Tuesday, July 26, 2011

China Day 21: Just Doing Life

Photo Album

For the past couple of days, we've had only short meetings or appointments on our schedule.  We opted out of all the group tours.  While we enjoy connecting with other families, we are sure we made the right decision so the seven of us could connect, bond, and just do life together the best we can in a hotel.

Since arriving in Guangzhou, we haven't felt as rushed, antsy, or homesick as we did last week in Fuzhou.  The setting here is beautiful, we have a bit more room, and while it's very humid, it's not nearly as oppressive as it was in Fuzhou.  There is a playroom 4 floors down and a nice park a short, shady walk away.  That and the fact that we're keeping things slow and low-stress have really made this a wonderful last week in China.

It's been nice to get to know the boys better and better.  Each day, even each hour, we see more of their little personalities emerge.  Since we don't have super-exciting adventures to report, I figured I would fill you in on our two newest Brownies.

Travis:  Travis is gentle, cute, sweet, and happy.  He doesn't get angry easily at all, but if he does, he's smiling and laughing again within seconds.  The changes in him over the past week are astounding.  He came to us drooling quite a bit.  He also would also throw a fit by lying down, kicking his legs and banging his head on the floor or the wall.  That behavior is already gone!  He came to us with zero and I mean ZERO language/communication ability, other than laughing or pitching a fit.  Now, he can let us know many of his needs.  We still have a long way to go, but he's sharp!! We gave him the name-sign "X" on the forehead, because he's "smart."  (The "X" is from his Chinese surname Xu and now his middle name Xuen.  He was named Xu En after the man, Mr. Xu who first found him and shared a great affection for him.)  It just occurred to me, I should explain to my non-signing friends that the "X" is a handshape, not drawing an X on his forehead.  I'll post a photo in today's album.

Travis likes:
his daddy!  Better not come between them or you're in trouble!
corn on the cob
looking at word picture books
looking at flash cards on iPad
learning the signs for things
Photo Booth on iPad
sunglasses (we plan to get him some tomorrow)
signing "airplane" and "bear"
after signing bear, acting like a bear and hugging. his daddy taught him this!
Hot Wheels cars (any car, really)
He signs many words now after just a week: airplane, bear, fork, eat, more, helicopter, water, "ILY" and much more.  Those are the ones he signs on his own. He'll copy anything we show him.

Travis dislikes:
being away from Daddy for too long.
brushing his teeth, but he's getting better.  He came to us with brown/black on his teeth around his gum-line, but those spots are already disappearing from twice-daily toothbrushing. 

Tian: Tian is a little spit-fire! He walks with swagger and knows he's cute.  He's also very smart and likes to parrot anything we or his siblings do.  He likes to get his way and will cry and throw a fit if he doesn't.  Today, I had the audacity to not let him crawl back and forth over the seats of the moving van.  He pitched a fit, but Momma didn't back down.  Eventually, I filmed him, then played it back for him to see.  That stopped him pretty quickly.  90% of the day, he's in good spirits, loves to play and be a ham.

Tian likes:
being silly
dancing (TJ has already taught him some MJ moves that Tian happily emulates.)
Hot Wheels cars
dry cereal
getting his way
giving kisses

Tian dislikes:
being told "no"
being away from Momma too long

We are blessed beyond measure to have these boys.  They are very different, from their personalities to their background.  The more we are with Travis, the more we feel adopting him was truly a rescue mission.  I can't even begin to tell you.  We believe he was fed, bathed, and cared for as well as they could under the circumstance, but he would have been lost if he had grown up there in the orphanage.  He was exhibiting some behaviors of someone with mental deficits, but he doesn't have mental deficits.  He was communicated with at an "animal" level, so he behaved accordingly.  It breaks our heart and overflows our heart with joy at the same time.

With Tian, he was in a loving foster home for the past year.  We've already been in communication and shared photos with his foster family via the orphanage.  He had a foster mom he called "Nai Nai" (grandma), a foster father, brother, sister and at least one cousin.

Travis is timid when it comes to playing with his peers or siblings.  If he has a toy and sees Tian, who is more aggressive, coming for it, he'll simply drop the toy and back into the corner.  That is, unless it's his prized airplane, then you better back off, dude!

We have one more day here in Guangzhou, then we begin our trip home!  We have no regrets from our month in China.  It's been amazing and God has had the chance to prove Himself faithful over and over and over again.  It's only by His grace, leading, care, power, that we were able to accomplish this year-long journey.  He's deserving of our continued trust as we transition into the work of making our home home for all seven of us. 


  1. We are SO looking forward to having you all home!

  2. Thank you for this post! It's wonderful to get to know the boys a little bit more. I can just picture them and their antics from your descriptions. I also love that each of them has a special bond with one of their new parents--of course I know they must love ALL of the Browns, but how cool is it that Travis has so latched onto Ken, while Tian prefers Mama?! Sweet, sweet boys they both are, and pretty darn cute, too!!

  3. Cannot WAIT to see you. I am thinking about you everyday.

  4. Isn't it amazing how God brought the boys to their perfect family, and your family was given just the perfect boys... PTL!

    I am on day 9, 11 to go... You have inspired me to stay positive, find the good in everything, and remember that we're here in China because this is part of God's plan for our family.