Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
It's An Anniversary!
It was six months ago today in a hotel meeting room in Inner Mongolia that we met Avery Lan face to face. Since then she has learned a new language (although I'm pretty sure she still remembers some Chinese), gained about 5 pounds, grown about 3 inches, gone from a 12 month size (barely) to a 2t, learned to like new food, gained 2 brothers, 2 sisters, a mom, a dad, and a whole slew of family and friends that love her.
The day we landed in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia on December 13, 2009 was incredible. We were told that we would meet her at 2:30 that afternoon. This would give us enough time to get settled into our hotel and for Lyndal to exchange some $$. When we got to the hotel the guide told us to go to our room and she would call us, and told Lyndal where to go to exchange the money. So, he walked out of our hotel room and not 5 minutes later our guide called and said that the baby was here! I had to find Lyndal! I wanted to catch him before he got to the bank, but I also didn't want to accidentally run into her and the orphanage staff before I found Lyndal. I wanted us to be there together to see her at the same time. Do I take the elevator or the stairs??? I was trying not to make eye contact with anyone so I wouldn't accidentally find Avery and her entourage first. Finally we found each other in the lobby and I told him that she was here and that we were to go to the hotel meeting room on the 2nd floor. We walked in and she was standing at the coffee table holding this wood block sign thing. She looked at us with her eyes wide. Then she looked at her nanny. Her nanny pointed to us and said, "Momma, Ba Ba." Avery looked at us again then looked at the nanny. I moved slowly and didn't want to scare her at all, or any more than she already was. I REALLY wanted to pick her up immediately, but knew that might not be the best thing. There was a chair behind her and I sat in that. She was definitely aware that something very serious was up and began to cry. I knew that if I were to burst into tears that that might also scare her, but my eyes were definitely wet. Then the nanny started to cry which made me start to cry. Avery was sobbing by now. I finally picked her up and she arched her back and fought me. They had to take a picture of her by herself. So, she was taken from me, sat on the floor, photographed and then I was able to pick her back up. By this time, the nanny is sobbing, I'm crying, and Avery is NOT happy. By that evening she was playing with both of us on the bed in the hotel room. It was one of the most amazing days.
The first time we met Avery was a lot like the days I met my children I physically gave birth to, but still very different. It's hard to describe. But this is a wonderful ride we are on, and I'm having a lot of fun!
I am a wife to a wonderful man, and a mother of five beautiful, healthy children. If I had time, I would get organized, read, research stuff, exercise (pressing on!), and take more naps. We live in the great state of Oklahoma. Life is good. God is great!
A List of Common Adoption World Abbreviations and Terms
SWI - Social Welfare Institution, the orphanage, but also sometimes an orphanage and a home for the elderly
SN - Special Need, some of the families request a child with a special need, we have chosen not to
LID - Log In Date, the date your dossier is officially logged in in China
Travel Group - All the other families who have the same DTC/LID date as we do and we will all travel together unless one of them chooses a child with a special need. Usually all the referrals in a group come from the same orphanage, which will be another thing we will have in common with our travel group.
I-171h - a PPP that we waited 6 weeks on so we could finish our dossier
USCIS - United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
Bethany - Our adoption case worker at Dillon who is very patient and has a great sense of humor
Dillon - Our adoption agency, which we love, is based in Tulsa, but serves many parts of the country, and it's Christian based
PPP - Pretty Peace of Paper, once you have received the pesky one it becomes the pretty one ;)
PPP - Pesky Piece of Paper, which is any piece of important paper you are waiting on
Referral - The first picture you see of the child you have been matched with and a brief medical history