Sunday, October 09, 2005

Ni hao, bao bei

"Hello, precious treasure."

These were my first words to little Ms. Bao today when they put her in my arms. Wow, wow, wow. She's here.

We went at the appointed time and loaded into a van which took us to a place about a 1/2 hour away. We all walked into a room, which looked like it was some sort of children's welfare office. After we milled around for a while, taking pictures and videotaping, a "director" came out to address us. Li translated. I have absolutely no recollection what she said!

Following that, Li gave each family some paper work and asked us to verify the information that was on it. Just about all of us found mistakes, so we turned aside to write out our corrections. Just as we were doing that, I heard someone say, "the babies are here." I just looked up and two (or was it three?) women walked in holding all four of the babies in our group.

Before anyone really knew what was going on, they were calling out the names of the babies and saying "who has (fill in child's name)?"

I just started crying. The C family got their girl first. I saw that the next baby was not Bao, so I turned my gaze back on the C's. This is their first baby. She was crying too.

When I looked back, it was time for the next baby, and I knew without hearing her name that it was Ms. Bao. I walked up, grabbed her, and that was it.

The first few minutes were strange. She looked all around, and didn't fuss, but didn't seem interested in us. After a few minutes she warmed up, but she brushed away my first attempts to get close to or touch her face. I took the hint and backed off.

We gave her one of the toys we brought for her and let her have her snuggler. She seemed to like them, though still was not obviously enjoying anything.

Later Paul held her and let her sit facing the crowd instead of him. He played with her from behind and she began to smile a little. I was able to catch some of it on tape.

It seemed that each of the other babies cried at some point. Bao did not. As I asked questions of Li, she would in turn ask them of one of the women who brought the babies. We were told that Bao usually doesn't fuss unless she is tired or needs to be changed. We were told what her eating schedule is, and that she eats congee, soft noodles, and steamed egg. Bottle at night before bed.

The big shock came when Li announced to the group that all of our girls had been in foster care. I had previously asked our agency about this, and we were told that she was not in foster care. After hearing this, I braced myself for a tougher transition, as Bao would have surely formed some attachments which would make it harder for her to open up to us.

After a few more John Hancocks on some official paperwork, we were back in the van, with our children, and on our way to have their passport pictures taken.

CC and I were talking during the trip and apparently she had found out that the girls were returned to the orphanage (from their foster homes) about 10 days before we got them. I guess that is good.

Bao also started to liven up in the van. Crying. She had two pairs of pants on, a onesie, a sweater, and a jacket. I was hot in the van, so I figured she must be very uncomfortable. We removed a layer. She continued to cry - loud and strong - so we attempted to feed her a bottle. She reached for it, but then wanted nothing to do with it when she got it in her mouth. She fussed off and on for a while, and calmed down considerably when we got out of the van again.

After a quick passport photo, we were back in the van. Bao cried almost the whole way back to the hotel, with brief periods of calm. She fell asleep in my arms about a block away from the hotel and woke up when I got out of the van. She fussed all the way up to the room.

But as soon as I laid her on the bed and removed both pairs of pants, she was as happy as a lark! I changed her diaper, and then the fun began...

I stroked her legs and she stared right at my face. I talked to her and played with her. I laid her on a blanket on the floor and we just played, and played. She kicked her legs. She waved her hands. She rolled to her side to pick up toys and her shoe. She laughed when I pretended to eat her belly or held her high over my head. We played a little game of sticking out our tongues. She stuck out her pointy little tongue, and I did the same. She reached up to grab my tongue and seemed to enjoy the feeling of it. She grabbed my hair and smiled when I pulled my head back, taking her hand with me.

Paul was still in the lobby getting instuctions from Li about tomorrow. When he came back, I think he was happy to see that her demeanor changed.

When it neared her scheduled dinner time, I tried to give her rice cereal. She seemed to happily eat about three bites, but then spit it out, pushed the spoon away, and started crying. We tried peas. Nothing doing. So, we tried a bottle again. No thanks.

So we went down to the restaurant where we knew we could find some noodles or congee. We met the M family on the way, and we all went across the street to get some dinner. Bao was impatient for food, and started crying again. We tried the bottle. No. We tried the M's bottle which they'd prepared with rice cereal in it. No. We tried one of the M's nipples which were shaped differently. NO!

Then, finally the noodles came. YES!!! Noodles were the big winner. She ate and was content.

We were told that she takes a bottle before bed, so after dinner we went up a block to a department/grocery store. We bought Chinese formula - I have no idea what it is, exactly, b/c I could not read one bit of the package. I didn't even know how to prepare it. We also bought a new nipple.

Back at the ranch, Bao got fussy. So, we mixed a bottle with two scoops of rice cereal, two scoops of Chinese formula, and topped it with a new nipple.

After two false starts, I just clamped down, held her tight, and put the bottle in her mouth. She drank about 4 ounces and promply fell asleep.

So far, so good.

And that was our day. Here is a picture of the tongue she likes to show off. I hope you like these. We didn't get a lot with me or Paul today. But you didn't want to see us anyway. (If you would like the pictures, I THINK you can click on them and you will be taken to the page for that photo. You should be able to print from there. If that doesn't work, go to and search for my photos under the username PEZmama.)

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Anonymous Jill Geswein and family said...

How awesome! She is a beauty! Requested special prayers for you and Paul today in front of the church! My heart is so full right now, all I can do is cry! I am a wreck! My kids think that I'm crazy! Now they want to ask daddy if we can get a baby from China too! (ha, ha) You have done such a special thing by following what Christ allowed you to do and see your journey through to the end. God bless your new little one and you both. (Glad that you are doing lots of rice experiments, seems like that worked). Continued love and prayers are with you.

Sun Oct 09, 02:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Mary Lou said...

Oh my, she's beautiful.
We are so happy for all of you.
CANNOT wait to see her and touch those little hands.

Love and prayers, John and Mary Lou

Sun Oct 09, 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Patti said...

I must remember to never again read your blog without tissues close at hand.

Sun Oct 09, 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger K said...

wow...What a perfect beauty! She's absolutely precious. I love the name. Breathtaking post! Thank you for sharing...

Sun Oct 09, 09:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Sun Oct 09, 09:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Sun Oct 09, 11:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH MY!!! She is so beautiful! I can just picture you hugging and kissing her. How blessed you guys must feel, to have her with you. Phil and I will be praying for you all. Cannot wait to see the whole family together. Lots of love. Phil,Shannon,Marina,and Lilly

Mon Oct 10, 12:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Linda said...

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Mon Oct 10, 01:18:00 AM  
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Mon Oct 10, 10:28:00 AM  

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