Tuesday, June 14, 2011

And For The Moment You Have All Waited For

I’m finally back. It has been a little difficult staying connected with all of you. Partly due to having Emma and making sure we are putting her needs first, partly because we have to go down to the first floor to get internet connection and then of course we are often too exhausted from the day’s activities. I’m hoping to start getting ourselves into a routine soon and blogging much more.

Now on to Emma, what you’ve been really waiting for. Let me start with yesterday, which is known as “Gotcha Day”, the day you receive your baby. We flew from Beijing to Guangzhou and headed to the hotel where we had 45 minutes to get freshened up before heading off to receive the babies. No real time to nest by getting the room ready, which had me fretting a bit. Only time to get the luggage into the room, try and figure what to put in the diaper bag and then a quick brush of the hair and application of deodorant and we were off.

I often compare this adoption process to a pregnancy and yesterday as we were upstairs at the Adoption Registry Center, waiting for the babies to come up, we were all pacing the floor. We were all excited and nervous and it dawned on me that this must have been what it was like back in the days when fathers had to wait out in the waiting room, not allowed to go into the delivery room. However, other than that yesterday was nothing like your typical delivery. I have to say this is a day that I’m not ready to talk about; I’m still processing it all. To be honest, I’m not sure that it will be shared with many.

We were there at the Adoption Registry Center for what seemed like an eternity but we all got loaded back on the bus and came back to the hotel. We were all starved and so we ordered room service and it was the best hamburger that I’d ever had but probably just because I was so hungry, having had no lunch. Emma did not want me to sit down and so I ate my hamburger standing up and that’s okay. We didn’t want to startle her too much so I just held her for a few hours. She was grieving and so she would periodically break out and cry. We did manage to get her to eat about 4oz of a 8oz bottle. She took to it right away, which I was glad to see but she didn’t finish the full bottle. After she ate, we took off her clothes, wiped her down with a warm rag, changed her diaper and put her pajama’s on. They say her bedtime is 9:00 and by this time, it was 9:00. I was praying that she was ready to sleep because I was about to collapse. We put her in her crib, turned out the lights and we climbed into our bed. I waited to see if she would get scared and start crying. I began to pray that she would sleep through the night and not wake up and then I was out. I woke up this morning around 5:45 and I felt so good, very rested. Emma had made it through her first night with us like a champ. We never heard a peep out of her until about 6:45 this morning. I know that many of you were praying too and let me just say THANK YOU!
This morning, we were able to get her to drink about 5 ½ oz., so maybe we’re making progress. I was hoping we could get her to eat a little something at breakfast, so I offered her some congee, which is rice porridge popular here in China. Emma wanted nothing to do with it. Initially our report stated that she was eating some things like congee and soup but when I spoke to the caretakers they informed me that she was only taking the bottle. She has never even seen the spoon before, no wonder she didn’t want anything to do with the congee. We will continue to try and offer her more table food and I pray that she will begin to eat. I pray that she will begin to take more of her formula too. We are told this is all normal and that this is still part of the grieving process.

Today we headed back to the same office to make the adoption official. We had to fill out more forms and take an oath. We were asked why we wanted to adopt and are we happy with “this baby” and do we want to make her our daughter. What strange questions to us in light of God’s calling and knowing His sovereignty. Of course we want her, of course we are happy with her, of course we will never abandon her and of course we will provide a good home and education and make sure she will achieve her full potential. This was another long process, in a hot building with no air conditioning and no food for several hours. But… we made it!

Emma fell asleep on the bus ride back to the hotel and we were able to get her out of the Sleepy Wrap and into her crib with no problems. As a matter of fact, she is still asleep as I sit here on the bed typing in the dark. Matt and Eli headed out to get a late lunch and I actually was able to get a little nap in too. The rest of our day is free to relax and bond, which I am so thankful for.
Emma is doing pretty well for it only being her second day with us. She has spent most of the day in the Sleepy Wrap and she likes that really well. She does however want me to be standing and moving. Matt had her playing on the bed this morning, while I was getting ready, and she was picking up her stacking cups and dropping them rather quickly. Daddy was able to get the first smile out of her though this morning. I’m praying that we continue to see progress. It’s so hard to determine at this point where she is developmentally because she is going through this traumatic experience. She doesn’t have a lot of core strength but she can sit up.
We will try to give her a bath tonight. Remember, she has never had a bath and has never been exposed to touching water. We thought we would start with a bath in the sink. I will probably just let her put her feet in some water and see how she does and go from there.
I better wrap this up because Emma should be waking up soon and she is going to be starved I’m sure. Please continue to pray for Emma during this grieving process and pray that she will continue to bond with us more and more each day.
We love hearing from you and greatly appreciate it, so keep it coming.


Krista Will said...

So glad she is finally in your arms! She couldn't be any more precious! It sounds like you are handling everything very well. It is so hard to watch the babies grieve, but it will get better! Keep hanging in there and just keep loving on her. She will catch on and come around. She just needs to do it on her own time. So happy for you that she slept through the night!! That was wonderful for all of you!

Thinking and praying for your family.

Mead Family said...

Eva woke up knowing we may see a picture today!! So excited! She is beautiful! We are praying for the famiy and can not wait to see you at the airport.

Jean said...

So glad you have your Emma in your care. I know that it will take Emma time to adjust. Prayerfully she will adjust quickly. I had never thought about Emma not having a bath. WOW. God is with ya'll and will guide ya'll in all that ya'll do with Emma. Love ya'll.... Jean

Anonymous said...

So glad everything is going good for all of you, can't wait to see yall. It has been a very long process and so happy the time has come. Eli, you sure do take good pictures and Ethan says hello to you :)

Love yall,


China Dreams said...

Glad you are together at last. Sometimes mixing congee with her formula and letting her eat it through the bottle will work. Sorry that you have to watch her grieve-there is no way to ever prepare for it or to describe how hard it is. Hopefully the bath goes well and you see some more smiles soon.


Becky and Chad Wesselman said...

So precious....thank you so much for sharing pictures!! And God was definitely with all of you by letting her sleep through the night!! :) Will keep praying for all of you.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there, Shawna! She is a cutie for certain.
My days in China were so difficult, with all three adoptions. I was so ready to be home after the first week or so. You will one day look back at your Gotcha day with Emma and laugh together. God is making all things new in her life, and yours. He is so good. I pray for you, and her. It's such a strange experience. Happy~sad, wonderful~hard. Everyday is better. We have been home 2 months now and I can finally say I feel like we are "normal" again. Don't take that as discouragement, just allow yourself and Emma time. God's blessings on the 4 of you and little brother at home. Laura