We have our girl! We flew to the capital city of her province on Sunday, arriving at the hotel just in time to drop our bags and head to the government building. As soon as we walked in the room, we saw her. She looked exactly like the pictures we have seen! She came to me right away and said, “Mama!” I picked her up and she gave me a big kiss on the cheek! This was very unexpected, but clearly the nanny had trained her to do this. She then went to James and said, “Dada!” and gave him a kiss. The nanny handed her our family picture we had sent in November. She pointed to each of us and said our names with a big smile. Things were going well and she was very happy. It was good we got to see this side of her before the grief started.
The nanny and her orphanage director gave us some gifts and said their goodbyes. As soon as they walked out of sight our poor little girl starting screaming. We had to get her picture taken for the documents and she is red-faced with tears streaming down her cheeks. She screamed all the way back to the hotel and then all night at the hotel until she finally cried herself to sleep. We just held and rocked her through it all. She loves to cuddle and even in her crying she was very snuggly.
The next morning she woke up crying, but quickly quieted down. She refused to eat or drink anything and was just expression-less. Unfortunately we had to head back to the government building and meet with her director again to sign the official documents, finalizing the adoption. She did not cry and was good through the appointment, but would not respond to the director or his questions/comments. He said goodbye for the last time and then she started to cry again. It is hard to see a child go through so much grief. She has had a rough start to life and it seems so unfair! I cannot image how frightened she was, losing all she has ever known and heading off with two complete strangers that sound/look/smell so different.
She fell asleep on the way back to the hotel and woke up once we were back in our room. Then the bonding could really start! We played with toys and discovered she loves coloring. She started to smile and engage with us. She also likes to be neat. She picks up after herself with every toy she takes out. She cleans up any spill she sees, runs to get a napkin to wipe her nose, and throws away trash. She must have been the little momma of her class!
We never managed to get her down for a full, real nap so around dinner time she really crashed! We quick ran to KFC to eat (although we got there and were told they were out of chicken! How is KFC out of chicken?!). Then it was back to the room where she again cried herself to sleep.
Today she woke up smiley and eager to get down to breakfast at the hotel buffet. We have learned that her favorite foods are yogurt and noodles. She does not like ketchup or the apple sauce pouches, guess I shouldn’t have packed so many! She is a three year old and refuses to drink out of the sippy/straw cups I brought. Only real cups for my big girl! She is totally potty trained, which I did not expect. We spent a lot of time playing in the hotel room. We got some giggles and lots of smiles out of her. She has started to speak again and has learned the words ‘thank you, water, hello, bye, mama, dada.’ She says a lot more, but we don’t know the language we don’t know what she is saying. It is still good to hear her voice (it was really horse from all the screaming on Sunday).
Each day gets better and better! We can’t wait to get her home to her brother and sister. She loves the other kids we spend time with and I know she will enjoy her siblings. Please pray for our health and energy. She has been getting up at 4am and we are all tired! Our arms and backs are sore as we are not used to carrying a toddler for hours on end! Tomorrow we get her Chinese passport and then we head to a different province to get the USA visa stuff finished.