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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

ONE YEAR!!

My how time flies... one year ago today the Lambert family of three met our sweet sweet Wawa. It was not at all the day I had dreamed about for 4 years... I woke up that morning and put on the outfit I had planned on wearing months before we even packed. I seriously asked Lambert if I should wear the pearls or if that might be too much. He thought it was too much. I changed the outfit because it was too hot. I did and redid my hair... the humidity was terrible, much like Houston. We were picked up by our driver and guide around 2:00pm and on our way to the civil affairs office where we along with 5 or 6 other families would meet our children. We packed the camera and the video recorder. I had every trick in my bag as far as snacks and goodies for our sweet girl. I had heard that the first introduction could be difficult so I was armed. I was certain that those mothers that experienced difficulties were just doing something wrong. I had already prepared the music that would accompany our slide show that we would post on youtube later that afternoon. All the families gathered in anticipation to meet their new additions. The excitement and nervousness was thick. I instructed our guide on how to used the video recorder and Lambert's job was to take good pics with the new camera I purchased the day before we left for China (not a good idea if your planning your packing list now). Wawa was the first to come out of the room. She was wearing a red and yellow sweat suit and she was held by a young woman with long dark hair. I approached her slowly and held out my hands. Hoot was by my side. Wawa looked confused and scared. So did Hoot. Lambert was snapping away and Becky our guide was obediently filming this monumental family moment. I realized quickly that this wasn't going to be pretty and that I had better get out the goodie bag. I took her from the young woman's arms and proceeded to try to calm her down. She was screaming in my ear so loud that I couldn't even think straight. Her breath was the worst I had ever smelled. She was soaking wet from sweat and so I was I. I looked around the room unsure of how much time had passed and realized everyone was staring at us. I felt the pressure to get it together. Becky was still filming and I politely asked her to turn the camera off while I fumbled through my bag of tricks.. Hoot was by my side offering her dolls and snacks. He was such a trooper. Becky was still filming when I lost it and ordered her in my loudest obnoxious American voice to turn the damn thing off!!! I could feel all the eyes on me and I just wanted to hide. I also felt Lambert's concern. I knew something was very wrong and I could see in his face that he was not doing so good. The room must have been 100 degrees. I was not at all concerned with what I was wearing anymore. All the other families were counseled by their orphanage representatives but we were there alone with this screaming child. For about 30 minutes we were left alone. Lambert went searching for our guide or someone to assist us. Finally after about 45 minutes our guide returned and Lambert discussed some of our concerns. We were not told about some of Wawa's physical needs. We were completely caught off guard. We sat in the room with this terrified child and our son absolutely sick. Everyone left with their new happy children while we waited and waited for answers. The civil affairs official suggested that we not sign the adoption certificate and take Libbie to an independent western doctor the next day. We agreed and took her back to our hotel. She would have nothing to do with me and clung to Lambert for dear life. In our original paperwork the orphanage staff described Wawa. In their description they defined her as a child that "enjoyed crying". I remember thinking what a cruel description. We learned that day and in the days following that description fit her perfectly!!! She wouldn't stop. There wasn't much we could do to console her once she got started. I felt helpless. I couldn't hold her or even be in the same room with her or she would start and not stop. Lambert was on his own and not doing so well. We spent the next day in Guangzhou with Wawa waiting and waiting for the "most famous western orthopedic doctor" to see us. We waited about 9 hours in a hot crowded hospital waiting room with 10,000 other people. We were finally called to his office. We were surrounded by about 30 other parents in a 10x10 room when we heard his opinion. He suggested that we not adopt Wawa. His expert opinion was that she would never walk unassisted or feed or dress herself. She would need the expert medical care that the orphanage staff could provide for her. He did not think we would be able to meet her physical needs and there would be another baby girl more sutiable for our family. I don't think I have ever felt more alone in my life. I knew at that moment we would be coming home without our daughter. I knew it. I hadn't talked to anyone in my family or friends. I had no words from the moment we met her. I literally could not talk about it. Our small family unit was 6000 miles away from anything familiar facing a critical decision that had to be made. My eyes were almost swollen shut I had cried so much. Hoot was so good. He was on his very best behavior. He was selfless and helpful. He tried to entertain her and assist us any way he could. I questioned why we ever brought him with us. This poor girl demanded so much and the conversations Lambert and I had were not ones wanted to have in front of our 6 year old son. It was hell. We were so very tired and hopeless. We would wait until Hoot would fall asleep and then spend hours talking. Lambert and I made the decision that we would send Wawa back to the orphanage the next morning. I had prayed earlier that evening that if it was God's will for us to bring her home He would have to orchestrate it through Lambert. I could not manipulate him or nag him into a decision. It would have to come from him. So when Lambert said we would take her back I agreed. My heart was broken. At this point I had only held her briefly at the civil affairs office. she wouldn't make eye contact with me and I had to leave the room for her to go to sleep. We called our adoption agency and told them that we would not be coming home with Libbie and to please make arrangements to get us out of China ASAP. I called my family and best friend and made arrangements to be picked up from the airport in 2 days. We prayed some more and looked at scripture together and then we both fell asleep. I remember waking up at some point and lying there in the quiet thinking I just can't believe this is happening to us... I can't see what God is doing. Why did he bring us here to leave without her? Was this not his will for us to begin with? I had so many questions! We still had jet lag so at about 3AM I awoke to Lambert standing over her crib crying. He didn't know I was awake. He was talking to her so sweetly. I tried not to make a sound. He was heartbroken. He finally asked me if I was awake and I said yes. We talked quietly and asked again why this was happening to us... then he said, "why not us?" Why would God bring us around the world for us to return home without her? We both knew it was God's will. She was our daughter no matter what... he told me to hurry up and call the agency back to tell them we were bringing our daughter home with us. We never went back to sleep. It was such a sweet time for us as a couple. Our children were both asleep and we were a family of four. When Wawa woke up that morning she looked at Lambert and her first words were "Baba" which is Daddy... God is so faithful. We saw what he was doing when we trusted him. We both had immediate peace that he would see us through any challenges... and he has. The days that followed were not easy and she still wouldn't have anything to do with me while in China, but we were at such peace with our decision. Looking back over this past year we have seen how mighty God is. Wawa has impacted so many with her fighting spirit. There is nothing she won't do. She has blessed our family beyond measure. In many ways it seems like she just came home, but it also feels like she has always been with us. I am so thankful we didn't listen to our flesh... all the fears and what if's that almost brought us home without her... Fear is not from God. He says Fear Not!! It's impossible to fear not without Him. i thank God everyday for his ever present help in time of need. I'm also so thankful to everyone who prayed for us while we were in China. I've heard people say they could feel the prayers, but we really could! It was amazing. I have never had so many comments on my blog. Everyone was so very supportive and we could feel it. So in honor of our first official family day.... we will have our cake and eat it too! Hoot is baking now! lib DSC_0549 This looks like it could be a smile... it's not. she was just catching her breath so she could start up again... that is snot and tears all over her face.. it might have helped if I would have scooted back out of her space!! she held tight to the only two objects she came to us with. We still have them in her little box. We took it out the other day and she said, "don't cry" she remembered. DSC_0544 Lamberts eyes are closed to keep from gagging over her breath. I don't think she had ever seen a tooth brush... however she has beautiful teeth and fresh breath now! DSC_9819 Lambert said today, it's funny when you find yourself in a dark and scary place how hard it is to see the way out or what good will come... time does indeed fly and once you're through the storm clouds the good that came becomes clear.

16 comments:

  1. Oh Shelly! I am crying my eyes out. They are tears of JOY!!! What a joyful and happy little blessing Libbie is. We ALL love her so much!!!

    You are so special to share your very real and very human story. Satan feeds us lies to make us fear and we foolishly believe them. I could not be happier that you and Lambert saw through that and asked , "why not us?" ANd that Hoot what a special little man he was to be just what you needed at that time.

    This story will touch some people...people who are facing their own fears right now.

    Happy 1 year. We love you all.

    Kim

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  2. Just beautiful, I so remember following your blog and praying for you all. Thank you for this post as it prepares me for getting ready to meet our Janie on the 12th. We don't have all the medical info we need but we do know she is our daughter. Thank you for reminding me that God tell us not to fear! So happy for you all and precious Libbie.

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  3. I too am a big sappy mess Shelly!
    In the face of the unknown, Toby and I asked ourselves the same thing, "why not us?"...and the Lord has blessed beyond our wildest dreams. Libbie is such a doll, and the I KNOW you feel blessed beyond measure! Happy Happy 1 year with your sweet Wawa!!! xoxo

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  4. Mercy sakes alive...I've been squalling, not just plain simple crying, but a big crying mess, while reading this whole post, and my baby girl, adopted this time last year is patting me on my back and telling me not to cry...LOL

    Awesome post...this should be re-posted over on NO Hands But Ours.

    You're adoption testimony needs to be shared with many...blessings to y'all!!! AND look what a year of sweet family love has done for your precious little girl!!!

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  5. I think you could email stefanie at Ni hao y'all and show her this post. It would be a good message to many adopting. She has been revamping the No hands but ours site this week.

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  6. Oh my! I can't believe it's already been a year! She has come so far! Love and hugs!

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  7. Wow that is quite a story. A real and beautiful one.Happy family day!

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  8. Martha sent me this way, and she was right. This is a fantastic, heartfelt post... I think it would be such an encouragement to many!
    Congratulations on one year, and even more, congratulations on remaining faithful to God and His plan! Amazing to see all the blessings that God had for you in this little one!

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  9. I wasn't planning on reading the entire post, but couldn't stop. How wonderful you prayed your way through it and in the end you got the beautiful girl you really wanted. God is good!!

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  10. Oh my goodness, I am sitting at work, tears streaming down my face. Thank you for your honesty and candor - God has certainly blessed your family with this beautiful baby girl! Happy one year.

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  11. Shelly just sitting here reading your post having a good ole cry. You, Lambert and Hoot are all such a blessing from God. I am so glad you listened to God and your hearts instead of your flesh. Libbie is just precious and I can't imagine her life without all of you. It's amazing just one year later and the light that shines in her eyes compared to the fear in the first pictures. Thank God for you & Lambert. Love yall, Kelli

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  12. Shelly this post has touched me in so many ways. It's good to hear all the positive, but it is ALSO very good to hear the "other side" of adoption. You put a realness to the world of international adoption. I agree, this is WORTHY of sharing for newly adopting families. Very well written, with raw emotion and truly a GOD led journey. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us. Happy 1st Anniversary Libbie!!

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  13. Thank you for sharing your story with us and being so transparent. It is all about our God and HIS story!! Thank you for allowing Him to use you as His instrument to help others going through this difficult time.

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  14. I stumbled upon your blog and I'm so glad I did. My son also has arthrogryposis. He is out biological son. We also go to Shriners. He is 6 years old. He is a complete joy to raise. His feet were extremely clubbed at birth. His arms are internally rotated and his wrists look like L's. It is wonderful you rose to the call to adopt this precious daughter of God. I can't imagine my life without my son. Many blessings to you.

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  15. I haven't been to your blog in a while - but just had a minute to sit down and thought I would catch up. I was so touched by this post. I am so glad to have met you and your beautiful family in China. It's so great to see how you lived out your faithfullness and how blessed you are not looking back on those early days in Guangzhou. It was all worth it. I loved the part where Lambert said "Why not us?" I've felt that same way so many times.

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