Can it already have been 6 years........Yes, I guess so.
6 years ago today we had just spent 3 VERY COLD days touring Beijing. It snowed while we were at the Great Wall. I had hoped to climb to the nearest tower, but it was very slippery covered in a mixture of snow & ice, so we didn't climb that far.
On our visit to the Temple of Heaven, it was SO COLD...our guide took pity on our group & asked if we would like to stop in and visit a tea shop. We all quickly agreed, (to get out of the cold more than anything). The girls at the tea shop did an impromptu tea ceremony & taught us a lot about their history of teas, the function of tea. It was such an unexpected and memorable opportunity. I wish I had bought a tea set there. As it happened, I didn't buy a tea set at all on my first trip. But, made sure I bought one for each daughter on trip #2!
Our plan was to fly from Beijing to Nanchang, go to the hotel, & then be united with our babies that evening. Well, snow & ice kept the planes grounded in Beijing for HOURS. We were many hours late leaving Beijing & we figured we would probably meet our babies the next day.
After we landed in Nanchang & were in the van on the way to the hotel, our guide said, We will get to the hotel, check in, & in 15 min, meet at the conference room, because the babies are already at the hotel!!!!! Needless to say, we checked in as fast as we could & grabbed all of our necessary things & then waited for the time we could go down to the 14th floor. The hotel had an inner atrium & you could look over the balcony to the floors below. We were all gathered where we could see (& HEAR) the babies & nannies being led into the conference room...they were about 3 floors below us!
We finally went down to the room, but we had to wait outside the doors until they were ready for us. Just writing this, I can still feel that incredible nervous excitement & tension. They let us in & there sat 7 babies, all bundled up in the same color snowsuits. All within 3 weeks of age of each other. Most of the babies looking rather similar. One baby, with a ton of hair & rosy red cheeks, looked more like a little Eskimo. I snapped a few photos of her because she was so different & more unique looking than the others. Then, I searched for Lindsi. I really had no idea which baby she was. I went down to the far side of the table, looking at each baby, trying to find a resemblance to the referral photos I had stared at for weeks.
When I walked back down to the one with the rosy red cheeks, the nanny waved at me, pointed to the baby & started nodding yes! this one is yours! WHAT??!!! That beautiful baby at 10 months is the seem Mr Magoo picture I had seen 6 weeks earlier!! Are you kidding me??!!!
I went over to meet her. Yep, sure enough, her badge matched my info. Then we were asked to go back to the other side of the table as they called each family by name to present the baby. Out of 7, we were the second or third family called & then it's a blur what else went on in the room. I only had eyes for my girl.
We went over, showed our paperwork, the SWI signed off their paperwork, & a smiling Fu Lin Da was handed to me. She was curious & happy. And, mostly, she has stayed that way for the last 6 years.
She never cried & we were able to stay in the conference room (nearly all the other babies went back to their rooms) & welcome the 4 additional babies who came from another SWI. My friend & fellow single mom was in that group & I'm so glad we were there to witness Ella joining her family.
The first year was our hardest. Not because of Lindsi, but because I was unprepared for some of Lindsi's undiagnosed special needs. However, I could never have dreamed up a daughter as wonderful as the one I was blessed with.
Thank you for making me one proud & happy Mom. I love you!