Journey to China

This blog documents the Spitlers' progress towards the adoption of Xia Ping He (Noah Spitler) from the PR China. It also documents Noah's medical process in pursuit of a total repair to his CHD (congenital heart defect).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Noah - Xia, Ping He

Hello (again!),
If you wonder why I just left a blank blog entry - it's because we are unable to post our blog here from China.  Due to some filters here in China, we must email our entry to the blog - and I guess my laptop "hiccupped" and sent a blank message.  So - thank for your understanding if occasionally we have a technical issue.  We have no idea how the pictures are showing up - so please realize we cannot imbed the pictures into our email - in order to provide explanations for what you see.  I do try to put descriptive labels on the file names...perhaps you can see that on the blog?!  I don't know...
We haven't really started calling Noah "Noah" yet.  He has been called "Xia, Ping He" (Shu Peeng Huh) and that's what he responds to - so we are continuing that for awhile, and hope to work "Noah" into his name in a few weeks.  There is so much change happening to our little boy - calling him a new name might be too much right now.
Well, today has been a GREAT day.  Noah and Olivia slept together in a double bed last night.  They got a good night's sleep (better than Dad did, anyway), and as soon as he woke, I could hear his little stomach growling - so obviously he is hungry early in the morning.  We get a complimentary breakfast buffet in the lounge near our room (which is very nice) -and Noah enjoyed some chicken sausage, hash browns, and bacon.  I offered him some watermelon and he loved that (chalk up another Firebaugh watermelon-lover).   He drank water (which he is very good at doing throughout the day) - and said "no" to orange juice.
We left the hotel at 8:30 sharp and headed back to the Lottery Hotel - where we got Noah yesterday.  I was a bit worried he'd think he was being "returned" (this has happened to other orphans in the past), but he didn't seem to be concerned.  We officially adopted Noah this morning at 9:30am.  Robin and I were interviewed by a state official and were asked questions such as "Will you promise to never abuse this child and care for him like your biological children?" and "What is your education level?" and "Do you have time and finances to accept another child into your family?".  We then signed several papers, put our right thumbs into red ink and pressed them over our signatures, and then Noah got to add his right footprint (also in red ink).
We left there and went to a notary for some other questions - I think all of that was for Noah's passport.  More fees and more gifts given to people (thanks for all the hats and gifts y'all donated!)  We ended back at our hotel and Cici (pronounced "Sissy") told us that tomorrow we will get to take gifts to the orphanage that managed Noah's foster care.  We won't get to tour the facility - only stop at the front gate and leave gifts.  We might also get to meet Noah's foster family and take them to lunch.  Although there is some risk in this (meeting the foster family), we have prayed about it for months and feel it is the right thing to do - in order to allow Noah to say "good-bye" to them, to have them say "This is your family, Xia Ping He - go with them!".  It might be emotional, but I'd rather do it than skip it and have that regret later.
We had lunch in one of our hotel's restaurants.  Wow - can you say "New York prices...?"  At lunch, I found myself telling Madison that Noah would probably cry and grieve for leaving his foster family and China - basically everything he knows.  I explained that it would probably be bad if he DIDN'T show some sort of grief.  Well, that foreshadowed events 20 minutes later.  Noah normally takes a daily nap from 12:30-2:30pm.   He was acting tired at lunch, so we put he and Olivia (his sleep buddy) down for a nap and about 5 minutes later, Robin came running to say he was crying and she didn't know what to do.  I went back in there and sure enough - the poor boy was quietly sobbing - shaking all over and just weeping.  I was grateful the Lord had me start learning Chinese 2 yrs ago - I said to him, "Ni neng guo ma?" (are you sad?) and he nodded real hard through the tears.  I told him that we loved him and we were also sad because he was sad.  I reassured him he was safe with us (Ni he women zai yi chi hen an chuan!) and he seemed to calm down some.  Olivia rolled over and gave him a long hug.  After some back rubs - he fell asleep.  Robin and Madison had their own cry session - Madison just kept crying and saying "I can't stand to see him cry like that!"  It is truly amazing how quickly these three kids have become 3 siblings.
Speaking of siblings and happier things...I am rather surprised to see how unselfish Noah's heart is. (We were told to expect hoarding and a resistance to sharing.) I offered him some small candy (like Smarties), and he grabbed a whole handful, and jumped on the bed and tossed a third to Olivia, and another third to Madison.  He really shares well.  He and Olivia are also "DS buddies".  They play DS all the time - and Olivia is doing a great job of teaching him - "Zhe ge" (Jay guh) - which means "this one" (where to click).  He always looks over at her DS to see if she's catching up with him or still playing the same game.  I think he's figured out the DS's are linked together on the same game.  Every once in awhile he yells something in Chinese I don't understand - I think he's saying "Yeah - I won - you didn't !"  :)
Madison turned "teacher" today - with a small magnetic "white board" toy we brought - sort of like an Etch-e-sketch.  She would write "A B C D" and then he would copy it right below.  (He is VERY good at writing and art, it seems).  We then asked him if he could say "A" and he very matter-of-factly said, "Aye".  (insert much applause) That was followed by "Can you say 'B'?"  and "Bee".  (insert more applause).  Then he very simply said "A B C D E F" - and so the guide believes he was taught some basic English such as the alphabet and numbers.  How cool.
Well, I should go. It's past "wake up from nap time" and I promised the girls we'd make an attempt at the hotel's pool this afternoon.  We'll see what he thinks about water (or not!).

Thanks again for your prayers.  It is very encouraging to see such a kind and loving boy emerge from the stress and emotion that we had yesterday.  I can't wait for you to meet our little Xia, Ping He!
PS. I'll post some pictures but not any we shot today (dui bu qi - "sorry")

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Anonymous Kim said...

Thank you for sharing your journey with us. We are praying for all of you in this transition time. What a blessed day July 20th 2010 is!!!!
It's official!!! Happy Adoption Day!!!!

July 20, 2010 at 9:28 PM  

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