Wednesday, March 14th - It's official, and some beautiful smiles

by Kristi Van Dyk

I'm a little behind on my blogging here :) This whole having two children along thing means I actually appreciate my sleeping in time! (And I'm also a little more necessary to keep the tiny man asleep). Therefore, my usual 5:00 a.m. blogging hasn't been happening. BUT, I'm committed to recording this, so I'll try and catch up here. 

On Wednesday morning we had to wake early - no on really felt like moving - we had talked to our girls too long - and so we were rushed at breakfast. We had been looking forward to watching Jinhua explore his breakfast at his leisure, but that didn't quite happen. Instead, we rushed out the door while he still had a slice of bread in one hand and a hard boiled egg in the other. We had an 8:30 a.m. appointment to sign our final adoption papers, pay the finals fees, AND make everything official. 


While we were there the director of adoptions gave Ben a special gift from a famous calligraphy artist, her husband. It was such a treasured gift, and we are sure our interview was a slam dunk with the impression our son managed to create of us as parents. In truth, we rely solely on the wisdom of our Heavenly Father and we are so thankful for the way He has brought us through each phase of this process. BUT, I don't think telling a closed country official that "God told us to adopt Joshua" was exactly the interview she was looking for :). Nevertheless, we were done quickly and our guide took us grocery shopping so that we could make instant noodles, purchase fruit, and find a few more essentials. 


Then, we all came back, had our separate (easy and cheap) lunches. And then we took a giant family nap. We learned the previous night that things worked best when we all slept together in a giant family bed. So we manage to push together our two doubles for sleeping time and then we push them back so the maid can make them each day :) BUT, we slept for 2 straight hours and then decided to visit the pool. We were not sure how J would react to the pool, so we kept him fully clothed. As Ben was changing into his suit, though, J started noticing that they were not matching. (This was the first indicator we SHOULD have seen that our new son is not a "wait and see" kind of kid). We persisted, though, and brought the extra suit we had down to the pool, just in case. As we approached the water, J took one look and immediately reached for his trousers. He was ready to strip then and there to get in! We laughed aloud and Steve quickly ushered him off to the bathroom to change. During swim time, he splashed around, just waist deep, enjoyed laughing at Ben, and pouring little bottle tops back and forth. 

From that moment on, we watched our new little boy fight to keep up. He raced to the elevators (despite the fact that running typically made his really baggy pants slide down his lack of rear end). He pushed the buttons; he ran through the lobby. He was the first to put on his shoes or his coat when he knew we were going out. He smiled quickly. He ate ferociously (and constantly) and he gradually opened up to us.

We went to dinner last evening with the other family in the hotel that is adopting right now. We enjoyed great conversation, a chance to hear their story and their life - and an opportunity to learn from their experiences. It was so nice to enjoy the company of other Americans. 

After a nice dinner, we phoned our girls (again) to hear how they were doing and help them chat with their brother. And then we tried a joint bath. For the sake of both boys, who are well passed the age where naked tub pictures are appropriate, I will not post photos. BUT suffice it to say there were giggles and smiles and moments of sheer delight. We closed the evening with a new American boys classic and let the boys begin watching Cars! :) Joshua seemed to enjoy it but by 8:30, the boys were out. 

We felt as though our day was a success - we got to know our new son better - we had moments where he verbalized his needs - and we had a chance to see that he really is a fun loving little boy at his core. And he is willing to start showing us more and more of who he is :). 

Thank you JESUS for the progress we keep seeing. It is truly you, at work.