A little about our day before getting Kate… We had an awesome breakfast at our hotel. Really, really good. I ate so much that I didn’t eat again until dinner. We Skyped family and went to Walmart. That was a neat experience that I’ll share more about later. The lack of sleep was catching up with us by early afternoon, so Tim and I slept for about an hour.
We were told to be in the hotel’s business center at 3 p.m. to meet Kate. About ten minutes before that, David called our room to say she was there and that we needed to get there quickly. I could hear her sobbing in the background. When we got in there, she was a mess. She had thrown up in the car on the way (motion sickness), and they had quickly changed her clothes before we came in. She has a cold, so between that and all of the crying, her nose was a mess. And she was crying over and over, “Mama! Mama!” So, so sad. We were able to calm her down fairly quickly (within ten or fifteen minutes, I’d say). It helped that the orphanage staff left, but Bella June stayed. David needed a family picture for records for the orphanage. Kate wanted Bella June in our family picture. So we ended up doing a picture of the two of them and then she warmed up to the idea of a picture with us.
We spent the next hour or so in the business center showing her toys and trying to get her to warm up to us. When David suggested she go to the room with us, she did so willingly and without crying for Bella June.
The next couple of hours were o.k. She played quietly with Sophia. We quickly learned that she is a smart and organized little girl. When I took her shoes off her, she took her plastic braces off that were inside her shoes, stood up and walked over to where I had put her shoes and neatly lined up the braces as well. We had noticed when she first came in the room, she located where we keep our luggage and placed her little backpack on top of our luggage. It’s easy to tell that she has been taught that everything has its place. At 5:30, we met the group for dinner. She did very well at dinner and was able to signal to me that she needed to use the restroom. When I used the Chinese word for bathroom with her, she nodded yes. Our first real communication!
When we got back from dinner, David came to our room to help us with the blogging issue (still not resolved). I noticed that she was busy packing her backpack up and placing her shoes on top of it. Apparently, she thought that when David left that she was leaving because when the door shut without her, she LOST IT. I mean, it was awful. Our very quiet girl was suddenly talking 100 miles per minute in Chinese and all we were getting was “MAMA!” in every other sentence. She was sobbing. I really thought she was going to throw up. To say it was heartbreaking would be an understatement. The three of us had a hard time keeping it together because it was very difficult to see her in that much pain. At one point, she opened the hotel door and attempted to leave. Sophia cried.
To try to distract her, we ran bath water and put some ducks in there. Sophia got in to take a bath, and I hoped that Kate would. I took her dress off. She left the bathroom and put her old tennis shoes on with her panties. She got her Chinese dress out of her backpack and wrapped it around herself. She was determined to leave. There’s nothing to do in this situation but hold her, agree with her (not sure what all I agreed to), and love her. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I did realize that she calmed down when I sang, so I did a lot of singing. I think her foster mom must sing to her a lot because we caught Kate singing a few times at dinner.
She is used to sleeping with her foster mom, so Tim and I put her between us. She cried herself to sleep, but seemed to bring it down from sobbing to quiet tears as I sang. She woke at midnight and needed to use the bathroom and get a drink. She cried again for her foster mom. I sang, and she was asleep again in about five minutes. She woke again at 3 a.m. for bathroom/drink. No crying this time. Tim says she sat straight up in bed at 4 a.m., looked at me then at him and laid back down and went to sleep.
Sophia looked at us after two hours of the sobbing last night and said, “Will she always be like this?” I reminded her of how she would feel if she had been taken away from us. It will take a while for Kate to recover from this. Until then, we will show patience and love and pray that each new day is better than the last.