Monday, September 14, 2009

Our Own Ray of Sunshine

We woke up at about 8AM and had breakfast. The buffet at this hotel is comparable to any American hotel and was continental style. We met our guide, Kelly, along with several other families at the Bank of China to exchange our American money to Chinese dollars. I was impressed at how professional, efficient, and courteous the people were at the bank. We got four stacks of cash and as I left I thought, now is the time that I would get jacked but everything went smooth.

We started briefly looking for a nice shirt I could wear since Margo had me only bring t-shirts. Let me tell you something - there must be no XXL translation to Chinese. We went in several stores including a Polo store and the XXL was like a small, talk about trying to fit twenty pound of bologna into a ten pound bag. It was ridiculous. I did eventually find a traditional Chinese embroidered shirt at a local store. I think they were using it as a pool cover but it fit.

We then drove to the government building to get our children. It was quite an experience. I guess I assumed they brought the children to the families in a private room, introduced us, so that there was not a lot going on. Not so. The children are brought in the same entrance as the parents and are quickly escorted into a room with a red curtain. While we were in this room they brought all the kids from the elevator to the room. I heard a child shrilling and yelling the same phrase in Chinese over and over again. Yes, it was our little girl. She put the 2 and 3 year olds to shame. Momma started crying and said I can't look as they brought her into the room.

We were like the second family called out of thirty and when they brought her out she was gorgeous. She still kept screaming the same phrase and Margo could not understand what she was saying. We brought her to the corner of the room and tried to calm her. She was toting a pink Mickey Mouse backpack. She had a death grip on the backpack and continued screaming the same phrase. Meanwhile, out of the corner of my eye I could see a young Chinese American boy just watching us intently. His parents just got an infant and he was not interested in his new sibling but we peaked his interest. He walked over in the midst of the bone chilling cries and very matter of factly, "she is saying she want to go back to the orphanage." Well no sh!#, Sherlock. I had about two seconds of Chinese and I figured that out. I am sure he was trying to be helpful.

After about an hour of the shrilling, then twenty minutes of the bone chilling crying, we were at the stage where she thanked us very much for flying the 14 hours, kissed us good-bye, and attempted to calmly walk off. Well, that didn't happen, so we were back to the shrilling. Thankfully, our guide sat with us and helped bridge the gap in communication and the lord shined his light on us because she spoke Mandarin and not Cantonese. Margo started spouting off words and she began to respond. We left the government building and started our ride back to the hotel. When we got to the hotel room we had meltdown number two which made Chernobyl look like a minor backyard chemical spill. Margo was right there the whole way comforting her and consoling her. Margo gave her all the clothes we brought for her and the digital camera that was given to us at her shower, thanks Lily. She is very smart and believe it or not whatever government official matched with Margo was spot on because she is also OCD. Yes, I can already picture her and her mommy cutting our CVS coupons and arguing with the clerk, one in English the other in Chinesem that you can use the coupon after the expiration date.

Whenever Margo would move something around the room, Rebecca would move it back to its original location. She sat down and began to color and the only thing I could do was watch and be thankful Margo sacrificed so much time this last year learning the language and it finally paid off. We went to dinner and allowed her to order for us and all ate well. She still had this sad face with her lower lip hitting the ground but she was as cute as she could be. She loves Coke. We let her have a little.

We went back to the room, Margo went in the bathroom as she showered, brushed her teeth, and her hair. Everything has its place as she finished with her toothbrush and toothpaste. She layed down and fell asleep at eight-thirty. It is now three-thirty in the morning and she is sleeping soundly in her own bed ever with the thundering and lightning in the background. The wind has also picked up and it is suppose to storm through the night. It's okay though because at the end of every storm there is a rainbow followed by a ray of sunshine. That is what our Rebecca is to us, our own ray of sunshine.


  1. A rough day, but it's good she's expressing herself. Especially good for those of us who can sit smugly at home and tell you how good it is!

    Seriously, our daughter had two major fits in China..screamed her way through the hotel lobby while my husband carted her toward the elevator. She's seven, and we'd hoped age would preclude fit throwing, but when two weird people are taking you away from everything you know, it's hard to control yourself.

    Things will be better now that the storm is over.

  2. Victoria says she will try to learn a little Mandarin by the time she meets Xiu. Congratulations on the start of the biggest new chapter for the both of you! Keep up the fantastic posts and photos! Sending lots of love, Auntie Victoria :)

  3. I am so glad you have Rebecca with you finally! You've made it through one of the most wonderful and yes, heartwrenching parts and every minute will get you farther and deeper into your relationship as a new family. Good job Mom and Dad! Rebecca obviously has great spirit and I can't wait to hear more as time goes on.

    Thank you for sharing. You are helping us so much just in sharing Rebecca's story.

    Shelley & dh Steve

  4. Wonderful Post Mike! These posts will be a wonderful memory to share as years go by! Thank you for sharing the moments and event with us! We all eagerly await every post and moment!


  5. we are enjoying this saga like we are with you, I am sorry about your first meeting with Rebbeca
    You guys remember we talked about this and you sort of expected it. You have her now and she will love and trust you, it will take little time.
    Please keep in touch with all of us. Donna,Jim

  6. Great post, Mike. I laughed and cried -- mostly over your shirt. You'll both weather this and many more storms to come as parents. Luckily, children are amazingly resilient and forgiving!


  7. Those poor, poor CVS clerks. It isn't going to be a fair fight...

  8. Mike you have a way with words, I am so glad that things are working in your favor. I can only imagine how Rebecca felt when she was led to Godzilla and his bride, but you know what I couldnt think of two better people for this to happen to. We are wishing you a safe return and we miss yall. Keep us posted. Britt

  9. Margo and Mike,
    I so enjoy reading your posts. It's one thing to actually read and hear about a child's meltdown on adoption day, quite another experience to witness it. I promise it will get better and that child will be smiling and playing with you soon. I saw it happen with two of our families and it was a miracle.
    Here at home little Ysabella is having serious sleep issues in her crib so here it is the middle of the night and I'm online. Will this ever end? I believe so...just not in my time!
    We cannot wait to meet your beautiful little girl when you are ready.
    Take care of yourselves while you're there!
    Jenny and Rob

  10. Hang in there, Mike and Margo!! The first few days will be rough, but worth it in the end. My youngest still cries in a new environment. Just have patience, try to think on her level (even is intimidating to be so small) and know that very soon you will be a family. She is beautiful and I commend you for giving her opportunities she would never have had. We can't wait to meet her!! Tonya at CGTC.

  11. I am sure it will all work out. Take care and have a safe trip.

  12. What a saga! (A commenter already used that word appropriately.) I've never read a novel as gripping as this. (The movie will be great, too.) Your love is really shining through all the heartwrenching difficulty and stress. The beautiful love of the parents guarantees a beautiful story. Persevere Mike and Margo! God will lift you up and give you strength beyond your own ability.-gm

  13. You guys are the best! Your patience and love are the best gift you will ever give Rebecca. Her smiles will be the best gift she gives you.
    Saying you are happy for someone just doesn't even begin to cover this situation. But I am. Happy for all three of you.
    And yes Margo you are perfect for this. Both of you are.

    I must say though, I am with Ben on the poor CVS clerks. ;)

  14. Mike and Margo,
    I am so happy for y'all!! Mike I think you missed your calling..ever thought about being a writer!! You are excellent. I felt exactly what y'all were feeling. I know Rebecca will settle in, but I never knew Margo had so much patience! I'm impressed with her already. Y'all are both going to be GREAT PARENTS and Rebecca is lucky to have you! But I'm sure you feel the other way around.. Be happy and have a safe trip back home!! Can't wait to meet your daughter!!
    Love you both,

  15. Mike, I have to say the way you write, I feel I was there experiencing it with you!!
    Hang in there!! I am so excited for you all! And even though she doesn't know it yet, but she soon will, Rebecca is so lucky to you two for parents!!