I am sorry I am catching these blogs up a few days late...MaeLynn only wants momma mostly when she is awake and I am soaking up my time with her. When she sleeps, I sleep;) When she’s awake, we are playing;) Also, I am keeping a special journal for MaeLynn of our time here so blogging and Facebook take a backseat sometimes:( BUT I love our friends and family and know they are anxiously waiting on pics and stories...So it’s 5:30am here and I am wide awake and she is sleeping still;)
I know it’s going to be difficult to sum up Gotcha Day. I get tears in my eyes just thinking of those surreal moments. Scott and I woke up super early and had knots in our stomach. I couldn’t help but think...is she in the city yet? are they preparing her still at the orphanage? will she like us right away? will she feel the love we already have for her? So many questions and we had many hours to go until we left our hotel.
Finally it was 10:00 and the driver came to pick us up. We took a 20min drive (which felt like an hour) to the Jiangsu Provincial office. We anxiously snapped pics of the building and room we were waiting in. Our translator/guide said they were on their way from the orphanage. Scott describes this room as one of the happiest places on Earth. Families everywhere staring out the window waiting to catch glimpses of their little ones before they enter the building.
I saw some people scrambling to see what children came out of this big white van. A lady said...There is an adorable little girl with fuzzy hair and a pink snow suit. I knew that had to be here. My eyes began to fill with tears and then the moment we prayed for, longed for, and even againized over was finally here....our little girl came through the doors with big smiles and a sweet giggle.
The nanny holding her also had a big smile and kept telling the translator to tell us that Aihe (pronounced Eye Huh) was a very happy and smart baby and she is glad she is going to a forever family. She handed her right to me and she was willing and happy. We played with musical toys as the orphanage told me those were her favorites ahead of time. We took a ton of pictures, signed lots of papers, asked loads of questions to the nannies and that was it. Time seemed to stand still with her in my arms. She fell asleep and I just sat and stared at her for what seemed like minutes but soon our translator said it was time to go. (It had been over 1 1/2 hours!)
She continued to sleep on me the whole way home. I snoozed off for a bit too. My heart was soo full in those moments. This is it, our tiny baby girl. When we got to the hotel her eyes began to open and panic set in. You could tell she didn’t recognize us or anything around her. Her nannies where gone and she was scared and felt alone. These were the hardest moments for all of us.
We quickly got back to the room. I held her while she cried and at times let out a few screams. I did everything i knew to comfort her...change her diaper, try a bottle or food, sing to her...but in the end I just sat and cried and prayed. Lord, please give her comfort. you are the only one who can. Let her know we are her forever family. Never again will she be abandoned. We will love her to the best of our abilities.
After 2 hours of this, our guide/translator called and said he needed us to sign a few more things and asked if he could come up. We told him she was still crying from when he dropped her off and he brought up the female driver. He said this was very normal to experience, although that didn’t make it any easier on my heart;) Then the driver said to put her in her crib and let her cry a little. I was VERY hesitant to do this. I didn’t want her to think for a minute that we were going to just put her in her crib as she was used to most of her life. But, we didn’t know what else to try. So, i gently laid her in her crib and gave her the bunny lovey we had for her and watched. I quickly noticed a few coping mechanisms she must have used in the orphanage but then she stopped crying and was asleep in minutes!
I watched her for a long while, sleeping so peacefully. I continued to pray for the rest of our time together. Scott and I decided to take a nap in case she woke up and decided she didn’t want to sleep any more today;)
She woke up after 3 hours a new baby! She took a bottle and even began to smile and giggle again. That was that and she has never looked back! We had to go back the next day to sign the papers that officially made her a Bennington. The first 24hrs with her is what they call a “check out” time where you decided if you want to move forward with the adoption. Are they crazy?? There is NO WAY they were getting our sweet one back!;) We signed away and came back and skyped with the family. Everyone was soo excited to meet her. She even gave some giggles to brother and sissy back home. Lilly is already begging us to come home with her NOW;) Wish we could, we are dying to be together as a family and miss Lilly and Fischer like CRAZY!!!!!!
Thank you again to my mom and dad and sister, Ginger and brother-in-law, Ryan Stelk, for taking care of our children back home. We know they are in good hands and could not feel as much peace about being here as we do with out you!!!! x0x0x0