Monday January 18, 2016
Today is the day!!!!! Hard to believe! We woke up and got ready for the day! I began to prepare myself for Ben to lose his mind. It seems that right before having the other kids, he kind of loses his mind and can't think straight. Lol, he began doing this about an hour before leaving... pacing the floor, and not being able to focus on finishing getting dressed, ha ha. These moments are fun for me and are probably good because if he wasn't losing his mind, then I'd be losing mine. This makes me have to focus on thinking clearly otherwise we'd both be in trouble. He pulled it together and we ate our last meal as just the 2 of us. I looked at our plates and the food was delicious, but very different looking than back home. To have steamed cauliflower and spring rolls for breakfast seems strange, but everything was so yummy!
The time seemed to be in fast forward. What was an hour that we had to eat breakfast, somehow sped by so quickly it only felt like 15 minutes! We met Ashley in the lobby at 10am and got in the van. He was talking the entire way there (15 minute trip) we don't really remember what he was saying. We pulled into the parking lot of the social building and Ashley got off the phone saying, they're here. We walked into the building and up the elevator and out of it into a room and there she was right at the right side of the door. Her nanny said “momma, Baba” and I hugged her... tears are being held back as I don't know if she will know that they are tears of joy! She said, Momma when looking at me and Baba when looking at Ben. Such a surreal moment. Ben, Lucee, 2 nannies, Ashley and I went over to a coffee table where Lucee had a bag that had all of the items in it that we had sent to her in a care package. We were able to ask the nannies, through our guide, questions. I asked if she was allergic to anything(no), what she likes to eat (rice and most of the food at the orphanage), how she soothes herself (sucks her thumb), if she was closer to one nanny or child in the orphanage- so we could get a picture of them (no, she seemed to get along with all of the nannies and kids), is there any suggestions they have regarding her legs (remind her to stand flat and have a Dr. do surgery on her back ankle because they are too tight). I had a list of 20 or so questions to ask, but these are the only ones I asked while Ben was interacting with her. I ended the questions with is there anything else we should know. The nanny said, she's very smart and sweet.
About this moment I realized there were other families in the same room meeting their children. We later found out that there were 3 families from TX, 1 from Tennessee, and 1 from Canada (we didn't meet this family, but was told about them from the Tennessee family) who were adopting children this week and would be in Guangzhou next week with us.
A lady came up to us and asked for our passports and travel approval form. We showed her and then the nannies began to say goodbye. The one nanny, Wendy, became really emotional, and we learned that she cared for Lucee a lot over the past 4 years. We took pictures and said tearful, thankful goodbyes to them as they left and we moved to another area with a table where Ben began signing a bunch of paperwork. These papers were like a Harmonious contract. Kind of like a 24 hr signing that allows us to keep her, but she's not officially ours yet. Not until tomorrow.
After the paperwork was done, we went to take a picture for a document that will have Ben, Lucee, and me on it. After the picture was taken, we stayed in that room sitting on bench talking with our guide when he said, “she's sad”. I look down and she has a sad face, sitting really quiet with her head down. Then tears start rolling down her cheeks. Then she starts to cry, which turns into wailing. She cries for about 5-10 minutes like that in our arms. Then she starts to settle down and Ben carries her out of the building, still crying, but not as loud as it was. She completely stops crying once we get out of the building. Our van pulls up and we get it. Ashley (our guide) said he was surprised she didn't show much emotion when the nannies said goodbye. Usually the kids show emotion at that moment, but she didn't. However, it's good that she had this moment of mourning, because it shows that she had attachment with them. She's sad and uncertain about what is going on. We had been trained that kids who don't cry when leaving their nannies/orphanage typically haven't been able to attach to them and therefore attachment to parents is more difficult. So, in a way, this was a good sign to us. Sad, but good. Our guide asked her in Chinese if she was hungry, she didn't respond. He asked her if she was sad and she didn't respond. He wasn't sure how much Chinese she could understand or if she could speak much Chinese. We'd find out tomorrow that she is very smart and was just choosing to not respond to him.
We got back to the hotel around 230 and had really good time bonding in the hotel. We showed her new toys, jacket and shoes. In order for her to take off her shoes or jacket, we had to show her the new ones and then she immediately took them off to put the new ones on. While we were playing, one of her favorite games was she'd point to the pile of dirty clothes and we'd say, P.U. STINKY and she'd laugh and do it over and over randomly throughout our playtime. Also, any toy we'd show her, she'd put it in her bag or backpack and carry around like she didn't want to forget it when she went back to the orphanage – little did she know she'd never go back there to stay, only to visit if she wanted to.
I really wanted to show her the drawer of her clothes, but wanted to give her a bath first. She also hadn't gone potty at all since we had been with her! This was a moment Ben and I were both a little worried about before meeting her. We kept thinking how weird it must be for her to have strangers see her and help her go potty. Plus, we didn't know if she liked baths or if she usually had a bath in a tub or more of a sink bath. Ben got water in the tub while I took her potty. She hopped in the tub and I began pouring water on her head. She immediately put her head down to let the water run off her face. I got some soap and she held her hands out for some too. She went right to washing her hair with me. I rinsed off the soap and got more soap to wash her body and when I put the soap in her hands too, she washed her hair again. Ha ha, so we washed her head twice. The next time I put soap on her hands she went to put it in her hair, but I stopped her and showed her to rub her belly and wash her body. After her bath, I wrapped her in a big fluffy towel and carried her to her drawer with all of her new clothes. I told her to open it up and said, Shan You's clothes (The US agency gave her the name Lucy, she doesn't go by that yet, so the first few days we just call her Shan You and eventually start calling her Lucee Shan You until she understands that her name is Lucee). Her eyes got so big and she smiled a huge smile and went right to picking them all up and looking at them. She chose an outfit and she got dressed. Then I combed her hair (something I had been looking forward to doing since we knew we were adopting a little Asian girl. Her hair is so beautiful in color and texture!)
After this, Ben went to go get us dinner to bring back to the hotel. Lucee and I played some more and watched some Chinese cartoons. She liked repeating what they said and it seemed like she enjoyed understanding what they said, as opposed to Ben and I sounding like aliens to her. It was also during this time that Lucee gave her first kisses on the cheek to me!
Ben came back and we ate dinner in the hotel. Our guide had written down suggestions for him to order (since the restaurants do not have English descriptions like most places in Beijing had) however, the 2 main dishes were extremely spicy! Thankfully the fried rice, white rice, broccoli, and “quesadillas” were not and that's what Lucee and I ate, while Ben (who loves spicy) tried to swallow down these ExTREmELY spicy dishes! (By the way, Changsha is known for it's spicy foods and silk embroidery!)
After dinner, we prepared for bed, expecting a long night of crying and not sleeping. Brushed our teeth ( Lucee is excellent at brushing her front teeth, not so much in back, which explains the major cavities she has in her bottom molars. :( super sad for her, but she doesn't seem to be in pain?? ) and got on jammies. They told us to put her in diaper at night cause she sometimes has accidents at night, so we did. We were told by the nannies that she sleeps well and sleeps with it dark, so we put her in bed, turned out the lights and literally within 5 minutes, she was asleep! This was around 730pm. We didn't hear a peep from her all night. The only thing we did hear was her falling out of the bed at 4am. Ben and I both picked her up and put her back in bed. Even with the fall and being put back in bed, she never woke up. We actually had to wake up the next morning at 8:30am! This was a pleasant surprise to us, we couldn't believe how great she slept on her first night with us!
|Changsha view from our 30th floor hotel room.|
|What a typical breakfast looks like.|
|Walking into the building to get Lucee.|
|First moment with Lucee.|
|First Picture with Mama and Baba (Daddy in Chinese)|
|Daddy showing Lucee pictures in photobook we sent her earlier. Showing that he is Baba.|
|Lucee with one of her nannies.|
|Leaving to go to the hotel.|
|Walking in the hotel lobby.|