Sunday, March 29, 2009

The most unabridged version I can manage

Third time’s the charm, right? This better work this time folks, because, if it doesn’t, you are OUT OF LUCK! I first typed this directly at the Blogger website. I was ALL DONE and highlighted all the text to make it larger and poof! ALL GONE!! Then, it did an autosave. Nice, huh? Didn’t do an autosave when I had everything typed; it waited until I was done deleting it first. So, I learned my lesson. I decided to type everything first in Microsoft Word and just cut and paste it into Blogger. Brilliant, huh? I know! I know! It took another hour to get everything typed and edited again. I saved it and thought we were good to go. Thing is, I got some funny error messages when I started the computer up and logged in. Apparently, I should have paid attention to them. It had created some sort of temporary profile that was erased when I later logged in properly. I found this really hot computer guy who was kind enough to give me the bad news. So, here I am, sitting in the dark, with 2 nappers and a hot computer guy next to me watching a movie on my ipod…in between bouts of snoring :). Don’t worry, I’m typing this in Word and saving it after every sentence, and have verified that I am properly logged in and saving this file to the correct file location. Whew!

So now, I’ll gladly take myself back to yesterday again…

Our Beijing guide, Maggie, met us in the lobby at 9:00 a.m. to take us to the airport for our 90 minute flight from Beijing (pronounced with a hard “j” actually, not with a “zh” sound) to Nanchang (short “a” first, then an “a” pronounced somewhere between an “ah” sound and a “u” sound). Maggie was able to convince the manager of our airline, China Southern, not to charge us a fee for our excess baggage by telling him we were adopting. She said, “They’re taking care of our babies”. Heartbreaker, right? Price fell asleep before take-off and didn’t wake up until we had already started our descent.

We arrived in Nanchang 30 minutes early, at 1:30 in the afternoon where, thankfully, our Nanchang guide, Mary, was already waiting for us. We collected our baggage and made our way to our van for the 20 minute ride to our hotel. It was at this time that Mary told us the orphanage would be bringing Carmon to the hotel around 3:30 or 4. We checked into the Gloria Grand Hotel and, as soon as we got to our room, I started nesting. I quickly unpacked the kids’ suitcases into drawers and started organizing things so our room would be uncluttered when they brought Carmon up. Tom wrapped some presents because we didn’t know when we would have to start passing them out. We finished that at 2:45 and decided to go to a café downstairs to grab a bite to eat. We didn’t know when we would have an opportunity to eat again.

We got downstairs and I asked Tom to go back up to get our camera. I was worried they’d come early, and we wouldn’t have the means to document our first meeting with our newest daughter. As I waited downstairs, I noticed some babies in the lobby. There were 2 little girls, and I was devastated because I was afraid one was Carmon and I wasn’t recognizing her. Not to worry…those girls were carried up to meet their adoptive parents within a few minutes. Then there was another little baby who appeared to be a boy to me. He also seemed like he was with his father and was walking already, but our guide came into the lobby and was talking with them. I gave her “the eye” asking if that was Carmon. She smiled and gave me “they eye” back. I was mortified at the thought that it was Carmon and I’d called him a boy and not recognized my own daughter. Not to worry, again. There was apparently a miscommunication between my “eye” and Mary’s “eye”.

There was a lady in the lobby that Mary went to sit with. That lady had also been sitting with the previous 2 adopted girls, so I am assuming she is some sort of liaison between the “state” and the orphanage and the adoptive parents. I was sitting on the edge of my seat while trying to choke down bites from a club sandwich…that had egg on it. The liaison hopped up, and I could see an SUV in the reflection from some marble tiles through the window we were sitting by. I looked at Mary again, afraid to give her “the eye” for fear of another miscommunication. But she was also up on her feet moving toward the door. I got on my feet, too. She did give me “they eye” when some caretakers came through the door holding Carmon. I KNEW IT WAS CARMON!!! And, for the record, I had correctly picked her out of the orphanage pictures that I’d previously posted on my blog. I tentatively headed towards them, not sure if I was allowed to go over. Mary motioned me over and I went straight for Carmon and took her from the lady holding her. She already had a tear on her face when I got to her, but she shared a few more of those with me. An orphanage employee seemed to think I could use some help soothing her and took her back from me. I wanted to swat her hands away, but I thought that might not be a good idea. But it wasn’t long before the orphanage director told her to give Carmon back to me. I’m not going to let anyone take her away from me ever again!

Mary got some paperwork from the orphanage employees and said we were free to take Carmon up to our room. Mary came with us because we had to sign some papers and thumbprint our signatures. Carmon was already showing some periods of calm, but she also showed some real, pure anger, bowing her back and letting out a different sounding cry.

By 4:35 Mary had left our room and we had our little girl all to ourselves. I felt a little bewildered. She was still mostly crying, especially when she looked at my face or when Tom or Price tried to talk to her. We were kind of just looking at each other with a “Well, here we are” expression on our faces. I put Carmon in our Hip Hammock and just walked around bouncing her. Tom set up a Thomas DVD for Price to watch and basically just tried to keep him entertained.

I sat in a chair and, with Carmon still in the Hip Hammock, she fell asleep on my chest. What a treat! She’s MY girl!

Almost an hour later she woke up. She fussed a little bit when I gave her to Tom, but the fussing was short-lived. We tried to feed her a bottle, but she wasn’t interested. Tom and I ordered room service…an interesting beef burger, some very non-American “American cheesecake”, and a bottle of Nanchang beer. Tom was holding Carmon while he ate his dinner and she was very excited by his food, so he gave her a French fry. :) She didn’t care for that much but did very much enjoy the bun from his burger. We were all exhausted and were asleep by 8:30.

She cried out a few times during the night but didn’t even give me time to get to her bed to comfort her before she had quieted herself back down.

So, there you have it…the complete story of the day I had my last baby.


lonepalm said...

Congratulations! I just teared up while reading the blog...Love you guys and can't wait till you get back!

- Adam

Jackie Sue said...

Just precious! All done, huh??? :) I soooo remember that feeling. It was like, I am so not EVER going to put myself through that again...that was after Davie...yeah well, we all know who came next...so so happy for you all! Just thrilled!

Jaime said...

Oh Abby! Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful news!!!! I've been away and just caught up on the journey! Carmon is PRECIOUS! Can't wait to meet her!