I can't believe it has only been a year. I feel like the girls have been home much longer than that!
When we left for China we were confident! We had our army with us- that would be Katie, Sarah and Anna! We had matching outfits and intended to have lots of fun!
Sarah had been a challenge in China but Katie and I worked together to problem solve and to tame this little 8.5 yr old daughter and sister that had just joined our family! She was stubborn, clever, charming, cute, smart, fun, stubborn, born leader and personable. We had fun but she was a handful! After Sarah and Anna- I thought we had seen it all!
OH, foolish foolish me!
Emma and Ellie brought us new challenges. Ones that we had never even considered. Accompanying that were feelings... lots of them from many different people in our travel group- that would be our family. Many of the feelings were feelings that you won't want to have on an adoption trip. They scared me and I found that I could not even talk about them- I just needed to pray and pray and pray. To talk about them would validate them and I didn't want them validated- I wanted them to go away. By the look on hubby's face and the look on Katie's face I knew they were feeling the same thing.
Usually we work together, we strengthen one another but the opposition had taken us by surprise and weakened us. We needed GOD- big time.
We were very excited to meet the girls. When they walked in I couldn't believe how little they seemed. They looked excited at first but then fear filled their faces.
Tears welled up in their eyes and they couldn't help but stare at the large white people that were supposed to be their new parents.
It was hot in the room- so so hot! We were all dripping with perspiration.
Emma had a very far away look in her eyes. I thought it was more of a coping mechanism but now I realize that is Emma.
The meeting itself went very well and my heart felt good about these two precious children that were becoming our daughters.
I wanted to love them, to comfort them and to help them. I wanted to be there Mom and felt very thankful to God that we were finally together.
Ellie couldn't speak- she was in shock and felt shy. Emma on the other hand was saying things but something was wrong. Her voice sounded so odd. I thought maybe it was hoarse- maybe she had used it to much. It was very crackly- if that's even a word? I actually wondered if her vocal chords had been damaged?
Once we got back to the room Emma and Ellie were completely out of control. They were loudly laughing, yelling and walking on furniture. They went through every suitcase and backpack. They took food, they broke things, they spilled, the wouldn't listen to the guide or us. It was complete chaos.
Katie, Sarah and Anna were in shock and beginning to get upset with them.
Hubby and I were in shock, too!
We decided to get out of the room and get some snacks at the nearby store.
I also decided they needed to be close to me. I had no idea what they would do once in the open air! Would they run?
Katie was behind us taking pics and ready to grab anyone who strayed!
Anna found safety in her fathers arms! Smart girl!
They had never ridden on an escalator!
I wonder if they had even ever been in a grocery store before. Their foster parents did not take them anywhere.
Once inside, they went crazy in the grocery store! This time we were more prepared- we had just experienced the hotel room chaos!
We had two baskets! One that they wildly threw stuff into and one with things that we actually intended to buy. I felt bad for the mess we made BUT sometimes "ya just gotta do what ya gotta do"!!
The next event was dinner. We ate at the hotel. They were very kind and understanding to us.
Once again a first for the girls. They had never eaten in a restaurant. We had fun but we had to be more strict than we wanted to be. The girls ran around the dining room, yelled loudly, climbed on the chairs and the table. They tried to cut the table with the knife, spit on the floor and threw their garbage on the floor. It was quite a sight!
They had never used utensils - only chop sticks!
Okay, let's get at least one of those knives out of her hand and replace it with a fork!
Same with her!!
We had fun and were a little silly, while trying to teach them some kind of manners!
In older child adoption you never know where your child is at with so many things. It is quite the adventure!
On our first day we learned a lot about our new daughters. They had so much to learn!
Both Emma and Ellie were filthy and had bruises all over their body. Again- I don't think they had ever had a bath (just sponge baths).
They were over the top excited! Water was everywhere!
They could not contain themselves and they squealed with glee!
We had to hang onto them because they kept stand up and slipping and sliding.
We made the mistake of doing both at the same time- after that we did one at a time- whew- much more manageable!
They love the bubbles, the shampoo, the lotion and getting their hair combed!
Then they had a snack, brushed teeth- again I think it was a first!
And a movie!
Now after a day like that wouldn't you think we would all be exhausted and sleep well...
That didn't happen! Once the lights went out the two girls could not contain themselves. They ran around the room, jumped on the beds, yelled, screamed, turned on the lights and ran into the hallway.
(I really should have taken pictures of our struggles but at that point snapping photos was not high on my priority list)
We understood their excitement but Emma got very rebellious and would not obey us. We all had to switch beds just to have some peace. She ended up sleeping next to her Daddy who was going to let her do a thing.
I blogged that night in pictures. We had moments of joy, of love, of fun but we also had moments of complete chaos and behavior we did not recognize.
I would have looked back and said it still was a good day but because of the night time difficulties it left me with few words... at least none that I wanted to share at that time.
I went to bed and prayed myself to sleep.
Tomorrow would be a new day!