got into our hotel in guanzhou last night half past midnight. long day! but Kayli did AMAZING on her first flight; even with the plane being 40 minutes delayed and then sitting on the runway for 20 minutes. not one fuss sitting in her airplane seat buckled down! course she cried the entire 50 minute drive to the airport! lol! before we boarded the plan we gave her benedryl to help her go to sleep since it was after her bedtime anyway. at take off she took a bottle and then fell right to sleep and slept the entire flight!
never would have guessed how emotionally taxing this experience is! missing the boys, and then seeing some habits of Kayli's that formed from being cooped up neglected in a crib for month and months on end. even though the orphanage she was at was fantastic, there is still an emotional bonding that does not form for institutionalized children. and even though they were great about getting her out and interacting with her it does not compare to a home environment and as best ast hey try to be, she still spent a lot of time in her crib. it grieves me when I see kayli act certain ways. one of her feet turns way out when she walks from pushing herself around in a walker for months and months on end. another thing she does if she is forced to sit in her stroller, on our lap in one position for a while, or when we put her down for a nap, she bobs her head from side to side (much like an animal in a zoo cage) it just turns back and forth and back and forth from months on months of boredum. it's unbelievable how constantly she is moving; the adoption book we have classifies as Hypervigilant (looks much like ADHD), constantly in a "fight or flight" mode. she had so many different caretakers that are constantly changing from night to day shifts, "mama's" and teachers that change, kids there with her growing close to and then gone the next day (due to being adopted), and then the fact that she was starved for so many many months. 18 months of having a cleft lip/palate and not getting enough to eat. being way underweight and living with that starving sensation for a year and half of her 2 year old life! reading about what that state of condition can do to a developing brain at her age. she is constantly worried about us leaving her or being left, fussing if one of us isn't down on the floor playing with her every moment she is awake. wanting to hold our hand while she rides in the stroller is her way of assuring herself that we're still there and we're not leaving her. ....all of that, knowing that the conditions of her life have placed her in a state of constant anxiety, stress, and worry... it breaks my heart! i want to take it all away and redo the past two years of her life for her but I can't. it pains me as her mamma. so very emotionally taxing. I have not been sleeping well some due to the incredibly hard beds but mostly just from stress. I've have had really really bad dreams almost every night's sleep. awful awful dreams that I still remember in the morning and then have to unwind from those. such horrible vivid dreams that i have a hard time shaking. being here at the white swan hotel in guangzhou today has helped tremendously! it is a very westernized area and this hotel is catered specifically to adoption families! it's amazing! Every family at the breakfast in the buffet was families with their adopted son or daughter many with multiples from adoptions in the past. and then to be back with our Great Wall families that we were with the first week in Beijing has been such a comfort. had not idea how much not being with any other family in Xi'An was effecting me until we got here and after spending half the day with them, my moral is so much better! Shane and I really hit it off one another couple from South Carolina. We are very compadable couples and we both adopted 2 year old daughters with cleft lip/palate (their daughters also surprisingly repaired!). AFter the kids had their medical exams we all four went to a starbucks together and enjoyed a cool drink to beat the heat and humidity here. our girls just babbled back and forth and with us while us adults gabbed about our experiences over the past week. -so refreshing! our room here is the best so far too which helps! it's really the little things... :) while we don't have a lounge area in the room (it cost way too much more to get that) we managed to hang a sheet up to divide Kayli's crib from the rest of the room to give her and us more privacy during her nap and bed time. I'll have shane post of a picture of it when he gets back. I'm thankful I brought safety pins to do that! it worked out great! just hoping the cleaning ladies and staff doesn't get upset when they come in to clean the room and see it. one side of the sheet is pinned into the curtains and the other is tied around the standing lamp they have. There is also nice radio system in the room with a channel that plays classical music so that helps drown out our noise while she naps! very thankful for that! well, just wanted to fill you all in and update you a little! thank you for your continued prayer-all of you! we have seen God working! Kayli is an incredible gift and so wonderfully amazing! She really is adapting well and has such a strength about her! I find comfort in that. I know with God's work and our careful and patient love she will mend, she will heal, and she is going to thrive!!!