An invisible red thread connects those that are destined to meet,regardless of time,place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.~Ancient Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gotcha Day!!!

At last...Monday Feb.18th arrived!! The day we would finally meet our Daughter!!
We woke early that morning, too nervous to eat breakfast. Headed down to meet the rest of our group and piled into the bus that would drive us to the Civil Affairs Office. I was a bundle of nerves on the way there. Our guide spoke to us about what to expect once we were united with our little ones. They also told us that since our Orphanage was the closest, that Xin Xin would probably be the first to arrive. We we pulled in and got our hearts prepared to see her sweet face.

To our surprise, other kiddos had already arrived. Nannies started calling names and bring little ones to their families. It was one of the most emotional things I have ever experienced. I cried as I tried to take videos and pictures for these other families that we have grown to know and love. Seeing them meet their children for the first time, was a vision I will never ever forget. It was almost like watching someone give birth..sounds silly..but JUST as emotional. I knew that there was another family there who was adopting a 6 year old little girl, who was also from Xin Xin's Orphanage. I saw a van pull up and could see that there was one older child and a baby coming out. I yelled for Brian, who was across the room videoing for another family.."She's HERE!!" We rushed to the door to see them arrive. They walked past us, wanting to find the parents of the 6 year old girl first. We followed behind, taking in every ounce of our girl. The nanny called her name and we rushed up to take her. They placed her in my arms...where she will forever stay..

She had her eyes tightly shut, lips pursed and was crying. She was in full "shut down mode" . She was scared , confused and just not happy. As soon as they handed her to me, I felt the worst rattle in her chest. I knew that she was sick. They told me she had started with a cold a few days before and gave me some sort of "antibiotic" to keep her on. We muddled through the paperwork, while she continued to cry. It was heartbreaking to watch her in such a state. She was simply terrified.
I had read stories and watched gotcha day videos and was fully aware of how children grieve, but honestly, due to her young age, I thought we were "in the clear"...Wrong...She was so sad and it broke my heart to see her so unhappy. I continued to stroke her face and kiss her...which just seemed to add to her unhappiness.
The rest of that day is honestly a blur. As I sit here typing it over 2 days later..I feel as if I cant even remember the details. I just know that she was sad. I would show her forms of affection and she would scream, as if I was hurting her. My poor girl.
Our amazing guide from our agency, Rita, noticed what a hard time we were having. She didn't want to eat for us, just seemed to shut down emotionally. She called the Orphanage several times for us, just asking the Nanny questions that may help us ease her transition. They stressed to Rita that Xin Xin is an extremely shy little girl. If strangers would come to the room, she would clam up and cry. She has only been cared for by one older Nanny, who smells a certain way, looks a certain way, talks a certain way. Then, the thing that broke my heart was when Rita told me that she had been given "no love" before. I broke down. She doesn't know how to handle all of this affection we are throwing at her, she told me. How sad. She has never been rocked, caressed,..nothing. Rita assured me that over time, kind of like peeling back the layers of an onion peel, she would come around. But for now, she was in shock. And trust me....she was. She would just tense up, ball her fists until they turned blue and scream.
Fast forward to the next day..still grieving, still sick..and its time to make the adoption official! Again, I feel like I was in a fog. I remember signing the papers, taking the photo..but my thoughts were focused on the sweet girl in my arms, who was still so sad.

Later that evening, after I gave her a bottle, she seemed to come alive. We sat her on the bed..still wobbly..and she smiled.. Oh, my heart soared!!!! She tried playing with some toys, taking everything in. I swear I don't think she has ever seen her fingers, with all of those layers she had on. She would just stare at her hands...touching each finger...
The second night went much better. She woke twice in the night, but didn't want to eat, only to be cuddled a little bit and then fell back asleep.
Today we are on day 3 with her, and I feel that we have made some HUGE steps in progress. She has reached out for me, figured out how to grasp her toys, and is even starting to try to crawl.She is coming to life..and I love watching every second of it!
I was sop surprised by how much smaller she is. They say 18 way..She is wearing a size 1 diaper, her 18 mos clothes hang off of her. She can barely sit unsupported, cant crawl (I think her update photos were staged)lol. She has alot of catching up to do, but I have faith that we will make the strides, together.
In the 2 1/2 days we have had her, she has experienced so many new things. First car ride, first time out of the Orphanage (they weren't ever taken outside), first hugs, kisses, new faces, new clothes, new smells, first time in a bathtub. That's enough, when you sit down and think about it, to scare the hell out of anybody!!
We will remain constant and steady with her care, teaching her that WE are her new parents, the ones who will meet ALL of her needs..whatever they may be. I have so many pictures to show you the strides we have made..but that will have to be for another post.
We have no adoption related meetings for the next few days, which means just hanging out and bonding around the hotel. Today and tomorrow many families will be driving into their Child's City and visiting and touring their Orphanage. We have decided to opt out of the tour. We are just now making progress with her, and as much as we would love to see and take pictures of the room and place that she spent the first 14 mos of her life, we feel that we need to focus on her FUTURE, and that taking her back, even to visit, would cause us major setbacks. We have another family who will be traveling to visit, and they  have offered to take some photos for us; just to have.We will mingle with some of the other families here, if little miss is up for it. Even when we leave the room, she tenses around strangers...and so for the next few days, we will just let her dictate what we do. If it means hunkering down in our hotel room, for her to feel safe with just us....lunch and dinner will just have to come via room service!

I want to thank each and every person who has commented on the blog, on facebook and thru personal emails. I have read EVERY single word and am hanging on them all. The other night, in my midst of despair, I hit my knees on the bathroom floor of our hotel room and just sobbed. I prayed for our sweet girls health, for her heart, and for wisdom for US, as her new family, to know what to do. I reached out thru Fb asking for prayers...and saw the power of prayer come to life. Our little one is slowly starting to get a little better, health wise. She is eating for us, sleeping for us, and even reaching for me. Oh, be still my heart. When i pick her up, she clings to my neck and buries her head in the curve of my neck.If I hold her, she will just sleep in my arms. You can feel her body relax..and I fell that she is beginning to feel some peace....thanks to all of the prayers coming from back home. I am humbled and amazed at the outpouring of support we are getting during this trip. It is hard. 19 days away, and we are only on day 9. We have much longer to go, and will still ask for prayers to get us through. We stand in awe at Gods work. He brought us to this little girl and will give us the peace we need to teach her all abut love and family. And so, again, from both of us..thank you so much for following our journey, supporting us and praying for us when we need it. We love you ALL!!

Hugs and slobbering kisses from Zhengzhou!!!!