in Zhengzhou

Last night, Bobby's fever climbed pretty high, and he was sweating like crazy. We had to come back to the hotel early, because he just couldn't function. If you know him, you know how unusual it is for him to get this sick. I was pretty concerned, because I had no idea what we were going to do if he didn't get better quickly. Even if he could have stood upright, the airports here have temperature scanners. And I didn't know what would happen if we missed the flight.

The kids and I had to pack while he slept. Our group was to leave the hotel at 7:00 AM for the airport, so there wasn't much time.

After packing, the kids and I walked to Pizza Hut in downtown Beijing to find some dinner. Beijing feels safer than most large American cities, and it was only a few blocks away. But it was still a bit unnerving after dark. I was super thankful that JD looks older than thirteen.

I was thanking the Lord late last night when Bobby started to feel better. Thanks to everyone who prayed.) It was almost like the fever and sweat reached a pinaccle and killed whatever it was. Or maybe God just took care of it. I don't know, but I could have cried with relief.

I think I'm hitting a culture shock wall of some sort today. I'm embarassed to admit this, but I'm going to record it anyway, because it might be helpful to someone else who adopts after us.

I love so many things about China. The people are wonderful. The culture is fascinating. It's charming in a thousand ways. This is a trip of a lifetime!

HOWEVER, adoptive moms, know ahead of time that there's also something deeply exhausting about everything being so incredibly different. It's weird how things that wouldn't bother you otherwise can take on a monumental importance in this sort of situation.

For example, I didn't eat much last night, because I just felt queasy. Same thing this morning. I was drinking lots of water, but food just didn't sound good. (Our Beijing hotel room really did smell HORRID. I mean it was like burned yams, + fish, + chemical factory. Total appetite killer.) By the time our plane landed this afternoon it was past lunch, and it was 3:00 before we had a chance to grab a meal. So, we decided to try the hotel restaurant.

I can't tell you how good a hamburger sounds right now. I mean a REAL hamburger. Some of you know that I'm typically an Asian food junkie, and I rarely eat burgers at home. But I seriously feel like I'm going to puke if I smell one more plate of noodles or dumplings. It's unbelievable, and I keep trying to talk myself out of feeling that way. But it's still there.

When my burger arrived, I cut into the middle to check it. Even though I had clearly told them I wanted it well done, it was still pink in the middle. And it looked shaved instead of ground. I wouldn't eat pink, weird ground meat in the US, let alone in China. So, I had to send it back. But by that time, I was just feeling sick. I wanted to tell the beautiful, patient, doting waitress, "I just want a regular hamburger! I didn't order a weird one!"

Oh, I feel like such a weenie admitting this, because you wouldn't think something so simple would matter. Here I am, living in nice hotels in a country where people are literally hungry. And I'm weirded out by a burger? Where is my pioneering spirit that can survive on beans and rice for days on end? And when did I turn into a food diva? But I just feel super tired of new textures, new smells, new tastes, and having to relearn everything about the world all over again. It's just HARD!

I've been thinking about this for a few hours, trying to understand what's happening inside me. I think maybe it's because your normal food provides more than just strength. It gives you a sense of comfort. You know when you go to eat a certain food that it will make you feel better and stronger instead of weak and sick. And when you eat common food, you connect to past memories of fullness and security.

All of this is super helpful for me to experience before Moses gets here tomorrow. Even if we are offering Moses good things, he will be experiencing such a drastic change from everything he has ever known. I might be excited about Cheerios and animal crackers, but he might be missing something comforting to him that I have never even seen, and that he never will again. And when we return to America, almost everything will be new. I need to be gentle with him, and give him time. This is hard. It's hard to have everything you know changed. And he will have more changes, for longer, than I am experiencing now.

SO, some notes to self.

-Remember that it's hard when all the language around you is foreign. It can be painful and exhausting even to flip through the TV and not recognize anything. Be sensitive to the weariness of a world you don't understand.

-Remember how it feels to have environmental changes. Remember how it feels to constantly look into grey sky, and feel like you've landed on another planet. Be sensitive to a world that feels totally new.

-Remember how it feels to try to tell someone that you need something, but not be understood no matter how clearly you try to speak. Be sensitive to not being able to communicate.

-Remember how it feels to look different from everyone else, and have people stare. Remember how tiring it gets to sometimes smile back and take the initiative to say, "Hi!" Be sensitive to being noticed constantly.

-Remember how good it feels to have someone take time to assure you everything will be OK. Take extra time for this.

-Remember how scary it is to not know if you can eat or drink certain foods. When he finds something he likes, let him see that he has access to it when he needs it.

(Also, a note for future adoptive moms. When you pack for travel, make room in your suitcase for some normal food. I ripped open a tuna packet I'd brought from home a few minutes ago, and it was amazing.)

"Gotcha day" is tomorrow afternoon. We are so excited about meeting Moses. I'm praying we don't get what Bobby had, because we have a ton of paperwork to fill out while meeting him. Unfortunately, the Jiaozou families have to travel a long way (1.5 hours both ways, I think) the day after tomorrow to finish registration in his city. I'm frustrated at the thought of having to put an exhausted, brand new child in another vehicle to drive back there to sign a few papers. But there is no way around it. Please pray that we will all be restored enough to make the trip.

Better run. We are running to Wal-Mart in a few hours to pick up water and etc. This should be an experience.

Thanks so much for praying!

Anonymous –   – (July 18, 2010 at 6:07 AM)  

Rebecca... thanks so much for continuing to post. Your notes and observations are fascinating. We are praying for you constantly. I can't wait for each new entry. Bless you all.

Anonymous –   – (July 18, 2010 at 9:30 AM)  

I really know part of this is who you are, Rebecca, that you are a people-thinker, and you strive to think of others. It still amazes me, this deeply perceptive nature you have sometimes!! How awesome that you're seeing this hardship- Bobby being sick & your exhaustion of unknown food- to really consider what life will be like for Moses when he gets home...your notes to self are GREAT!
I'm so so so excited and I'm checking the blog like crazy and praying for you guys and for Moses. I can't wait for your eyes to see your son, your hands to get to touch him-finally! I'm bursting to read the gotcha post and hope all is going well in process with that even as I write this!!! Prayers!!
Rachel Ritter

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About This Blog

Welcome to our family’s adoption journey. As you read, you will see us stumble and take wrong paths. You will see our hopes surge and fall. You will see the gaps in our humanity, and how our God realigns us to His purposes over and again. We think the messiness of this process is important. Sometimes walking with God isn’t a neat, linear package that can be summarized in bullet points. More often, life ebbs and flows around our plans, while God works His sovereign wonders from it all. We are learning so much through this journey. And we are super excited about our new son. If you’d like to join us, we’d love to have you along for the ride.

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