Yesterday we boarded a plane very early in the morning and headed to Chengdu. It was a very interesting flight, especially being the only Caucasians on the plane. I just sat on the plane thinking about how our lives were about to change. We arrived in Chengdu (the Silicon Valley of China) and met our guide and interpreter Emily. She is very nice and helpful. We learned from her that our daughter is the second child adopted from her orphanage, but the first to an American family. She is also the first girl to be adopted. We arrived at the hotel and freshened up. We then get our bags to head off to meet our girl. We arrived before her, but she was not far behind.
I was standing in the hallway as she walked in. She was so beautiful and smiling, but very attached to her nanny. She has had the same nanny her entire time at the orphanage, so she is a little spoiled. She loved her nanny very much as we can attest to the grieving she is going thru. At the civil affairs office we tried to gather as much info about her life as we could. She eats anything, loves dolls, playing on the computer, and taking pictures. Emily showed her an iPod and she loved playing with it. The orphanage staff told us how she showed everyone the pictures that we had sent her of us. She bragged that this was her new momma and pappa and sister. We had also sent a camera in her care package, and they brought it with her. They said the nannies took some pictures, and she did as well. I cannot wait to see these pictures. We were finally able to get her to warm up to us and start talking and playing a little. Little did we know what was about to come.
We had prepared for the worst, and we were about to get it. After the nanny slipped out, it was time to leave. Noel had to pick her up and carry a screaming 6 year old down 3 flights of stairs and then get her into the van. Emily, our interpreter, tried her best to calm her and explain to her what was happening, but she wanted her nanny and she wanted to go back to the orphanage. She was not happy to say the least. Nothing would console her. When we got in the hotel, she proceeded to kick and scream for the next 2 1/2 hours. She would not even take off her coat until we just made her. She held onto that coat and cried. I finally was able to hold her in my arms and I just held and rocked her. She fell asleep for about an hour, but eventually woke up and was still very sad. We knew we were in this for the long haul and would do what ever it took to help our girl and be there to comfort her. During the time she was asleep, Noel slipped out to get us some snacks and McDonald's. When he returned something amazing happened...
I offered her some cheeseburger, but she did not want it. I kept eating mine, and then I decided to get in the floor with her. I offered her a french fry, and she opened her mouth and ate it, and then another and another and then a little smile. She LOVED the fries to say the least, but still no burger. She ate the entire box of fries. Noel decided to try - OREOS. She new exactly what they were. She opened that cookie up and ate it. I had given her some water, but she saw her sisters' Sprite and wanted that. After this, it was nothing but smiles and laughter. We were able to get some burger and an apple in her, and the rest of Emily's Sprite. We showed her our camera phones, and I can not tell you how many pictures were taken between my phone and Emily's iPod. She thought it was fascinating to take a picture of herself. We would pose for her, and we would laugh. God had truly done an amazing thing right here in our room. We had also bought her an American Girl doll so she would have one like her sisters. I had it sitting in the room and after a while of playing with the camera she finally saw it. The girls got their dolls and they played with those dolls until bedtime. She loved combing her hair and putting it up. She had a ponytail holder around her wrist and she used it to put her doll's hair up. Noel and I just sat there amazed and thankful to the Lord for this moment.
At bedtime, we thought more tears would come, which there may have been one or two, but she finally took her shoes off and laid done and fell asleep. We go back this afternoon to the civil affairs office where we become an official family and where Yang Rui will become RAE MICHELLE DEAR (on my mom's bday).
I know some of you are wondering why the name change. When we arrived in Beijing, Sherry, our Beijing guide, told us the correct pronunciation of her name and its meaning. Rui is not roo-ey, but said like - ray. Emily was not totally on board, but we are getting use to it and loved it. Her name means 'heart of the flower.' At the orphanage she was often called - Rae-Rae. We know everyone will be confused, but this has been her name for her entire life, and we want to respect that. We did find out that she told everyone after she was found abandoned that her parents were shoe vendors on the street, but we know nothing more.
We are looking forward to the days ahead when she will learn more English, but it is fun to hear her talk up a storm in Chinese. I have taken videos of her playing with the girls that are just priceless. Our girls are over the moon in love with her and our hearts will be forever changed by one little girl.
I made it to Hero point on the wall, but Noel and the girls went much farther.
They made it!
We did it and the monkey hat too.
The girls waiting...
There she is!!!
Rae and her nanny
Still checking us out at the civil affairs office.
|Me, Rae, and her nanny. I cannot image how she is feeling either.|
|all smiles with the camera phone!!|
orphanage director with his Auburn hat we gave him
Showing her pictures of family