Today we had a “free” day, so there were thankfully no appointments we had to be at. Selah had a very hard time going to sleep last night; she kept calling out for her foster mother and cried and cried. We played lullabies and walked with her across the hotel room for hours to get her to calm down. Finally she fell asleep in Dan’s arms and he was able to transfer her into bed. Unfortunately, she woke up at 4 and was sick a couple of times. We were so upset; we were really hoping she would be better so we could feed her and work on her bonding with us. We considered taking her to a doctor, but here in Guiyang there are no Western doctors and only hospitals. We would probably have to wait hours to be seen, and that would add such a stress to our little Selah. Selah fell back asleep, and then we decided to feed her some congee for breakfast. She did pretty well, except at breakfast she started trying to bond with other Chinese people, especially our guide. I can’t say that I blame her, especially since she can understand what they are saying. It’s not good for our bonding for her to be held by anyone else right now until she understands that we are her parents.
After breakfast, we decided a change of scenery would do Selah some good (she hates our hotel room) and we went with our group to the Monkey Park. On the way in the van she had a pretty big meltdown crying for her foster mother. Once we got to the park, we strapped Selah in our carrier (she LOVES being on one of our backs) and she slept peacefully throughout the whole thing. The park was pretty cool; there were hundreds of wild monkeys roaming around and stealing food and water from people. We saw a monkey steal a water bottle from the backpack of one of the people we were with, twist open the cap, and drink it. It was crazy!
We had a little bit of a breakthrough this afternoon with Selah. She smiled and even laughed a little for the first time since Gotcha Day. We played bubbles, sang songs, and gave lots and lots of piggy back rides around our very small hotel room. Generally, Selah hates being in the hotel room and begs to leave all the time. Around 4:00, we walked a few blocks to a shopping mall with the other two couples with us. We played in a little play place, let Selah play in a little sandbox thing they had there, and had dinner at a little pizza place where we had to use Google translate to try (a little unsuccessfully) to order. Selah had plain rice, and she is VERY independent and will not let me feed her; she has to do everything herself.
We walked home after dinner, and Selah was tired. This seems to be a trigger for her, and she cried inconsolably for over two hours. As I am typing this, she finally tired herself out and let herself fall asleep in my arms. We are exhausted and heartbroken for the pain she is going through right now. Her life has been uprooted and changed too many times, and she doesn’t know who to trust right now, especially two people that she can’t understand what they’re saying. She cries out in Chinese and it is so sad that we don’t always know what she is saying. We have been trying to use Chinese with her a little, but our pronunciation is too off for her to understand much. Selah does this thing when she’s upset and can’t cry anymore; she scrunches up her eyes and closes them like she’s trying to disappear and be brave. It’s heartbreaking for us that we can’t fix her hurt right now. Please pray for her little heart. God has moved mountains for us to get here, and I KNOW He has big plans for her life. I can’t take away all of her pain, but God can.
Dan and I want to thank all of you for your prayers during our tough time here in China. It has been a very hard couple of days, but your prayers and comments and God’s grace has given us the strength to keep going even when we feel like we can’t. Please keep praying for us! We love you all!
All National Parks: Our Travel Bucket list
X Acadia National Park