Stromberg's Adoption Dream

The journey to our little girl in China

Life-long Learner

Good morning from Guangzhou. It’s 55 and sunny, with only a little smog. Feel like San Francisco. It’s great.

I’ve always taken pride in being a life-long learner. I read a lot, I try to ask good questions, I invest in new hobbies and interests. It was drilled into me by a number of Seminary professors (chiefly Paul Bramer), that one of the best things you bring to your congregation as a pastor is to continually be learning new things and sharing them in creative ways. I am committed to being a life-long learner.

And now, one week into this new adventure of adoption, I’m realizing that I’ve got quite a learning curve. With my own boys, I feel as if we had a year and a half runway to figure them out – their personalities, tendencies, how they slept, what they ate, when they needed comfort, when they needed loving discipline – and while things often change quickly, Katie and I feel like we know our boys so well that we can adjust to almost anything. If Quinn all of a sudden started waking up in the middle of the night, we’d find a solution. If Albin all of a sudden wasn’t motivated by dessert, we’d figure something out (don’t expect that one to change).

But Lydia is different. The runway is short. She’s trying out language already. We haven’t had the time to know her tendencies. We’re just learning what is her real cry and what is simply fussing. All this being midful that her life is changing fundamentally, she’s learning a foreign language, she’s trying strange new foods, and slowly realizing that these two adults are indeed sticking around.

Our big challenge over the last few days is that all of sudden, Lydia wouldn’t eat. We had a stretch of about two days where she ate in total, 1 banana, less then a handful of Cheerios and 4 bottles, this after watching her eat everything in sight for the first few days. Why? What changed? Does she have a stomach ache? Was she just in shock the first few days? Did she realize that there is indeed enough food for her? Is she growing comfortable with us? Is she simple not hungry? We don’t know. We’re learning.

I realize that this will not change overnight. Katie and I will become life-long learners of our own child, and she will bring new opportunities for us to be challenged in a beautiful way. And as Prof. Bramer said, the best gift we can give our own children, is that we commit to being life-long learners of who they are. It’s a holy joy to do so.

And if you’re wondering, Lydia finally chowed down Papa Johns pizza last night and some soft fried bread this morning. We’re learning!

Here are so picture from the last couple days:

– China hotel pool
– Buddist Temple/ Old Chen House
– Xiexiu Park
– Pearl River boat Cruise

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5 thoughts on “Life-long Learner

  1. Hi, mom here…what a doll…eating pizza already…so glad to see leaves on the trees…and Liddy in a swim suit…did she go in the water? And what a great tour you’re getting of China…..can’t wait to hear more about it all.
    Can’t wait for Sunday. Momsy

  2. The swimsuit picture! And the yawning in the bus picture! Amazing! And so glad you are taking in so many sights too. And for what it is worth, Hannah has a few days like you described every couple weeks. Her eating habits yo-yo all the time. Maybe it is just the age??? What a joy to get to figure Lydia out a little more each day. You are rounding the corner for home now…less than a week! I hope you can enjoy the simplicity of each day with her even though you are longing to get back. Love you guys!

  3. Brianne on said:

    I’m glad you are seeing so much, but know you are missing the boys. Wes and Albin have been together a couple times, enjoying Mac and cheese and star wars battles….all is normal here. 🙂 our kids pour over the pictures of Lydia. Grace loves the headbands and boots! Love to you all!

  4. Dan Szynal on said:

    Sometimes, it is common that a newly placed child may not eat or may seem to have diaper issues. These can often be normal as everything your daughter ever knew has changed. The few things that she can control, she may choose to control (like eating and pooping). This is fairly normal. What is the parents greatest day (Gotcha day), is the child’s worst day, because everything they knew has been taken from them. They are embarking on a new life in which they will be lavished with love, attention, tenderness, and everything they need. But they don’t know this, as abandonment is their experience on a very primal level. As that attachment and bonding progresses with you over time, these things will naturally alleviate. She will thrive, and is probably already showing signs of it. You’re doing great!

  5. Lars, I’ve had so much following this exciting journey of yours! Lydia is a beautiful little girl (great-grandma would be proud to have such a sweet little one named after her)! We welcome her to our extended family and love her already! Looking forward to the next update, and seeing your homecoming! Love, Karin (Hawkinson) Beach

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