Wednesday, March 21, 2012


The way I was brought up, if you didn't have anything nice to say, you didn't say anything at all. However, I was also brought up to tell the truth. So, I'm in a bit of a pickle. The truth wins, but I will try to do it tactfully.

Everyone says they miss China once they're gone. I hope I can say the same one day. I don't know that it will be anytime soon. I miss smoke-free environments. I miss making eye contact with people & sharing a smile. I miss personal boundaries. I miss common courtesy. I miss being yielded to as a pedestrian, for goodness sake.

There. I said it. An adoption journey is hard enough, but quite frankly, this environment is not making it any easier. Today was a hard day. Lil Miss was fussy. Who can blame her? It was good to be out of the hotel room for awhile, but it turned out to be too long. By the time we went to lunch, Kemeri was just too tired. As we waited for the food, she started really getting upset. The lady at the next table decided it was her place to tell our guide that the baby was fussy b/c her hat was too tight. That was the straw that broke my back. I knew before we came here that in this culture, it is expected that the children are dressed VERY warm & covered everywhere. In an effort to be respectful of that, I packed accordingly, & when we went out today, I had Kemeri dressed warm from head to toe. But it still wasn't good enough. I know it probably shouldn't have bothered me b/c everyone seems to have at least one chastising about how their child is dressed while here, but I was ready to snap. The child was tired, hungry, her world has been turned upside down, & she's 2. Her darn hat was not too tight.

By the time we got back, she was sound asleep & took a nice, long, much-needed nap. When she woke up, she was much more herself. During that time, I had a meltdown did a lot of praying. I'm struggling with a lot of guilty feelings. I am typically a friendly, outgoing, gracious person. I don't much feel like myself. But then I had to regroup & remember, this isn't about me. And in the midst of all this external stuff that doesn't seem so good, in our little hotel room, there's a lot of good happening.

My son has turned into a young man. He has become very bold in the different circumstances we find ourselves in, yet he is so sweet & patient with Kemeri. Kemeri is a smart, ornery, fiery little girl. I learned today what she says to me many times a day: "Bao" while holding her hands up, which means "hug". She still spends lots of time in a perpetual "hug" on my lap, which is fine by me. She likes to grab my face in her hands & give kisses. When we (yes, "we"...I do not get any privacy) go to the potty, she immediately starts asking for Gege, which is "brother".

This gentleman is one of the few smiling, friendly faces we encounter each day.
I continue to be amazed at how Kemeri has adapted to her little hand. She was curious about me writing something, so I gave her the pencil to try. I held the pad of paper, but after a minute, she took it from me & figured out how to hold it herself & write, too.

Since I was in a "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" mode after nap, we ventured out on our own outside the hotel.

We ran into another AP while out, & he offered to take a picture. I don't believe this was a chance meeting, either. As we talked about the craziness we've both been experiencing, he gave me a nice pep talk. He reminded me that I'm strong & that I can do this. Right after that, I read an email from my husband who said the same thing. I needed that.

We ended up feeling adventurous & went into a nearby restaurant to see if we might find something to take back to the room for dinner. What a breath of fresh air! They did not speak but 2 words of English, but they were smiling & seemed genuinely pleased to see us! They brought me a menu with pictures, & then through a round of charades they understood that I wanted it to go. Kade said he wished we could just stay there. It was so nice to feel welcome.

The night ended extra special when out of nowhere, Lil Miss did this:

We're gonna be okay.


emariestar said...

Oh, friend...I appreciate your honesty and feel your pain. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!!! Praying!!!

Jami Lynn said...

Oh Sweet Dardi~ I couldn't help but chuckle as I read this post...and not the kind of chuckle that negates what you are going through, BUT I chuckled because I could have written this EXACT post 4 months ago while in China! And now I MISS China! I really do. But, while I was there and with the stress of not having my hubby and a the responsibility of a new child, and the unfamiliar language, faces, smells...and the truly AWFUL traffic...I couldn't wait to hightail it outta there for the good ol' USA!! I remember getting off the plane back here in the States and swearing I would NEVER go back there! Haha...and now...well...I'm sorta missing it...I think it's like swear you will NEVER DO THAT AGAIN...but then the bad memories fade and you have this beautiful new treasure...and get the point. You are doing an amazing job! Keep it up!!! I will be praying for you!!!

Marie said...

I've been following your blog for awhile and agree you are very strong!
I totally understand how you feel and clearly remember our first trip to China. It was awful! There were several times that if looks could kill...well, you know what I mean.I vowed I would NEVER go back. But we did...a year and a half later. Our second experience was much better and I'd be ready to go back least if it meant adding to our family!
I've heard it said that when you adopt a child you also adopt their country and believe it or not it is true...or will be someday. Praying for you...for sanity, patience and that the days will pass quickly!

connie said...

oh, Dardi, I'm so sorry! it's truly overwhelming. Remember, dear friend, China doesn't last forever :) this is transition. transition is good! especially the transition and transformation Jesus makes in our hearts! you CAN do this, sweet friend, because you know where your strength comes from and because you are a rockin' mama!!!!

Lori @ Five of My Own said...

Dardi hang in there Changsha is a tough place. I stayed in your hotel last June and it was ahem, not my favorite. I remember crying and melting down talking to my husband in one of those smokey rooms-and I wasn't even adopting!

Guangzhou is MUCH BETTER.