Monday, May 17, 2010

Michael Liqu is with us!

Hangzhou, Monday, May 17th at 9:30 PM

Today was our "Gotcha Day" for Michael Liqu and the day just came to an end as everyone is in bed except me as I write this.  It was quite a moving day... the significance was evident as we drove to the Civil Affairs office to meet Michael and the director and two others from the orphanage.  We walked into a big room where others were already gathered to receive their children as well.  Most of the families were non-English speaking Europeans and most of the kids were quite young except for Michael Liqu.  He was quite shy at first, and then it became clear that he is a confident, mild mannered, kind 13 (almost 14) year old boy.  The orphanage people were very kind and grateful for our willingness to adopt Liqu and we learned a lot in our exchange.  One thing that we learned that says a lot about Michael, is that he had saved money over the last six years for this day to buy gifts for his new parents and family... and there he was with his little suitcase packed with his gifts.  Michael loves sports and being active... in fact the directors were sorry to lose him as he was one their best basketball players. His favorite food is Sprite and ice cream. Another thing that we quickly learned is that he speaks little to no English.  We gave Michael a photo book of our family and he sat and looked at length at his new family and older brothers and sister.

Wendy our guide was with us most of the day, and after dropping Meg and the little ones off at the hotel for lunch and a nap, Michael, Wendy, and I went shopping for clothes. Nike and Adidas were the clothing of choice, and a shirt with Kobe Bryant on it was the prize find according to a Chinese 13 year old boy. Shopping today was in one sense exciting for him and in another much like shopping with Mac and Jake at that age... what 13 year old boy really wants to be shopping for clothes?  Wendy was wonderful as she was like a big sister/mother to him as we shopped and as she engaged him in Mandarin... we are so grateful for her!  After shopping the three of us enjoyed an authentic Chinese lunch with many new items I have never tried before and Michael loved all of it.

Once Wendy left for the evening there was not much speaking that could take place although we tried. We went for a walk down to West Lake and ended up at McD's for Joy and Jesse.  We had bought an electronic translator machine before we left the US that I have been unable to figure out, however Wendy figured out what she could and passed it on to Michael and... sure enough... Michael and I had a break through this evening as he used his translator and I my Pocket Mandarin Dictionary to carry on brief but meaningful conversations with high fives and all as we progressed in our understanding of each other.  I cannot imagine how emotionally tiring and life changing his reality must have become to him today.  Whatever we were feeling in the car on the way paled in comparison to what we saw taking place for him.  He showed little outward emotion in one sense, yet you could see that he was facing it all head on and actually embracing this new and totally unfamiliar life direction.  I cannot think of anything in my own life that could measure up to the courage I witnessed in this young man today.  It will be exciting to see and watch as Michael moves into this new chapter of life and begins to develop... I have to believe God has big plans for his life.

Joy and Jesse continue to enjoy their time together and at the same time develop a form of sibling rivalry.  Jess is quite a character and cut up.  What a different experience than the one we had when adopting Joy.  He is slowly warming up to Meg and today was pretty huge in that I left to go shopping leaving Jesse to get lunch and a nap from Meg... we think we turned a corner.

Well it is time to head to bed as the big day has wiped me out too... Enjoy some pics from the day and our time in Hangzhou...

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your day with us. I was so touched, especially when you talked about Michael saving his money for 6 years to buy presents for his new family. Okay that made me cry. It brought back so many memories of when we first got Grace. You are in our thoughts and pra**ers.
    Bless you all,