Monday, November 18, 2013

Gotcha Day

 I'm finally getting around to putting the words down 24 hours later.  Yesterday was emotional.  The whole day.  First, Cora Li didn't sleep that well.  She didn't want to be in the crib, so she slept with us most of the night.  Her little feet "gently"massaged my side most of the night.  ;)  After we got up and finished breakfast, I went with our guide and the other families to do some preliminary paperwork and make a few copies.  Billy took the kids back to the room during this time, including Cora Li, who screamed in protest.  She calmed down and, you know, after that, she's been much happier with Billy and being away from me (and by away, I mean a few feet).  Maybe she's beginning to trust that Mama always comes back.

   I went back and forth from excited to nervous the whole day.  The boys were particularly antsy as well, lots of roughhousing, which didn't help my mood any.  We finally met our group downstairs at 2:00 to go to the Civil Affairs office.  It seemed to take forever to get there as there was lots of traffic.  The area where we went was on the 8th floor.  This is the same area that we received Rebecca over six years ago.  Along a couple of walls, there are red couches with black and white pillows on them.  There are two other families in our agency's group and there were four more families there as well.  We had to double-check a document for accuracy before they started bringing the children out.  I know one of the other families got their children before us (they got a boy and a girl at the same time) because the little boy screamed at the top of his lungs and did so the entire time and even halfway back to the hotel.  When it was our turn, we all walked toward the playroom area and they brought Mariel out.  She had her head down and stood there for us to greet her.  She finally managed a "ni hao"and we all headed over to our area on the sofa.  She sat down, and the lady from the orphanage prompted her to show us some things from her backpack.  I in turn gave her a Cinderella doll and a stuffed pink "My Little Pony." She had Cinderella on her backpack too, so it was a neat connection.  She had the things that we had sent her (which did not look to be used at all, so I wonder when they were given to her) plus a few other items of clothing and a couple of photo albums.  The lady from the orphanage told her to show us her photo album.  When she turned to a picture of her with her foster mother, big tears started to flow.  She sobbed a little, but never made a sound.  Billy handed her a tissue, and she wiped her eyes.  I just sat beside her and rubbed and patted her back.
   About this time, Billy was communicating through Miko, one of our guides, to ask the orphanage worker some questions about Mariel.  I don't even have an idea of how long we were there, but it seemed like an eternity sitting there watching our daughter experience such sadness and loss, while I felt powerless to give her any solace.  I know the One who did though.  We got up to take a family picture with the orphanage staff person, and not long after that, we all left to come back to the hotel.

   When we arrived back, Billy went with our guide to complete more paperwork while I took all the children back to our room.  My plan was to walk her through the rooms and show her around, but she took charge and pretty much went through and checked everything out on her own, with me following.  She loved all the things we brought for her, the clothes, and especially the costume jewelry.  She was especially excited to see the little tube of lip gloss and the bottle of glittery nail polish.  When Billy returned, it was time to think about dinner.  We debated whether he should just go and get something to bring back to the room, or if we should all go out to dinner.  We finally decided on the latter, and then as we were walking, there was the decision on where to go.  We ended up picking a pizzeria, thinking that there would be some Chinese options on the menu.  There wasn't so much, but we got our waitress to ask her what she wanted.  She ordered mushroom soup.  We ordered some penne pasta and chicken for Cora Li and, of course, a pepperoni pizza for the other kids.  When the food came, the total unfamiliarity of the food and the family she was with, I think prompted more tears.  Uh-oh, big mistake on the eating out.  What do you do when your child's world has just been shattered and there is absolutely nothing that can be done to make it better?  Well, when we finished eating, we stopped at McDonald's and got some ice cream!  She had a strawberry sundae, and it really did bring some smiles.  :)

   Bedtime went pretty well.  Mariel and Rebecca took a bath together.  She wanted to wash her own hair and do all of her own self care.  She did let me brush through her hair.  At some point, we facetimed with Nannie and the kids so that they could "meet"her.  When she was tired, she headed to her bed on her own, and I went to tuck her in.  Kissed her good night.  I remember saying, "I know you have no idea what I'm saying, but we are very happy to have you as our daughter." I then told her "I love you"in Mandarin.  Good sleep was had by all.

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