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