and then shaking it like a noodle. Grr!! Amy tired. Want to sleep. Leave alone! I was grouchy for 2.2 seconds until I got online and saw comment after comment after comment of such love and encouragement on Facebook. Thank you to everyone who has written us, especially those who are sharing how these posts are affecting and moving your hearts. This is the deepest desire of my soul. Yes, I want Tyson to have as many details as I can remember while he processes his own story, but I am also praying that God will use these posts to encourage people to move to action in however He calls. Everyone knows that millions of orphans exist in our world, but I hope that seeing Tyson and Tucker help you feel like you know children who were orphans but are forever loved and spoken for! The transformation that God exemplifies in their lives is so similar to the spiritual transformation that occurs within us when we have a relationship with Him. The old is washed away, and we are reborn to live out our full potential for the Kingdom. I love that Ryan are both adopted by God, as well as adoptive parents. We give because He gave. We open our home because He opened His. Adoption rocks, you guys!
After reading through dozens of FB comments (have I mentioned how much they mean to me?!), I hopped in the shower by the light of my cell phone. Oh the things you do to prevent a baby from waking up too soon!! That is another post for another day. We got ready, FaceTimed the boys briefly, and made it downstairs to eat breakfast in 23 minutes. Ryan got to eat sushi for breakfast. He was one happy guy! Noah was sad not to have his cocoa crispies from Nanning, but after I poured a packet of white sugar on top, he gobbled down those boring, plain ol' Rice Krispies.
After scarfing down breakfast in record time, we got in a
Prior to going upstairs to complete the stations, we waited in the lobby for some time taking the children's visa photos. Noah was on cracker duty, and as you can see, he was overjoyed to fulfill this role. In your best cave man voice say, "Ty-Ty hungry. Ty-Ty eat cracker!" This is the voice we use for Tyson all-of-the-time. Oh my sweet sumo baby!
Look at all of these people! They all traveled across the world to adopt their precious children. I want to clap my hands and cheer just looking at this photo. And this is just our adoption agency's families for this week, let alone the ones here with different agencies. I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you! John 14:18. God sent us to China, and here we stand with our beloved children!
This picture above!! Be still my heart. So many of you prayed that Lauren ad her family would be in China with us, and our prayers were answered! We are so grateful to experience this last week in Guangzhou with Lauren and her family.
Cracker in hand, Noah took Tyson on a walk. I just love seeing them walking together. Tyson had his picture taken for his visa (seriously, Mom, a spiderman shirt?! Oh well, Ty-Ty. You are cute as pie regardless of your shirt, and your cheeks are soft like butter. Noah has done so well following our rules about his interactions with Tyson. He understands that Ty has to learn that we are his parents, and that all of his needs will be me through us. So, while Noah is his buddy to play with, anytime Tyson wants something to eat or drink, needs his diaper changed, needs comfort due to his feeling afraid, Ryan and I are the ones meeting those needs. This is working quite well, as Tyson prefers us to Noah right now. I know it hurts his feelings just a little bit sometimes, but we reassure him that this is exactly what we want to happen right now. We want his primary attachment to be with us and then his brothers. Ty is not struggling with indiscriminate affection here either, which is wonderful!
We took the elevator to the 5th floor and found a seat. See this hallway filled with people? These are all adoptive families and their children! How awesome is that? There were many others around the corner. Our agency and at least a couple other agencies were present that morning. I love seeing people from all over the United States, as well as families from Spain and Italy here with us, all for the same purpose - to bring these children into our families and love them forever.
|Don't be fooled by his relaxation, this was the only 3 seconds he was still all morning. :)|
|I love his belly laugh!!! He is one ticklish little guy.|
Like I mentioned earlier, we had to visit 3 out of the 4 stations to complete this part of the adoption process. The picture above is our visit to the ENT. Tyson didn't mind her looking in this ear but started to get upset when she tried to look in his left ear. She attempted to stick tongue depressor in his mouth, and he screamed. Haha!! Guess she saw inside his mouth just fine during that reaction, and we were allowed to leave for the next station.
At the nurse's station, they took Tyson's weight and height. He cried crocodile tears until I could pick him back up. I couldn't help but wonder what it was like for him when he got sick at the orphanage. When he saw a doctor, was it really scary for him? He's had several vaccinations, so like other children, does he associate doctors and nurses with shots? Was this so traumatic for him because of his circumstances of being adopting and experiencing a lot of fear as he transitions to our family? So many questions, and I won't ever get to know the answers to most of them. The picture below shows a very curious baby looking at his visa picture during the last station, the general exam, but I am not sharing the ones of him screaming at her touch and his writhing on the ground (when asked to walk) or on the exam table (while she checked his body). I ended up scooping him up and putting him in my lap for the exam. He was much better after that! I am so thankful that he feels comforted in Ryan's and my arms...both of us. This is such a gift!!
Once we were finished with all 3 stations, "Ty-Ty eat cracker!" We walked around for a bit, but anytime I got near one of the medical stations, he would start to cry. We are doing all we can to keep Tyson happy and comfortable, so we made our way to a different part of the floor.
Santa Claus!!! Tyson was SO excited to see these pictures. I pointed to them and repeated, "Santa, Santa, Ho, Ho, Ho!" I sang a couple Christmas carols, and thought about how Tyson will fit in so well in our family. Liam and Noah still sing Jingle Bells all the time.
I'm going to be honest, when we got Tyson's file, and I started imagining what it would be like to have a baby again, I was like, "Oh my goodness. What were we thinking!" Our "middles" are almost done taking naps and have been potty trained since they were 2. Having 4 year olds and a 7 year old is easy in so many ways, as they are just so much more independent. But Tyson, this little Beihai baby, is so amazing. He is the perfect little brother! He is so strong, which will come in handy being the youngest in our family. You guys, I honestly transitioned to being a mom of a baby again so easily. It's like riding a bike, I guess. I already cannot imagine my life without this little boy. I am SO thankful that he is both expressing love to me and receiving love from me. This is a gift! In the adoption world, sometimes this comes immediately, and other times it takes place over the course of weeks and months, after setbacks and then progress, and after mistakes are met with grace. I have now experienced the love from and with my China babies in both ways. The first was a marathon, and the reward at that finish line made it totally worth the race! The second, a gift of immediate acceptance, growing trust, and slobbery affection. Neither is more precious than the other. Both are beautiful gifts from the Father - to love and be loved.
|Ryan got drenched in the rain but is all smiles for this pizza!|
Tyson fell asleep on the bus ride back to the hotel. It was too early for him to need a nap, but when a child's stress hormones are running rampant from a medical visit like that, sometimes their bodies go into shut down mode. I think this is where Tyson was after we left the building. Ryan and Noah hopped off the bus to grab some bread for PBJ and bottles of water. I was able to unsnap my carrier with Tyson in it and place him gently on the bed on top of it. He slept a solid 3 hours just like that, on the edge of the bed with pillows all around him. After Ryan returned, he ran back out, as I was having a craving for Oggi's Pizza. It's NY style crust and tastes like it is baked in a brick oven. This was a medium pizza, and I, no joke, at five pieces. :) I was SO hungry b/c I barely had time to eat anything for breakfast, and in my defense, they are small pieces. Haha! For you adoptive families traveling soon, if you like pizza and think you will order it from Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, or Oggis, I recommend bringing your own pizza cutter for the little ones. Super helpful!
I had to go meet up with our group to prepare our paperwork for the Consulate Appointment, which takes place on Tuesday. Tyson woke up while I was gone, and once I returned, I thought a bath sounded perfect. Noah and Ty played in there for quite awhile.
|"I'm gonna lean up against you, you just lean right back against me. This way, we don't have to sleep with our heads in the mud."|
|Love this view of my new son against the backdrop of this huge, Chinese city.|
|Our travel group from our end of the table|
|Our travel group from the other end of the table|
|We were hungry!|
|Tyson enjoyed a cheese quesadilla much better!|
After he was done eating, we played in a small play area at the end of our table. Tyson's anxiety was high, as he did not want to be more than an arm's length from me. It breaks my heart to see him scared, but I definitely understand why.
|Ty-Ty loves cracker!|