Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Emmie Day

I've started this post 3 or 4 times now, not knowing what to say, not able to see the screen through my tears.   Tears of joy that I have been so blessed to live my dream, to hold my sweet daughter in my arms and hear "Wo Ai Ni".  Tears of sadness when I think of how badly our terrified daughter was suffering last year at this time, and that someone had to say goodbye to her for us to welcome her into our lives.

We remember the moment as if it was yesterday...the dinging of the elevator in the Nanning Marriott, the heat in the room that we couldn't control, our guide taking the camera, the balloons lolling about on the green carpet, everything seeming to move so slowly but then it was all going so fast and we heard the faintest cry from the hallway and we knew it was happening...

And there she was.  Beautiful, scared, profoundly sad, wanting candy and to pick up everything she could in her tiny hands and get out of that hotel room.  And we realized that the journey we thought we had been on since May 29, 2011 was really just a lot of paperwork.  The real journey was just beginning.

January 9, 2012

E packed her bags to leave more than once on the day we met her and the days that would follow. She stood near the door and hung on to the doorknob crying an awful cry.  I cried that same awful cry on the floor of the hotel bathroom days later, and it was then that I knew E was even more special than I dreamed was possible.  She caught me in that moment, and through her own pain comforted me, wiping my tears away.  We were going to be OK.

It's hard to believe today that during our time in China, we barely saw a smile, heard a peep, or did anything besides try to calm and comfort our deeply distraught daughter.  Today, Emmilene lights up every place she walks into, warms the heart of every soul she touches, elicits laughter from every stranger, and gives love right back to those who love her.  She is courageous, compassionate, silly, bright, chatty, and affectionate.  All of this was wrapped up inside of her in China as she held on so tightly while her world was spinning out of her control.

In those first days, you wonder if your new child will ever come to accept you and your love.  Now E comes to us to kiss her boo-boos, to hold on to her tightly at her transfusions, to read her stories, to play, and to sing songs over and over.  She loves bath time with Baba and cuddle time with Mama each night.  She offers kisses and hugs and smiles at bright as the sun.

So today is a remembrance of the day we became a family.  We were going to call it "Family Day," but with little Rosalie on the way we decided to call it "Emmie Day."  It's a day to thank the people who took care of her while we waited, and to look back at just how far this amazing little child has come.  We'll think about all of the incredible memories we already have together as a family, and about all the wonderful things that lie ahead.  And Patrick and I will take a moment to quietly stop and think about just how lucky we truly are.

What a year it's been, and it's all thanks to you, our beautiful first daughter.  You have brought more joy, fun, happiness, and love to our lives than we have ever known.  We love you more and more with each passing day, minute, and second.  Happy Emmie Day!

January 9, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

DTC and Surprise Pics!

OK...let's rewind a bit here.  Last post:  Christmas Joy.  Everything was great in the "Emmie, Mama, Baba House" as E calls it.  Day after Christmas...all hell breaks loose with the Dreaded Christmas Stomach Bug of 2012.  Knocked out half of my extended family.  Thankfully, little E escaped it, although I landed at BCH getting one HUGE transfusion myself.  Let's just say that a hemoglobin in the low 7's plus horrible stomach bug plus a nearly 105 temperature plus living on gingerale for days equals a gray and whithered Mama.  Thank goodness for my mom's steady deliveries of homemade chicken soup or I would have seriously just melted into the couch.  E was quite supportive of my going to the hospital to get "new blood", although she cautioned me that the Abby band-aids were for "Emmie only" and that I could get one of the circular flesh-toned band-aids instead.  So noted, Boss.

Soooooooooo...anything else happen on December 26?  Why, yes something did!  We were DTC!  I wasn't even sure if I was reading it right or if I was delirious, but it turns out we were in fact DTC on 12/26!  Given the seriousness of our illnesses, P and I did our Happy DTC Dance from a seated position, but we were delighted nonetheless.

After that things were pretty quiet around here recovering from being sick, and then dealing with all of the backlog of everything that happens when you do nothing but lay on your patootie for a week.  Plus, E's favorite new Christmas gift continues to be the scissors, so it constantly looks like Times Square after the ball drops with confetti everywhere so the sweeping never ends.  Speaking of which, our darling E stayed up to watch the ball drop and nearly tucked us into bed.

So, that brings us up today.  Pretty boring Monday until guess who show's up in my Inbox!  Oh, my stars we got the most adorable pictures of R you can imagine!  We sent a care package what seems like forever long ago that I stopped even asking our agency's in-country contact if it was received.  We didn't even ask for or expect anything in return...we just wanted our R and her little pals and the Ayis to have some little things from us.  So I was literally shocked when we got some pictures...I could barely dial the phone to call P.  E wanted to look at them over and over, and remembered going shopping for things for her little sister.  Of course, after seeing the pictures, E amended her usual refrain of "Emmie, Mama, Baba go get Ro-rie in China" to "Emmie, Mama, Baba go get Ro-rie in China in a few days."  Um, not quite, sweetie, but from your lips to God's ears!

E helping to pack up the care package for her Mei Mei.

Hmm...I've already snuck out the lighted ball a couple of times but they
keep catching me and putting it back.  That chapstick looks good, too...I
wonder if I can surreptitiously grab some of that...

And our reward for all of that packing and taping and super expensive shipping...

Love that they put a bow in her hair!  In fact, a different bow for each picture!

Look at that scrunched up little smile!  And the dimple!
Can't take such cuteness!

Um, you stuck these things on my face and told me to display  these toothbrushes.
Now what?  Can we get on with the candy please?

P said she looks like she's brokering some sort of merger.
This picture is SO Emmie...multitasking, I'm "too busy" for you right now...can't
you see I'm on the phone and eating my favorite food?

Best of all, she looks healthy and cared for and happy and beautiful.  We couldn't be more thrilled!  We love you so much, Rosie, and we want you here with us now!