Loving Lily

Our journey to China to bring a little girl home to her family.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Gotcha, Lily!

On our way to meet Lily. Even Seth is excited!!!

In she walks with an orphanage worker. She is beautiful! And she looks so serious. But no crying.

Daddy holds her first.

Finally Mommy's turn.

Our arms may be full, but our hearts are full to bursting.

Back at the hotel room with two toddlers. New brother and sister bonds are starting to form already.

Today was a day unlike any other. Everything moved in slow motion, and I spent the whole morning fighting back tears. I was so nervous. Not caring about whether or not she cried (I expected her to howl), and not that she wouldn't like us or that I would do something wrong. Just nervous. Ten months of praying, worrying, working, fund raising, studying her country, staring at her pictures...it was all about to culminate into one life-changing event.

When we arrived at the civil affairs office, we were ushered into what resembled a large waiting room. In one half of the room a group of about five families were holding their new babies, most of them appeared to be under one year old. They were talking to the orphanage nannies. That scene itself was enough to send me fighting tears. The other family and we were asked to sit down. We waited for about five minutes, and every time someone shadowed the door, my heart flipped. Then our guide showed up again and said that Lily was here, but they were still waiting for the other couple's baby to arrive. I couldn't believe it. We were in the same building with our daughter!!! I peeked into the hallway, but I couldn't see anything. I didn't hear anything either, and that meant that at least she wasn't crying. So I sat back down. No sooner had I plopped nervously into my seat when a nicely dressed woman stepped into the room holding the hand of the most precious little girl: our little girl. I could tell that she was lovingly dressed for her big day. She was wearing a blue jumper that read "Special Delivery" with a picture of a baby on it, over a pink shirt and pink tights. She was wearing brand new shoes.

My heart melted. I thought with the way my emotions were running crazy that I would burst into tears at the sight of her, but I didn't. I couldn't stop staring. I was holding the video camera, and I tried to turn it on, but I think my nervous hands kept turning it on and off, I really have no idea what pictures I took. The nanny led her over to us. There was a coffee table in front of the couch we were sitting on. I reached into my back pack and picked up a snack container (cheerios and fish crackers) and knelt on one side of the table while she was on the other side. I poured some snack into my hand. She immediately reached her hand out and filled her fist with the snack. However, she just left her hand resting in my palm. The nanny tried to encourage her to eat it, but she left her hand in mine and stared at me and then at the snack. I kissed her chubby hand a few times and then Rob picked up a fish cracker and offered it to her lips. She let him feed her. Then she couldn't get enough. Seth did great this whole time. He mostly sat in his stroller, but when he saw Lily eating "his" snack, he became quite vocal, so Rob and I took turns feeding Lily and Seth and holding Lily and Seth. It was a great divide and conquer effort. At one point Seth's shoe fell off, and Lily slid off my lap and picked it up and handed it to Rob who was holding Seth. So cute.

Lily did not shed one tear. She didn't even look nervous. She let us hold her and kiss her and read her books and put necklaces on her and feed her. Even now, five hours later, the only time she cried was when I tried to take off her shoes to change her clothes. Maybe she feels if I take off her shoes, then she has to stay, and she wasn't ready for that. Right now, she is asleep in my bed. She fell asleep sitting next to me, and didn't stir when I laid her down. I will have to change her because I'm pretty sure she pooped, but I decided to post here first and see if she will fall into a deep sleep so that she doesn't wake up.

The funniest thing about her: she is the tidiest little thing. When we got back to our room, we gave her an Elmo backpack full of small toys, and of course Seth dumped it everywhere. She made a shocked little noise and picked everything back up and put it away. Then she picked up everything else she could find on the floor and handed it to us. Each time she would say something that sounded like: "Ai na." This evening our guide stopped by for a little bit for some paperwork, and I asked her what she might be saying, and she said it sounded like "Hold this." So she's been bringing me everything you could think of, and saying, "Here, hold this." Cracks me up. It could also be that she is saying "Ai ya!" which means, "Oh no!" Either way, won't our boys be so glad that we're giving them a bossy little sister! Ha! Actually they both love to be bossed around by little girls! Seth, not so much. They played pretty well together this afternoon, and she tolerated his rough antics so well. I held them both a lot, and neither one minded.

Lily is cuddly and lovable and today could NOT have gone any better. We even got to see her smile! She loves a little kitten we bought for her, and it makes her smile. She set it up next to Rob and laughed the sweetest, squeaky laugh. Sigh. My cup runneth over. I know that we're going to have many moments of crying and grieving, but it didn't happen today. Maybe when she wakes up tomorrow morning without her shoes on she will start to grieve...

We do get to visit the orphanage this week, on Thursday, and it looks like we may be able to meet the foster family! That has been my prayer ever since I found out she was in foster care. That will be a hard day for her, but it will be better for her in the long run.



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