Five years ago I was in Nanchang, Jiangxi, apprehensive I am sure, but also exhausted, not sure what tomorrow was going to bring.
When I adopted Grace 5 years ago, adopting the older child was pretty unusual. In fact our case might have been one of the first. The orphanage was so worried about how Grace would react they almost insisted that I bring a child close to Grace's age to help with her transition, first from a foster family, back to the orphanage, and to her forever family.
I will always be so grateful to our anonymous benefactor who made it possible for Jana, Gillian, and Darcey to accompany me to China. If I had known then what a short amount of time we had left with Jana, I don't know what I could have done different, but that time together was probably the most important point in my life and to share it with her and her girls made it forever special.
We arrived in Nanchang late because of a missed flight. It was cold and rainy and I thought it would stay that way. Darcey and Gillian were real troopers, considering how young Darcey was especially. BUT she had reached her limit and had to have some apple juice. Jana and Darcey took off in that dark rainy night leaving Gillian and I wondering if they were gone for good. They finally returned, minus one of Darcey's shoes, and we all called it a day.
If the agency had known had terribly naive I was at that point and in way over my head, I am not sure they would have let me adopt Grace!
My first meeting with Grace was deterred by a HUGE dog she was carrying.
Those first few days are a blur and what surprises me the most is how quickly the time has passed. Looking through the pictures for Dad's birthday I was shocked to see how young and tiny Grace was! I wish there was a way to know what she was thinking those first few days here. She finally told me that the room scared her with the giant lady bugs I thought she would like! How many other things scared her?
The one thing I know for sure is that initial bonding with Gillian is still one of the strongest bonds she has. She loves Gillian deeply and thanks to Gillian, Grace's transition was fairly easy, I guess.
Mine took more time!
It's so funny that I thought that my life really would not change having a child! That I would just continue in my usual day to day routine only with a child tagging along.
By now I cannot imagine my life being any better and it is nothing like it was before, or almost nothing like it.
Of course Grace led to adopting Annabel and each day brings new wonders and challenges.
For the first three years Grace and I celebrated at Antares on top of the big ball downtown. Last year it was closed, but we could not have afforded to even ride the elevator! This year, we took our trip to Mexico as a new way of celebrating our family. Grace had actually forgotten our date, or said she did. I hope I can find old and new pictures to post so you can see what a beautiful girl she is turning into.
As far as the rest of what is going on, I feel quite numb this weekend. Since we came home from school Friday, I have been sick with a yucky cold and have not felt like getting out of bed. I've tried to prevent anyone else from this germ and hope that staying low worked.