We have now had two full days with Eden and we are working on finishing day three. Tomorrow afternoon we will fly to Guangzhou, something I think all the families in our travel group are looking forward to. Though it has been great to take in Eden's province, I think the change of scenery almost symbolizes a new beginning for us and Eden- it seemed that way for Emmie as well on the last trip. And it doesn't hurt the hotel in Guangzhou has a pool, there is a nice zoo and park in Guangzhou, and it's a much more international city :)
The beginning of Eden's first full day with us (which was Tuesday) started off pretty tough. Though she did sleep all night, she awoke crying and screaming and continued to do so off and on for a couple hours. I let Zack go on to breakfast and I stayed in the room with Eden, as we didn't think it would be feasible to take her crying and screaming to the hotel restaurant. You could tell she was just still so sad, and nothing we did would console her. I just prayed constantly and I knew this could be a tough next few days. However, I also knew there are so many people praying at home, and that was, and is, such an encouragement to us, and we know it has helped all of us in amazing ways.
When Zack returned from breakfast, Eden had calmed down a bit, and we decided to just all go to breakfast and see how it might go. Eden had not had anything more than a fruit snack and a few sips of water for over 12 hours, so we were really praying she would want to eat something.
We got on the elevator and off on the hotel restaurant floor with no tears....miracle #1! We went in and I held her and pointed at things to see what she might like to eat. Then we sat down and she took a few bites of food from us....miracle #2! Zack and I were both praising God for this progress! We never dreamed this would happen after the morning we had.
After breakfast we had to get in the van and travel to the same building in which we had just met Eden the day before. I was extremely nervous that this place would trigger some very bad memories for Eden. As we rode the elevator up and walked in the room, I couldn't believe my eyes...one of the ladies from Eden's orphanage was there!! I just knew this would trigger another grief reaction and I so worried that all the progress we had made thus far would be undone. Amazingly, Eden walked up to her, she spoke something to Eden, and that was it. Eden walked back to me! Major miracle #3!!! Zack and I were both so encouraged by her non-reaction to seeing this familiar lady.
The rest of the afternoon we just kind of hung out with her. Eden did well, and had a little rough time at bedtime that night, and also awoke a few times through the night, but was fairly consolable every time. All of this is to be expected, and overall, we were just amazed with the progress she made on her first full day with us. Thanks be to God and thanks for all those prayers!
Wednesday Eden awoke with no tears...miracle #4! We had a fun time interacting and playing in our room before breakfast. One thing you learn as an adoptive parent is that one of the best ways to bond is through play, so we have played as much as we can. Eden seems to be curious about many things, so one toy doesn't keep her interest too long :) She again ate a good breakfast and did well most of the morning.
We made a very cool visit to the Buddhist Monastery in Guiyang after breakfast. As cool as it was to see the architecture, the culture, etc., it also brought a deep sadness to my heart to realize that such a great spiritual darkness exists among the people of China. We saw many people bringing offerings to place before the giant gold Buddha statue, and others praying and lighting incense to the idols. I pray that their hearts will
Be awakened to the one true sacrifice made for them, and I am so thankful that Eden will have the chance to hear about that great love.
Our trip to the Monastery was followed by lunch at a very popular noodle restaurant. I didn't add all the options presented (raw fish, raw egg, weird mushrooms) to my noodle soup, but it looked interesting :) I just stuck with the broth, noodles, and some lettuce.
After lunch Eden had a difficult afternoon- I think most of it was due to exhaustion, but she began rejecting me and only allowing Zack to soothe her and help her. That's tough when that happens, but it isn't uncommon. I had s few tears in the bathroom and then reminded myself of all that she must be going through. I am truly just thankful that she is allowing either of us to help her. Bedtime was also pretty rough, but she allowed Zack to comfort her and she did sleep all night long....and no tears this morning!
Each day we see progress, more smiles, more eye contact, and more bonding is happening. It's an amazing thing to see happen and a beautiful picture of how love can change hearts- Eden's and ours! It's like a marathon in a way- it takes a lot of endurance, but there is an end in sight in terms of the intensity of the grief, and the end is worth the struggle :) It is sooo worth it.
Of course we have a long way to go, especially once we are home in America, but we are thankful for each little victory along the way.
Time to put Eden to bed, so that's all for now. I will update on our last two days in Guiyang tomorrow. Goodnight from China!
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