Wednesday, July 01, 2009

ABC Wednesday---X Is For Xu Xian Mei

ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs. Nesbitt's Place.

This lovely young woman is Xu Xian Mei. She is the current director of The Anqing Children's Welfare Institute...where my Hope spent the first eleven months of her life. This picture was snapped shortly after she exited the long awaited "Baby Van"...the van that carried not only my oldest daughter, but also the daughters of six other very impatient families who were waiting on pins and needles inside the lobby of The Novotel Hotel in Hefei. I didn't know who this elegant woman was...nor did I recognize the baby she was carrying as my own. But it would all become clear in a matter of moments.

That's Mme. Xu again, in the brown coat with her back towards the camera...holding Zhu Han her little pink Peter Rabbit outfit. The gentleman with his arm around Mme. Xu, is "Uncle Zhou"...he's kind of like my own version of American Express...I don't want to leave home for China without him...hired by our agency to take the best possible care of us while we were in country. He is checking out the by one as they are carried into the hotel lobby by an employee from The Anqing CWI. Notice all the nervous and happy new parents with cameras? Me? I'm standing just out of total shock...wondering which baby is mine. And for the first time ever, I just noticed that Han Tao's head is turned directly towards she knew. I'll be back in a few...I need a Kleenex... after they paraded through the lobby, they proceeded to climb a rather large, rather impressive staircase to the next floor where they settled in what I remember to be as a HUGE conference room...with seven sets of "we can't wait another minute for our baby" parents, grandparents, and siblings close behind.

The babies and their caregivers were taking seats in an alcove to the left. Cameras were being fired up...tears were being shed...nervous giggling could be heard...some were absolutely positive they knew which baby was their own...others had not a clue. Me? I was crying and standing near the door, ready to make a quick getaway. Garry? He knew her the moment she got off the van. MANY thanks to all who took these pictures and shared them with our entire group. I, for one, will forever be in your debt.

Uncle Zhou asked if everyone was mother who had been through this before said, "You're a fool Zhou!" We all laughed. Zhou pulled out his little notebook and called the name of one of the families. The exuberant mother stepped forward, verified her baby's Chinese name, and was handed a beautiful new daughter. Zhou said, "Who's next?" Nobody moved. He moved closer to Mme. Xu and spoke to her, then repeated his question, "Who's next?" He looked across the room...directly at me and said, "You want to go next? This your baby?" I remember so vividly every single person in front of me just parting...moving to either side of me until I was looking into the eyes of who I knew was my reason for living. being me...I remember joking, "I'll just take whichever one is left." More laughs from the crowd. Zhou motioned for me to come forward...I was asked to speak my child's given Chinese name. I managed to squeak out, "Zhu Han Tao" which is what I am saying in the picture above. I can STILL see Mme. Xu's sparkling eyes looking into mine as she handed me my Hope...this child I had waited my entire life for...and all I could do was look at this beautiful woman and whisper, "thank you" over...and over...and over.

Two days later we were given the extreme pleasure of visiting the CWI. It was, and continues to be a trip I will treasure. To see how my child spent her first eleven months...where she slept...see the obvious love her caregivers had for her...before she could be with was simply priceless. Made even more precious by the fact that I was unable to travel to China, and share any of these early experiences with Claire.

Mme. Xu is an angel...a true gift from God. Whose beauty, serenity, generosity, and kindness will forever be a part of Hope's life story.

Be blessed y'all,


Dragonstar said...

What a perfectly beautiful story! You obviously had no doubt of what to post for X.

Thank you, on behalf of the ABC Team.

Anonymous said...

I knew you would pick this for you "X". She was a wonderful woman who cared so much about our daughters. I am so glad our girls were at such a special place before we were able to bring them HOME!!!!! Pam

Mel said...

Dragonstar---Thank you so're right, there was no doubt!

Pam---") I have it made with ideas for the toughest letters! No sweating it out over Q, X, and Z! I had the pictures ready last week...but just couldn't dig around in the emotions it took to write it until yesterday...which by the way, it seems like just yesterday when it all happened.

Sandy H said...

What a wonderful post! It is fun to see the photos again but even more precious to relive it through your eyes. It was such a special experience for us as well (and we had "been there/done that" a few years earlier!). Thank you for sharing!

Mel said...

LOL Sandy! Glad you stopped by and enjoyed your "quote"! ")

Related Posts with Thumbnails