Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Meeting Our Daughter: Natalie Wanhan

The last 36 hours have been a non-stop whirlwind of activity.  This is my first moment to post while Natalie is sleeping in the middle of our bigger than king size bed in our hotel room in Nanchang China.

When we arrived at the hotel after our flight from Hong Kong most of the babies were already here, but Natalie had the farthest to travel and had not yet arrived.  Gary and I got to witness seven other families being united with their beautiful daughters.  One family received twins.  It was so amazing to be a part of this extraordinary experience for such a wonderful group of people.  All of the girls are healthy and happy.

Finally Wanhan arrived with the director of the orphanage and a staff member.  At 21 months old she is the oldest by far of all the babies (the twins are next oldest at not quite 1 year) and is the only one walking.  As Wanhan stepped off the elevator holding on to the finger of the orphanage staff member, I knelt down to make myself less intimidating.  She was curious at first and took a few steps toward me, but when I reached my arms out to her she began to cry.  I picked her up anyway and talking soothingly to her in both English and Mandarin while I rubbed her back and she stopped crying right away.  I was and am in total awe of her.  She is so perfect and so very sweet.  Right now she is fairly deep in her shell, but she likes both Gary and I.  She understands that we are her caregivers but it will take a while for her to realize that we are her parents.  She did call me Mama on the very first night - the only time she has spoken so far - that was so sweet to hear.  When Natalie is tired she clings to me like superglue.  When she is fully awake she is happy to be held by either one of us.  My arms and legs are so sore from carrying her for hours, but of course I don't mind.  Today we hope we can encourage her to walk at least a little of the time, but we will do whatever we need to do to help her feel safe and secure during what is one of the scariest and most confusing times of her life.  We are looking forward to the coming days, weeks, and months when we know her true personality will start to shine through.  I'll write more later, but I know what everyone really wants are pictures, so here they are.






The director of the orphanage brought us a porcelain tea set to save for Natalie for when she is older.  Jiangxi Province is known for their fine porcelain.



A picture from yesterday of me, Natalie and the director of her orphanage who is a very loving woman...more about her in a future post.


crazy salad said...

sobbing. very happily sobbing. thank you, universe, for bringing these three together.

Nancy said...

she is lovely!!!!! SO perfect and such a gorgeous family!!!

Heather said...

It really only gets better. She is even more beautiful than in August. So very happy for you.

Glinda said...

Beautiful. You look quite calm; motherhood becomes you!

Anonymous said...

crying... so thankful that she's now yours. Prayers for your bonding and safe trip home. --- Kim

Just Ramblin' said...

Congrats does not even fit here. What a blessing. May this journey you are beginning be the most amazing one ever. : )

Kathleen said...


Can't stop crying as I read your post and look at those pictures of your beautiful daughter. Natalie is just precious! So happy for you and Gary.

Kammy K. said...

I'm in tears! I remember the feeling of seeing Mari-Grace for the first time!!! Savor every moment !

Maggie Mae said...

So very happy for you. A new chapter in your lives is beginning, savor and cherish every minute of it.

Janelle (Maggie Mae's mom)

Truly Blessed said...

Yay, she's with you (I'm probably responsible for the huge jump in visits if you have a counter).

Congratulations, she's beautiful!

Debbie Sauer said...

She is so precious. Pretty soon a smile will be on her face. They change so much in just a few days.

Looking forward to seeing that smile. Blessings, Debbie

Jstar said...

Oh hooray, hooray, hooray! So excited for another little Wan baby to find her family!!!

And I agree with everybody else, parenthood definitely agrees with you guys :)

Kelli said...

I'm so glad I found your blog in time to follow along with this beautiful story! Congratulations just doesn't seem enough.. Sooo happy for you both! Prayers for a safe journey home and a happy healthy future!

JackDaddy said...

I love the last picture. She's thinking "Hey ladies, you're crushing me down here!". :)

Sam said...

Congratulations. You and Gary look absolutely thrilled. I've been waiting for this moment in the many months I've been following your blog. Welcome, Natalie!!!

LadyBug Dragon said...

Welcome Natalie! I'm so happy for you all! I can't wait to see your new chapters unfold! Congratulations!

Bonnie Schwartz said...

Thanks for the post, Charity. I am thrilled for you and Gary. I love the last photo on this post best, the one in which Natalie is sneaking a peak at her beautiful new mother. So adorable. I predict that you and she will be thick as thieves. Lots of love, Bonnie

Me Jane said...

I'm a total mess now...probably should have waited until I got home from work to read this :) Happy Mother's Day Charity, and welcome to the club!

Bebe Blogger said...

Reading this brought tears to my eyes. What a sweet, sweet moment. Natalie is precious! Congratulations!

mshel333 said...

Oh, she is beautiful! And has such a sweet little face. So happy for you all!

mama of 5 said...

I know that the day you met your daughter was several months ago, but I went to your blog to check if the lady that I saw in this post was the same as the lady in my friends post that just received her daughter tody. It was! So since our kids are all from the same orphanage, I know that this is the same chinese lady that I will meet as well. Then I look at the doll that you gave your daughter and it is the same one I just bought for our daughter to give to her the day we meet her. We will meet her in two weeks. I seriously don't know how I am going to make til then. I know we are so close to leaving, but it is just not soon enough. I need to be there now. So wonderful to read how your daughter is talking now and she seems to be doing so well.