There are no words that can describe today. Amazing, awesome, glorious are all great words, but they can't capture the true essence of what we experienced today when our faith became sight in meeting our newest daughter, Jenna Jean.
What's crazy is that just before we got on the elevators in the Civil Affairs building, another Lifeline mom said she saw our children getting on the elevators...so when we got to the 8th floor, we actually saw Jenna from a distance in the arms of a nanny from her orphanage. We weren't allowed to go to her, but I burst into tears just at the sight of her. SO AMAZING!!!
The room we were in was SUPER HOT and full of other families waiting to get their precious children. We kept watching Jenna with her nanny, trying to be patient until she was in our arms. I had to review some paperwork in the meantime and discovered a few mistakes, which really made me nervous, but Jason and our guide assured me it would all be okay, not to miss this special moment. Then, within a matter of minutes, our guide told her us it was our agency's turn to get our children. So we walked to the other side of the room for this long-awaited moment where Jenna would be with her new family!
Jenna's first reaction was fear...she cried and reached for her sweet nanny. I had to remind myself this is good, meaning she was attached to someone so hopefully she'll attach to me. After about 10 minutes of holding her and giving her some water from a bottle, she settled down. A little light up toy I'd bought this past summer was her FAVORITE and helped calm her down a lot! She also liked the little cookies I bought for her last night at 7/11. Shelby was a HUGE help and Jenna clearly loves her big sister.
I got to talk with the nanny and orphanage director to get some questions answered, and will get to talk with them more when we go see the orphanage on Thursday. I gave them their gifts--the very least we could give them for all the love and care they'd given to our daughter. It was very obvious they love and care for her very much. In fact, they brought us a handmade card signed by each of them (I can't wait to get the notes translated!), as well as other pictures from her life in the orphanage. Thank you Lord for watching over our daughter!!!
The best part of the day was FINALLY getting to see Jenna's first smile. It came while we were playing "peek-a-boo" with her. She even giggled a little bit. Once again, AMAZING!!!
I am also simply amazed at how tiny and petite our sweet girl is. She is a little peanut! And her skin and hair looks SO much better than I anticipated...another huge answer to prayer!
After all the families with us got their questions answered from the nannies, we loaded up in the van with four additional children. Praising God there today that there are FOUR LESS ORPHANS just within our little group!!!
We drove back to the hotel and Jenna sat so calmly in my lap. She seemed to enjoy the ride, which is good since we'll have a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive ONE WAY when we visit her orphanage on Thursday. When we got back to the hotel, Jason went to a meeting with the other three dads from our group to do some paperwork. Shelby, Jenna and I stayed in the room and had a great time playing. Jenna LOVED playing with a ball, stacking cups, and looking at book. We were all laughing so hard one time, it was precious!
When Jason got back, we took a walk to a nearby Chinese restaurant and Jenna did great eating noodles and some rice with chicken. She doesn't seem to be a picky eater which is awesome!!! Shelby wasn't too sure about her noodles, though!?
Then upon returning to the hotel, I started to put her in the bathtub and for the first time since we got her, she cried...so I quickly scooped her up and tried to comfort her. It was only when she saw Shelby get in the tub that she calmed down...but she did NOT want to sit, only stand. So I quickly bathed her and got pajamas on. She was shivering cold and wouldn't calm down, so Jason held her and rocked her in his arms...precious moments with Daddy. She settled down while I finished caring for Shelby. We got to talk with Nathan and Andrew back home before they went off to school and they said they loved seeing Jenna's pictures on the computer...I cannot wait until they can see her in person! Then Jason laid Jenna in her crib, one tired little girl, and before long, she was sound asleep under her cozy ladybug blanket.
It's been a day like none other. How could I have ever thought that I couldn't love a child that was not born from my body? Adoption...it's amazing, it's a blessing, it's redeeming, it's life-changing, it's a God thing!!!
Good night from China from one blessed momma of FOUR precious children!