This post is really, really long and photo heavy. I would recommend leaving the page open and going to fix a cup of coffee and coming back. This post and the blog in general will probably load a bit slow today.
We had all morning to kill time. We weren’t meeting our guide until 2:00pm.
So many distractions should have helped, but I kept thinking about our daughter. Was she on her way to Guangzhou? Was she coming via a van or the public coach? How did her day begin? Was she scared of all the new sights? Was she excited by the change of scenery and new faces? Was she at peace? Was she okay?
We found the rice cereal, a cold Sprite, flowers and some Oreos for the boys. Then headed back to the hotel, where I uploaded these photos as a distraction.
2 hours to kill.
National Geographic animal shows on the tv.
Dumplings for lunch for Chris. I couldn’t eat.
The hotel staff rolled in a crib.
Clock moving slower than a turtle.
My heart racing faster than a rabbit.
Stomach in knots.
And then it was time to head to the lobby to meet Helen, our guide.
Deep breath. A hundred deep breaths.
And we left the hotel.
Got in a van.
Arrived at a government building and waited.
Then my oldest said, “I see her. She’s right there!” Sure enough she had just walked past us in her nanny’s arms and back into a little room. Not at all what I envisioned as the moment I would first beheld my daughter. It happened so fast…there she was…and then she was gone.
And then she stopped. She held on tight to me and was content in my arms. The director and a nanny from her orphanage brought her. We had a chance to ask them some questions and were grateful for little tidbits they shared. We look forward to learning more when we visit her orphanage later this week. They shared with us some photos of her from that morning…doing what looked like gymnastics moves on the ground. The same moves her big sister likes to do.
I was so worried about feeding her. Trying to guess which Chinese formula and rice cereal to buy. How much of each to put in the bottle. How hot the water should be. How big of a hole to cut in the top of the nipple. Cleft bottle or regular bottle. And how to feed her in regards to her cleft. So worried.
Once her little belly was full, we got to see some of her spunky personality. We’ve only seen one photo of her with a smile, so I’ve wondered is she could smile easily or if it would be a long road before we saw her smile and heard her giggle. Turns out daddy was able to evoke both really easily.
We’ve learned she likes to make a clicking/sucking noise with her tongue and cleft palate. It is pretty loud and sounds a lot like the Chinese squeaky shoes. She seems to do it to soothe herself. She also likes to put her thumb in the cleft of her palate and suck. It is pretty cute.
Today I was prepared for the worst case scenario. It was so very different. So peaceful, even in the tears. So natural. It was so much like the first times I met her older brothers and sister. And yet it was so very different. Today was beautiful. Our hearts are full. We are beaming. I am overcome with gratitude that God has given us this beautiful gift in the form of a tiny daughter. She is completely awesome.
Today was beautiful.