Thursday, December 10, 2009

About Haddie

Thank you ONCE AGAIN for prayers and encouragement! It is so hard to put into words what it is like to sit down in the morning and hear from you. I just wept this morning over how wonderful it was to hear your words! It truly is water to our soul!! You have spoken truth, you have spoken His Word, and we are so encouraged.
Let me just share a few things about this little girl:

*She has a smile that makes you want to smile back.

*She likes to sing. We have not heard it a lot, but she has quietly sung while on the bus to and from places. Yesterday, when we were at Walmart she darted for the children's DVD/CD section and grabbed this little DVD. It is much like a Chinese Teletubbies. It teaches English like Dora teaches Spanish. Anyway, she LOVES it and we feel that it is comforting to her.

*She is strong! You can see that so much courage has been required of her little life. I can see in her eyes this desire to be cared for, but feeling that she can only depend on herself. I am amazed that she allows me to help her as much as she does. She seems to really like it when I get her dressed and put lotion on her.

*She likes to pick up and make sure everything is in its place. She can fold clothing and blankets very well. She straightens Libi's crib for her. She puts things away when she is done with them. I hope that I do not allow her to get lazy in this area. She can teach the boys a thing or two!

*She desires to please. This morning she found some candy in her backpack. She began to eat it and we had to explain to her that she needed to wait. It really hurt her. I think she thought we were upset with her. She pulled into herself for awhile. We made sure that candy came back out at the appropriate time. She does like her candy!

*She is scared to receive love. When she initiates it is okay. When initiated by others she seems to get "silly". She will act babyish and give a fake giggle. There is just this guard up and you can tell she is not being herself.

*She has a stubborn side to her. :) This morning Brad had a moment while we were out that he could not hold her hand and she WOULD NOT take mine. She was pulling and smacking my hand away and she began to cry. It is hard to know what to do in the moment. I simply wanted her to know that if Baba cannot hold her hand she needs to be willing to hold mine and I will keep her safe. We needed our guide to step in and do some translating. She would not make eye contact, but the lip was out and she had her heels dug in! She understood and I just backed away and gave her space with her Baba this morning.

*She is very good with her little sister, very nurturing. Last night Libi was playing on the floor and getting into her things. She simply moved to the bed with her things and went back to Libi and gave her something to play with.

*She likes to be silly with Joel and Jack. They are very helpful in tiring her out! They are learning how to let her know when they have had enough, because I think she would go ALL day if they let her. She is still trying to win Jacob over. She will walk past him and touch his feet or handit's pretty cute. (I am SO proud of my boys! They are doing so well. This is a huge adjustment for Brad and I being grown ups, and they are doing great! Also there is NO WAY we could do this without grandma!!! )

Last night Haddie slept soundly as usual. About 5AM she reached out and called "Mama". I grabbed her and she just melted into me. She laid with me for an hour and half. At times it seemed that she could not get close enough. At one point while she was asleep she was softly crying. I cannot tell you how broken I am for her hurt, yet so excited to see the Lord do His healing work in her.

I was very excepted in the room this AM. I was beckoned many times. I saw her letting that guard down, but again, this is mostly just in the room that we see this. It is not that she doesn't like to go out. She gets very excited, gets her coat and heads for the door. It just seems to overwhelm her when we go out.
The area where her palette has been repaired seems really red and irritated. I have put hydrocortisone on it, but it is not helping. Any suggestions?

It seems that she has had very poor nutrition as well. When you touch her you cannot feel muscle. She is very thin! She is eating well for us. She still will only use silverware, even when we use chopsticks. She has very good table manners. She struggles with the "bendy" straws, but again we see how she has figured out how to cope.

I don't think I have commented on how tall she is. I brought size 6 for her, but think she will do well in 7's. She enjoys picking out her new clothes each day. She likes "bling" and anything "girly".

What about us???? Well, I think you can all gather that it is not going how we thought it would, but does it ever? I don't think you can fully prepare. Brad and I are just taking it moment by moment, and praying that God will bind us ALL together. I think we just ache for what she must be feeling right now. We don't want to "force" anything on her, but we want her to grow in security with us as her family.

Again, I thank you for praying.

We are filled with HOPE for we know He is the God of all HOPE!


  1. Amy and Brad,

    It is so wonderful to hear the good report--remember that most of what Haddie is dealing with is a normal part of the grieving process and everyone grieves differently--isn't God amazing even in that.

    Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.--Isaiah 58:7-9a

    We don't know about the skin issue, and wonder if it is related to the cold and Haddie's overall health. We defer to the good doctor on this, but would just stay the course.

    On the straw issue, we found that having to suck on a straw was difficult due to the cleft--Sarah Beth still struggles with a straw. Since Haddie is 7 you may want to just let her drink regularly from a cup, but should consider letting her continue to learn with a straw.

    You are in our thoughts and prayers!

    The Millers

  2. Hi Amy,

    She sounds wonderful!

    The moment when you shared that Haddie called out mama and let you snuggle with her just melted my heart. What a gift for you as well....a glimmer of what's to come once her heart heals.

    Stay KNOW you will be rewarded beyond measure:-).

    Love, Tami

  3. It is so good to hear about your sweet little girl- you allowed us to get to know her a bit by all that you posted. I am sure all this is a huge adjustment from what her life has been like for the past 7 years. We are praying for her and for you all as you adjust to one another and as she settles into your family. Although the adjustment is difficult and may not go as expected God will mold your family together in a way that will be beyond all your expectations. We will continue to pray for that melting together process!
    Love, Marilyn

  4. Haddie sounds absolutely precious! LOVE that she is a girly girl - just fits right into her mama's heart! :) Speak truths over her of what she is - precious, beautiful, patient with her sis, fun and silly with her brothers, loved, blessed.

    You all are doing an AMAZING job. I KNOW it is hard, but you are CALLED and EQUIPPED! God has already given you EVERYTHING you need to be the best mommy, daddy, brother, sister, grandma, family to Haddie!

    What joy and blessing you will have watching her blossom before your eyes. Just as Libi has been a visual miracle in your home of God's physical healing, Haddie with be a visual of his emotional healing. I can tell you that YOU WILL BE BLESSED!!!

    Praying without ceasing!

    Love to you all! - Sherry

  5. Hi Arnolds -
    I thought I had left a comment earlier, but I don't think it took, if this is a repeat, forgive me!

    Just wanted you to know I am praying everytime you come to mind, and God brings you to mind often. It is so exciting to read yours and Haddie's stories, God's fingerprints are all over it. It makes me excited for our turn.

    Praying that His strength,peace and grace continue to overwhelm you.


  6. How wonderful it is to keep with you step by step. Thanks for letting us see through the window of your soul. It helps as I think about you through the day and pray for y'all specifically. I loved hearing that Haddie is singing a lot. That's the sign of a joyful heart. It reminds me of Mandy. Amy, it melted me to hear about her calling out to you in the wee hours of the morning. She's allowing you to bring her comfort and that's so precious.

    "But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation...For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister." Hebrews 6:9-10

    May God continue to shower you with his love and blessings as you minister in His name.

    Give our love to everyone. We love you all so much!! xoxo Mel

  7. Amy - I look so forward to your updates every day. I agree with the others, when she called you at night, that touched my heart so much!

    Also - made me think of Paige when you mentioned her getting silly and talking babyish. Paige does that too especially when a little insecure and uncomfortable.
    She looked at her pictures yesterday and was so excited to meet Haddie.

    You have so much love and support and prayers back here. You are covered, my sweet friend. All of you!!

  8. I am "all over the place" reading your UPdate!! I can only imagine how YOU feel!! JOY ~ at being beckoned as Mama!!! Frustrated~ as to the NON~hand holding & all emotions in between!

    THANK you for allowing us to glimpse into your daughter's world! I am honored!!!

    The verse that SPRANG to my mind as I envisioned you reaching out to Haddie was: 2 Corinthians 1:3 & 4

    "Blessed be the God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion!!! AND God of ALL comfort! Who comforts us in ALL our troubles, SOTHAT we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

    (Emphasis & exclamations mine!)

    Much Love & continued prayers, around the globe & 5 doors down!!!

  9. Life has come down to moment by moment....Haddie is so much more open to your love that she realizes...she's beginning to feel safe and that is why you see her little defiant spirit. Its a testing to see if you really love matter what. The language barrier is frustrating..but remember that just as we dont always know Gods ways we have to trust in what we dont understand and Haddie will need to learn to trust what she doesnt understand either.
    I am consulting with my in house dermatologist about Haddie's lip...and his question to me old is the scar? If you have a picture you could send to his email ( of her lip he can give you some more concrete direction. Vaseline or Aquaphor are what comes to mind because I'm not sure what you will find in china...but I know you can have a special appt at our house or a house call if need be over christmas...we are home! We can bring pizza too!
    As I was sitting here it just occured to me that Haddie has no idea the blessing that she has ahead to live on a block full of sweet little Chinese girls her age! What a confirmation to her heart that she was hand picked and she's not weird (right now in China..she is weird in public...Ben was aware of it).
    OH! I was talking to Ben last night about how he was all over his daddy in Russia and wanted nothing to do with me...and he said "Yea and then when we got back I fell in love with you and wanted to MARRY YOU!" I completely forgot! He even asked me to marry him, I told him that I was too old for him and that probably wouldnt make Daddy very happy. Hang in there in your authority as parents, she hasnt had any and apparently has thrived regardless....its going to take a weaning from her own self reliance and she craves the boundaries that you provide..even if its hand holding right now. (Ben bolted constantly whenever we went into a parking lot...I had to scale my parenting down from that of a 6 year old to that of a 4 year old..because he just had a tiny little boys maturity in an older body. In some ways he is still catching up...but he laughs now at how out of control he was! (FYI...he closed the garage door on my car on more than one occasion...he just was sure he could do whatever he saw me doing). It will be a blessing that you will come home to winter and Christmas because you can hunker down and cocoon for a while as the next phase of adjustment happens.
    Ok..the doctors verdict via text is...tada! Aquaphor or vaseline...I think we have been married a long time..I"m starting to read his mind ! I'm thinking also as a mom...try to avoid acidic foods and drinks (OJ, tomato..etc) they only irritate further.
    I'm sure Tom can advise something better when you get home. Feel free to ask us if you need any skin help! We're praying!

  10. Arnold Family....

    We are so proud of you boys for learning to love on your sister like you are. She is going to learn alot from you. Uh oh, you better be good!! I was thrilled to learn more about your precious girl. Give her some TIME.... she will thrive and grow in ways you can't comprehend. Imagine being in your own home and snuggling in her own new bed. Life will look so different for you all. Thinking that in this short of time she is already calling out for you Amy, her own mama. God has given you a heart like His and you will see new glimpses of her letting go and letting you. God called you to passionately rescue your Haddie and we pray for you to see continued HOPE in watching God move.

    You are amazing and we love you all. Lisa

  11. Friends, Let me continue to tell you how much we love you and are praying for you. Amy, savor those early morning moments. Believe it or not between 2 and 3 in the morning were some of my best times with SB. It was if her guard was down and she would allow me to fully love her. Isn't it James Dobson who says sometimes at night or right before bed our children will give us an "in" to the window of their soul and we must take full advantage of it. Some of her mistrust of you, Amy may be due to the fact that none of the women in her life have been permanent. They have loved her for a season and then moved on. Praise God you are the real thing sweet friend and she needs to search no longer! She is going to have to learn that you aren't going anywhere and that she can trust you with her heart. My heart aches when I think of the many times she has given her heart away only to be disappointed. Praise you, Jesus that you NEVER disappoint.

    Also just to reaffirm that her reactions in public are so normal even though they can be upsetting. Gabriel would completly shut down in public. He would always be so excited to go and then when we were out we were always so ready to get him back to our room. Although SB was younger she had similar reactions. I honestly think that they wonder each time if perhaps you are taking them back. This absolutley broke my heart when I pondered this. They have had no permanance in their lives, ever. Imagine the fear, anxiety, anger etc that we would have bottled up for so long. How awesome that our Father is the ultimate healer and you, Arnold family have been given the most precious honor of introducing Haddie to Him.

    So thankful for Haddie's stubborness. My sister tells me to call it tenacity. So we can thank God for our tenacious girls for they will be mighty for the kingdom someday!

  12. So glad to see the update of miss haddie. It sounds like she has a heart of gold...precious and sweet. I can't wait to meet her.
    My 4 yr old class has been praying for her all week. They have been praying that she feels safe and secure in her new family and that God will help her not to be scared. It is so sweet to hear these little ones pray for precious Haddie.

    Much love,

  13. This was the first chance I have had to see how you all are doing!! I am overwhelmed with joy for you all!! Much love and prayers for you!!! Thanks so much for sharing!! I love it!!
    Love ya
    Lynn :)

  14. Amy,

    My heart leapt when I heard your voicemail. When did Haddie have her palate surgery? For a couple of weeks after Sarah Beth's surgery she had bloody drainage. If Haddie's was not recent then if might be inflamed. Sarah Beth's palate was sensitive for a long time. She still periodically has food drainage from her nose even tho her palate was repaired b/c there is still a slight opening at the front which is very common. If she has pain in her mouth you could use ambesol for teething as it will numb the pain in her mouth as well.

    I hope I have helped. Please let me know if you have other concerns. Since she has probably never used a straw before it also may have irritated her palate. This happened to Sarah Beth for awhile b/c she wasn't sure how to use it (thier sucking ability is limited with cleft)and she would poke it into the top of her mouth, especially juice box straws. Just watch that and you may have to limit Haddie's use of them for awhile.
    We love you!

  15. Amy,

    I can FEEl how tender your heart is! I have tears in my eyes! Thank you so much for all the updates and pictures. Haddie is so precious and sweet and you can SEE GOD'S working hand in ALL of this! Keep seeking HIS face, even in those hard moments of uncertainty. Please know that so many many people love you guys, and are praying for you and are thinking of you!

    In Him,