Sunday, January 31, 2010

We are Blessed

Overcame jetlag pretty fast this time. Everything is going so much better than I dared to dream. I feel so overjoyed to be home and to have everyone together. Abby is adjusting incredibly well - she is thrilled to be with her family, and is bubbly and laughing all day long. God answered every single one of our prayers about this adoption, and I stand in awe at His greatness and mercy. Another thing, which I don't think you really understand until you've been in this place.... so many people told me before and I didn't quite get it. You start this out because you feel a calling, because you want to help someone in need. Yet when you're on the other end, you realize you're blessed every bit as much. We feel so honored to have been selected to be Abby's family, and so very blessed to have her in our home! And amazingly, the sound of my five children running through my house, chasing each other and shouting in laughter..... it REALLY is a good sound!! I have a feeling "quiet" time as I know it is over for a while for me....... but I'll take it!!

I'll continue the blog in the months to come, although I will probably be posting less frequently. I have really enjoyed keeping in touch with everyone like this, and even getting in touch with family members we rarely have contact with. Thanks for sharing in our journey, and please continue to check in on us.

Don't miss the posts below with lots of pictures from our first couple of days home.

Meeting My Sister

video

Around the House

She loves board games just like her siblings. They're teaching her Candy Land.

Home just in time for Daddy's birthday.



Coming Home Pictures

Greeting Daddy at the airport. And no, the wheelchair in the background doesn't belong to any of us (clarifying for my mother's benefit, who I'm sure would hyperventilate when she saw that).



Finally getting to meet the big siblings:

At home:


Daddy with his two girls:
First breakfast at home. She's the only one at the table because I let her sleep 'til 11. Jake sat with her to keep her company.




The Flight Home

Abby loved her first airplane ride. Thankfully she didn't get motion sick, and was not scared at all.




The five hour layover at Shanghai. The kids were thrilled to find a Burger King.


The Smiths little guy Colin on our flight to Newark. He was such a good boy the entire flight!! What a blessing!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Last Night in Guangzhou

Our last night in Guangzhou we had one last dinner with our friends Chris, Faith, and Avery. We felt so priviliged to have traveled at the same time and to have had the opportunity to meet this beautiful family in person. You can read all about this inspiring family HERE. And isn't that little Avery a cutie??


HOME

We're home!!!!! Everything went great on the way back - absolutely no problems, great flights, etc... We just beat the snow that caused a bunch of flight cancellations, reminding me that God was there with us once again. Made it to DH's promotion, everything went off without a hitch. Abby got to help pin on her daddy's new rank. Lots of tears all around - great day.

Abby's doing wonderfully - she's already bonded with everyone, especially her new sister.

I'll post more soon, including some pictures!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Red Couch Photos

We couldn't quite get everyone on the red couch at the same time, so we took several pictures instead. We did get a group picture in front of the waterfall. This is still NOT everybody in our group.


















Today was the big day – we got to go to the US Consulate and take “THE OATH”. Basically, we were promising that all of the information we have provided thus far has been true, etc.., etc…. It was the very last step before our kids would be granted a Visa. Upon touching down on U.S. soil, they will now be American citizens. I love that we will be arriving with our friends the Smiths, so our kids will become U.S. citizens at the same time.

All of our families traveled to the Consulate together. They used to be housed right next door to our hotel, but the building was way too small and so they had to move – it is now about 45 minutes from here. Abby enjoyed the bus trip and looked out the window the entire time, watching everything intently. I’m sure she’s seeing a lot of things for the first time.
When we got there, we had to go through all kinds of security screenings, much like at the airport. We were all ushered into a giant waiting room, where they called families’ names one by one from these little windows. When they called your name (actually, they were calling out the children’s Chinese names) you had to step up to the window and sign some documents. It was really nice to have such a large group, because every time they called up one of the families, the entire group would clap for them. It was great to have all those people sharing such a happy moment. Everyone was afraid they would not understand it when they called their child’s name, and it actually did happen to a couple of families. After everyone had signed their papers, a worker stood in the front and guided us all through the oath as a group. Done!!!!

We celebrated with dinner at Lucy’s, which by the way serves Western as well as Chinese food. I had some Scichuan (I have no idea how to spell it) chicken that was to die for. We had a good laugh when I let Abby try a bite of my chicken. It was pretty spicy, and I already knew from previous reactions that she doesn’t really do spicy. She asked for a bite, though, so I let her try it. She took a giant forkful, popped it in her mouth, and it took about two seconds for it to hit her. Then her eyes got as big as saucers, and she started fanning her face, and reached for the water. The poor thing was a very good girl, though – she did not spit any of it out. She still sat there and chewed and swallowed the whole thing. And then she was enough of a good sport to laugh about it!

Tomorrow is our last full day here, and I can’t say we’re a bit sad about it!! We can NOT wait to get home to everyone else – and to start the next leg of this journey!!!! We will be doing our red couch photos in the morning, a tradition among China adoptive families. We’ll get the kids all dressed up in their traditional Chinese outfits, and have them all pose together for a photo on the red couch in the lobby of our hotel. It should prove to be quite interesting with a group this size. You won’t want to miss those shots, though, so make sure to check in tomorrow. Hopefully, I can get to Starbucks and get the pictures posted before we’re gone from Guangzhou for good!!

Disclaimer: Due to time constraints, I am not proofreading these posts at all - it's just type and post. So please don't scrutinize my spelling or grammar too much!!!! Just be glad I posted something and leave it at that.

Monday January 25th

Sorry for the late post, but I don’t have internet in my room anymore. I had paid for a week, which ran out Monday night. We only had two full days left in Guangzhou at that point, and although the weekly rate for internet in the room was reasonable, the daily rate is, in my opinion, a rip-off. So, we’ve opted to make the daily trek to Starbucks to go online instead, because, well, it’s free there. And they have Frappuccinos. Which means it’s not really free in the end, but at least I get my coffee fix and James satisfies his sweet tooth. Abby just gets a water, because the girl has no sweet tooth whatsoever, except for ice cream, and even then she has trouble getting through the whole thing. We made our first trek there this morning, but I only had enough time to check emails and write back to my hubby (sorry, he takes priority).

On Monday all we really had to do was check for a phone message from our guide at around noon. She was going to leave a message if there was any kind of issue with our paperwork at the Consulate. If we got no message by that time, it would mean we were good to go. We actually ate breakfast and then came back to hang around the room until about 12:30, just to make sure. No message, so we were good. We went for a walk around the island again. Spent a little more time at the playground, where Abby is still deathly afraid of the monkey bars. She is cute, because as we approach the playground she gets all excited saying “Monkey bars, monkey bars” , and then I walk her up to them and she shouts “No, no” and takes off running and giggling. She does enjoy running around and trying most of the other equipment, though. The parks here are interesting because you see a lot of elderly people trying to get some exercise, like riding a little stationary bike they have there. I think they also enjoy being there to watch the kids.

We walked around, exploring and shopping, until close to 5 pm. It was then time to meet our group in the lobby to head out to dinner. We had not had dinner with the entire group since everyone got back down to Guangzhou, so we were looking forward to getting to know some of the kids. Our guide Shiyan took us to a local Chinese restaurant, where we once again had the big tables with the lazy susan in the middle, and they just keep bringing big plates of food for everyone to try. James and I were feeling much better than when we had this type of meal in Beijing, so we were happy to sample just about everything. There were plates of BBQ pork, sweet and sour chicken, fried noodles, fried rice with shrimp (yes, I skipped that one), spicy green beans, broccoli in garlic sauce, pork dumplings, and I’m sure a few others that I can’t think of right now. Everything was top-notch. Abby had a great time sampling, and seemed to enjoy absolutely everything that was put in front of her. She also enjoyed laughing at me as I tried out the chopsticks.

We had been taken upstairs to a large banquet room, and there was a private party going on in the room next to ours. Apparently it was a wedding reception, and Abby caught a glimpse of the bride at some point. Before I knew it, she had run into their party room, and was standing a couple of feet away from the bride saying (in English) “Beautiful, beautiful”. Luckily, everyone thought it was cute and just grinned at her.

That about wrapped up our Monday. We came back to the room and Abby settled nicely into her bed to play with her Barbies. She could do that for hours, and probably will on the plane back home. I’ve been amazed at her ability to entertain herself if she has a doll of any sort around. She also will sing little songs to herself while she’s playing, and lo and behold, the girl has a very pretty singing voice. Apparently, when you adopt a kid they don’t share your DNA.
James continues to entertain all of those fortunate enough to sit anywhere within earshot. It’s been interesting seeing this side of his personality as he has gotten older. I never thought he would be this much of a clown, but he really does enjoy making others laugh. He’s been a joy to have on this trip with me.

Of course, it would be the PERFECT trip if three (or four) certain other people were here too. Because I terribly miss a million things about each of them……. I can’t wait to have everybody together again!!!!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Worship

What an indiscribable experience to start today with worship at a Christian church in Guangzhou. Before I came here, I had no idea this was even possible, or that there were openly Christian churches holding Sunday services anywhere in this country. The service we attended was in Mandarin, with an English translation. How amazing to hear God's word spoken in Chinese - and how great to see the church be COMPLETELY packed. The building was very simple, with beautiful stained glass windows its only decoration. Yet you felt God's Spirit as you walked in, every bit as much as in the fanciest, best ornamented churches in America or Europe. We sang a couple of songs in English, some of the same ones we sing at church back home. There were also a couple of songs in Chinese. The message was about Abraham being the father of many nations, which all the adoptive families thought was very appropriate considering the purpose of our visit to China. We then got to hear a wonderful testimony from one of the church members, reminding us of the importance of prayer.
After church we had to go to our guide Shiyan's room to finish up the paperwork needed for Abby's visa - her appointment is tomorrow. We were there with about five other families, although the families had all split up so that only one parent was in the room while the other parent watched their child elsewhere. Abby was the only child there. I was very proud of her as she was extremely well behaved the entire time, and waited very patiently even though she must have been insanely bored. At one point, Shiyan offered her a candy, and she made me very proud by responding "NO, thank you". We've been working on those "No, thank yous" a lot lately. The paperwork was very simple, but it did take a while with so many families.
We then spent the rest of the afternoon shopping around the island. There's so many little shops to see, and it helps pass the time. I want to get Abby a few things from her country to give her at different occassions as she grows up. We're also having fun looking for souvenirs for the kiddos at home. Don't want to say more so I won't give away their surprises. James is having a lot of fun bargaining with the shopkeepers, and has really scored us some great deals. I know I'm talking about a lot of shopping, but the price you pay for things is ridiculously low. They always throw in a free something or two when you're paying, too. One of the shopkeepers today gave Abby a free silk dress.
For dinner, we ventured out on our own to the Cow and Bridge, which serves Thai Food. We're going to have a group dinner tomorrow night at a Chinese restaurant, so we thought we'd try something a bit different. I had a great Thai beef skillet, and James opted for the squid. Everything was delicious, even though I'm just taking James' word on the squid. I opted not to try it - thank you. Abby had a mountain of french fries and some of my beef. She DID try some of the squid, and didn't care for it one bit. Oh- I also drank coconut milk straight out of the coconut like I did when I was a kid - brought back a lot of memories!!! Did I mention that five minutes after we walked in the restaurant, in walked Chris, Avery and Faith???? YAYYY - I was wanting to meet up with them again. So, even though we started off on our own, it turned out to be a dinner with friends after all. Avery sure is a charmer - she was making eyes at James tonight, too : )
Tomorrow is a nothing day - we just have to check our phone at noon to see if we have a message from Shiyan. She actually brings our file to the Consulate to apply for the visa, and then she'll call us if there's any questions that come up about our paperwork. So hopefully, we won't hear from her at all!! I will try to get a few pictures from today up, and a video clip from the church service. I was finally able to get pictures on yesterday's post, so go check those out if you haven't already!!
Oh- and I guess a few people have been asking, so I'll post this to make it easier for everyone: Abby is wearing a size 6, maybe a 7 to grow into because I plan to pack a few pounds on her FAST!! I brought 6s that fit her perfectly!! And if you're inclined to buy her some clothes, please remember: she's definitely a girly-girl.
Abby's new favorite word: BEAUTIFUL. She says it when she sees a nice dress, a bride (lots of people come to Shamian Island to have their wedding photos done, so there's brides all over the place), a pretty doll, anything!!! She even says "Mama Beautiful" in the morning when I get dressed and do my makeup. I love how kids always think their moms are beautiful!!!!!! And if I tell her she's beautiful, she gets a huge grin on her face!!!! What fun she's going to have with her sister!!! OK - look for pictures to be added SOON!









Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pearl and Jade Markets

Yesterday, after resting from a somewhat busy morning and early afternoon, we met my friend Chris and her daughters Faith and Avery for dinner. Our travel buddies the Smiths came along too. Chris is here for the second time, this time adopting almost four year old Avery. She was a wonderful source of encouragement for me during the ups and downs of the adoption wait, and I am so excited to have gotten to spend some time with them. Faith is a shining example of a young Christian woman, and the fact that she just happens to be a nursing student made me like her even more. And Avery is really adorable. I had my camera in my purse and of course forgot to take pictures, but hopefully we'll get back together again before our time here is up. Jim will be shaking his head somewhere at home when he hears we went for Italian food at a restaurant on the island called La Dolce Vita. I know, I know, why are we eating Italina food in China????? Hey - it was REALLY good. And I've eaten at restaurants in Italy! This tasted much more genuine than the "Italian" food we have in the States. And we found out that Abby loves pizza. What a surprise.

Today we went with the Smiths to the pearl and jade markets. We hired Ann from redthread to help us get to the markets and bargain for some good prices. A lot of people go on their own, but Anita and I thought we could do better with a local coming along, and Ann doesn't charge very much for this service. We were glad we brought her, as we scored some great deals that we probably couldn't have done without her. I got some things I would NEVER buy back home. The girls have the jewelry for their wedding day, too!! We had taken a taxi up to the markets, but on the way back we decided to walk so that we could learn the way, in case we wanted to go back. There's a lot of other shopping there besides the pearl and jade markets. We had to weave through a lot of little local markets, like the Chinese medicine one. These back alley markets had a lot of pets for sale, things such as turtles, cats, goldfish, hamsters, and guinea pigs. We also walked through a temple which was built during the Ching dynasty. I love getting a taste of the "real" China.

I had been worried about Abby's ability to keep up with the shopping this morning, but I shouldn't have been. The girl is ALL girl and loves to shop! She loved looking at the jewelry and knowing I got some stuff for her, even though I let her know none of it is for right now. Ann is fabulous with kids and hung out with Abby the whole time. They chatted away in Chinese about EVERYTHING!! I found out that Abby is fluent in BOTH Mandarin and Cantonese - I thought she only knew Cantonese, even though I knew she was learning some Mandarin in school. Ann said she could respond to her easily in both, and was impressed with how smart she is. Abby spent most of the morning giggling, and I was glad that she had a chance to connect with someone - it must be hard to go days on end without being able to carry on an actual conversation.

After we got back on the island we wandered around a bit, made a quick stop and Starbucks, and then hit the playground. Abby loved it but you could tell she is not used to the playground equipment. She kept wanting to do the monkey bars and then chickening out. Lanie - you'll have to train her!!! She even hesitated to go down the slide, but finally did go for that and laughed the whole way down. We then stopped at one of the shops next to the hotel to get her a couple of dresses - I hadn't brought a ton of clothes because I was unsure of her size. She loves dresses and the days that I pull out leggings she tells me she wants a dress. I also bought an extra suitcase for the return trip home - everything is super cheap, plus you can bargain for an even better price. I'm excited because the rest of the families from our group are now also in Guangzhou. We ran across a few of them while out and about today, and it is so nice to see everyone with their kids. We're supposed to be going to Lucy's for a big group dinner tonight. A lot of the families who adopted from Shanghai adopted older kids, so it'll be nice to see if any of the kids make a connection. I'm also feeling very blessed, because in talking to some of the parents it seems like we're having one of the easiest transitions. One of the moms with a 9 year old girl told me today that her daughter is having a very difficult time. I prayed for months that Abby would be well prepared for this, and this was a reminder not to take that answered prayer for granted!! Please pray for this other little girl's adjustment to her new family!!!





















Friday, January 22, 2010

Bonding

This is what my kids do when they start going a bit stir-crazy!!

video

Art Museum

Today we were supposed to meet our guide in the hotel lobby at 9 am to go over some paperwork for the Visa appointmen on Monday (when Abby will be getting her US visa), and then she was taking us to visit the Guangzhou Folk Art Museum. Well, when we got to the lobby to meet her, we found Felix instead. Felix is a college student that is Wenxi's "apprentice". Felix said Wenxi wasn't feeling well and had gone to the hospital (it freaked us out at first, but we think he just meant to a doctor's appointment) and that he would be our guide for the day. We'd meet up with Wenxi later to take care of the paperwork. So, off we went with Felix to the Folk Art Museum.

This place was very impressive, like every art related thing here in China has been so far. They had a lot of artwork done with interesting mediums like clay, bone, and palm leaves. The architecture of the museum was as intricate and detailed as some of what we had seen in the Forbidden City.

After we were done at the museum we picked up Wenxi somewhere in the center of town, and headed back to go over the paperwork. Then it was off to walk a few blocks back to the clinic where they read Abby's TB skin test and administered two shots. I was so grateful she didn't need the five they had originally said. Apparently it depends on their age and what boosters they haven't had yet. She only needed an MMR and a Td booster. She was a trooper, too. Didn't even flinch - said she'd gotten shots at school before and never cried. God blessed us here too, because for the SECOND time this trip the fees were substantially less than what they had told me they would be.

This morning at the museum I had bought Abby a little necklace that had a pressed flower inside a clear stone. She absolutely loved it and had held it up several times throughout the day saying "Mama" - and smiling from ear to ear. At some point while we waited to travel I had asked the orphanage what Abby liked to play with and they had said "Barbies and beautiful things" and they weren't kidding. She is ALL girl and LOVES just that - pretty things!!! Well, sadly on the way back from the clinic she realized her stone had fallen off her necklace. James walked back a couple of blocks but couldn't find it. It was really cheap - about $3. But I felt really bad because she truly loved it. We'll just have to find something else pretty to replace it!!!!




















This is one of the guards painted on the doors to the museum, which are said to protect everything inside.









Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Day

Last night we did a little bonding by enjoying a favorite activity of every girly-girl out there. I did Abby's nails. She thinks she's just as pretty as can be now. I think the two young girls at our house might as well just turn their room into a beauty salon from what I'm seeing so far!!



Today was free from paperwork, and the only thing on the schedule was a trip to the Guangzhou zoo. We were impressed with how pretty it was and with the many variety of animals there. Abby really enjoyed herself and chattered away in Cantonese again. She surprised me again when we got there by shouting out "Monkey" when she saw them around the bend. Her English vocabulary is much bigger than I expected.



This morning when she signaled to me that she wanted to go eat, she said "eat" along with it, so there's another important word learned.



James and Abby are now teasing each other nonstop. I love to see the sibling bonding taking place. Yes, Jake, I think we're adding another silly one to the bunch, so you and I are going to have to form a strong front together buddy.


Learning

Abby is learning a lot, especially about her new family. Today we did a little shopping at the stores surrounding the hotel. She saw the doll above and got all excited, pointing and calling me "Mama, Mama". When I looked up she said "Cy-Cy"!!!!!!!!!!! (that's her baby brother). And you know what, that scary little doll actually DOES look like Cy. James and I couldn't stop laughing. Tonight we were eating some french fries, and she found a tiny little one and showed it to me, cracking up. I told her "Cy-Cy", and she thought that was the funniest thing. Every little french fry she found in her basket from then on she called "Cy-Cy". Then she started calling the bigger ones "Jacob" and "Lanie".

And let me tell you about why we were eating french fries. After eating a good sized brunch this morning at our hotel, and then indulging in Starbucks frappucinos later this afternoon, James and I were really not all that hungry for dinner. We decided we'd just have some snacks in the room, and we have a ton of noodles for Abby and we thought that'd be plenty. Well, we came up to our room and she had a few snacks (crackers, cereal bars). She then asked me for a pack of noodles. I made those for her and she ate the entire thing. Immediately after getting done she comes to me and starts chattering away in Cantonese. She was really trying to get something across, and she finally points downstairs and motions with her hand as if she's eating. I said "Oh, you want to down to eat???" She says "yes, yes". So James and I figured if she was still hungry we could all go down and get some fries or something. She then takes me to the closet and points at the traditional Chinese outfit I bought her today, which I bought for her to wear to the red couch photo all of the families in our travel group will be taking together before we leave (and maybe to daddy's promotion when we get back home). When I told her she couldn't wear it, she was not pleased. She hasn't thrown a fit or anything yet, but she has pouted a few times today when I told her "no". Well, we found another pretty dress for her to wear and she was happy. We all head downstairs, and to get outside to Lucy's (a restaurant down the street that serves American food) we have to walk past the Coffee Shop, where the breakfast buffet is served. Well, apparently little miss thought we were headed there, as she started pouting again when we walked right past it. She did cheer up when I whispered "french fries" to her, though.

Oh - another sign of progress and her desire to communicate: Tonight she found this headband I had brought and not given her yet. She asked me to open it and I put it on her. A few minutes later she took it off and went to put it in her drawer, and as she put it away, she motioned as if putting it back on and said "Good Morning" - telling me she would put it on in the morning!!!!
I'm telling you, she's a smart one, and she will get her point across!!

As far as adoption business, we had the medical exam today and all went well. She was supposed to get five shots, but we also had to go down somewhere else to do some more paperwork and the clinic was kind of crowded. Since she had to go back anyways in a couple of days to get her TB test read, Wenxi decided we should postpone the shots until Friday when she gets that done.

Tomorrow, we will attempt to dodge the rain and hit the zoo. It is a paperwork free day!!!!

More Day 2 and Day 3





These pictures are all at our hotel, one is the view from our window (Pearl River), and one is at the park down the street (the one with the statues).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 2 Pictures

Lanie is going to love her new sister.  She woke up and immediately started to make her bed!! I love it! 
 
We went to adoption affairs and finalized the China side of the adoption.  I asked James to take pictures of me signing the documents and he took pictures of MY HANDS signing!!
 
Abby also loves her noodles.  Our guide Wenxi took us to a supermarket today, and Abby was thrilled to see the noodles.  I bought a few packs and managed to prepare them by heating water in the tea kettle and pouring it and the noodles into the ice bucket.  She had to eat them with the ice tongs.  But it worked!!!!
 
Tomorrow..... medical exam.  I think Abby is require to get about 5 shots to get her visa.  Poor thing!

Gotcha Day Details

OK - I owe you all more details from yesterday.
 
Our flight from Beijing was delayed by about 40 minutes.  We arrived at Guangzhou and had no trouble getting our luggage, finding our pickup from the hotel, and there was not a ton of traffic on the way in.  When we checked in we were told that we had a message from our guide, Wenxi.  We knew she was supposed to contact us at some point today to let us know when we would be meeting our children.  We came right up to our rooms and called her and she said that we needed to hurry up and gather our paperwork and meet her in the lobby, because we were supposed to be at the Civil Affairs office in 10 minutes to meet our children.  WHAT????????????  We ran around, grabbed our stuff and amazingly didn't forget anything, and took off to meet Wenxi. 
 
Luckily, Civil Affairs is a short ride from our hotel, but of course we got there about 15 minutes or so later than we were scheduled to.  The place was completely crazy.  It is this small lobby and there must have been about 25 families all getting their children at the same time.  We walked in and all the handoffs were already taking place, and there were all these babies crying and new parents tearing up, it was just overwhelming.  We were whisked off to a little corner of the room, which happened to be right next to the room where the children wait with their nannies.  James said he thought he saw Abby going in there with someone, but he wasn't 100% sure it was her.  In the midst of this chaos we had to organize some paperwork, and then we spent a few minutes taking in everything going on around us.  All these months I've been watching this scene in other people's blogs; I've seen it a thousand times. Being there in person was completely different.  An amazing thing was taking place right in front of me - a couple dozen families being formed in a miraculous way!!!!  All these people had just undergone the same journey we had been through - I knew every painful step, every little bit of paperwork, every single bit of waiting they had to do.  And I felt really happy for them that they had made it to here - and whatever lay ahead they would be doing it with their child by their side!!  While looking around I saw my bloggy friend Chris with her little girl Avery - I was so thrilled we were there together, even though I didn't get the opportunity to say hello!!  
 
Well, the Smiths, who are part of our group, and are actually with us the entire time up until we get off our plane in Newark, got their little boy first.  They're in that clip of our video right before we see Abby.  As I was watching them with their baby, all of a sudden there she was!!!!!  She looked just like in all her pictures - so sweet and little - and so scared!!!!! I can't get over how little she is, Lanie is going to tower over her.  She looked right at me and said - "Hi mama.  I love you!" (they do prepare them for this day well, apparently).  She then just smiled away and sat with me.  I think I gave her about a thousand hugs!  It was a bit awkward because I didn't really know what to say to her because she couldn't understand me.  I didn't want to rattle of in English and just scare her more.  I gave her some of the snacks I brought her and some of the gifts out of her bag.  She ate some of her little koala crackers and shared some with me and James - which she does with absolutely everything.  I think she's used to having to share - which is a good thing since she has four siblings!!  She would also not eat all of anything.  She would eat a few, and then close it up and put it away.  She liked the things in her bag, but I think she was a bit overwhelmed. 
 
In the van on the way back to the hotel, she started tearing up.  I gave her the little cheap digital camera I brought for her, and that was that.  I haven't seen a tear since.  I don't think she's put the camera down for more than five minutes at a time - and I'm her favorite subject.  She keeps calling out "Mama" - and then "click".  I guess we'll make a good trio - she can take the pictures and Lanie and  I'll scrapbook them. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Montage 1/18/10 at OneTrueMedia.com

We are Together!!!!!

Well, we had a whirlwind day!!  It moved way too fast and left us needing to catch our breath, but we have Abby!!!!!  She is wonderful, beautiful, smart, and so, so sweet!!!!  We are so blessed to call this little girl "daughter".  Today was another day that is almost beyond description, and I will post more details later.  We're exhausted and really need some zzzzzzzs.  Just wanted to let everyone know that we are with Abby now, and oh so happy.  Thank you again for all your prayers.