We started our day joining up with our sweet friends, Dave and Kathi and enjoying a delicious buffet breakfast (it's part of our hotel plan so we'll enjoy this the entire time while in Xi'an!). While I was slurping on some delicious noodles, Dave chatted about some of the film footage he was thinking, dreaming and scheming in his head about over breakfast.
After breakfast, we did some interviewing for the film and then took a stroll through downtown Xi'an. All the while looking at our watches and doing the "hour countdown!" I was filled with such excitement BUT at the same time having been a foster Mama myself, thinking about how the "hourly countdown" must be completely opposite for Lucy's foster Mommy and some of that excitement was tainted as I could in a very small way "imagine" those feelings she must be experiencing at the very same time.
**Side note - since December 2012, Lucy was chosen to live with a foster family that lives on the same compound as the orphanage. From what we understand this was Lucy's first exposure to what "living in a family" is like. She would attend daycare at the orphanage during the day time areas but then go "home" to foster Mom and Dad at supper.
At 1:30 Dave was scheduled to take a taxi to the orphanage. There is no doubt that God had granted Dave favor as Dave expressed to us later in the day the amazing footage he was able to obtain from "the other side" of this adoption (meaning not our side but Lucy's side!!!).
We were scheduled to leave at 3:10 to head to the Civil Affairs Office. Our wonderful facilitator, Sherry has been a sweet and helpful guide and she met us in the hotel lobby with a driver waiting outside! We were told it would be about a 20 minute drive.
I wish I cold put into words the feelings I felt while getting into the van knowing I was headed to get our daughter! I simply don't know how to express what all was circulating through my mind and heart at that time..........
We arrived and took the elevator to the 20th floor where the Civil Affair office is. Sherry made a phone call and let us know that "they" were enroute! I think we had some nervous silly conversation as we waited, I don't remember.
I do remember Sherry telling us "someon'es coming up the elevator" and I saw the button numbers light up! I think I held my breath wondering if it was Lucy or not. Then out the elevator doors came this most precious, beautiful little girl being carried in the arms of a dear Chinese nanny!
I can't remember the exact order of events (but not to worry, Dave captured EVERYTHING ON FILM!!) but such a rush of emotion flooded over me. I softly walked over to her and touched her little hand. She was not too sure she liked that though. My heart was just ripped open because I felt this incredible love and sadness FOR HER at the same time. While I was overwhelmed with just seeing and touching her it was very apparent to me that this 3 year old little girl was about to lose everything and everyone she knew! As I type this I am overcome with tears and emotion. I just wanted to wash away her fear and sadness but was powerless to. You see....... There is always a great loss that is enveloped in the beauty of adoption!!
As the nanny handed Qu Yan(prounounced "chew yen") to me, I just sobbed with her. Deep and painful heart wrenching sobs. I sooo wanted to take away her fear and just simply "make everything alright for her" but I couldn't/can't! THAT IS PAINFUL STUFF!!!! I kept kissing her, telling her I loved her in Chinese and what a brave, brave girl she was!
My love for her was immediate. And that is a gift! It's not always that way in adoption but I along with many, many others were praying this would be so.
I was asked to sign some papers and then the three of us needed to go to the room next door and have our pictures taken. Each of us individually and then the three of us as a family. I can only imagine what those pictures look like. Unbeknownest to me at the time, my mascara had run and I'm sure the extra "puff" around my eyes was another lovely touch. And poor Qu Yan she just couldn't stop crying - picture or no picture. And Daddy too was a blubbering mess! YES WELL --- we were together!!!!!
We weren't sure if Qu Yan would be ok with Daddy holding her or not and were a little leery about "rocking the boat" when she finally seemed ok in my arms. However, when I needed to have my individual picture taken I needed to pass her off and she didn't seem to mind a bit that Daddy was holding her!!! Oh PRAISE GOD - I was sooo happy for Merle and he was over the moon elated to hold his little girl atlas!
In fact, Daddy carried her out of the building and into the van. She seemed to be "ok". Not having car seat rules in China, he continued to love on her on the van ride back to the hotel. Sherry needed a bunch of paperwork to be signed by one of us - so Daddy and Emily took Qu Yan up to our hotel room, while Sherry and I completed the necessary paperwork.
Then Sherry and I joined them on the 10th floor (in room 1003) where they were all sitting on the bed playing with some of the toys Mama had packed. There were no smiles but also NO tears Ok. We'll take it!
Merle told me she drank and drank water when they got her cup out. Poor baby was apparently sooo thirsty. I'm not sure any A/C was on in the Civil Affairs office and it was soooo hot.
I was told she drinks milk (powdered milk here in China) in the morning and at night. Plus she was sent with some "drinkable" yougurt. I wanted to purchase those two things if that was what she was familiar with.
Sherry guided us to the store that carries such items and I was elated that Qu Yan allowed me to carry her in my Ergo. (a child carrier where I can carry her comfortably in a front pouch and my back is supported well)
After arriving back at the hotel, we played stacking cups with her for a long time. Then I turned on the tv just for a diversion and she and I layed side by side. To my total surprise, my little Asian beauty fell asleep!! I know it was such an emotional day and I was exhausted and of course it must have been the same if not more so for her!
As I type this, it's 7:00 a.m. and she's still sleeping!!!! Not a peep through the night (although this Mama and Daddy checked her about 10x).
TO GOD BE THE GLORY - MARVELOUS THINGS HE HAS DONE!!!!! Today there is ONE LESS ORPHAN!!