Thursday, March 26, 2009

Four years ago....

Four years ago today was the last time I took a relaxing shower.

And four years ago tomorrow was the day that my life totally changed. And I do mean totally!

Four years ago Adam and I were in a hotel room in Nanchang, China when our guide came to the door and said to meet in the elevator area in 5 minutes. "Holy guacamole", I thought, and seriously considered using the fire escape....
Sure glad I didn’t.

Four years ago I was handed the most incredible gift ever. Sure, the "gift" wasn't too keen on participating in the day's events and was so scared and so miserable that it almost broke my heart. But through all of the tears- hers and mine- I knew this was one of the most magical and awesome moments that I would experience in my life.

Because you see this gift that day four years ago was my beautiful daughter.

Simone QingLu, my daughter. How many times had I dreamt of this moment. How long had I been waiting to hold her, smell her, feel her in my arms- my baby. But even with all of my prior mental preparation, all of my dreaming and imagining, I had no idea what to expect or how to act or how to be a Mama! Boy was I terrified.
But my precious baby was even more terrified. We were told that she had cried the entire four hour bus ride to Nanchang. She was very scared, very tired and very good at letting us know exactly how she felt. After peeling the four or five layers of clothing off of her sweaty little body and cuddling in the bed for what seemed like hours she fell asleep on Adam.
She still had a very hard time adjusting to us, it definitely took a few days to feel safe with us, and even longer to like us... and eventually to love us. We spent two amazing weeks in China with her and saw so many incredible sights.
Everywhere we went she had to hold something in each hand. Stacking cups, peeka-blocks or balls.

She cried a lot the first week or so, and I rocked her so much I had aches in every inch of my torso! But we would see these wonderful glimpses of her quirky personality and her very funny sense of humor. And she loved to ride in the bus or airplane, wherever she could look out the windows. She grew very fond of me in particular, and I carried her everywhere and held her constantly. And I fell totally and madly in love with her!

We had a fantastic guide and we saw many sights in China that I will remember always. We did more than just bring our daughter home when we went to China, we experienced her birth culture. We can honestly tell her of our love for that culture that is hers, and we have the story our journey to meet her that we will be able to share with her as she grows.

She was even blessed in a Buddhist Temple. She slept through the whole thing, but I was pretty awed by the ceremony.

She was becoming such joy and was just an easy baby, always smiling and happy...well, as long as I was either holding her or within two inches of her.

She still was a bit scared of others though. I'm sure any of you China Mama's and Dad's have a beautiful "red couch photo" taken at the White Swan. Well, we do not. You see we tried but it was a disaster. Simone Did Not wish to be put there without me, and she started crying immediately, which caused one of the other girls to cry which, yes, caused tears from all of the girls! What a mess...but she knew she wanted Mama sitting with her and nothing less would do!

So four years ago was a day that gave me memories that I will always have to cherish. It was the day the most precious of life's gifts was granted to me, the day I became a Mama. I have had four wonderful years to get to know and love my sweet daughter, for us to become this incredible family. Each day I wake up and am so thankful for her in my life, so grateful to be given this gift of motherhood.

But I also mourn for her first mother - for her loss- and I hope she feels in her soul that QingLu is safe, happy and very loved. And I hope she knows we will always be grateful for the gift of our daughter. Often when I hear Simone's deep & earnest laughter or see that sparkle light up her beautiful eyes or spot those dimples high up on her cheeks, I wonder if these come from her birth mom. I hope they do...

Happy Forever Family Day my dear, sweet Simone Qinglu! I love you forever and for always!


Side note...I had to write this a day early because I will not have access to a computer tomorrow, and just couldn't go through the day without sharing the joy of the day!


Robin said...

Happy Family Day! I loved reading Simones's story. What a sweet baby she was.

Lisa said...

Oh Jen,

I know you are busy relishing family time, but I simply had to share how beautiful this post was....just like all of your posts regarding the beautiful Simone(and now her darling baby brother!).

You always share so much of your genuine joy with us and always I'm left so grateful for the peek into your lovely Mama's heart, spirit and soul. How lucky we are to share a piece of this remarkable story and bit of shared history........truly the story of how a Mama( and Daddy!) was/were born!
The photos and remembrances were lovely and so touching......may the next 4 years and beyond be as equally grand, inspiring and blessed!!
Thinking of you my friend!

loffer said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful experience with us! I know Simone will treasure it, and that the feelings you had on that day will be embedded in your heart forever.


Terry said...

This is a wonderful story, Thanks for sharing. Our daughter was also adopted from Nanchang, China too!! What a marvelous gift it was to have your daughter placed in your arms! A day you never forget, not in a million years. She is beautiful, then and now!!

Congratulations on your new baby boy too! Very adorable! :-)

Laura said...

Happy Family Day! As they get older, I'm sure Simone and Sara will eventually appreciate what a powerful day it was. For now, we get to relish it and Sara enjoys yet another day in her life that's a party.
Congrats and I can't wait to hear more about Simone's brother as well.