When we got to our room in Nanchang this is how our room looked. The crib was all set up for Eliza and it started to get very real that the next day we would be meeting our little girl.
The crib had little pink Hello Kitty sheets.The morning that we were to get Eliza, we went to the RT Mart. It is like a big grocery store and department type store all in one. Our guide had told us that it was important that we keep Eliza in layers of clothing. So, we picked up this little jewel at the store. It has a little gold elephant on it.
At a few minutes until 3 p.m. on March 16th, our hotel phone rang. Daniel answered it. He hung up and just looked at me with tears in his eyes. “She’s here,” he said. We gave each other the sweetest embrace and then both tried to hold it together as we grabbed the things we needed off the bed. We took the doll we had gotten her, a little pink cell phone toy, puffs, yogurt melts and the gifts for the foster family and orphanage director.
Daniel took this picture on the elevator on our way down to meet Eliza for the first time. You can see the nerves and jitters written all over my face.
When we got downstairs, I saw two little babies walking all over the place. They were tiny. It looked like two little nine month olds. She didn’t look like herself at all. First of all, from all of the pictures we had seen, we thought she would be much much bigger than she actually is. Also, they had cut her hair a lot since the last photograph we had seen just days before. So, we didn’t immediately realize that it was her. But quickly the guide realized we were in the lobby. She went over to Eliza and started telling her we were mama and baba. We squatted down and reached out for her. She went to Daniel. He picked her up and obviously was very teary eyed as the day and moment we had waited for so long was finally here.
This is our first family picture when they handed her to us. You can see she was very scared. Eliza had been in a car for 3 hours driving to Nanchang. And then she was handed to us. I can’t imagine how scared she was.
Here we are with Director Lu. He was so very kind. We liked him very much. He seems to be such a kind hearted man. He gave us his card and asked us to send him updated pictures. He also gave Eliza a little wooden opera mask on a red string. He said that Nanfeng is known for the opera mask…so that was her gift from him.
When Eliza traveled, she traveled with this sweet little girl – Eva. Her mom is Chevon and we have become friends throughout our adoption processes. I am so thankful for her and it is so fun to have our girls from the same city. It was so special to watch them hold Eva for the first time.
The day we got Eliza was very hard. She cried so hard for a very very long time. It was a deep wail like I haven’t heard before. She kept going to the window and crying saying mama and then she would just scream. In adoption, this is a very healthy response to what happened to her. She was with a foster mother who obviously loved her very very much and we will always be completely indebted to her for taking such wonderful care of Eliza for the 14 months that she had her.
Eliza came in two layers of clothes. A heavy outer layer, which boasted the word “Boy” across the front and then a thin under shirt and split pants. Her diaper was held on with a bungee cord around her waist and her little shoes were held onto her foot with a piece of purple yarn. Little by little we took a piece of clothing off here and there until she was wearing some pajamas we had brought for her. Here’s daddy trying to get her shoes off.
After 4 hours she finally rested a little bit.
Eliza, We have loved you since before you were born. God placed a hole in our heart that only you could fill. You are more beautiful than we could have ever imagined. You are so fun and you have already (in just 3 short days) brought us so much joy. Our hearts are filled to the brim and overflowing. You have already started coming to me to be comforted. You will climb up in my lap and lay your head on my shoulder. A few minutes ago, you went to sleep in my arms. You love the breakfast buffet each morning and I have never seen a baby enjoy as many different types of food as you do. You are a treasure to me and to your dad. We love you more than you will ever know or understand. Every moment and every hard point in this process was to bring us to this very moment. Eliza, you are a gift from the Lord and my prayer and your daddy’s prayer is that you will live your life to bring Him glory. Without Him sweet girl, there is nothing else. I can’t wait to see you grow up. Your grin just lights up the room. I love you more than words can ever say.