It's the same for Gladdie. Part of this grieving process is coming to terms with what the past was and to start the present and look into the future. It's not something that occurs with a snap of the fingers. Grief is a process. And, even when Gladdie is able to embrace this new life and walk face-first into it, we don't for a second want her to ever forget about her past life and the people in it. They are a part of who she is. God brought them into her life for a specific purpose, and we embrace and celebrate them.
So, we let her weep for "mama" and her foster family. We let her look at pictures from her past life. In fact, we encourage it. And we sit with her, stroke her back, and tell her we are here. We won't go away. #becausewearefamily
We went to a toy market this morning. And in hindsight, it probably wasn't the best idea for Miss Gladdie to go. It was WAY TOO MUCH stimulation. Shop after shop crammed into floor after floor of STUFF. We were able to get the Gs some cute things, but of course, Gladdie wanted to touch and handle just about everything she saw. What child wouldn't?
We spent about an hour and a half there. One.and.a.half.hours. Oh. And I forgot to mention that today is a holiday in China--Chinese Labor Day. So probably there were about 5 million people there with us. Whew!
On the way out, we stopped at a shop that sells traditional Chinese celebratory decor. I picked up some lanterns for next Chinese New Year. We love to celebrate our girls' heritage. #becausewearefamily
Lunch at Pelicana chicken, and back to the pool for the first time. Gladdie still will not change her clothes. Not even to swim. We showed her the pool a few days ago and she gave us the stink eye. Today when the 3 Gs were in their swim suits, I tried to "encourage" Gladdie to get hers on. Nope.
So, dad and 3 Gs went swimming, while I and Gladdie (in her long-sleeve blouse, heavy cotton long pants, and stinky socks and shoes) watched from the side. She did bring her bubbles with her and had fun blowing them. She also enjoyed trying on Jie Jies' (older sisters') goggles. #becausewearefamily
We had pizza for dinner and faux ice cream cones from 7 Eleven for dessert. Now, bath and bedtime.
We have an early morning tomorrow. We have to go to the US Consulate here in Guangzhou where the immigration officials will look over our paperwork and determine if Gladdie receives a visa to enter the US. It's pretty much a formality, but I do often get a little choked up when the parents have to say an oath about raising our children as Americans under the Constitution of the United States.
It's also pretty awe-inspiring to see the long lines of Chinese (and other) people waiting to go into the consulate to petition for all kinds of travel visas.
We are nearing the end of our time here in China. Just a few more days left. It's amazing how badly I want to get home but at the same time how much I long to stay in China...the birthplace of our children.
It's very bittersweet, as Simon wrote about yesterday. So hard to put into words. But we take each day as it comes, pray for God's grace (which is always just enough) to carry us through, and we live our life together. #becausewearefamily