Saturday, November 28, 2009

More Adventures!

Hi Everyone,

We have been going non-stop since yesterday morning! Mark, Lydia, and I decided to spend more time at the preschool and it was very busy. The kids were busy cutting potatoes for the Thanksgiving meal being prepared for all the staff and kids at New Day. I could tell that Julia was not as vivacious as the day before. She told the nurse that her throat hurt and sure enough, the nurse said that her tonsils were inflamed. That explained some of her melancholy, but I think the reality of her leaving with us was beginning to set in. She sat quietly during the group picture and didn’t insist that Lydia was beside her like the day before. I said multiple prayers throughout the morning to help her with the upcoming transition.

The day before, Thursday, I had the opportunity to sit in on a training about grief, loss, and healing. All of the foster families were represented and I sat beside Julia’s foster mom. At the end, they were invited to share how they feel when their foster children leave. That is a very difficult task for most Chinese women (to share feelings publicly). One foster mom across the room just broke down into tears about the huge hole she has in heart and how she doesn’t know what to do about it. That set-off a chain reaction and every foster mom in the room started crying including Julia’s mom. All I could do was hold and pat her hand. My family is the cause of her pain, but the trainer gave her very good, practical ways that she can start to heal. I prayed for her and I ask all of you to pray for her and her husband’s healing.

On a lighter note, we were invited to their house for dinner on Friday night. Lydia had played ALL day with the foreigners’ little girls so when we finished a very good meal, she conked out right on the sofa at their house! Julia’s foster father graciously offered to take us back on his electric bike cart. That was so nice because otherwise, Mark would have had to carry her for the ten minute walk.

Everyone we’ve encountered has been so gracious and hospitable. I see God’s light and grace in so many faces here. If only they knew Him……………..

This morning(Saturday) we were able to visit the Great Wall! The weather was cold, but we were blessed with sunshine and it wasn’t crowded. The mountains were so majestic and there was such tranquility standing on those boulders. Our guide was very fun and loved Lydia. They rode down the toboggan together. We were at the part of the Great Wall where they’ve built a stainless steel Schillterban to ride down the mountain. It was like a roller coaster. It took about two hours to get there from New Day, but it was definitely worth it.

We stopped at a restaurant on the way back which is famous for its Peking Duck dish. We aren’t big duck eaters, but we tried it……….and didn’t like it! I had to go to the restroom and in the hallway to go there, I noticed a man spitting. We were indoors for crying out loud! I just told myself, this is China, not the US;move on. I also had to get used to the “squatty potty” system when I made it to the restroom. My germophobia was desperately trying to take over, but I seriously squelched it. I’d drive myself crazy if I let it take over. I had my handy dandy anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitizer to help me with this problem.

As you can tell, we have been very busy. Today is the last day of being a family of three; tomorrow we will be a family of four. I pray that Julia will learn to accept us as her forever family so we can see that wonderful , joyful spirit that we all know and love.

Until tomorrow……………………………………blessings, Michelle, Mark, and Lydia


  1. Hi Michelle and gang!

    Sorry to hear Julia isn't feeling
    well:-(....I'll be praying this bug is short lived and the rest of you don't catch it!

    The loss and grief session you attended must have been so difficult, but yet such a blessing to see and feel just how much these children are loved while they wait for their forever families. The love and care these families give the children is so essential to their emotional health and ability to attach. There simply isn't sufficient thanks to be given for what the foster families and nannies at NDFH do. These families are truly special and forever a part of each child's life story. It must be helpful for them to see YOU and your see and hear your story...your journey to Julia, your plans for her, and just how much you love her already. Keep holding onto the fact that He will provide peace for everyone.

    Sounds like you took the same tour of the Great Wall as we did!! It was spectacular, and like you said definitely worth the drive! I almost didn't take the sled down (I'm chicken with that stuff;-) BUT I'm sure glad that I was so much fun!!! Would LOVE to do it again!!

    Thanks so much for sharing your
    journey:-)! God bless!!


  2. Hi Michelle,

    It does sound like you all have been busy! I hope that Julia feels better quickly. We will be praying that all goes well with your journey to Hohhot and the transition for Julia. God bless. Doris

  3. Michelle, Mark and Lydia~

    Know that you all remain in our thoughts and prayers daily. What an amazing few days you have had. From the Great Wall 'roller coaster' to the emotional ones... some memorable moments, for sure! I think it's neat that you were in that grief counseling meeting, side-by-side with Julia's foster mom. I'm sure she will hold onto those moments to help remind her that Julia is in a good place. We are praying that God sustains each of you during the grieving moments and carries you through to a place of healing and happiness for your future.

    I SO want to go to that same part of the GW after hearing both you and Tami talk about it, and seeing Tami's photos... it looks like it is definitely worth the longer drive!!

    Take care and thanks again for sharing your journey with all of us. We are so blessed to follow along!!