Saturday, April 19, 2014

Six Months....

Six months ago today, this was the only glimpse we had of a little girl who was going to be our daughter.....we were on our way to the province of Lanzhou where we would meet this little one.  I still can't describe what that feels like.  I was excited, scared, overwhelmed, and just plain terrified all at the same time.  We really had no idea what to expect.  We didn't know if she would cry, scream, shut down...or if we would!! 

Six months ago tomorrow.....we drove up to the hotel in Lanzhou, and as we were driving by, I spotted our girl being carried in a bright pink coat.  I swear I thought I was going to choke on my heart, it was so far up in my throat!!  I knew it was her, I had stared at those pictures for months!!  I didn't even know what to do when they walked into the hotel lobby with her, and put her in a stroller next to me.  I so much wanted to pick her up and squeeze her, but I didn't want to scare her, and with the 5 people (almost all men), standing around staring, to say that it was awkward is an understatement!!  I can still remember her dark eyes looking at me, but really just being's so hard to believe now that they were ever like that.  This is the first day that she was with us...October 20th
She wasn't crying, she wasn't screaming, but she wasn't really there....pretty sure she was pretty zoned out because of being overwhelmed at everything.   I still can't believe how well she did when being given over to these white people who looked nothing like anyone she had ever seen, speaking a language different than she had ever heard, and knowing no one she was familiar with.  If I was in that situation, I would be crying and screaming!!!

Six months ago Monday....Wu YuanQing became Lainey Wu Ashe, officially our daughter, officially a sister, officially a granddaughter....what an amazing day.  Like her, I think I was also in a daze, I hardly remember most of it, except for looking at pictures.  I think it's much like when I went through labor and delivery with the boys....I really can't remember most of that either, but I remember holding them, hugging them, loving them.
I remember the fingerprints, footprints, lots of signing and making sure things were spelled right and written right.  It's a good thing that Jeremy is good at that sort of practical stuff, because I'm pretty sure my brain was mush at that point!!  I had gotten all of the paperwork done and together up until that point, but was done after that!  This picture is the first picture of us with Lainey Wu Ashe, our daughter (well, the first one after it was official anyway!).  It still almost seem surreal to me.  It has been six months, and I know that we missed almost 3 years of her life, but most of the time it seems like she has been with us forever.  I can't imagine life without her crazy hair in the morning, without her sweet smile when she's playing, her laugh when you tickle her.  I won't lie and say it's been a totally easy road.  It's not easy to throw a toddler into a family who is essentially a stranger and to just be totally in love as a mother (although I thought it would be).  That love takes time to grow, and it has.  I feel more and more like her "mama" every day.  Every time she pulls my head down to kiss her goodnight one more time, I get a step closer.  Every time I give her a hug and feel her little arms wrap around my neck, I'm a little deeper.  Every time she snuggles into my lap at bedtime when we rock, I feel more bonded....and that is the miracle.  I know what it feels like to carry a child, and love that child from the moment you know you are pregnant.  Now I know what it feels like to love a child that  didn't carry in my belly, but carried for months in my heart. 

This is the little girl that I know now....

 Silly, fun, happy, and difficult to get a picture of without her tongue hanging out!!

It just hit me this week that her 6 month anniversary of gotcha day is on Easter.  What an awesome picture of new beginnings.  Easter brings us new life in Christ, a new beginning, a hope that we couldn't have otherwise.  Lainey brought us a new life, a new normal, a new beginning in our family.  Our sacrifices we made to bring her home are nothing compared to the sacrifice Christ made for us, when we didn't deserve it.  We are so so so blessed, and are just so thankful for all of our new beginnings and new life!!!