Monday, May 5, 2008

Day 1 with Dang Yong...


OK, now I've got that out of my system, I'll fill you in on the last 24 hours of our life, while Emily tries to play with Dang Yong: I'll get to that later.

Emily and I were scheduled to meet Yong at around 2:30 pm our time yesterday in our hotel lobby. Three pm came by and we got a call stating that the orphanage director's car had broken down, but they'd be here a little later: maybe around 4:30 or so... Five came and went and we got another call saying that they were running a little more behind, so it would be closer to 7 or 7:30. Emily, Sarah (our guide/translator) and I decided to have some coffe up on the second floor of the hotel, at a little Italian type cafe. We talked and joked and laughed and laughed some more: it was great! Then around 6:30 or so, we got yet another call from the director saying that their car had once again evidently broken down and they had to wait for a bus on the side of the freeway and they'd probably get in around 9pm. Well, that was way too long to sit around in the hotel, so Sarah took us out and we wandered around downtown Zheng Zhou (pronounced Jong Jo) and had some dinner.

Then before we knew it, we were back in the hotel, and it was 9 pm. Two women looking very tired were walking in , holding the hand of one very scared, let me say it again, very scared little boy. He was looking at everything at once and trembling. I feel I need to put this in perspective for you all right now. Dang Yong (pronounced Danyon, emphasis on the 'Dan') spent the last two and a half years in an orphanage, where he rarely, if ever, saw the outside of his very small play area, in a very impovershed part of his province. Before the orphanage, he has no memory, as he was only 18 months. Back to the present: this little boy, who knows nothing of the world, has spent the last 10 hours in a car (something he's never, ever been in) and breaking down twice, then waiting on the freeway (a very busy freeway is also very new to him: all those cars speeding by), and now he's in a giant, beautiful shiny, marbled covered hotel lobby, with lots of lights and a thirty foot high vaulted catherdral ceiling, being introduced to two very big and very different looking people, whom he's been told to call Mama and Baba (mommy and daddy).

It was way too much for him, so we all went up to our room and spent some time playing.

Again, I need to point some things out before I go on. Yong is the most handsome looking boy I'd ever seen. He is as beautiful in person as his pictures showed. He is also very, very smart. The things he's figured out in the last day or so, on his own continue to astound emily and I. He also has no problem talking. Em and I see absolutely no speech delay issues whatsoever. He is a bit shy, but we've noticed it's most prevalent when people are trying too hard to get him to be social or communicative. When it's up to him, he's very gregarious. He spent 1/2 hour in an office this afternoon playing 'high five' with another adoptive parent, just because he felt like it. The parent looked over and smiled at Yong, so Yong just walked over to him: then the high-fives were flying.

FYI, I have about 15 or so stickers on my face as I type this: Dang Yong loves stickers

Yong likes to play with me and we're bonding pretty well right now. He'll take my hand and walk with me and he has plenty of smiles when we play. Emily on the other hand is his new Mama. For the last two and a half years, that title has gone to the orphanage director, and he's very close to her. That being said, though there is a bit of resentment at Emily over being the new Mama, he's playing magnets right now with her and slowly, very slowly, he's growing close to her.

For all of you so inclined, we would greatly appreciate your continued thoughts and prayers. There are some trying times with our new family and we could use all the support we can get. I'm sorry this email isn't longer wittier or more coherent, but I'm functioning on about two hours of sleep, and I'm still not over the jet-lag yet.

Tomorrow we head to the park for some fun and new clothes and shoes for Dang Yong. We'll post again very soon!

Jason (and Emily by proxy)


Anonymous said...

we are all so happy for you. You will be in our prayers.

Michael said...

Woo Hooo!!!!!!! I have been STUCK to your blog ever since you said you were heading off to meet Dang Yong. Realizing you would be a bit overwhelmed, just wanted to see how it went. Those pictures are amazing, he looks so happy! High-five from the Maine folks! Can't wait to hear more! Josh and Eric are all ready to play some trucks with Dang Yong, so just let him know that :).

Ann said...

He is just so beautiful! What a smile! Sending prayer for a good transition into family life. I'm so happy for you! (Emily, hang in there. I know it's to be expected that he might prefer the daddy for a while, but I know it would be hard for me as the mommy.

Dana said...

If you're checking email, send Emily there when Dang Yong is otherwise distracted. I've got words of encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Emily and Jason!
That boy looks so happy(and adorable too). I'm so happy for you guys. Hope the rest of your trip goes smoothly and enjoy showing Jesse alot of things that he's never seen before. I'll keep praying for you.
Angella Capalbo

Angel said...

OH WOWZER!!! This is amazing. He is so completely gorgeous. I was teary reading your post. Of course you have hit the nail on the head with all that he is feeling. I am so grateful that you guys are so great. The most amazing part is getting to watch them bloom. Although that blooming process can be exhausting. I have been praying for his heart and yours. I will continue. I think you are doing so wonderfully so far. I think the fact that you are getting high fives and not just getting bitten is a good sign. ;0) Angel

Pete said...

Hi guys,

What a smile! What great pictures!
We look forward to your return. We'll be praying for all three of you as I'm sure this is and will continue to be a difficult, fun, trying, exciting time for all of you. It really is great to see him smile.

May God Bless,

Anonymous said...

I don't get the "very slowly getting attached to Em" part, to be honest. We are talking about two days here; realistically, that is pretty fast (it must just seem slow when you're in the thick of it). You three will have months and years to bond. Jason has a huge advantage when dealing with children (do I really need to state why?). Everything will work out fine. And, Emily, remember: children are very susceptible to bribes (grin).

mjhayden said...

Congratulations and Ni Hao Dang Yong!! It sounds like your having a great trip. Don't worry Emily, when we adopted our second daughter, she wouldn't have anything to do with my wife at first. It didn't take long for that to change. Have fun for the rest of the trip and safe travels back to Maine.

Mike Hayden

Anonymous said...

woo-hoo! things sound great! God bless, i am praying for you! -seth

michele nicholson said...

Wow! He's just precious!!! It reminds me of our first adoption. Ellie was definately a daddies girl while we were in China. I was surprised because in my mind, me being the nurturer, it was supposed to go the other way. The other kids in our group prefered their mommies. I wondered what was wrong with me. Guess what, NOTHING! Ellie and I are so very close now. She loves her mama! I don't know if she felt I was replacing her "other mama" and resented me at first or if she was instinctively protecting herself because "mama's will leave you and it will hurt", whatever it was... love overcomes it. I decided to unconditionally give my love to her when it wasn't returned (like Christ did for me). Eventually, she couldn't resist and learned to trust that I'd never leave her. Every child responds differently in their grief. You guys have amazing hearts and I know he will soon discover that.
Much Love,

Anonymous said...

Congrats guys! The family can't wait to meet him, he is so handsome. It's great to finally see you guys with him, hope all is going well. Have fun!

Andrew comment - "Me friend look like happy guy!"

The Rapoza Gang

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys, I am so happy for you guys! I know that you have waited a long time for today, to be able to see your son face to face is an amazing feeling I am sure. You guys are doing great! Jesse is absolutely adorable and so happy. He has a great smile. I will continue to pray for you guys while you are there. Emily hang in there. Jesse will bond with you before you know it. You have an amazing heart and he can't help but sense that.
~Aisha :-)

Katie said...

I found your blog through Karin Prunty's blog. We also have a little girl adopted from Nanyang this past October. I enjoyed looking at your pics, some are the exact ones we have. It's nice to see how well you little one has adjusted. Jade to us was Dang Jing in China!! I look forward to reading your blog.