Friday, January 19, 2007

Peace has returned to our home. ::sigh:: It is a wonderful feeling.

Yesterday was possibly the longest day of my life...and I didn't spend it trapped on an airplane. We had to be out of the door by 5 a.m. to get Garry to the airport on time. I woke Hope up, put her on the potty, and went into her room to get her some clothes. When I went back into the bathroom she was sitting there, quiet as a mouse, with tears streaming down her face. When I asked her what was wrong she said, "Nothin!" I asked her if she was sad. She said, "Yes!" Daddy came around the corner and she just wept..."I don't want Daddy to go to China!" Her heart was heart was breaking...I can't even imagine what Garry felt like.

When we got to the airport, we waited for Garry while he checked in. We stood beside a group of 6-8 young Asian men who were in love with Hopie. They were all smiles and kept waving at her trying to get her to wave back. One of them looked at me and said, "She crying!" Yes...she was. But nothing like what she was doing about 20 minutes after that when we were saying good-bye to Daddy before he went through security. It was just tragic. She was screaming and freaking out...she was doing exactly what I felt like doing but couldn't. I couldn't even look at Garry because I knew I would lose it completely. We hugged him good-bye, then I picked her up and we walked off through the airport and out into the frigid morning air with tears streaming down both of our faces. Again, I don't know how Garry managed to get on the plane...he's a strong man.

We spent the day doing quiet things. She wanted to look for pictures of The Three Gorges. Don't ask...physically she's three...mentally I'm thinking in her thirties. We couldn't find any so I went online and printed out one for her. She says it's ok for now, but she wants Daddy to email her one from China. The reason? When I showed her the picture of The Three Gorges she said, "I can only see two."

We made a paper chain to hang in her room. Last night before bed she got to take off one link to symbolize her first day without Daddy was over. We have little presents ready for for each day he is gone. (Thank you Sandy for the idea!) Each morning I make a big deal out of "finding a present that Daddy and Claire hid for her." She loves unwrapping them and so far, each day has asked if there are any more! We also bought her some of those individual boxes of cereal. I have them lined up on the kitchen counter so she can choose one each morning and watch the boxes dwindle each day until Daddy & Claire get home.

Me? I just play games in my only have to clean the bathrooms two times and then they'll be home! You get the idea.

I spent A LOT of time yesterday online tracking his flights. He had promised to call during a layover and didn't. I was freaking out big time. You can imagine the things I had going through my head. When I talked to him this morning I asked what had happened. He said that he was afraid him calling so soon would upset Hope. He's such a good Daddy. She talked to him this morning and was just the picture of total cuteness. As soon as she heard his voice her face lit up with the brightest smile. She stood there talking to him, smiling, and wringing her little hands. It was adorable.

Thanks to everyone who has offered to help should we need you. We appreciate it! So far so good. We're a pretty independent bunch...but we will certainly give you a call if we need something.

Many of you have asked us for specific dates. When we went through the process for Hope we published all the important trip dates, passed out our itinerary...why nothing this time? Well...this time is different! This time it is all about a family of three having the time to bond and become a family of four. Hope had BOTH of her parents with her in China. She had to depend on both of us to take care of her. By the time we got home, she had bonded with us and knew that we were Mama and Daddy. Claire isn't going to have that luxury. We are sure she will bond with Garry as she will have to trust him to care for her in China. But once they get off that plane back home, she's not going to know Mama or Hope from any of the other strangers that are milling around her at the airport. More than likely it will be a rough couple of weeks as she adjusts not only to her new surroundings but as she learns that I am her Mama and I'm not leaving her. And let's not forget she's got a big sister who's jumping up and down to get ahold of her!

I have given Garry "STRICT INSTRUCTIONS" (LOL) that he is not to let ANY women hold her. I keep remembering what we were told in our attachment and bonding class that we had to take the first time through. Babies will bond three times before they start to distrust. The first time is with their birth parents. And yes, even those who are put up for adoption at such a young age have bonded with their birth parents. Both of my girls will forever be bonded to their birth mothers if only by the simple fact that they carried them inside their bodies for nine months. The second bonding has already occurred with the caretakers at the orphanage. In both cases, those she has bonded with have "left" her. The third bonding occurs with their new parents. So you see...with Hope and I not making the trip, it looks like we're going to miss the third bonding period.

In an attempt to at least "introduce" ourselves to her, I prepared a book with pictures of all of us for Garry to take with him. I also made a video of me singing a lullaby to Claire, and one of Hope talking and singing to her. In this way he can play them over and over for her while we are apart.

Another thing that I hear a lot is, "You must be so excited!" Not really. For over two years now we've had to keep our emotions in check. Anger and frustration became the only emotions we knew. But now, ever so slightly...especially after hearing that Garry was safely in Beijing...things are starting to change. I am still can't help be with this whole process...but I'm starting to believe that this just may happen. No excitement yet, but something much more wonderful...inner peace.

Until next time!

P.S. You can hear Allison Krauss singing her version of Claire's lullaby at the bottom of the page.

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