Thursday, September 15, 2011


My apologies for the delay in getting an update posted. For some reason :), I'm quite exhausted by the time I get all the children to bed, straighten up, work on laundry, and Skype with Brent.

Alyssia is doing okay. Having her be so attached to the foster parents has its good and bad points---the good being that she should bond easier to us, the bad being she's grieving for them. HARD.

Gotcha Day was Tuesday, and a bit of a letdown. The foster parents rode TO Gotcha Day with Brent and Anna, and drove back to the hotel with them. Nothing really changed from Monday. They all ate lunch together, then Alyssia napped in their room. Dinner was together again, then she slept in their room again. So Brent wasn't feeling much like the Daddy yet, although he greatly encouraged the foster parents to spend the time with Lyssie.....

At lunch on Tuesday, Brent asked the foster parents when they were planning on leaving. They responded that they weren't sure. Brent's concern was that if they waited until Friday, he would be attempting to FLY to Guangzhou with a very-heavily-grieving-angry-toddler. They said they would leave Wednesday morning, and make the transition of Alyssia's care to Brent at that point.

Tuesday night, the foster parents were going to let Alyssia fall asleep in their room, then carry her to Brent's room and put her to bed there. I quickly saw the MAJOR problems with that idea. First, she was bound to wake up terrified and begin screaming, at which point the foster parents would have come and "rescued" her from the "bad" man who's bed she was just in. NOT the way to build trust in my opinion, especially since they were still "in the picture". Brent told them to just let her sleep with them one last time.

So, Wednesday was more like "Gotcha Day", because Brent actually "got" Alyssia. The foster parents brought her to him in the morning and said a very teary good-bye.

Instead of being a happy adoptive parent, Brent has felt like he's "kidnapping" THEIR child.

Well, they didn't leave Wednesday morning like they promised they would. They texted and called Anna ALL day to ask about her (this was while she was with Brent!) So, when poor little Alyssia was grieving pretty heavily in Brent's room around 7 pm, he received a phone call from Anna. The foster parents had heard her crying and "suggested" Brent take her out of the room.

Brent very firmly said No, he was NOT taking her out, that they'd been out all day and she was exhausted and ready for bed, and to please not call again.

Sweet little Alyssia didn't eat or drink ANYTHING on Wednesday, but woke up Thursday ready to eat breakfast. She is grieving, and her little face looks SO sad right now. She screamed or cried a good bit of Wednesday, but Thursday was mostly just acting depressed. She is allowing Brent to comfort her and offer her love and affection....and she is sleeping much of the time, a grieving/shutdown mechanism, I'm sure.

You will see her grasping her little red shoes, her clothes she came with, and her water bottle in many pictures. These are definitely her "security" items, and she carries them everywhere and won't sleep without them.

My heart is breaking for her....she's old enough to know something's "wrong" but too young to understand what's really happening.

Wednesday evening the foster parents called Anna and wanted her to come down to their room. They wanted to see if Alyssia was eating and drinking. I COMPLETELY understand that they are also grieving. However, it doesn't seem to be helping anyone for them to continue to stay 5 rooms down from Brent and keep contacting sure makes him nervous to leave the room, for fear he's going to run into them and Alyssia will see them.

SO, they promised they were leaving Thursday morning.

I think you know that didn't happen. Brent looked outside his door (through the peephole) at 8 am and the foster mom was standing there, listening at the door....

Brent toured a museum, then had fun with Alyssia in the room. She REALLY likes the bathtub, and played in there for over an hour. Brent even fed her dinner in the tub, since she was so happy.:)

Foster parents said they were leaving Friday morning.

Brent was at breakfast with Alyssia and looked up to see the foster mom standing behind a glass window, just staring at him and the baby. Then the foster dad walked by and Alyssia almost saw him.

Brent immediately headed for his room and called Anna.

She reassured him (and me!) that they are NOT going to take the baby back, they just wanted to see her.

We have such mixed emotions about all of this.

This couple obviously loves our Alyssia. Very much. They've taken EXCELLENT care of her, and we will be forever grateful. We know this is painful for them and we sympathize with that pain. For whatever reason, they were not allowed to adopt her and decided to find her a good home instead.

We chose to honor their connection with her by including their nickname for her as her middle name. Her official name is now Alyssia Xiao Bao Bergey. Xiao Bao (pronounced See-ow Bow, as in bow down, not tie a bow) means "little treasured child" and we felt it was truly fitting.

But if Alyssia saw them now, even for a minute, Brent would be back to square one as far as bonding/grieving goes....actually, probably WORSE than it was in the beginning. It would NOT be in the best interest of the CHILD and that is what this is all about.

Needless to say, Brent and I will both breathe a sigh of relief when he and Alyssia arrive in Guangzhou later today (Friday afternoon China time).  :)

Here's a few more pictures from Thursday.....the last picture was taken in July when another family traveled for their child.....The Director and his wife brought Lyssie along and the adoptive mother graciously sent me pictures from that day!

God is good, and has orchestrated the events of this week and our adoption of our beautiful new daughter. We are trusting Him to give us the wisdom we need to assist her during this adjustment time.

And I will continue to count down the days until she's in my arms! :)


  1. Wow, that sounds stressful for your husband! Must be so hard to feel torn like this. The good thing is that she's so young and will probably adapt more quickly. She's a doll!

  2. Wow, my heart breaks for the foster parents, but they did know going into this that she wasn't going to be with them permanently. I wish there was a specific protocol foster families would have to follow to honor the new families better.

  3. Praising God for the wonderful care they took of your baby girl. :) Now, praying that your husband will finally be able to be "daddy" and everything will be smooth sailing from here on. :)

  4. It gets better. Trust me. I lived through it. My daughter was 22 months the day I met her. She was not fostered but we were told that she was the favored child by all the nannies. Almost everything you have described that Brent is witnessing in Alyssia's "grieving" could have been my words at the time. I had this illusion that we would go to China and they would hand her to us and she would love us and we would be one happy family. But the reality was that she cried the whole two weeks. She would cry until she would turn absolutely red and exhaust herself until she fell asleep. If my husband would even look at her she would scream like someone was trying to kill her. And I ended up just crying my way though what I thought was going to be the greatest moments of my life but were actually some of the most terrifying moments of my life. That screaming hysterical child turned 13 a few weeks ago and she is an absolutely amazing child. She is my only child so at the time I really didn't understand what was happening - but when my sister had her daughter and I watched the attachment, I finally understood. Think of Ethan as he is today. Imagine if someone came in and took Ethan and that someone didn't speak English and looked different than all the people he had seen in his whole life. It would be devastating for him. It may seem like the foster parents are overdoing, but just remember they have loved her for so long - this is a grieving process for them too. Hang in there - I promise, it will get better.

  5. We also went through this with our first adoption and it is heartbreaking to watch them grieve. I still struggle from time to time that I stole her away from her foster family and that she may have just done better in their care... but I know that God had a different plan for her life and that she wouldn't have those opportunities living in China (education, surgery, etc). We still deal with issues that relate to that trauma and how she was raised her first two years with her foster parents. They loved her and grieved her as well. We have made a point of sending them photos and letters a couple of times a year, so that they can see that her life is great.

    It will get better. Soon the smiles and laughter will come out again and slowly she will emerge from this grief.

  6. Selena, Praying for you as you wait, for Brent for wisdom, For the foster parents for comfort, for Alyssa for peace and bonding.

  7. Oh Selina, how heart breaking. We all know that she has an amazing family waiting for her, but the poor little thing has no idea whats around the corner. Praying for Brent as he navigate the rest of his journey. I can not wait until he brings her home! (BTW, your family picture is ADORABLE!) -Meghan

  8. hugs & prayers - what a difficult situation!

  9. This would be such an ideal gotcha week if it wasn't for the language barrier so that Brent could explain to them a plausible plan, like nights with him and a meal with them, and not more. He has definitely made the most of the situation. I'm so glad that he is so experienced with parenting and adopting so that he can hold his ground.

    It will be so nice when you are all together!

    I LOVE your family picture and look forward to the next one with everyone together.

  10. Praying for a smooth transition! What a nightmare so far...


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