Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday evening thoughts...

Hi Everyone!

Did you think I fell off the planet? Sorry. I've been thinking of and missing you all and wanting to fill you in on everything with pictures, but we found out the reason our internet isn't working is because Eric's old laptop isn't compatible with China's internet system. (Tonight -Wednesday evening - we are borrowing the Woods' laptop - yay!) The other reason I haven't posted is due to sheer exhaustion. It's just been absolutely wild around here with a busy 18 month old. No one is sleeping much and Noelle has a head and chest cold and passed it on to me. Eric's trying to fight off the bug. Please pray for us all to get healthy. We just need to have strength and energy for the last week of our trip.

Not to be all down and gloomy on ya', let's fill you in on the really great stuff going on. Eric told you how Noelle screamed for quite some time on Gotcha Day, but the afternoon improved immensly. After 2 hours of slowly coaxing her out of her coat/snow pants, shoes and pajamas (all very poop stained...eeeewww), giving her that first diaper change, she was a new girl. She started to giggle and play and let both of us hold her. That night was long, as I couldn't sleep for repeatedly checking to see if she was breathing, and wiping her stuffy nose.

Tuesday morning, even though we were all wiped out, Noelle was such a sweet cuddly girl in bed. She was quite endearing. We started getting ready for our morning trip back to the local CCAA office for Noelle's official adoption day. It only took us 2 1/2 hours to get this new family of 3 down to the lobby!

It was a little worrisome for Noelle to return to the same room where she left every person she had ever known. That started a full day of mommy-only can hold me, feed me, touch me and look at me. Eric was persona non gratus. Except during diaper changes. She LOVES diaper changes. She gets incredibly silly and likes having her naked butt waving in the air. What a goof!

Back to the adoption proceedings... This consisted of all the babies dipping one foot in red ink and stamping it on the adoption decree. We signed several documents, met with a notary, and had an interview with a CCAA rep who asked us questions about our family and whether we loved our new daughter and would we promise to always love and care for her (THAT was a no brainer). Our love for Noelle grew in our hearts many months ago. She was a dream and a gift placed within our hearts by our loving Heavenly Father. Our love is also a choice; in some ways very much like a marriage. We don't always feel loving towards our spouse, but we choose to care for the person God has entrusted into our life. That is a little like adoption. In our case, we were handed a screaming unhappy stranger. We didn't quite know how to feel. It was a bizarre emotional experience. Who was this little person in our arms? Who was she really? I could hardly wrap my mind around the strangeness of it all.

Now even though yesterday was rough with Noelle being scared of daddy and clinging to mommy, things started to take a turn for the better when we decided to grab the strollers and go to McDonald's for dinner with the Denzel and Woods' families. This was a 30 minute trek through the heart of Hefei. This was the real China. And boy did we get some looks! Mostly inquisitive, but some very enthusiastic greetings from the locals. We had to cross some busy rush hour streets. (Now that is a whole other story in itself. Traffic is insane. Traffic signs and lights are merely a suggestion. Honking one's horn and powering through your own created path seems to be the preferred method of driving. We just stuck really close together and followed the locals.) But McD's was a big hit with the kiddos and the jaunt back was better as we took a new route. The babies had mixed reactions to the strollers, but Noelle really loved it. She was so chillin'.

Back at the hotel, we decided it was time to attempt the first bath. We stripped her down and carried her into the waiting bath wrapped in a warm blanket. While she was surveying the scene, she promptly soaked the blanket and bath mat with "tinkle" (that's what we call "pee" in the Johnson household). Now we really needed that bath! Gratefully Noelle loved the tub. She acted as if she has maybe had a bath before. I almost drowned her once (babies are really slippery when wet!), but she just giggled. Whew!

Eric came in to investigate at the end of the bath and to hand us our pj's. This was all well and good, except Noelle started screaming again. She was still not wanting her daddy around. This was rough and a bit discouraging for my hubby. He totally understood, but ached to cuddle his little girl. But praise Jesus, we hit a turning point. While Noelle was sitting in the bed playing and Eric was sitting gingerly on the corner of the bed, he discovered that putting cups on your head and letting them fall off is very good humor to an 18 month old. After several tries, Noelle was helping Daddy. Then came the giggles, big giggles. She discovered how great her daddy was. In fact, the two of them had so much fun together, they played way past bedtime. It was difficult to get Noelle to go to sleep because she just wanted to play with her daddy. I was so grateful, I just cried out my thanksgiving to our Lord for this precious gift.

Well, I'm sorry to say I have to return this computer back to our friends. They have a Skype appointment with family and have bloggin of their own to do. Today had some more Noelle breakthroughs that I'm anxious to share with you, but will try to find some time tomorrow (?) to finish. Please know how much we love you, and thank you for the emails. Tonight was the first opportunity to check them ( - I haven't looked at the other email account).

Blessings to you all!

Love from,
Jennifer, Eric and Noelle


Anonymous said...

She's beautiful! Precious!! Thanks for the pictures. Take your cold medicine and drink a lot of water! Love your blog!!
love, sharon and lauren

Anonymous said...

Jen, Eric and Noelle,
Hi. It is so good to see your faces again. And for Noelle to be smiling at her daddy. I was laughing when you said Noelle "tinkled"; when Morgan was a baby, she "pottied" in my hand. Brought back memories. Thanks for posting again. We love you guys,
and your kitty babies are doing fine.
Dawn, Brian and Morgan

Mayberrys said...

Hi guys! Those pictures are great. Noelle is so cute and she really looks happier in this new set of pics. I remember our conversation about it being a good sign for her to show emotion about being taken away from those persons caring for her, which she had attached to. So it appears really healthy for her to be upset. But equally good she is settling down now. She seems to genuinely be liking and enjoying you both! How wonderful!!!
Can't wait to meet her :)

Danny said...

Wow! Your pictures and stories are great! It's bringing back lots of memories for me. I'm so excited for you guys!

Danny W.

Anonymous said...

Wow! 2 and a half hours to get all three of you down? Tell Eric to stop curling his hair. That should cut down quite a bit of time! You'll be out and about in an hour easy soon enough. :) She's absolutely adorable! We keep praying that Noelle continues to adjust well to the two of you, and that you start getting some sleep... or at least a good cup of coffee!
Kirk, Katie, & girls

Anonymous said...

She is absolutely adorable! We noticed the little cupcake on her pajamas which seems quite befitting! She looks as sweet as a cupcake! We know you are having a wonderful time getting to know your new little girl and please know you are in our prayers with some get well wishes as well.

Angie and Nattie

P.S.-Does Eric really curl his hair? LOL!

Redmom2005 said...

She is just adorable! No wonder you're beaming in those pictures!! Are you PROUD parents, or what?!! She is just too cute for words! Congratulations again :)

Erin DeNicolo