One Month Home || China Adoption Part 1
Wow! One month in. I really can't believe that it has been one month since we have had our little guy in our family and in our lives. One month ago today we physically welcomed Tristan into our family, even though we had really done that 7 months prior when we virtually met him. But one thing is for certain, it really does feel like he has always been a part of our family.
Our trip to China was incredible. The people of China are very hospitable and kind and really showed love towards why we were there and what we were doing. Being able to travel and experience this journey with the other families in our group adopting in November from Bethany Christian Services was also truly a blessing as well. The way that our agency organizes and sets up in-country travel is truly phenomenal. And not just travel. They held our hand through the ENTIRE process! We literally just had to walk off the plane and they had our entire in-country journey planned and prepared so we could truly focus on the reason we were there, to grow our family.
One of the other unique aspects of our agency is how they plan the in-country trip. They really place a great value on spending a few days adjusting to the timezone and also experiencing the culture our children are coming from. It also gave us the incredible experience of bonding with the other families traveling that month with our agency as well. I will truly cherish the time we spent traveling throughout the country our son is from and experiencing the culture. To be able to tell Tristan more about his background will be such a treasure and I hope to take him back to Shanghai where his beginning started.
On the first full day of touring in Beijing, we had the opportunity to visit the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Walking throughout the small section of the massiveness of the Forbidden City was truly surreal. There really isn't a good way to explain the sheer size of this historical site. It was truly an experience.
We also had the fun opportunity to ride rickshaws to old Beijing to see a traditional style home that are no longer built along with have a local family make an incredible meal for us. The rickshaw ride was quite the experience too! LOL Driving laws are more of a "suggestion" in China and people do not have the right-of-way, cars do. It's kind of a, if there's an inch, then there's room to move and pass. Brooklynn kept saying over and over, "I think I need a helmet!" LOL
On the second full day in Beijing we visited a Cloisonne Factory. Cloisonne vases date back hundreds of years. Each vase is made by hand using copper threading to create intricate designs, then painted by hand and fired. The process is painstakingly detailed and absolutely beautiful.
After the factory we headed out of the city to experience a small section of the Great Wall. Just the small loop that we hiked was surreal. It is SO ancient and detailed and steep... It is mind boggling that it was built without modern technology and is SO long!
We started out all bundled up as we began literally climbing up the wall and quickly shed layers as we made it to the top of just a small section of the wall. By the end we were all ready for full body massages and muscle relaxers. Haha! Our legs were literally twitching and crying for help after the climb! But every step was SO worth the incredible experience! Brooklynn ROCKED the wall!
I really loved the two days we spent touring, learning, and experiencing the culture and country our son is from. And I really hope we have the opportunity to take him back one day to see these sights for himself. But after two days, I was ready to head to Shanghai and do what we went to do, bring home our son.
The day we became a family of four was a whirlwind. We drove to a business building and were taken into a conference room where we took care of some paperwork prior to out little ones arriving. Out of the 6 families traveling with our agency in November, two other families had children from the same province as ours. So we all had the wonderful opportunity of meeting our children together. It was awesome!
My emotions were all over the place. If you have ever ran track, it is like standing at the block, ready and waiting for the gun to pop. And when it does, you run full steam ahead. And that is what we have been doing since November 13th!
I get the question, "how are you doing?" a lot with a sympathetic look quite often. I get it. The idea of adoption can be extremely overwhelming. If you had told me 3 years ago, or even 2 years ago for that matter, that we would be adopting a 2 year old, I probably would have hyperventilated THEN. But not now. I knew what we were preparing ourselves for from the beginning. And not to mention GOD KNEW what HE was preparing US for. From the very beginning of this journey the statement that has been said over and over and over again was "GOD'S GOT THIS." And He did and STILL DOES.
We have been home for almost three weeks and Tristan has been a part of our family for four weeks. It has been such a remarkable journey so far and I know will continue to be. God's not done yet. He is just starting! And THAT excites me!
Regarding Tristan's transition, he has been doing AMAZINGLY! He has shown very little grief moments. Our first week and a half home was probably our toughest during the night. But from day one he has been full giggles, personality, and lets us love on him in such a wonderful way. He is fiercely bonded to me and loves his "Dadda" and sister a lot! Even today during lunch he was rubbing Brooklynn's arm and leaning in for hugs. He was definitely loved on in the orphanage big time, which shows with how well he is doing. And for that, I will be forever grateful.
The thing I am amazed about the most is how God has so divinely orchestrated every moment and every step. Even when I thought there were "hiccups," they were on purpose. And it isn't just our adoption journey that I see this in, but both Jerry and I saw and recognized it with every family we were traveling with. Even the others were were traveling with said the same thing.
We are still learning our new "normal" and routine at home with a very active toddler! He is SO our son and SO a part of our family it is miraculous. I could keep writing and writing, but lets be honest, mommy is pooped and ready for a nap. LOL
I can't wait to share more about our time in China as well as our journey with our son's diet with his metabolic disorder, PKU. God is SO good and continues to amazes us even while we are home! More to come!