Thursday, August 20, 2009

Our big adventure

We've been home for almost 2 weeks, and I still haven't found time to blog about our trip. We've been busy with a certain little princess (as well as 3 of her siblings!). Everyone adores her, and she keeps us BUSY! And then school started. We are homeschoolers, so that means REALLY BUSY now! Anyway, today while the older children are busy with a building project this afternoon, I've sat little Miss Grace in her chair beside me with a good we'll see how much I can blog today... :) She's HAPPY...especially when she sees the pictures of herself, so I plan to post several!

Our trip to Taiwan was great! Because of heavy rain at our airport, we left several hours late and only had 20 minutes to catch our connecting flight in San Francisco. God truly intervened as we were running through the airport at person radioed another person, and they held the plane for us. By the time we got to our gate, they had given away our seats, so they put us in FIRST CLASS! WOW!! First class on international flights is an amazing experience...chairs that lay down into beds, slippers, fine dishes, the works! We were SPOILED! How many of you know that God has amazing connections??!!

Taiwan was an amazing place! The people were so friendly, and we had the very best driver in the world. He went out of his way to help us several times. We were never lost in Taipei because of Nick. He let us call him any time we had any questions or problems. The streets of Taipei are very very busy...people everywhere...and the buildings have signs all over them! Reminded us a bit of New York City except with Chinese signs everywhere.

The experience in the orphanage was bittersweet. We ministered to the children through music (my husband took his guitar), and that was wonderful. The orphanage is really a good one. The caretakers really seem to love the children, and the orphanage was extremely CLEAN. They even asked us to take off our shoes before we went into the room with the children (no outside shoe germs...I love that!).

Our daughter, LeLe (nickname) did NOT want to have anything to do with us. She loved her favorite caretaker and didn't want to leave her. This made a very rough time. They put us in the playroom alone with her so that we could acquaint, but she's a girl who knows what she wants, and she knew she did NOT want us. :( We tried every trick...snacks, treats, toys, smiles, etc...she didn't want us to touch her at all. Finally, they suggested that my husband just pick her up and let her cry in his arms. She cried herself to sleep, and that is how we left the orphanage. This is not the vision we had dreamed of for months, but it also didn't surprise us as we expected this "Gotcha Day" to be a shock to her. So, as we left with her asleep, my heart broke thinking of her waking up in the taxi or the hotel with new people, new environment, etc. And sure enough, she awakened on the elevator up to our hotel room. Poor baby girl! She was so confused. The rest of the day she just sat with her back hunched over and silent tears flowing down her noise at all. BROKE MY HEART!!

But the next day was better, and every day has been better. She still has a couple of rough points every day, but overall, she is adjusting very well. She did fabulously on the flight, and we even flew out in a TYPHOON! I'm telling you...God had us on an amazing adventure!

Grace is really one of the sweetest human beings on the planet. She makes us all smile, even when we don't feel like smiling (like last night when she decided she didn't like her dinner...she threw the breakable bowl across the room...we gently but firmly said NO...and after she looked at us for a few seconds, she grinned her big grin...and that was the end of any bad feelings we had about the bowl!). :) She has reminded us over and over about the JOY in life. Even when she is having one of her sad moments and she withdrawals from us to cry silent tears...when she comes back around to feeling a bit better, she will stick out her foot for us to kiss. And, YES, we DO kiss that sweet foot (you would too if you saw how cute she is when she does this!). That's when she smiles again and life keeps marching on. She teaches us in her own little way that life is meant to be lived and enjoyed...she has taught us to cry when you're sad but don't marinade in it...come back out and join in on life's joys again. :) She's definitely a strong little girl, and we have learned a great deal about LOVE from her!

I'm attaching pictures, but for some reason I cannot seem to get them to post in any certain order. Someone help me on that! :) Pics are: A view of a street in Taiwan (taken from our driver's car), Grace waving at us the first time she saw us, the sad picture of her not wanting us at the orphanage and then a happy pic at HOME! Thank you for all the support and prayers!