Two years, really? Nah, it could not be that long, no way. But the calendar does not lie and two years ago we finally held SS for the first time. She of course is not aware of the significance of this day. SS is not aware of how she forever changed the lives of three people, an island of three, who waited for her on the other side of the world. We wonder if she has any memories of that day, the day we met, the day that she acquired a well meaning but off key set of parents, and an equally quirky big brother.
We are also mindful that the same day that brought us such joy, was the same day that SS had the proverbial rug pulled from under her. At the same time we experienced elation, she experienced fear and loss. It was the second time she would lose everything in 15 months. That is quite a heavy burden for such a young child. It is quite a balancing act to celebrate this day, but to also be respectful of how it affected our daughter. We hope that by talking, but mainly listening, we can eventually help SS process her loss. We also hope that we are taking the necessary steps to help her feel safe and secure with us, and that she comes to trust that we will never leave her.
Talking about an island of three (now four), we had a big reminder about this today. Funny huh? Bottom line is we will always have each others backs, just the four of us.
About to depart Guangzhou Airport, and hanging on tight to what was then known as Grandpa's bear (now S Bear). We could not let him travel with the checked in luggage. I clung to him until we met SS.
Arriving at Kunming Airport. This picture should have tipped us to join Overpackers Anonymous. The only family that had as much consisted of two parents and three daughters (and about to meet daughter #4).
Kunming Airport again. P insisted on this picture and insisted on a smile. I had just arrived at my daughter's birth province and was so anxious that all I wanted to do was hurl.
As we neared the Kunming Civil Affairs Office. We were happy, anxious, overwhelmed and a bit scared. No pressure.
I have no idea why I stopped and decided to take this picture and I'm surprised P obliged. Our precious daughter and the end of our wait was inside.
The Kaiyuan SWI director with us. I so wish I had the forethought to pull my hair in a pony tail. What the heck was I thinking? The humidity was merciless with my kinky fro.
This one I have not posted before, and it is one of my favorites. There is something about the cute face that she is making that melts my heart.
We are so happy that we decided against restricting contact between SS and her caretakers. A lot of parents believe that it would be confusing or scary for the children. Who knows? But we could not deny them the opportunity to hold one last time a child they had with them for 15 months. We hope SS cherishes this (and others) picture in the future.
I have always been the paperwork person here. During the paper chase I basically told P where to sign and he blindly trusted me. It was a given that I would do all the adoption paperwork, the China and the U.S. parts. I still have no idea how P ended up on that chair. Since only one of the mothers was among the fathers, it must have been at our guide's request.
When I think of that day, the following pictures always come to mind:
Pure, unadulterated Baba bliss. The last time P was this happy and I saw this amazing smile was June 2005. We had been told that JJ fought like hell after being given 2 hours to live, and we were blessed with his continuous presence in our lives. He fought to see his sister. Never underestimate the will power of someone who asked for a sister as a four year old.