"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12



“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats





Monday, June 18, 2007

Anna Grace Is Ours Forever!

I am so sorry that it's taken this long to post. It has been an amazing, yet incredible day. Our beautiful and sweet girl is in our arms forever. I have received all 50+ emails asking for details and pictures...so here they are!


I do understand if you just ignore the details and scroll down to see the beautiful Miss Anna Grace (presently called FengQin - pronounced fong chin).


I started waking everyone when the 5:30 wakeup call came in. By 7 a.m., we were showered, dressed and out the door for breakfast. We are staying the Hefei Hilton, which is very nice.


After breakfast we came upstairs to pack the necessary items to take to the Civil Affairs office with us. We then met our guide at 9 a.m. sharp and were on our way. I was beyond excited. That drive, now for the second time in my life, is something that is pretty indescribable. To know that you are on your way to be presented a child you have only adored thru pictures and those dreams will now be realized.


It was a short 15 minute drive from the hotel for us to get there. The building is a large 20 story modern building with two entrances. The rear entrance has a gate that you can go into the parking lot and there is the front entrance right off of the sidewalk with a security card. Both entrances meet in the same place, the elevators.


We arrived there, thru the rear entrance, at about 9:15 a.m.. I asked our guide if the babies were there yet, and I was told that they would be arriving at 9:30. We got out of the car with Kai, his stroller, our backpack, lots of cameras and an armful of gifts. As we are waiting for the elevator, our guide suggest to us that we take one last picture of our family before the big change. So, we pull out the cameras and begin to pose while she takes the picture.


All of a sudden, thru the opposite door we had entered, a nanny came in with a little guy who was just hysterical crying. I immediately knew that he was being adopted. Then more nannies started coming in. All of a sudden, a lady I recognized from pictures walks towards the glass entry doors. She was the assistant director of Hefei SWI. Holding her hand, was the most adorable little girl. She was wearing an orange ruffled shirt with a butterfly embroidered on it, and white and orange matching capri pants. She wore socks and walked in squeaking away with cute, little, red sandal squeaky shoes! I yell out, and let me reiterate the word yell, "THERE SHE IS!!!" My Mom jumped about 10 feet but I wanted them to see her in the midst of the commotion of nannies, families, guides and babies in this small lobby waiting for the elevator doors to open.


I immediately head in her direction. The AD (assistant director) kneels next to FengQin and our guide tells her that I am her Mama. The AD then tells Anna Grace to come with me and Anna Grace looks at her like she's lost her mind. No way, no how. The elevator door opens and the AD heads inside with Anna Grace in tow. We all follow into the extremely crowded elevator. Scott has this huge backpack on and is pushing Kai on the stroller. He stands at the door of the elevator where I had already secured my spot next to Anna Grace and the AD and says, "I'll take the next one". I think, "The hell you are!" And grab the stroller and drag into the already bursting at the seams elevator while Scott follows shoving its passengers within inches of each other. It was only 2 floors....they'd survive.

We all bail out of the elevator and head into a room filled with long desks and chairs. Everyone finds a private spot to sit in around their child and their nannies. Anna Grace's nanny did not go, only the AD. The AD sits and then places Anna Grace on her lap. I kneel before her and gently reach out to rub her arm. She pushes my hand away. The AD pulls out a cookie that Anna Grace had in a little package and unwraps it for her. She starts munching away, but no doubt, keeping an eye on the looney woman who keeps invading her space. The AD is wonderful in telling her that I am her Mama and we point to Baba, GeGe, and PoPo. No dice. She wants nothing to do with any of us. I then reach into the diaper bag and pull out the little Asian doll. She holds it for about 30 seconds and declares it is not worth going to us for. She puts it down. This went on for about 30 minutes. We tried everything and she would just break down hysterically at the thought of being told that I was going to hold her.

So, the AD hands me a candy and tells me to open it and give it to her. I do. Then she signals for me to pick her up. Oh my Lord. The screams could've been heard in Florida. It broke my heart. She was literally shaking in fear. Her body trembled. I just couldn't hold her like that. I hand her back to the AD and thank her but tell her that we prefer to wait until she is more comfortable. We continue to try or another 15 minutes. Anna Grace remains firm in her conviction that she wants nothing to do with us. I even moved away and let Scott try. Nothing. She would stare at Kai, but no interaction whatsoever. When she wasn't hysterical, it was just a stoic face.

Finally the AD needs to leave. She signals for the guide to entertain FengQin while she grabs her purse and slips out. The guide begins speaking to her in Chinese and all of a sudden when the AD grabs her purse to leave, Anna Grace again screams at the top of her lungs, her body lunging towards the direction that the AD had gone. The guide picks her up and trys to comfort her. The scenario remains the same, except that now it's not the AD, it's the guide she won't leave to go with us. So, we had to make a decision because we had tried for over an hour. Paperwork needed to be completed and almost everyone was gone. The guide said, "Take her into the hallway and try and distract her. I will stay here." I tell Scott, who is videotaping this entire thing I am going to hold her and go into the hallway. He heads out in front of me. The guide peels Anna Grace off of herself and hands her to me and the wailing and grieving cries resonate throughout the entire floor.

I remember when I received Kai, a little girl that was also from his orphanage was pretty much the same. Being taken to the window helped calm her. I look around and notice that at the end of the long hallway there is a window. So, I head in that direction. We get to the window and after a couple of minutes the screams begin to subside and are now replaced by sad, deep sobs interchanged with heavy sighs. She was literally shaking like a leaf. Her entire little body was shiverying and I could feel her little heart pounding against me. I continue to whisper to her in Chinese that it's ok, while rubbing her back. She calms down a bit. I then walk away from the window and start pacing the hallway. I realize she is looking into every open doorway searching for a familiar face. So, I sit on the floor of the hallway against a wall. I straddle her legs around my waist, having her face me and I pull her close. We sit there while I rock her. Her sobbing stops and is now just the deep sighing. We sit there for about 20 minutes. Just she and I. I pray over her and begin to sing. I can tell she is exhausted, but she won't go to sleep.

My Mom had been watching Kai. She comes over and kneels next to us. I ask her to see if Anna Grace wants to go with her. So, my Mom reaches out her arms to her. Anna Grace pulls back and tightens her hold around me. A good sign. We stayed there for another 10 minutes, then I get up and head back into the room where by now, everyone had left except for our guide and us. She sees the guide and begins some quiet crying again, but nothing compared to before. I continue to whisper to her that it is ok and rub her arms and back. She quiets down again.

We, finally after almost 2 hours, leave the Civil Affairs office. We stop at the store to buy some diapers and some snacks, etc. While we are walking thru the store we get stopped 3 times by locals asking if Anna Grace and Kai are twins. Anna Grace is about 1/2 inch taller than Kai. Their resemblance is pretty astounding. I believe she is heavier than Kai. She just fits into 18 months clothes and is wearing about 24 months, which fortunately is what I brought. Her feet are pretty big and she is pretty tall for a 2 year old.

After the shopping, we go into Pizza Hut and have some lunch. She puts down a slice of pizza and a cream of chicken soup. She still remains very stoic. Scott and Kai start fooling around and giggling and laughing. She watches every move that we make. I start playing with her and she tries really hard not to crack a smile. She is usually succesful. When she can't hold it, she will then turn her head away so that I can't see that she is smiling.

We finished our meal and head back to the hotel. Due to my poor sleep last night, and the mental exhaustion that we've all been through, I suggest we all nap. I lay next to her and Kai on her other side. I begin to rub her head, and within minutes she is sound asleep. She slept for over two hours.

We then got up and headed towards a park just a couple of blocks from the hotel. Lotus Park. It is a beautiful park filled with lakes and amusement rides. The kids are both in their strollers. Again we get stopped and asked if they are twins. I have a picture of them taken on a swing and we go to an old playground for them to go on the slide. The stoic look is a bit more relaxed by now, especially when she slid down the 10 ft. slide with her Baba.

One poignant moment today was when we were at the park. We were strolling thru the beautiful gardens and I hear a very faint sound. I tell my Mom and Scott to stop speaking a second, and we realize that it is Anna Grace....singing. It was the sweetest thing. I leaned down to listen closer, but she stopped. She didn't sing anymore after that.

We came back to the hotel, and had dinner at the Noodle Shop on the 2nd floor. I gave them both a bubble bath, which she again was not too crazy about. No tears, but just not happy. We then gave Baba his Father's Day gift and then I put them both to bed. Kai fell asleep on our bed and I moved him to the crib. She fell asleep in my arms, clutching her dolly. I will keep her in our bed in case she awakens. I want to be right there.

She truly is a gift and a blessing. She seems so very sweet. I especially love how she looks at Scott when he carries her. There is no doubt that she will have him wrapped around her finger, if she hasn't already. A few times today he has out of the total blue said out loud, "She is so sweet and beautiful". I have wondered many times today what her true personality is like.

Kai is very sweet with her, although for the most part, not too interested. He has shared his toys willingly. I think they will grow up being great friends. She loves to see him up to his antics, and as usual, he loves the attention. :)

We are so very thankful to our Lord for leading us to Anna Grace. Her being a part of our life has made us complete.

Enjoy the pictures. I will try and put up some video of the gotcha moment. If I can't get it up tonight, I will do so in the morning. Again, thank you all for your prayers. She is doing well and we hope with each passing day she realizes we are here forever and love her unconditionally.

















19 comments :

Ruth said...

Ohilda! I have not read the whole post yet but looked at pictures!!!! She is so adorable and finally in your arms!! The same thing happened to us in the lobby!!!! There she was!!!
How incredible to watch it all unfold!!!

Congratulations!!!!
Ruth

Amanda said...

Congratulations. There aren't words to express how wonderful it is to see your family united. She's absolutely precious. It's been incredible watching God's work in your lives. Congratulations again,
Blessings,
Amanda

Tammy said...

Ohilda,

Anna Grace is beautiful. Love the pics of her and Kai together. I just know they are going to be the best of friends. Thanks so much for the post and pics. I know you must be exhausted from today's events. Praying thar Anna Grace has a better day tomorrow.


(((((BIG HUGS)))))
Tammy

waiting4Isabella said...

OMG she is so beautiful. I cannot wait to love on her. Wishing you the very very best and may the bonding between all of you become very strong.

Blessings. Hope to see you all soon.

Kelly said...

Oh Wow!! She is beautiful! I love the picture of you guys resting in bed and the one of you holding her face. I pray the next few weeks go smoothly as everyone gets to know each other. I pray her grieving is healthy but not overwhelming and that she knows quickly how much she is loved.

Kelly

Janette said...

She is so beautiful! The post just broke my heart but, there is something about her that leads me to believe that she will adjust very quickly with you guys. I love the picture of her and Kai sleeping together as she holds his arm. So sweet!! Congrats!!
Hugs to you all ...
Janette

Shelli said...

Hooray! She's adorable... those lips. ::sigh:: Kiss her for me and enjoy every second. It will seem like a lifetime ago very soon!! :) Hugs to you all. Hurry home :)

AnnaClaire's Jie Jie said...

OMG!!! SHe is BEAUTIFUL. I'm SO happy for you!!!

mom2-4boys said...

Amazing is all I can say. You are the best. She is so blessed to be a part of your family and you are also so blessed to have Anna Grace Feng Quin. I am over the clouds happy for you all.
The Tardif's

we5chois said...

Okay I cried at the pictures. Each one was more amazing than the next. The resemblance between Kai and Anna Grace is incredible. I have to say that although I adore the photos of Anna with her Mama, my fave is the one of her and Kai asleep and she is holding his arm. That was the one that made me cry big happy tears.
I hope that with some sleep and a little more time Anna Grace will begin to relax more and accept your love. She is a truly beautiful little girl and she is now a Bombardier - Life is good. I know it is hard to celebrate since as we gain her, she loses everything she knows. One day she will realize she is in the right place.
Much love and huge hugs to GeGe Kai.
Kim C

Denna said...

This is so awesome. She is beautiful. I love all the pictures. Anna Grace and Kai is going to have so much fun together. I love the one of them in the swing.

mommy24treasures said...

many blessings to you... All has been said above, I just want to say Congratulations and I wish your beautiful family the best.
Connie

Amy said...

I remember so well that feeling, and seeing our Eleanor in the lobby of that very same Civil Affairs office only a few months ago! And I remember our brave girl trying so hard to smile even though she was absolutely terrified!

Eleanor came in to look at the pictures, and she said, "Oh, poor Feng. It's okay, no more scary. New Mommy and Daddy, it's okay!"

I know Anna won't understand - but her Hefei sister (and the rest of us!) send our love, comfort, and hope that every day gets a little better!

Mei guanxi, baby girl. Mei guanxi. Happy family day!

geminirn said...

OH!!She is ADORABLE!!!It has been amazing following your journey this far.......it just keeps getting better and better!!!!!!

The photos of fabulous....hard to even find the proper words at this moment......what a beautiful little angel.Love the photo of two of your babies lying there holding hands(priceless).

lots of big hugs sent to you from Canada.

Esther & Emma's Jie Jie said...

Congratulations!!

She is BEAUTIFUL!!

And you're right.. Kai and Anna Grace look so much alike!

I love the picture of the two of them sleeping while holding hands.. too precious.

Aiden's Mommy said...

Ohilda,

She is just so beautiful. She and Kai look adorable together! Congratulations from the bottom of my heart.

April

Mom of 5 said...

Just scoped out the pictures. Couldn't wait to see all of you together. Now I am going back to read the info. She is so beautiful. I love the swing picture !!
Praising God for your blessings.

Annie said...

Aww, I am praying for your little Anna Grace. What a hard change. Poor baby doesn't know how much her life is changing for the better and how happy she will be with her wonderful family. Hopefully you will have seen some of her gorgeous smiles by now!

Samantha said...

Oh Congratulations they are both so cute! Love that she is already smiling you sure turned her around quick! She feels the love! Best Wishes!

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