The Visit

So much of today can't be put into words. There are many things that I will forever carry in my heart. Our visit to her orphanage was heart wrenching. I was not fully prepared and it had nothing to do with the care she received. On the contrary, when we arrived, the nannies and some of the children were at the window and calling her name. We went to the caregiver office and gave our donation (diapers and snacks - what our guide told us they would like). Emmarie was presented with a jade rabbit pendant as a gift from her home of the past 1 1/2 years (she was born in the year of the rabbit). We were presented with a beautiful brocade wall hanging made here Nanjing - such meaningful and thoughtful gifts.

They told us in the office that her friend would not eat and had cried all night because he missed her. I can't even type that without tears. They began to tell us about him and what his needs were/are (post hernia surgery, small hole on heart, and thick tongue). They told us he is just two days different in her birthday and that they had been at the orphanage the same amount of time. Their cribs are right next to each other and they loved each other very much. He was very kind to her and evidently she was kind of the boss. He is heartbroken. Well, I couldn't stop the tears. It was clear that they want us to consider adopting him. They wrote his name down for  us and said his paperwork has been submitted.

We headed up to her group and the nannies were so happy to see her. She beamed and reached for her main caregiver. And she gave her friend several kisses - they were so happy to see each other. He was clearly distraught and they told them to say goodbye to each other. He would barely look at us. My heart is so sad right now - I did not expect to witness such a painful toddler parting. Emmi had a hard time. I think she was torn - she did not want to stay (that was clear) but she loved her people. They told us she is very smart and is developing well - we have noticed that one of her eyes isn't always tracking the same (perhaps slightly lazy) but they have evidently not noticed. :) we will have it checked at home. They said she is "sticky" and always wants held. This has definitely proven true - she is a complete cuddlebug. We did not expect that but it's awesome. She was a favorite child and she knew it!

We left with tears. It was hard. She fell asleep in the car - I think she had a hard time processing it all.

We went to her finding place next - The outpatient building of the large Cbildren's Hospital. It  was a busy place and the guide said that no one would notice if you left a baby but that she would be found and safe after the fact. The reality of anyone being in a position that they lovingly wrote a note, wrapped her in a blanket, left a gift, and had to make that decision is more than I can bear. My daughter, abandoned at 4 months, in a hospital, one of many children abandoned in China is overwhelming.

I'm exhausted tonight. The emotion of the finalization this morning, the visit to her former home, and the reality of the circumstances that led to her becoming ours have made for perhaps one of the longest days in my memory. She is asleep again beside me. Bath time was a definite no - she was terrified - we will try again tomorrow. She declined her bottle, welcomed the cuddles, stroked my arm and face, and is asleep cuddled up to her dad.  She laughed tonight and it was sweet. She is perfect to us - a diva (most definitely), a sticky cuddlebug, a little sister, a first daughter, a precious blessing.


Wiggins family said...

We are praising God with you and praying for Emmi's comfort. May the God she doesn't know yet overwhelm her with a peace that passes understanding. Praying for you as you process all that is happening.

Ann said...

oh wow...what a day. I'm so glad she knew love her entire almost 2 years of life. What an amazing gift!

How incredible that the SWI gave those gifts, Emmi will know she was very loved by those &how her birth parents made sure she would be found. My heart hurts for the families that are put in this horrible position. We are so very blessed to not face that choice.

Love the pictures!

Margaret said...

I am like sobbing right now reading these last two posts. Thank you for sharing this and documenting your trip. I am sure it will mean a lot to Emmi down the road as well.