What a day! I hardly know where to begin. I have a precious and beautiful daughter napping beside me - snoring a bit from the tears shed prior to falling asleep. She is incredibly brave. 

I slept well last night - the first night i haven't awoken a few times - also the first night I took Tylenol PM. :) Melatonin just wasn't cutting it for me. So thankful for a good night of rest before the biggest day of our trip.

We left our hotel right around 9 a.m. and drove to the Civil Affairs office where we would receive Emmarie. We arrived around 9:20 and within 5 minutes, she arrived. We saw the van pull in and I knew. We quickly took pictures of the arrival. The other family with us, graciously took pictures for us since their son had not arrived yet. We had been advised by our guide to immediately go and pick her up which I did. She was already crying quietly - big, gulpy tears that made me cry for her. She was bundled in several layers of clothing but I held her and tried to comfort her. After 15 minutes or so, she feel asleep - I'm sure it was much easier for her to cope with life (and perhaps hoped to wake up with things back to her normal). Unfortunately, we had to wake her for an official picture. However, she was surprisingly happy and playful. She had a snack and even tried to feed a snack to another little girl being adopted by a Dutch family (our three families were the only ones there this morning). 

When it was time to leave, she became very nervous and tearful again and was very frightened of the car. Who can blame her? Her life had just suddenly and drastically changed after a car ride (perhaps the first in her memory). She settled right down and played with a few toys while we headed to Walmart. I wish I had a picture of her eyes as she took in the store - the widened in amazement. :) She grinned and flirted with a sales clerk, wanted to walk on her on, and let us know that she was hungry. Adorable. She only wanted me to carry her and with all of the layers, she was heavy! 

We came back to our hotel and she started crying again. It was lunchtime and nap time and I know she felt overwhelmed. She allowed me to hold her and our guide, Jin, helped us figure out what to feed her. She was not thrilled but eventually ate a steamed egg, some rice cereal made with formula, and a few puffs. 

She seems very tactile (sensory seeking, I think) and has been stroking my shirt, hair, sweater, anything she can get her hands on. It's very gentle and very sweet. We also quickly discovered that she is a thumb sucker - a first for us! She calmed herself and rested on me for probably an hour - making great eye contact, adjusting herself to be comfortable, and overall incredibly relaxed. She started to get pretty upset again - big crocodile tears and a cry that is so sad. I realized she was still really tired and needed to sleep. We settled back in and she cried herself to sleep in my arms. Once she is asleep - she is ASLEEP. 

The report from her orphanage was all good. I think she was a bit spoiled (as spoiled as one can be in an orphanage). She had a nanny who cared very much for her. We were told that Emmi does NOT like strangers and that did not even like some of the nannies. So, her reactions today were/are perfectly in line with her personality. We were given a couple of incredible gifts - the first, a cross on a string that was given to her by her birthparents when they abandoned her along with the note that 
was left with her and secondly, a memory book compiled over the last 18 months chronicling her life. It included pictures and journal entries. Both amazing treasures and brought us to tears. 

So, here we are. Amazed. Tired. Blessed. In love. We cannot believe we have a daughter! We first saw her picture on June 29 and tomorrow, she will officially and forever become legally ours. We cannot believe God has blessed a 4th time through adoption - every single time, we are simply in awe. We would not want it any other way - four miracles, four blessings, four beautiful children. Our diverse family is absolutely the perfect family for us. As we welcome another culture and another 
country in to our lives, we do so with great joy.

Without further ado, here she is! EMMARIE DORIS XIAOCHAN - almost exactly one year from when my grandma passed, we have welcomed a daughter who shares her name. 


Ann said...

oh my goodness she is beautiful! How incredible wonderful to have the note & cross(WOW!) from her birth parents. Tears from reading that...such an amazing gift you were given! I'm sure your grandparents are rejoicing in Heaven. So happy for you!

Thompson's Journey said...

Oh...Congrats! I can't wait to see her in all her new clothes!! Tears for you my friend!

Karen, Glenn, Allie, Max, and Sam said...

So very happy for you. So amazing that you have the gift of history to share with her when the time is right. A daughter in your arms .... I am so happy for you all!!!! Continuing to pray for you as this part of the journey continues. Love you all!

Kimberly said...

I LOVE this post! Amazing, beautiful, wonderful, glorious! CONGRATULATIONS my friend!

Let's start on those plans to P.E.I soon! ;)

amanda vigale said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! on your new daughter she is just beautiful and what an amazing thing to be given a note and the cross!!!
Enjoy getting to know your new daughter!!!!

chris said...

I couldn't stop the tears as I read this update! You can't smack the smile from your faces! :) Congratulations on your precious baby girl!

The Gang's Momma! said...

OH! It's so amazing to see her in your arms! MONTHS of praying for this girl and hoping to hear news of her being matched to a loving family and now this! What a sight for sore eyes. I'm sooooo happy for you but even happier for her. There was just SOMETHING about that sweet little face that captured me the MINUTE I saw her and I'm so glad to be able to watch God's plan for you all unfold here and now! YAY!

Joanna B said...

So happy for you guys!!

Debbie said...

Congratulations! How awesome to have a memory book of her first 18 months! What a treasure!