What a day, what a day!
We were up early again, P and I with a major case of the jitters. We hit the buffet but it was that kind of eating where you're eating because you know you have to. E was talking and talking and talking and P and I were caught up in our own heads, terrified about the day ahead.
We headed out to find a cheapo stroller that will likely lose it's wheels before we leave China. Back to the room to blow up balloons and get ready. E must have said, "Let's go meet Roe-rie!!!" about five thousand times. We told her that we'd have to call her "Ahh Yee" at first, and she caught on to that right away, changing her refrain to, "Where's AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE?!!?!?"
At 2pm we met Rebecca in the lobby and hopped in the van. The driver said to Rebecca in Chinese, "She talks a LOT!" about E, who was chatting non-stop the entire ride over: "Is dat the building? Is dat the building? Is dat where Roe-rie is? Where we meet Roe-rie?"
When we arrived to the Civil Affairs office, we realized just how different this was going to be from E's Gotcha Day...there was chaos all around us. Tons of families, crying babies. Lots and lots of babies. We were ushered over to our corner, and Rebecca came back and told us that R had not arrived yet. Since she would come up the same elevator we had, we would get a "preview" peek at her when she arrived before she was ushered to the "holding area", shall we say. So we nervously stood with our cameras fixed on the elevator doors while E waited impatiently.
Several minutes later, there she was. E started screaming and jumping up and down when she saw her little sister. It was the most adorable thing I have ever seen.
|Here's our sneak peek as she got off the elevator.|
|Probably looking over wondering who the little girl jumping up and down|
and screaming is...yup, that's your sister!
About a minute later, Rebecca came over, asking for the TA and it felt chaotic and fast and before I could get over to where they were bringing R back out, E was headed over there, trailed by Baba, and then me. At that moment, all of the delays and frustration and anxiety and fear melted away...there she was, adorable, TINY, in her little pink sweatsuit with some of the bows we had sent to her stuck all over her hair. She was holding the little toy phone we sent to her, just like her jie jie was when she came to us in the Nanning Marriott, 16 months ago.
We were ushered over to our corner of the chaos and went through the little backpack we had stuffed with things for R. E was absolutely amazing at this time...she was acting well beyond her 3 years, trying to offer things to her sister and get her to engage with us. Every now and again, E would say, "Why she not smiling?" and we'd explain to her that this was all very new and scary to her.
R was pretty stoic, not very interested in what we had to show her. I was pulled away to go over my very long list of questions with the CWI staff. By the time I came back, Baba and E had worked their magic, and R was playing and eating and interacting. P said it was one of his proudest moments with his first daughter...they worked as a team, figuring out what R seemed interested in, what she might like to try to eat, and so on. E would pop an M&M in her mouth and show R how yummy it was, and then R decided it was OK to join in the fun. P said that E has never been so obedient...following his lead, pulling back when he said to, getting closer if it seemed OK. I came back to a happy little play group, sticky with lollipops and playing with stickers.
We got our picture, and it was done. A quick stop for formula and a bottle (they said she uses a bottle, though we haven't had success with that yet) and we were back to the hotel room to do some paperwork. All of this, and not a single tear from R. I was worried when Rebecca left that R would start crying, but she didn't, she just kept playing. She ate snacks and tried out just about everything we had here to play with. And, to say that she's into EVERYTHING is very true. At first she was afraid of the bubbles, but after she saw E playing with them, she tried it for herself and got the hang of it. We saw smiles and heard little sounds. She indicated that she wanted to try out the stroller, so we strolled her around the room and she was laughing and smiling.
We headed out for dinner at Guangzhou restaurant, where R showed us that--at least for now--she likes to eat. After dinner, we got her a new pair of shoes and headed back for playtime and bathtime.
Overall, it was an amazing day. P and I are sort of waiting for "the other shoe to drop" and we'll see how it goes today when R wakes up and realizes she's here, and not at the CWI that she's known for most of her life.