Where to begin? Wow what a day. What a sacred, blessed, exhausting, unbelievable, precious, unforgettable day. We have them! These two darlings we have worked for for so long are now ours.
This is the biggest adoption group (by far) that we have ever been a part of. There are 12 families. So today at the building where we all received our children, it was a bit chaotic. But it was way better than I expected. Most of the kids were happy (or at least not crying). Our two girls were part of the last group to arrive. So for an hour and a half we were able to watch other families receive their children. We helped video and take pictures. Christi was the lookout for vans/cars coming with one or two more kids. My dad was overwhelmed. Before we even got Sophi and Lexi, he came over to Christi and asked, “Why didn’t you prepare me for this?” He had envisioned a pretty sterile transfer of a child from one person to another. He was not prepared for the fact that when a child becomes part its forever family, the Holy Ghost is present, impressing on those who are there that this is an eternal and important moment. My dad knew that the spirit was strong when a child was born into the world. He was not prepared for the overwhelming spirit that is present when a child is adopted and meets his or her parents for the first time. When there are 12 such meetings at once, it is an amazing day!
At our request, we received our daughters about 10 minutes apart. Lexi was the first to come in. We saw her get out of the car and be escorted up the stairs by the orphanage staff. She shuffled her feet and had to be pushed in the room. Right inside the door we greeted her and led her to a nearby couch. Since we first decided to adopt Graci, I have spent hours studying Chinese. I am nowhere near fluent, but I can say enough to really help during the first few weeks of an adoption. The first ten minutes of our time with Lexi today made every second I have spent studying Chinese worth the effort. I was able to hold her hand and say: “I am your daddy.” Then I would put Christi’s hand in Lexi’s and say “This is your mommy.” I did the same with the girls. I told her I loved her. It sounds so simple, but I really felt like my ability to say these things in words she could understand helped to build a bridge and enable her to love our family much faster.
I cannot tell you how completely and immediately Lexi melted my heart. This is one special little girl. She has an innate goodness and sweetness about her. She was almost completely quiet at first, but has really opened up throughout the rest of the day. I can’t tell you how happy she makes me and all of us. Several times throughout the day I put her hand up to my face and said, “Ba ba” (Daddy). After I had been out for awhile, I came back to the room. Again I took Lexi’s hand and rubbed my cheek with it and said “Ba ba.” This time she responded. She said, “Ba ba, Wo ay nii.” That means, “Daddy, I love you.”!!! I was exstatic. Lexi is beautiful and wonderful. I can’t wait for as many of you as possible to meet her.
Ten minutes later, Sophi was brought into the room. She was a little less patient with the whole “I’m about to rip you away from everything you’ve ever known” routine. She fussed a bit at first, but quickly figured out that Christi and Graci had Cheerios and Cheerios are good. By this time I was rocking Lexi and singing to her, so I didn’t hold Sophi right off the bat. When I did hold her, she warmed right up to me. At this point, she seems equally happy with Christi, my dad or me. She doesn’t seem to like children as much as adults, but she can be good with them.
Sophi is also just precious. She has a pretty stoic expression most of the time, but from time to time she will light up a room with her smile. When one of us looks over at her after not having looked at her for a bit of time, she will give us this 1-2 second grin that makes her entire face smile. It is so cute! Christi got Sophi to walk a few steps tonight. That’s exciting!!!
All in all, today couldn’t have gone a whole lot better. Both girls are adjusting to being here and having some genuine fun. There wasn’t too much crying and Sophi and Lexi both seem to like each of us. We are truly, truly blessed. I wanted to add pictures tonight, but I have literally fallen asleep three times in the last 45 seconds. I NEED some sleep. Pictures will come soon, I promise!!!