This post is FULL of pictures - lots and lots of pictures. This was, by far, the most amazing day of our trip to China - and one of the most amazing days in my life!
The morning after we went to see the Great Wall, our travel group left the hotel early and headed to the Beijing Airport. We got on a plane for a short flight to Zhengzhou, China - the capitol of the Henan Province. Our hotel was beautiful! The best thing was seeing this set up in our room:
Seeing the crib made it all so real, so fast. After unpacking, our group took a trip to China Walmart to buy supplies for our little ones. China Walmart, by the way, is nothing like our Walmart. It is 3 (or 4 - I can't remember) stories high, there are dried chickens hanging for sale, you have to buy your plastic grocery bags, and (of course) everything is in Mandarin.
After our Walmart trip, we went back to our room to put everything away and then met some of our new friends for dinner at the hotel next door. That night, I don't think any of us could sleep. The next morning would be "Gotcha Day"! The day our children would be placed in our arms!
When we walked in, 3 children were already there waiting on us. None of them were Faith. Then a baby boy was brought in. I wondered if I would recognize her if I saw her. I didn't have to wait long to find out. I looked out of the glass doors and saw her, bundled in many layers, being carried by a friendly looking man, to the building. Here cheeks were pink and her eyes were big.
We stood back, letting them check to make sure we were the people we she was actually matched to. Once that was certain, we started the transition into our arms.
I brought some lollipops, cheerios, goldfish and gerber puffs. I chose a lollipop to try to lure her to us. She took the lollipop and then wanted to get away from these strangers!
She did a lot of crying/screaming and back arching at first.
She was NOT sure of this!
After only a few minutes, the fighting stopped, she relaxed, and settled into my arms.
She started to trust us once the treats came out.
We took out Byron's phone to show her pictures of her new brothers and sisters.
We scrolled by a picture of Byron. She pointed and said, "BaBa!" (Which is Daddy in Mandarin.) That is the moment the tears started!
After Faith had settled, we were called over to sign the papers making her ours (though it wasn't official until the next day).
The lady in the top right is one of our guides/representatives/translators, Rita. All of the reps CCAI provided were excellent! They made our trip seamless and relatively easy.
This is the orphanage officer Wang Xu and a nanny, Ms. Yan Yan who delivered Faith to us. They brought with them a bag of Faith's favorite snacks (including 3 boiled eggs), a box of formula, and some of the items we sent in her care package including 2 photo books and a voice recording toy.
After all of the official stuff was over, Faith and I found a comfy spot to get to know each other while the other parents waited to receive their children.
We had only one picture, taken 2 years ago, of Faith smiling. The only video we had was 23 seconds long - 23 seconds of her throwing a fit! We were very much expecting a serious, somber child. We soon found out that Faith is seriously playful! She smiles and laughs easily. Within moments we were laughing together - something I thought would take days to happen!
She was starting to really like this strange blonde lady! I love they way she is looking at me!
Finally in our arms!
The bus ride back to the hotel was a little noisier than the drive to the registration office. I think all of us were thankful for the noise! Faith was terrified of the bus and clung to me the whole drive. That was OK with me!
We got back to the hotel around noon. We ordered room service for lunch. Then we started taking off the multiple layers of clothing of our precious girl. It was like unwrapping a squirmy, but precious gift. We gave her a bath and then set her on the bed to get a good look at her. We loved every little bit! And who wouldn't! She is precious!
We gave her new clothes, and then we just sat and watched her. Before we knew it, she leaned over and gave Daddy a kiss!!
Then Mommy needed a kiss!!
The bonding process had begun!
That evening we bundled our little gift up and walked down to the Burger King. We fed her french fries, and then she fed us. She was wide eyed with wonder at the people on the streets and the lights of the city. That night, she slept by my side. During the night, she would wake up, snuggle closer, pat my face and kiss my cheek. It was as if she was making sure I was still there. I cried silent tears of joy at finally, FINALLY, having my little one in my arms! I praised the Lord for bringing us there, for making it all happen, for this precious gift of love.