Walking down the hall with the Orphanage Director!
We were up early, 5:00a.m. and flew out of Beijing at 7:30a.m. arriving in Taiyuan at 8:45. A brief check in at the hotel and we were off in a taxi with our new guide, Emily to the Civil Affairs office to meet our daughter for an earlier than expected greeting. We were, nervous, hyper, sweating, pacing, flashing back to the last 2 1/2 years of waiting and waiting and waiting.
Sebbie kept glancing out into the hall, to see if they were coming yet and after some more waiting, this time only about 30 minutes, Maggie Xu Di came walking down the hall with the orphanage director. Her eyes were big and she looked a bit nervous, warmly dressed in ski pants and a sweater. The director handed her over to Cathy and........no tears, no screaming, just nervously staring at all of us.
Hello Maggie Xu Di Law
Mommy sat down on the couch and started bonding with her new daughter. Then, after a few minutes the blubbering began (Mommy and Daddy - not Maggie). Mommy kept remembering the strong feelings over the last 2 1/2 years to not give up because our daughter was in China--how she had always been our little girl, just waiting for us. Daddy was thinking about what a long process this has been and now it was finally a reality and how today would have been his father's 74th birthday (and how much his Dad would have loved his granddaughter). Since we were both crying we only have a few, slightly blurry pictures of that moment (Sebbie was intuitive enough to take them).
Our guide, Emily conducted business with the Orphanage director (who was very nice and seemed to really like Xu Di) and handed over many more pages of official documents that we had to sign, while we visited with our little one. We learned some more valuable information from the director: Xu Di has spent most of her 2 1/2 years in a foster home, and we have the foster fathers name for sending photos. She likes to use the potty and arrived in our arms not wearing a diaper. We were given her daily schedule and what she likes to eat and drink. When she realized she was going to leave with us, her lip began to quiver and she had 3 tiny tears that rolled down her face, and that was it. Reassurance from the orphanage director really seemed to help her.
We went back to the hotel in a taxi and went straight to eating lunch. And boy, does she like to eat!! Mommy could hardly get a bite since she wanted Mommy to keep feeding her. Then she had a good nap while laying next to Mommy on the bed (the crib was a little scary that soon). She spent most of the rest of the afternoon and early evening just staring at us. But Daddy got her to smile and giggle by tickling her. We had a delicious dinner at a local restaurant with the help of Emily. Now she is fast asleep in the crib next to Mommy's bed with her new doll (given to her by her new big brother), which at first she seemed reluctant to acknowledge and now she likes to touch it (as long as we don't look at her).
Sebbie has been an absolute champ about the whole thing. Although there is a little naustalgia about having all of our attention, he absolutely adores her. Even after geting up at five this morning he was reluctant to go to sleep in his bed because he wanted to sit next to his sister's bedside and watch her sleep.
The last 24 hours or so have had a lot of similarities to labor--waiting for that pivitol moment that you know is coming so soon and then embracing the wonder and joy of meeting your new child for the first time. We are all exhausted now, but extremely happy to finally be a family of four.