We loaded our van at 2pm on March 11th to meet our daughter in the Civial Affairs office of Guangzhou.
So, what did we do til 2 pm? Well, Travis and I had arrived via train on Sunday, the day before. We went straight to our rooms after a somewhat bumping train ride through the countryside, and set down our things and went into a paperwork meeting with our Guangdong Province group until about 7:00 pm. By the time we went to order dinner, we had both hit the travel wall. Jet lag, fatigue hat caught up. Especially with me (Jess). It's so funny that you can be so absolutely excited; but the stress of travel, really still effects you. We are running into a few eating issues with me, since I've been on Gluten Free and hardly any pasta, white bread, etc for my EDS flare ups. I also can't eat anything with Lemongrass and a few other random things, since I've had three major angioedema episodes this year (one as recently as 2 weeks ago).So, reality of ordering food was a bit challenging. So, we've decided I'm probably going to go with a lot of white carbs and pastas and desserts. I'm pretty sure I'll come home from China 15 lbs heavier.
So, we were both exhausted after a quick dinner in the hotel. We woke up for the breakfast buffet here at the Garden. Then we spent the next few hours finally unpacking, settling in, organizing, getting our paperwork together, packing Meili Joy's back pack, and charging all our electronics.
I was so excited and nervouus. I was grateful for Spotify and worship music blaring.
At 2 pm, we met our travel group downstairs. Everyone chattered away on the bus, and I realized again my introverted-extrovert was showing. I could barely talk and make converstaion. As we walked down a short cut to the Civial Affairs office, I tried to breath it all in, looking up at the high buildings. Starting at the laundry out the windows. The low hanging pretty green trees.
We turned a corner to a sleek grey marble building. We walked up the stairs and into a strange wooden elevator. Up to the 8th floor, we were all seated in a big open room. We were told to get our cameras ready.
We saw a small little girl walk in with a nanny. We thought maybe she was Meili and realized she wasn't. Then out of the side of the room came our girl. She was wearing a cute blue and white outfit and holding the hand of her nanny. They walked her across the room. We were seated in the corner and caught a glimpse of her. Travis knew it was her. He was pointing. But, they took her behind the curtain.
A few minutes later, our guide started calling us all up quickly. We thought we'd have more time, one at a time to get our children, but she called us up next. I was so glad we could hand off our video camera on the ipad because we almost didn't get video.
We had been told she may scream and to offer her a treat and toy. When they told us we could go twoard her, they also had me go first and then Travis to follow. She just looked at me with a blank stare. I showed her the doll. She didn't care, so I figured I might as well grab her. She didn't cry. She just smiled. In the video, I'm more jittery than she is.
After we sat down, she just stared into my face. Looked me square in the eyes and stared. I kept telling her who I was, that we loved her, that Jesus had brought us all this way. That she was chosen and loved. She just sat for the longest time. She was "dead weight". She doesn't weigh that much; but she doesn't support herself at all when she is held, so she feels heavier.
We started going through the bag, and she loved the puffs. She had a little round cookie in her hand that she stared at for a long time. She finally took a bite. I also gave her a sucker, and she held it and then let me feed her. Later, I tried to take it from her hand and feed her when Travis was holding her, and she swatted me. We were pretty impressed that she reacted. All good signs.
So, we were in the office for over an hour. The other families with us, did amazing. One of the families was adopting a little girl who is 5; but her special need causes her to grow beyond her age. So, she looks more like she is 9 or 10. She was crying for a long time. Her Dad just stood and let her cry. I have to admit, I believe Lifeline really had prepared each family very well. No one seemed in shock about how their kids were reacting.
Travis and I were so grateful to so many of you for getting up and praying for us. We truly believe God's presence was with us. Meili Joy's shirt even said "Princess" on the sleeve in English letters.
Once she started eating the puffs, she didn't stop. She ate them all night. In fact, she has barely stopped eating since we met her.
When we got back from the Civial Affars office and the "Walmart" run. Travis had to go to a paperwork meeting for an hour and half. Meili Joy and I played. She didn't like for me to mess with her play, too much; but she wanted me to stay int he same room. She didn't like the other room or want to play on the bed. She loved her bracelets and etch a sketch. She sat and colored for almoss 15 minues. Then she lined up all her toys, took the forks and spoons out of the bag and lined them up.
We ordered room service when Travis came back. And she fell asleep on Travis around 9 pm. That is her normal bedtime. She really panicked and cried when we tried to put her pajamas on her. So, we went with the ones w/o feet and let herr keep her socks on. She liked that.
She slept through the night in her crib by our bed.
(Photos to come. Cant' get them to load via blogger. And we are so tired that we don't feel like being on here, too long. Please keep praying for us, MJ, etc. Also, Jess' back and shoulder.)