Thursday, July 09, 2015

Q&A: All About Mabel

I've had a lot of people ask questions about Mabel, so figured I would try to answer the most common questions in one place for those who are interested.

How old is Mabel?
Mabel will be 20 months when we pick her up at the end of the month.  20 months and 2 days to be exact.

Where does she live currently?
Mabel lives in the province on Qinghai in the city of Xining.  It is close to the Tibetan Plateau and is predominantly Muslim.   In China, it's not considered a very large city, since it's only 2 million people.  We will likely be the only Western people that Mabel has ever seen.

What is Mabel's living situation?  
Since she was five days old, Mabel has been institutionalized.   For the first 11 months of life, Mabel lived in the Social Welfare Institute of Xining.   An organization called Christian Action works closely with her orphanage and built several apartments on the same grounds as the orphanage and hired foster parents to take care of some of the orphans in a more family setting.   Mabel has been living with foster parents since last October.  They have raised their "one child" and he is currently away at college.   We've heard really positive things about the care in general at this particular orphanage from other adoptive parents. 

Will Mabel ever know her birth parents?
Because she was abandoned at five days and taken in by the orphanage, there is no record of her birth parents.  To ensure that birth parents have a chance to claim their children, the government places a "finding ad" in the local newspaper for each child that is abandoned.  This includes a photo and the location that the child was found by local officials.  We wish that we could show them that she will be well taken care of and given every opportunity (plus a couple of great siblings!), but unfortunately that's not possible.

What are you most worried about?
We are definitely most concerned about Mabel's grief and attachment/bonding to our family.  It's wonderful that she is living in a foster care situation, but this, of course, will mean that her grief is more significant.  She's been sharing a bed with her foster mom since she started living there and to have that relationship ripped away for her is going to be so so tough.   We are hopeful that because she has attached previously, she will be able to transfer her attachment to us eventually.  Professionals compare the trauma of an adoption at this age to a kidnapping.  We have spent a lot of time praying for her and would love continued prayers and thoughts for her in the coming weeks.  Poor baby is going to have no idea what hit her.

Are you taking Jakson and Storey on your trip?
Yes!  We know this will make the trip more stressful (adding children, especially one with special needs is bound to add stress), but we wouldn't trade this experience.   We started this process as a family and plan to finalize it together.  Jakson's therapists also think it's going to be very beneficial for him to realize that little sisters don't just appear from airplanes.   Zak and I have felt strongly from the moment we decided to adopt that the kids would travel with us.    We started prepping them several months ago and will be doing China Boot Camp for the next couple of weeks.   

What is the schedule for the time you are in China?
We fly out on a Wednesday, land in China Thursday night, and then will spend 2 nights in Beijing, visiting the Great Wall and a couple of other sites as well as hopefully getting our bodies adjusted to the time change.  On Sunday, we fly to Xining City.  Monday is Family Day (when we will get Mabel) and Tuesday the adoption is finalized with the Chinese government.  We have to spend several more days in Xining to wait for Mabel's passport.  After that we are off to Guangzhou.  We have a medical appointment on Saturday and then our Consulate Appointment on Monday (we will go to a local LDS church congregation on Sunday).  We then have to wait for her visa, which we should get by Tuesday evening when we leave for Hong Kong.  We will be in Hong Kong for two days and then fly out late Thursday night/early Friday morning.  The whole trip will take about 2.5 weeks. 


rawhide said...

SO SO SO EXCITED FOR YOU GUYS!!! Its getting real for you. And to go to the Great Wall....that is one thing I missed out on a few years ago when I went to China. You guys are awesome and Mabel will enjoy your family and come to feel your love for her too. GOOD LUCK WITH EVERYTHING!!! Can't wait to see some pictures. Instagram works in China but not facebook so keep us posted any way you can!! Seriously so happy for your family Beth!!!!

Vanessa said...

This is so awesome that this is really happening and happening so soon! I have also been thinking about her attachment and will pray for you all and her that the process will be as smooth as possible.

Related Posts with Thumbnails