Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wednesday 10:00pm

Today definately was a day of forward steps. We all went down to breakfast together, and MinMin ate two big plates of food. We then walked around the island for a bit, until she got a bit weepy, so we returned to the room. Later we ate noodles in the room, and got ready to go to the police station to apply for her passport in the afternoon. We didn't have any chopsticks to eat the noodles with, so she and Richard went out to buy some.

She was weepy all the way to the police station, and her passport pictures shows a very unhappy girl. It only took a few minutes there, so we came back to the island, and went in to do her medical. Poor girl had to have 3 vaccinations, and then her check-up. She didn't even flinch for the shots--was very brave. Her height and weight were right on what they gave us in the update a couple of months ago--29.5 kilos, and 136cm. When they checked her vision, she was not able to read the regular size with her right eye, and the dr. had to go up about 3 lines, so it looks like she will be needing glasses. Everything else looked ok.

Next, we came back to the room and did the paperwork for the US consulate appointment next week. That will save us a trip back to town next week to get it done.

We went out to dinner at the restaurant down by the river. The food is pretty good there, and it is so pretty next to the river. While we were eating, the light show and music came on, we we enjoyed that. Afterwards, we looked in a few shops, trying to find a couple of things to take back to Taylor and LiAnne.

The real test came when we got back to the room. I had Connie explain to her earlier that she needed to take a shower and change clothes when we came back tonight. She has been wearing the same clothes day and night for three days. She did not want to shower, but I turned the water on, laid out a towel and pj's and sent her in the bathroom. A bit later she came out, but with her same clothes on. I sent her back in and told her to change. She came back out, with the shorts and t shirt, and said the pj's were too small. I sent her back and told her I wanted to see them on. She came back with just the top, I sent her back in for the bottoms and undies. Next time she came out I told her she looked great, now time to brush the teeth. She said no, I said yes. While she was in there, she washed out her clothes and hung them up. Whew.....not much of a battle after all, and she is clean and fast asleep. And, her clothes will still be wet tomorrow, so she will have to choose something from the stack I brought her to wear.

One thing that she told Connie today is that she wants to go back to the orphanage to get her clothes and school bookbag. I don't understand why they would send a 12 year old away with just the clothes on her back. I asked Connie to call tomorrow and ask if they could at least let her have her book bag, so we'll see what they say. I also asked about having her talk to her foster mom, and Connie said that Mr. Pong said it wouldn't be a good idea. I'm going to explore that possibility again tomorrow, and see if Connie can talk to them and find out how they feel, and if they could talk to MinMin. I agree that she needs to talk to them once more, and hope that it will work out.

MinMin will still hardly look at us, and her only communication is a small shake of the head, no, and looking away, but at least there was no weeping and wailing as before, and she did cooperate with me, even when she didn't want to.

Tomorrow we go to the zoo with a Harrah's family, and with XiXi, the guide we had last year. It will be good to get out and be with others.

We are very encouraged, and look forward to another good day tomorrow. For now, we need sleep. Richard has a cough and cold, so is feeling a bit worn out. I'm doing fine.

Thanks for praying. God is answering.


Donna J said...

oh, I'm so glad things are going better. Thank you for the nice account of your day. I am so looking forward to a picture of MinMin. Maybe today in her new clothes! I am glad you are holding up well and will be praying that Richard will feel better. Love, Donna

Melodee said...

Glad you had a better day. We all love and miss you.The kids are coming over to nap with Uncle Kenny while Grandma cooks at church this afternoon. Look forward to the next update. Love to the 3 of you, Mel & Kendall

Sandra said...

You're a good mom!! I'm loving the updates since we just adopted an older girl.

Hang in there and I will be praying for your family.


AmandaJoan said...

Hey Mom and Dad,
I am glad that things are getting a little bit easier. I tried calling you a little bit ago, but you must have been in bed already.
Classes are going good, but midterms are coming up!
I will be performing at Keeter both Saturday and Sunday, but I'll probably go up Friday night and most of Saturday to play with LiAnne and Taylor.
Love you both,

Mia M (from QT3) said...

All of you are in our thoughts and prayers. We have been following along and glad to hear things are slowly getting better. Soon she will be a happy, beautiful young lady. God Bless all of you.

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear that there are a few tiny steps forward. Can well imagine the frsutration because of the language barrier -- been there done that.

God knows your needs and will give you the patience and understanding to cope. Love, Tia Peggy

Robin said...

So glad things went better today. I hope she enjoys the trip to the zoo tomorrow. You are a wonderful mom and she will see that eventually. Praying for Richards health and for your strength to continue. You are amazing. Love you all!

Paul and Jackie said...

Hallelujah! Lots of progress........she will eat when hungry! :) Glad she is compliant, even if she isn't happy about it. Have her take pics at the zoo. Maybe ask her to get some good pics of the animals for your little ones to see when she gets home. I think your little ones will make the difference. Being stuck in a hotel room with 2 adult strangers would be pretty scary! Hope she gets her backpack. Also, when Ava's caretakers left the civil affairs they sneaked off. Bad, bad! She freaked! We were so glad she got to see them again at the swi and lunch. We were scared how she may react, but she actually did better after that with them actually telling her goodbye and reassuring her that she will be happy with her new family. I think talking to her foster mom would be helpful. My two cents! :)


Anonymous said...

Charlotte Weddle sent me your blog site. What a beautiful little girl!! Hang in there. When we adopted our first daughter (15 months at the time, now 9 years old) she grieved for 4 days while in China, not wanting to go into the room, looking for her mei mei (she was in foster care), not wanting my husband to touch her, only clung to me, but still quite upset. Our orphanage social worker told us we would meet the foster family on the fifth day. This was tramatic for our daughter at first, but it released her and she became OUR daughter after the visit. Her foster mom told her that she was going to America and will have a new mommy and daddy and will get to go to school and that she would be just fine. As we got back into our van, the foster mom quickly handed my daugher to me, with a tear in her eye, and slid the door shut. My daughter cried for a while but then raised her little hand and said bye bye as we drove through her village. She then was relaxed and we began the bonding. Now I know she was only 15 months old, and Janelle is much older. Hang in there!! I will pray that she will begin to bond with you. As you take care of her, (provide food, fun, clothing, and love) she should begin turning to you as her provider, parents. I will pray for your whole family.
Jean Harville, Little Rock, AR

Tracy said...

Praise God Wednesday went a little better. We are still praying and know God is with all of you.

I hope they give her backpack to her, perhaps you could offer to buy one to donate.

The zoo is so cool, maybe she will want her picture taken with a monkey:)

I am glad she changed clothes, I am sure she will enjoy the new ones.


Jan Thomas said...

I'm a friend of Charlotte, and she told us of your journey to Janelle. We adopted a 19 month old little girl a year ago, and want you to know we are praying for your daughter to feel God's peace, and that she will quickly learn to trust and love your family. We'll pray for your little one's too, that they will be able to adjust to their new big sister as well, and make her feel welcome.
Jan Thomas

Shawnstribe said...

We are LID dec 8th 05 from the UK
Your journey has touched my heart, i will be praying for you with all my heart.
In quietness and confidence will be your strength
Shawn and tribe

Anonymous said...

I am so glad things are going a little better. I hope the foster mom can talk with her too, and that she can get some of her things. How tough. It sounds like she is beginning to accept things a bit. We'll keep praying for you all. Laurie

Anonymous said...

Richard and Starla-
We are praying for you constantly, that God would give you wisdom, patience, and understanding that is beyond yourselves. I read a quote recently from a man who had met Mother Theresa once. He asked her to pray that God would give him clarity. The kind of clarity she must have had in order to know where God was leading her. and she replied, "I never had clarity. I only had faith". May God renew your faith in Him. May your spirits find rest in him during this hard time. I am praying CONSTANTLY through the day for Janelle. Remember: God is greater than these struggles!

God Bless,
Gretchen Mucken (Van Fossan) CBC

Anonymous said...

Hi! Just ran across your blog on a yahoo group we are both part of. We were in Guangzhou in August to pick up our 4 year old. It sounds like a tough go there (but getting better, I hope!). It WILL get better... much better :-) We wish you all the best and improvement everday! All the best from our family to yours.

Stephanie from Calgary

Mirjam said...

Fingers crossed here that Connie can arrange a visit to Min Min's foster parents.
She needs to see that they agree.

The Netherlands

Anonymous said...

Richard and Starla,
We just got home from camping and checked into your blog. We will be praying daily for you! This must be so heartbreaking to see Janelle in such pain, but God is the healer of all! Will pass on to the family tonight the need for prayer.
Love, Steve and Kathleen

Anonymous said...

Hola y bendeciones desde Durango.
Estan en nuestros oraciones. Con el amor de ustedes y de Dios, todo va a cambiar por lo mejor. Dios bendice y multiplica el amor y la paz que la familia de Dios tiene para ustedes y toque Richard con salud y ambos con fuerza.
en el amor de Dios
Joe y Ceci \o/\o/

Sheri Hepworth said...

I am so thrilled you have your new daughter! This parenthood is difficult, isn't it? Poor precious little girl; how blessed she is to be a part of such a Kull family! I am amazed at the struggle you've had in your first few days; I guess it didn't really occur to me she'd not be thrilled with at least some of the newness of being with you. LiAnn will melt her heart; she sure captured ours!

Angela said...

Keep well, the Lord will not give you more than you can handle. We returned in August with a 7 year old. Our experience was wonderful, but there was a family from Australia adopting an 11 year old in a similar situation to you. They held fast and I hear they are all happy and the child is adjusting very well. Best wishes to you and Richard! We will pray for you.

Charlotte said...


As you can see there are angels among you and your family ! Keep up the good work !


Anonymous said...

Hey, I am happy that today was a better day! Praying that each day will improve. Just remember that you might also be seeing some "pre-teen" behavoir in there too! The changing of clothes story sounds like what my daughter still does to this day! (we also try to put dirty/sweaty clothes back on after a nice clean shower) I also wanted to tell you that I am praying that Min Min will have the opportunity to talk with her foster mother. This was a VERY important thing for our 11 yr old daughter. Though it was not encouraged we felt it was necessary to help with the transition. We still communicate with her today through email. She has been an incredible support to me and ALWAYS would tell our daughter to listen and obey us.In my heart she has become part of our family! I hope that we will be able to see her again one day???
Keep us posted!
Linda T said...

I hope Richard gets to feeling better. I'm praying for you all, and LiAnne and Taylor.

Blessings, Mom & Dad

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad things are going better for y'all! We will continue to pray for you. Hopefully we will get to meet her in November!

Safe travels,
~Michelle Parsley

Anonymous said...

Oh Starla, she sounds so much like Lydia. She didn't want to give up her clothes from the orphanage either. Thankfully she spilled her juice on them at breakfast one morning and HAD to wear something different. Then they had to go out to the laundry for a day, so I was able to keep them away long enough to get her to the point that she was willing to try the new clothes. It helped taking her shopping and letting her pick out some things herself.

Hang in there! You are doing a great job. We will be praying for you all.



Donna Johnson said...

Hope no news is good news! Praying you will have a good night's rest and wake up refreshed in the morning!

Love you, Donna

Anonymous said...

So happy to hear each step of progress. My 3rd daughter, adopted as a toddler, also did not want to take off the clothes she came to us in. I know it just makes your heart break even though you know you are doing the best thing for Min Min.

We accidentally met with our daughter's foster parents during an orphange tour. I gather the FM heard we were going to tour the orphange and she just showed up. It was acutally the whole foster family. We asked the translator to ask the FM to explain to Isabel what was happening. I have no idea what she said but it really seemed to flip a switch for Isabel as we got the first smiles and giggles very soon after the visit. The only one who was not crying over all that was Isabel. The FM and I were all tears and I am not a cryer.

My heart really goes out to you each during this really tough time. If our experience is any indication, Min Min will do better when she leaves her province. I hope she will be very excited to visit Beijing. Big hugs of support and post when you can. We are all pulling and praying for you guys.

gayle k, another AH family

Robin said...

Hope you train ride was good. Mom says you are going to visit your guide from last year to see if she can talk to MinMin for you. I'm sure it will help once she understands how much you love her and that it is ok for her to grieve her losses. Can't wait for your next post. I love you!

Anonymous said...

Hoping that things are going ok. Laurie

Truly Blessed said...

Like so many others, we are praying for Min Min and for your family. I know God is faithful, and He will answer the earnest prayers of His children.

I think buying a new (or two or three) bookbags and donating them to the SWI in exchange for her old bookbag is a great idea. Maybe you could buy a few school supplies also for the bookbag (to sweeten the deal!).

There has to be some way to communicate that you won't destroy her old clothes, and that she'll always have them. Could you turn those into PJs so she can wear them every night? Just an idea.

I'll keep praying!

God bless you all.

Anonymous said...

Greetings with virtual love and hugs from Frank and Diane. We are confident that you will soon fill Min Min's heart overflowing with love!

Donna said...

I just found your blog and have been reading it from top to bottom while fighting (and failing) the urge to break into huge sobs.

My daughter is also from the Shenzhen SWI but was adopted at just 15 months of age. You mentioned that Min Min was sent away with just the clothes on her back and that's totally abusurd for a child her age. But it's not totally unexpected. I've always been surprised that our daughter came to us without the one thing she needed for comfort (her lovey). It took us three days to figure out what she was so obviously missing. Why wouldn't the orphanage just send it with her?

Anyway, thank you for sharing your story with all of us. I'm reading it much later so I have the benefit of being able to jump forward and see how happy Min Min is with her family now. I bet you wished you could have done that!

Happy 2008 to you and your whole family!

mom to grown son, Michael
mom to Gwen of Shenzhen
mom to Maddy of Qinzhou