Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lazy Hazy Day

The only commitment we had all day Thursday was an 11 a.m. phone call from our guide, Judy, to verify that our final documentations were in order for Friday's swearing ceremony (which I hear is less ceremonial and more informal than one would expect for a vow taken before US officials to raise this child as our own). So we rose early but lingered in the room to wake slowly and enjoy some good old fashioned cuddle time with Aidan. When we finally made our way to the breakfast buffet (which by the way, is out of this world!) we were treated to this view of the indoor water falls and koi pond to the right of our table.

To the left of the table we had a spectacular view of the Pearl River and all it's freighters and cruise boats. But the sun was shining too brightly off the water and our pictures kept white-ing out too much to enjoy the scenery. But at the center of our table, we were treated to this view. I ask you, who needs the scenic Pearl River, when they can look at this for all of breakfast?!

This is another view of the indoor water falls, with the streams of koi running underneath it all. Aidan was truly in love with those big fishes, and again, amazed by Daddy's imitation of fish lips. Her giggle echoed throughout the whole lobby, bringing a smile to anyone who was blessed enough to hear it.

After a quick nap in our room, Aidan woke up very cheerful and HUNGRY. I must confess, those seem to be the two predominant emotions this child experiences. If she wasn't so pleasingly plump, I'd be worried about the hunger and what it might mean for her care in the orphanage and foster home. But those thighs cannot lie - she's been well-loved and fed!

While Daddy fed her a hearty lunch of peas, peaches and watermelon (this child LOVES LOVES LOVES watermelon!), I started organizing our suitcases and purging out the things we will leave behind. Hopefully, our guide will see to it that these things be offered to other travellers who really need them. Everyone is so gracious and shares what they have and we are happy to pass it on in the same manner.

After lunch, we told Aidan that we were going for a walk and to do some little souvenir shopping. Doesn't that face just scream "Shopping?! I love shopping!" Just wait till she gets a load of our two-story mall :) :)

One must always head out for an afternoon of shopping equipped with the proper eye-wear.

After an exhilirating afternoon of bargaining and bartering (I really got into it and had a blast doing so!), we finished the day at Lucy's. I'd heard about it from my friends who have adopted, but until you see it yourself, you don't really know what to believe. I believe. I believe. We ate our first meal on the Island here at the beginning of the week and it was awesome to eat just plain old American comfort food. Last night was no different. This little hole-in-the-wall dive is more American diner than most of the diners on actual American soil. There are posters of American celebrities all over and the cd boombox was blaring Frank Sinatra tunes last night. It's become a gathering place for adoptive parents from all over the States, seeking a touch from home!

We found yet MORE fellow-believers while we ate dinner, seated next to us. And had another small world moment: one of the couples used to live the same region of Central PA that we did and the wife worked in our former town. Seems he is a youth pastor and that was where they served in their first church. They went on to talk about the various fund-raisers they'd done for their adoption journey and we couldn't help over hear some of it. It was neat to hear their story of faith and walking in obedience when they couldn't see the next step or the finances coming in. It was so encouraging to hear what God did for them in the journey and exciting to hear how closely it mirrors our own story. Of course, the icing on the cake is that these precious girls are all now in loving godly homes that will point them to the Gospel and teach them of the Father's love.

Had a bit of a rough night with Miss Aidan, as a late phone call woke her just before she fell into a deep enough sleep. Boy, that child has a will of steel. Which, when wrestling her to rock her to sleep is deeply exhausting. But when I was rocking her and singing "Jesus Loves Me" and "Great is Thy Faithfulness" over and over, I found myself thanking the Lord for that strong will. It's that fiery spirit that kept her surviving and thriving, in spite of the circumstances of her life before us. At one point earlier in the day, while playing with her and just drowning ourselves in her giggles and growls, I said to The Boss,

"Can you imagine how quenched and squelched 
this spirit would have been had she been left
in the orphanage for her whole childhood?"

The very thought makes me want to weep with joy that we have been given the honor and privilege of nurturing, channeling, and fanning into flame the exuberance that lies within this child. I'm so grateful that the Lord and the many loving people in our lives have nurtured and fanned into flame our dream of coming to this child. The Lord knew that there was an Aidan (remember, it means little fiery one!) just waiting to be brought home to grow and flourish. I'm so glad He's giving her to us to grow and flourish with The Gang.


Kateri said...

So I loved all of the pictures, but the one of Momma and baby in front of the falls brought me to tears! It still amazes me that you are within 48 hours (our time) of finally being on US soil with that precious little gift. He is so good!!!
In case I don't have another opportunity to tell you, please know that you and The Boss and Aidan will be covered in prayer on Saturday. It is a long journey home but keep your eye on the end, the moment that the whole gang is united, and you'll get through it. He is with you always! Even when the lovely Chinese airline officials make you pour out the only juice that you have for your sweet little lady, and then make you throw away your only source of lip moisture in the form of gloss that you tried to stash in your diaper bag because you will surely get dry lips on a 14.5 hour flight:) Gotta love...and then come on home!!!
Much love and many blessings for a safe return!!

julie said...

I just caught up on your last few days of posts. What an eventful time you have had. You were a brave mama to go into those yukky waters!!!!

Aidan is just beautiful, you are truly blessed.

I will be praying for your safe journey home this weekend.

God Bless,

Pamela Dawn said...

I love the pictures from China. They bring back wonderful and vivid memories for us.

We pray that your journey home will be smooth and your expanded family blessed.

Thanks for visiting our blog and for being so supportive.

Juan - for the whole Johnson family

Kate said...

She is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING...BEAUTIFUL girl!!!! Congrats congrats congrats......yay, bring her home!! :D

Anonymous said...


Thanks for sending soo many wonderful pics - it really helps us feel a part of your experience! Your writing is also so expressive and helps the panorama come to life for those of us in our humble little towns!

I would love a copy of Little Empress in her red dress! Anticipation is building in my heart and mind as you get closer to coming home. You are in my prayers!!! I may be starting a new job soon - but plan to come to your area in the next month or two - I hope to connect!

Much love,
PS went to NS and BD St. today, saw a mutual friend, TK, who misses you and is very happy for you and A. (Her daughter just started Middle School! Can you believe it!)