The days have begun to run together...so I thought I had better capture some of the specifics before they are no longer etched with crisp detail in my memory. The details of these first few days are very important for Emily's lifebook. And I don't want to forget anything! (so this might be a very long post) Jeff has done a great job of capturing the week in photos. I am thankful for digital images because I can't begin to say how many "rolls" of film we have used already.
Our days of travel went extremely well. We had no delays and arrived in Nanchang a few minutes early. The worst part was having to begin my education of the use of "squatty" potties. The ones in the airport do not look anything like the "pretty" one we showed in a recent post. Our guide Shirley met us at the airport and has been helping us each step of the way. She is a very young looking 38. Her english is very good, and she loves her job and her country. She has shown us around Nanchang and taken steps to make sure that we have knowledge of Emily's province.
As you all know, upon arrival, we learned that we would be united with Emily in just a few short hours. The emotions that I felt can hardly be explained. My only complaint was that we would not be getting a nights rest before the big event. Fast forward to 4:30p.m. when Shirley knocked on the door and introduced us to our daughter for the very first time. (see "Gotcha Day" video) In walked a very shy, scared, broken, dirty, and hollow little girl. Her eyes were glossed over and she didn't move from "her spot" for several hours. We talked briefly to the director and her assistant about Emily. They didn't seem to have lots of details about her daily life. And some of what she said didn't match the recent update that we had received. I was so relieved that she didn't scream when they left. Shirley tried very hard to help us break the ice. Thankfully it didn't take long for her to bond with her favorite red phone. She slowly began to let her guard down bit by bit. Harrison did a great job of trying to make her smile and laugh during those first few hours.
By the end of the night, we were able to give her a bath (which she really needed). Her skin and scalp were full of heat rash bumps and small ulcers. It was amazing to see how after one long bath and some of Jeff's special lotion she was already looking and smelling better. We were also able to cut her fingernails. Her feet were so dirty that we still are working on some of the dirt under her nails. She enjoyed some noodles before bed and fell asleep sitting up at around 9p.m.
We were all so thankful that she slept through the night....only wish we were able to as well??!! The jet lag is still hindering our ability to sleep past the early hours of the morning. Emily did great and didn't cry when she saw us in the morning.
The next day was busy with several official meetings and by the end of the day Ling Wan Ye was our adopted daughter in the eyes of the Chinese government. We were thrilled. She is everything my heart has ever thought she would be. God has truly blessed us with an amazing gift!
She is going to fit in with the Fahy family because the girl likes to eat! I'm not sure she has ever been given enough to eat so this is a new experience for her. We have yet to find a food that she doesn't like. We think she will be stiff competition for Conner in the eating department. She is painfully thin so each calorie consumed is of benefit.
Her bonding has had many facets to it. At times she reverts back to the shell of a little girl that walked in our door. She will have tears well up for no "real" reason. She doesn't cry much except when we try to get her to go to sleep. She is very independent (which isn't a desired goal in toddler adoption). We are trying to have her realize/learn that she can depend on us rather than being so self sufficient. She has shown some aggression toward us in the form of biting, hitting and pulling of hair. We are working on helping her to understand "gentle" and to let her know that we will still be around even if she acts up.
The days are extremely hot in Nanchang so we were relieved to see rain in the forecast. However, it has put a damper on some of our sight seeing activities. We spend most of the afternoon and evening hanging out at our hotel. We had hoped to be able to take Emily swimming to help pass the time. The first two days the pool was closed and then yesterday it was too cold for her. I want her first swimming experience to be a positive one so we hope to swim at The White Swan. She does look very cute in her 24 month suit (which is way to big)!
Harrison and Jeff have been able to work out some and spend some time hanging out in the sauna. It has been good for them both. At times the long hours in the hotel have been a bit dull for Harrison so this is a good diversion. Emily has not been a good nap taker these past few days. She fights going to sleep to the extreme of falling asleep standing up the other day!!!!
We have been able to eat one great Chinese meal with Shirley. The food at our hotel is okay, but the choices have gotten a bit slim after 5 days. We are thankful for the the breakfast buffet that has several options for those of us that don't want to eat really "strange" items. (feel free to ask me later how I define "strange")
Our days in Nanchang are coming to a close. It makes me sad to say goodbye to our daughters finding province, her language, and her "people". I am so thankful to have been able to experience this for me and for her in the future. We decided not to visit her orphanage because it would have been 6 hours in the van and she gets sick from the bumpy roads. We were able to go to the countryside and see very similar conditions (without the long drive). We do have a few pictures of her SWI from our camera we sent to her several months ago.
Please pray that Emily will continue to attach to me (Christine). This afternoon and evening she showed some signs of preferring Jeff over me. This not what we want to happen, and will be working hard at establishing the connection again tomorrow. Either way it is a bit stressful for us all. Overall, we are thrilled at her progress. She is making strides each day. Her cute personality is shinning through. Everywhere we go we are told how beautiful she is and how lovely her big eyes are. (big eyes are a wanted trait in China) She is also showing us how smart she is by learning new english words every day. As of today, (Thursday night) she can say ball, car, nose, eye, Baba, all done, ear and duck. We are impressed!! The other astonishing thing is her total dexterity with her hands. Her lack of thumbs is really a non-issue. She can do many things that I'm not sure Caroline can do as quickly or as easily. She can unscrew a water bottle top quicker than I can!!! No one notices her missing thumbs at all. She is amazing to watch!!!
Overall, our hearts are knitted together already. We clearly see God' s hand at work telling His story through our lives. When you all get to meet her you will see what a precious gift we have been given. We remain humbled....
Thanks to everyone who actually made it through this long entry. I will try and do better capturing the details on a daily basis. We so appreciate your love and support through this entire adoption process. Your prayers have been felt across the miles. A special request is to continue to pray for our 4 wonderful children we have left at home. We miss them all so much, and hate that they have to wait to meet little Emily. Thanks to those who have been serving our family by caring for them so well. We appreciate you more than words can every express. You are an important part of this adoption journey. Good night...
Like many others, ours is a home filled with ups and downs, laughter and tears, busy schedules and quiet moments, and lots of love.... We are excited to have recently added Emily Wan Ye to our family from China!