Friday, February 20, 2015

the day my little world was changed

I'm not sure why but in both of my adoptions I have had to wait until the afternoon to meet my child. We spent the morning walking about, killing time, giving Lily cards from nannie and Grandpa that that Andie bought with her and had stashed in her case. Lily strutted about with a badge that said, I'm the big sister.

Breakfast for the last time as the mum to one
Andies last few hours of being Andie, she became Annie
One of the many fabulous statues on Shamian Island
lunch and then, go time.
And so in a cold cold room in Ghangzhou, China we sat and watched another couple, the only other people around, try to console their new daughter. The adamant no's, the cries, the general terror that the kids feel as they are being given to someone they have never met when suddenly their was hustle and bustle. The babies had arrived. For a few seconds I chanted over and over again in my head, let her be ok, let her be ok. Adopting special needs you never know if the medical information is correct and I just needed her to be OK.

Babies were handed off to other families and finally it was our turn. A tiny very very bundled up, shaved square headed absolutely gorgeous, dressed in an outer layer of yellow corduroy, very unsure and becoming increasingly alarmed  Qi Min was handed to her family forever. I was the last to hold her and as I took her in my arms, she screamed. She cried with the knowing of an adult who's life has just been shaken to the core. She frantically looked for anyone she knew but they were gone. I cried because as much as I longed for her, and loved her dearly I felt her fear and pain. Lily was able to get her to calm down for a second but then the heartbroken sobbing began again and again and again.

Those first moments
let me touch my baby sister
wishing I could take away the hurt
I think Lily is amazed at how loud she is? 
"MY" girls
Amidst the screaming and crying and her heart break she looked at me and said, Mama. I loved  this girl fiercely and didn't know at the time how much she would love me in return. Some people don't feel the love for their children immediately, I am not one. I have loved them before I have seen them and that love has merely grown 1000fold when I hold them for the first time.  I vowed in my head to make it ok, to stop that crying and to fix that heart.

It took hours of crying until she calmed down. We had the screamer in the group. When I tried to undress her for bed she wouldn't have it so I let her keep all her grungy, holey, stained clothes in her bed with her. As I took off the final layer I noticed the bump in her sternum, the bone wasn't flat it was raised in the middle. I looked at Andie and we exchanged, "a look". Was this caused by her heart? A heart that was much worse then described in her medical, was it so large it was pushing against the bones causing them to bend around it? Andie had seen it before but couldn't remember much about it, I wonder now if that was the truth or if she didn't want to concern me.

Her first night was hard, we snuggled but she sobbed every now and again, a big heart breaking sob. The child had some of the biggest saddest tears I have ever seen. They fell in puddles. Lily adored her sister and fed her for the first time. It didn't go well Rosie only wanted me. And so it began.

To my darling Pickle
I knew before I even saw you how much I loved you. The moment I saw you, that love was solidified. You took a little longer to warm up. At first I was your wingman, I made you feel better, safe-ish and cared for. I handled your needs and I was starting to be your, "go to" person but you kept me at a distance. It was many months before you let down your guard, it was following your surgery and then you let me in and loved in return. Now your love is undeniable. To be loved by a child like you is quite an honor. You love like it is going to be gone at any moment. You never miss a hug, kiss or cuddle. You call my name just to check I am within a safe distance, you check on me constantly. It's no longer a needy love but a reassuring one. You truly need me and to some it would be suffocating but I have learnt how to manage it. I see a complete difference in you when you notice me. You become calm, all is right in your world. Little Pickle, I love you with all my heart. I am so thankful that the government of China decided I should be your mummy. Your family loves you and will always love you. You will always have someone that fights for you and as is as loyal as a junkyard dog in your corner.
That terrified little baby is gone and has and is slowly being replaced by someone strong and confident.
Thank you Rosie for allowing me in.
I love you.


  1. It has been truly a privilege to watch them grow up into two beautifully independent loving and caring young people. And that is because of you.

  2. There is no doubt she was meant to be your daughter, sniff, sniff! I remember those first pics but it's amazing to look at them 7 years later knowing how far Rosie has come. One totally special girl!
    Happy Gotcha Day!

  3. You are such an amazing mom. What a beautiful post.

    I had to wait until 4PM to get Briana - it was the longest day ever. I loved Briana, but I definitely was full of fear and doubt. We were all terrified - including Doug. Bri was the crier of the group on gotcha day too. She started warming up to us the next morning - which was a blessing!

  4. Damn you just made me cry. You are the most amazing, wonderful Mama ever. I feel privileged to know you as a friend. You and both your girls are among the kindest and most caring people I know. You rock hugs to you all