That is how I have spent the last 48 hours.
The morning before we went to get Amelia, I was overwhelmed with emotions…excitement, anticipation, nervousness and fear. I was worried about what I would wear to meet her. I practiced saying “I love you” in Mandarin. I bossed my hubby around. I prayed and prayed, and prayed some more. I packed our diaper bag about ten times. Then 2:40pm finally arrived…we all had smiles plastered on our faces as we got in the car that was taking us to the Civil Affairs building to get our baby. I’m not sure what I expected, but it was just a small six storey office building, we rode up to the 5th floor, walked down a long dark hallway and then stood outside of Room 15 for a few minutes while our guide went in to scope things out. 1-2 minutes later she came out with Amelia in her arms. My heart raced, the butterflies in my stomach were now doing flips and the tears started to flow. She cried out for “Mama”…her caregiver. She wanted nothing to do with me, she cried harder…so our guide scooped her up and took her back inside; we had to wait a few more minutes. We were all in tears (Me, Jay and Mom) when McKayla looks up at me and says “Should we pray?” Seriously…I don’t deserve this child. “Of course we should pray!” And so we did!
We got to watch as a few families came out with their children…my eyes filled with tears again, I was ready to be that family. What felt like hours later (seriously…maybe 5 minutes) we got to go in, we saw the family that we met in Chicago, who were adopting their daughter from Amelia’s same province, as I said hello I glanced around the room in search of Amelia, I spotted her immediately and went over to her…her “mama” was holding her. I rubbed her back, she refused to look at me, my heart broke but I understood…McKayla brought some puffs over to her and she seemed interested enough to stop crying for a few seconds. Our guide came over and told me it was time to pick her up…there was no hesitation, I grabbed her and started bouncing her, she only cried harder. I took her down the long dark hallway to try to comfort her by walking, singing, praying…nothing seemed to work. Our guide brought the paperwork out for us to sign so that we wouldn’t have to go back in the room where Amelia’s “mama” was.
We went down stairs to take a photo as a family that was required for the paperwork…our guide spoke to Amelia in Mandarin and was able to get her to stop crying long enough to snap the photo. Our ride back to the hotel was long…our baby girl cried and cried, I couldn’t help but cry too. Then I looked back at McKayla, she was upset because she thought Amelia didn’t like us. I asked her if she would be upset if someone took her away from us…she said “yes”, I explained that that is why Amelia is so sad. They say that if they cry like this it’s a great sign, because it means they had a bond/attachment to someone and they will be able to have it again. Once we got back to the room, the crying continued…even with a Dum Dum in her mouth. We tried laying her down, thinking she was tired, wrong! Then Jay leaned over her and prayed, our sweet baby girl looked up at her “Baba” in complete silence while he prayed…it was beautiful! A few minutes after that we sat her on the bed with McKayla and got some dollar store treats out (which were all made in China…hee hee hee). It was the mardi gras beads that did the trick…and another Dum Dum! By the time it was all said and done, we had sticky EVERYWHERE, but we couldn’t care less…our little angel was finally happy!
It couldn’t have been 30 minutes later before she was babbling, playing with McKayla, giggling, smiling, but mostly melting our hearts! I kept looking at Jay in complete amazement at how different she was from only minutes before. We fed her some more puffs, Dum Dums and then a bottle of milk…I am blown away by how she is eating, it is easier than I thought it was going to be. We got her into some pj’s and kissed everyone goodnight, we laid down and before I knew it she was out at 7pm. Still being jetlagged, I was up at 3:30am and unable to go back to sleep. I couldn’t help but watch our daughter (I love saying that!) sleep…she is SO stinking cute! Next thing I know, Jay is awake (no, I didn’t wake him) and staring at her too…we both giggled at each other. I waited until 6am before popping over to Mom & McKayla’s room for some coffee (instant that is…Jay calls it Flavor Crystals…nice!). Then at 7am Jay, McKayla and I sat at the foot of our bed waiting for our baby to wake up…we waited and waited and finally at 7:30 she was up with a sweet smile on her face…no doubt overwhelmed by us staring at her with smiles on our faces! (Obviously the prayers are working, this child LOVES to sleep!)
We went down for breakfast, we started with Rice Congee (similar to oatmeal, but with rice…and soupy), I also got a plate of watermelon and banana…after a few bites of rice congee, she pointed to the watermelon, our girl loves her some “shegwa”! We had another appointment at the Civil Affairs Office to finalize the adoption at 9:30, which meant seeing her “mama” again. My heart ached for Amelia and what she was about to go through seeing her “mama” again. She sat quiet the entire time we were in the same room, until we said goodbye and headed down the long dark hallway…again. I tried soothing her with no luck…and that’s when I pulled out the Dum Dums, worked like a charm.
Once we got back to the hotel she had a little snack before her nap, this child slept for 3 hours! Again, we waited like kids on Christmas Eve for her to get up! Once she was up, we all got to play, the more we played, the more her sweet little personality came out…she is so independent, so incredibly smart and so sweet! We love, love, love our baby girl so much and we are over the moon that she is finally in our arms, but nothing can compare to watching this miracle unfold before our eyes…watching her personality come out and seeing how she is more and more confident in us and our love in just the last 48 hours is overwhelming. Praise God for this transformation!
Thank you for covering us in prayer….we ask that you continue to pray as we know that there are still many hurdles for us and our baby girl in this journey.
Heather, Jay, McKayla and Amelia
PS – Just wanted to ask for prayers for our neighbors in Katy – The Simon’s – Rachelle passed away yesterday after a short battle with cancer…please pray for her hubby Michael and her super sweet kids: Reagan, Conner and Juliana.
You had me sobbing through the whole mail.
Heather…Jay…McKayla….Connie…I am in tears at this point….happy joyful tears. My prayers are with you all. Thanks for sharing what can only be described as a miracle and Blessing with us. Love you all.
I sobbed through the whole thing! Thinking and PRAYING for you all. I hope the rest of your trip goes smooth and you all are safe back here with that precious angel asap! I can’t wait to meet her!
My heart swells with happiness for you all. Tears are threatening to start rolling. Congrats and thank you for sharing your experience. My thoughts and prayers are with you all as you continue on this awesome journey. 🙂
This is such a heartwarminng story. I love you all.
Sharing prayers and tears with you on this journey. Thanks you SOO much for allowing us to follow you. Safe travels. Much love, Jean
God bless u ,my husband and i are raising a little girl,our oldest passed away day she was born,anisah is her name,she was born at 6 months.she is 9 now and she is a blessing to us.prayers for yal .
Lot of prayers for y’all during this transition. I cried as I read your post and watch the video. As a fellow momma, I know how hard it is to not see our babies happy. So happy you see that crying as a good sign and so true she will bond to y’all quickly. Prayers for you, Heather, especially. I know, we moms, carry the emotional weight of the world on our shoulders. Just like having a new baby, you will have to figure Amelia out and that is never an easy process – although it looks like you will get to do it with plenty of sleep under your belt. Lots and lots of love from The Strongs!!
So so happy for you. The good Lord has answered your prayers. I can’t wait to meet her and to see sweet McKayla.
What a journey for your family…it will only get better. Thank you for sharing this amazing story. We all miss you and can’t wait to see Amelia sooner or later. Love you!
You guys are amazing, we are really happy for you guys and your new addition to the family. God bless your family
I am swept up in joy for you all and crying like a baby!!! Thank you for the wonderful words and pictures. I am so deeply touched to see all of you and see that precious baby, Amelia. What a miracle!!!! Blessings a thousand times over. love to all of you—-aunt debbie
Jay, Heather, and McKayla, what wonderful people you are to open your hearts to Amelia. She
is a lucky little girl. I am praying for your safety home and a wonderful transition to a four person
Heather, What a beautiful story! You have me crying as well!! I will be praying for your safe return back to the States with Amelia and the rest of our family members. I’ll miss you all at Thanksgiving this year but what a perfect trade off, God gives many Blessings. Love ya’ll!