My daily Bible studies have been spot on for where I'm at. In fact, the study I read on Gotcha day even had the word "gotcha" in it, how absolutely amazing is that? Today's was equally powerful.
Secondly, your encouraging words. The many PM messages I've received telling me that I've been on your minds. I'm so very grateful because I'll admit that the devil is playing with my mind and I've questioned myself over and over if we've gotten in over our heads.
Thirdly, the glimpses of heart touching moments with these kiddos, despite the chaos. Xavier seeking my hand before leaving the hotel room, snuggling up to me during the long van ride, and waking during his nap looking into my eyes and resnuggling up and going back to sleep! That's when you know there is some level of comfort happening! Today he is beginning to hold his hand out to us when he wants something. It's a form of communication, I'll take it!!! And I won't forget sweet Esther who also seeks to be close to us and is mimicking words.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for continuing to support us through prayers and encouraging words!
Okay, back to the regular scheduled update...
We started this morning bright and early as we had to be in the lobby by 8am this morning. We made the 3 hour trip to Xavier's orphanage city, Zhoukou. Traveling with Xavier is easier than being in the hotel room. He either watches out the window or sleeps. Esther is about the same. Seems to be that car rides = nap time. For at least a third of this morning's trip, the driver and I were the only ones awake. The afternoon trip was nearly a repeat. Perhaps the plane ride won't be as dreadful as I anticipate. Our 2 hour flight on Saturday should give me a better idea.
The process was really pretty simple. All I had to do was print my name on the application. Once done, shortly after noon, we piled back into the van and followed the representative to Xavier's orphanage. I recognized it as soon as we pulled up to the building. The grounds are secured by a gate. We were let in and led to the "apartment" style space he had lived in with his nanny and about 5 other boys of various ages and special needs, all older than him. I can only imagine them thinking "why not me". I am not even certain how many of the approximately 80 children at the orphanage are even made paper ready for adoption. I know that this orphanage just started allowing adoptions in the past few years.
I got to take some pictures and meet his nanny who was fixing lunch for the kids. Xavier thought he might get to eat too but had to disappoint him. Xavier did explore his old home a bit but came back to me when I called him and took my hand without a fuss. I guess he doesn't think we're all that bad after all.
The orphanage has recently done some remodeling in another building and we were told the nanny and kids would be moved to the newer area. We were taken into this building but just to an area where the babies and younger children are housed. We saw a few sleeping babies, as well as a few toddlers. Unless there was a separate play area, we didn't see much of any toys. There was an old playground out in front of the building.
After we had loaded into the van and began to back out, Xavier's nanny came to the van for one final "goodbye". She had brought her phone to take a final picture of him with his new mama. My heart broke for her. Kailey asked, "mom, are you about to cry?" I told her I was not but I could because my heart broke for his nanny.
We have decided after how well the kiddos did in the care today that we will take the hour and a half drive to Esther's orphanage tomorrow for a visit. Praying we made the right decision. I think it is important to see where she comes from.