Monday, July 10, 2006

How did I get there?

Posted by specific request! Enjoy!!

Gosh the only thing I like better than BEING EFP's Mommy - is talking about how I became EFP's Mommy - so here goes!!

As you know we expected to get our referral in September 05 and travel beginning of Nov. Well - that didn't happen and the intervening months were terrible. By the time it was clear we were next ........... most of us (but me most of all) were watching the boards like a hawk! Every piece of news was like manna from heaven - or worthy of a plunge into the abyss - depending on what it was! THE AGENCY - in their usual tight-lipped fashion said nothing to us about our pending referrals... everything was so unsure and they had been wrong twice before. So we had no news from the agency...

Then on Dec 2 - the news that the stork was in flight came and it was pins/needles time all over! We were so excited. We figured it would be Thursday when the call came and we were right! 12/08/05! I was in my office and had been surreptitiously watching the boards all morning.. I was nearly in a state of panic..... what if ours wasn't in there...........what if she looked like Miss Potato Head......... what if what if what if! Then - someone posted that a referral had been posted it was about 11:45 am. Then...... another family using our Agency - posted theirs and it was about noon...might have been someone else because I knew our Province was going to be JiangXi........ and I knew that ours had to be coming..... I burst into tears!! Went out into the lobby of our office suite and collapsed into someone’s arms...... we had been waiting so long (btw - if you think I am not crying as I write this.................)

Then the phone rang.. and I looked at the caller ID and it was THE AGENCY!!! This was it!!!! The call got transferred..........I was a mess! I couldn't find a pen.......there were people outside my office and there I was without a pen! (I work at a university - talk about ironic!) Well someone handed me a pen and started taking pictures......I got the information from the local SW and wrote it down. My DH, was waiting for me to call him as we are prearranged… but I was so overwhelmed I couldn't really talk yet.

We have a GIRL!
Name: Du, Xin Ying
SWI - DuChang, JiangXi
DOB - 3/20/05 Weight & Height (as of 6 months) 17lbs 21"

After I got hugs from everyone in my office (then people from the building started coming in) I finally remembered to call my husband and sister! More pictures........etc. I never got anything else done that day - between the phone calls I made and received. I heard from our friends who we traveled with - their referral of a baby girl...born a day before ours and in the same SWI! Then came the new agony of waiting for the picture......... I won't get into that here but we had to wait extra days and that stunk! But finally the day arrived and I met my DH at the agency to get the medical and photos......... 12/15/05. I was happy but having a rough time (my two beloved kitties succumbed to two different illnesses on the same day - 12/10/05) by the time I got to Oyster Bay - I was in a state. Then the moment came and they handed us three pictures of simply the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. I am not joking! I had sort of prepared myself (as well as everyone else) that her picture might not be great - since sometimes they are not. But I also knew that literally no matter what the picture looked like - the babies themselves are ALWAYS beautiful! SO I was not prepared for how incredibly gorgeous Du, Xin Ying's little face was (and is!). DH and I looked at each other and we both started to cry. Then I saw her medical - and it was great! A beautiful healthy baby girl. and she had been in foster care! I was overwhelmed with happiness... finally!

We spent the next few months getting ready... six baby showers later.........our travel meeting was January 17 in Waltham - we had to come the night before and spend the night in a hotel. We arranged to meet some of the families after the meeting for lunch - before we all headed back home. What a great time we had! Plus when we traveled it was like we were already friends!

On February 16th we were packed and left for China! I was nervous about the trip - certainly. I get a little claustrophobic..... but I decided to do everything I could to minimize the anxiety. We bought an extra ticket so I would have an empty seat next to me if I needed it. It turned out that a few families were on our flight (we didn't go with the THE AGENCY choice of flights over - preferring a direct flight instead) and it was like a party plane... with us all visiting back and forth. Actually the flight went by so quickly.............

The next few days are a blur - thankfully we have a ton of pics and I blogged the whole time, so I can try to remember all the sights we saw. Our group was amazing. I do remember distinctly standing on the GREAT (freakin) Wall of CHINA and a few of us were saying "I can't believe we are finally here - on the GWC! and THIS ISN'T EVEN THE BEST PART!" After the whirlwind days in Beijing we finally flew to NanChang where our babies were waiting for us. We had hoped they would be there Sunday - but they were not.

We were slated to receive our babies at the Civil Affairs Office on Monday morning 2/20/06. I don't that if we hadn't been so exhausted from the previous days sightseeing.......... we would have been able to sleep at all!! But we did - at breakfast that morning we hardly spoke to each other - all of us just looking at each other with these big giant smiles........ today's the day!! Its all over... we will finally have our baby!!!! It was the most amazing feeling.... no one ate....... we discussed what to bring to the office.... made video camera arrangements... you take mine I'll take yours..... it was incredible. On the bus at 11:00 it was silent except for the 3.5 yo that was with her parents for her mei mei....... and she was saying over and over... I am going to get my baby sister... I'm going to get my baby sister!! Then we were there at the civil affairs office.

We saw a group of babies.. but Helen (guide from heaven!) said "Not your babies! Your babies are inside" Which was good because the weather was disgusting! Cold and rainy. We got into the building and were shown into a large waiting room.

What happened next - is well so miraculous that I don't think I can adequately describe the moment. Have been an active participant in our March DTC we were prepared with lanyards that held EFP's pictures. When we walked in the room - there was a nanny holding a baby, the nanny held the baby up showing us and saying her name over and over "Xin Ying, Xin Ying" it took me a few minutes to realize she was holding MY BABY!! I promptly burst into tears and went into the other room to compose myself. Some moments later they began calling the parents' names and handing over the babies.

It took a few seconds to register that they had called us - I threw my video camera to the teenaged son of one of our families and then proceeded to meet my daughter. We handed over our passports - they verified them and then the nanny handed me EFP. I wanted not to cry so much......... there were tears... but she looked up at me through all 9 of the layers of clothes and she patted my face and smiled. She leaned in so I could hug her and then Greg looked into her face and she looked up hesitantly. It was magic. We went off to a quiet corner of the room and started the process of becoming her adoring servants! I had brought the plastic keys and some cheerios. She was smiling and laughing in no time. It seems like seconds later we were all together again - admiring each others' babies - then it was time to get back on the bus. We were told we would have a half hour private time then lunch - then back to civil affairs to complete the adoption.

What followed still ranks at the best moments of my (and DHs) life! We took our precious daughter back to the Jin Feng and carefully uncovered only one body part at a time to inspect her and see how she was doing. She was perfectly clean and healthy. We kept her clothes on her the rest of that day and night - so she would feel something familiar. I fed my baby rice congee and attempted to get her to drink a bottle. It was just amazing. MY BABY! I was feeding and caring for MY BABY! It still takes my breath away! She takes my breath away. The rest of the day is again a blur. I know we were interviewed by the provincial authority and I am pretty sure we promised to send her to Harvard and get her a pony.............. but we finished the adoption and were once again on our way back to the hotel. the next day we went shopping and bought the few things we needed.... formula and stroller etc.

My words do not do justice to this most profound event. Nor do they adequately convey both my gratitude and wonder at being allowed to call this child my own. It is simply that for whatever reason - and however it happened this child was and is meant to be ours. This is a bit how it happened. I know it is the same and yet different for each parent.... though I think we all feel that our children are exactly the children we were meant to have. Perfect for us.... and loved beyond measure! We have been home 4 months - and every minute is better than the best minute before she came into our lives. I can't think of anything that has effected me so deeply. While our journey was not with bumps - it is what it is. We will go back again in a few years.... probably for another little girl and I know that the trip will be magical and that all will be well - whatever happens!

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