March 30, 2007

Meeting our little girl!

After 24 hours of travel we arrived in Tainan yesterday. It wasn't as bad as I expected since flying isn't wasn't one of my favorite things to do. It took 3.5 hours to get to San Francisco, from there 13.5 hours to Taipei, then another one hour flight to Kaosiung and finally a one hour car ride to Tainan. Our hotel is wonderful and so far the hardest thing has been not knowing the language. Oh, and also deciding what to wear when it is 90 degrees and super humid when I brought jeans and tennis shoes! I feel like we have adjusted fairly well to the time difference but maybe I am too tired (and excited) to know how tired I am.

On the first day, we settled in at our hotel, napped and had dinner. I realized I forgot my camera cord to download pictures to the computer and we had to go buy one. I slept pretty good the first night and woke up this morning at about 5 a.m. We had an appointment at St. Lucy's at 10 a.m. to meet Ya-Ya. We got up and had breakfast and then got in a cab and attempted to make our way to St. Lucy's. The cab driver got lost and at 9:58 we were just driving in circles. We didn't speak Chinese and the driver didn't speak English. By the grace of God, somehow we ended up at St. Lucy's. People off the street were helping and our driver ran into a school and got some help. We went in and met Jessica, our host, and Mei Chun, our interpreter. They are both so nice. We went into this room and sat and had tea and talked about our day and what would happen.

Ya-Ya, her foster mother and a social worker all arrived at about 10:30. When they appeared through the screen door, my heart almost stopped. I tried so hard not to cry! She was smaller than I expected and more adorable than I could have imagined. It was such an amazing moment. Ya-Ya is so beautiful and such a wonderful little girl! Her foster mother loves her so much and you can tell she is very well taken care of. She has been telling her of us and that she will be moving to the United States. It didn't take long and Ya-Ya noticed the bowl of candy on the table and wanted a piece. Scott offered her one and she took it from him. She didn't seem scared just a little shy. I gave her the backpack and stuffed dog we had brought along for her. She had brought along a backpack of her own that had her blanket in it...she has a worn out corner that she rubs her nose with...this is amazing because Ila rubs her nose with the corner of her blanket too! At one point, she put the corner up to my nose. She was shy at first and didn't say much, then I brought out the bubbles! (Thanks Cari!) Before long, we got a smile out of her. Then a giggle. We were on the floor blowing bubbles and trying to catch them.

Her foster mom brought along a photo album for us. It has pictures from the day she was born until now. This is such an amazing blessing to have parts of her past that we can cherish forever. Everyone in the room was snapping photos. Her foster mom wants to hold onto the album until we come back to take her home...she wants to add more pictures and complete the album. Then she wanted Scott and I to stand so she could see our height and weight because she wants to give us traditional Chinese outfits when we see her next visit. This woman is amazing and Ya-Ya is so lucky to have her. For the next couple of hours, with the camcorder rolling we talked and played. We went over so much information and got such a great idea of what Ya-Ya's days are like and saw her personality starting to emerge. We feel so blessed to have this time here with these incredible people that is is hard to put into words. We talked about the future and asked the foster mom if she would want pictures and updates and of course, she does. Then I mentioned that we plan visit and she just started crying. Our interpreter said they were tears of joy. It was such a wonderful moment. Then as they got ready to leave, we blew kisses and Ya-Ya put her hands on ours. We made plans to see her again tomorrow at 11:00 and maybe we will get to spend some time alone with her.

After they left, we toured St. Lucy's and saw the nurseries where the babies are. We got to take some pictures and meet the director. They are all very busy for the big celebration and grand opening in a few days. Tien and David from Journeys of the Heart will be here tomorrow and we will get to meet them as well and have dinner with them. This has been a day in my dreams for so long and it is hard to believe it is now reality. Happy Birthday to me!

Peace, Lani


taiwanbaby said...

It sounds so awesome!!! were you scared? I would have been. You guys did great!!!!!! Can't wait to see the pictures of you guys together. Her foster mother sounds like a dream.

Sarah said...

I agree. This foster moster sounds like the dream foster mother. How wonderful!

Julie said...

Its okay to cry when you are at work right?

Thanks for the update and glad you made it last night/yesterday morning.

Anonymous said...

Awesome post. I have been waiting to read about your meeting:) Thanks so much for writing about your first meeting with your daughter. I am so happy for you:)


Jean said...

How wonderful!! Thank you for keeping us updated! I am thinking about your family all the time! What an exciting moment and what am exciting future!!
Two incredibly beautiful girls!!!

Keep updating us!!! Love your pictures!!!


joan said...

Lani and Scott - She is BEAUTIFUL !!!!!!!!!! Thank you soooo much for your posts and pix, I have goosebumps. Joan

Anonymous said...

I just stopped by to see if you added photos to your post and you did:) LOVE the photos!!!! What a beautiful family. I can't wait to see you all together with Ila:)