I'll be honest... this has been a trying 24 hours. There's been a lot of tears and not just from Luke. My heart breaks for what Luke is experiencing and I'm trying to hold it all together. Usually when crazy emotional stuff happens, Russ is around to help me through. This has been hard with him on the other side of the world. I miss him and the other kids like crazy. I'm counting down the days until we get home.
When Luke cries, his cry is of pure terror. The look of fear in his eyes is something I've rarely seen. He is scared to the core and especially at night and when I try to get him to sleep. The fact that a young child has to even face such terror just plain sucks! The brokenness this two year old has experienced is more than I've seen in my 38 years. I know he will eventually adjust and this will get better but right now, it is HARD!
Abigail has been amazing! She has been patient beyond her years and so so good with being silly and getting Luke to laugh. She has an innate ability to bond with him. I'm so thankful she is here. Luke and Abby have started to bond. I'm a bit further behind in attaching to him. This is different than Rachel. I attached to her right away and we clicked and even though she was sad and grieved, it was somehow easier than this. Also so thankful for the mandarin Abby has learned that last two years. She has been able to translate a lot of what Luke's being saying and also has been able to help us buy things, get shoe sizes.... oh thank God for that girl. She has saved the day over and over.
We went to the civil affairs office this morning and signed all the necessary papers to make Luke an official Highton. We have to wait until Friday for everything to be ready in this province before we can fly to Guangzhou for the US consulate appointments. Yesterday we couldn't get Luke to drink anything, not water or formula which his nanny said he takes via a bottle. So we talked to his orphanage director this morning and she said he will only drink hot sweet water! What, why didn't you tell me this yesterday??! So we went out and found a jar of honey and warmed up the water and sure enough he drank some. We still have not had any success getting him to take any formula. I may abandon that idea and try something else tomorrow. After his very short nap (I think he cried more before going to sleep than he actually slept), we tried out the pool. He was very cautions and kept shaking his head no but we eventually got him to take baby steps into the pool. Started with getting his feet wet, slowly sitting him on a step and eventually Abby had him in the pool. After witnessing a woman cutting her toe nails on the side of the pool and throwing the clippings in the pool, I decided the pool was not for me. Ugh, the unsanitary things that go on in this country.... and I'm not even a clean freak or germ freak at all... but come on, some basic standards please!
We ventured down the road a bit and had Papa Johns for dinner. I know, I'm in China and should eat the local food... we've done a lot of that and it takes forever to order when there's nothing in English... so we treated ourselves to a nice picture menu where it was easy to order. Luke tried pizza and at first didn't want any but that gooey cheese won him over. He especially likes the crust. We ventured into a mall to buy him shoes since he came with one pair of sandals that are too small for his wide feet and I didn't bring him any shoes.
When we arrived home, we attempted to put him to bed which consisted of an hour of terrified screaming but he eventually fell asleep on me and I was able to transfer him to the crib. Praying that sweet boy sleeps well. Please do keep praying for us. I feel like the Lord is carrying me through this because it's become quite apparent I can't do it on my own. Thank you friends and family who continually pray. This is much harder than I expected.