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.
from: Sue Golden
1 year ago