Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Still Feels Like A Dream...


Almost there, the van ride over!

I have put a few more pics from Gotcha Day and also some pics from last night.

I want to share some things with you before she wakes up this morning...*by the way, I didn't sleep a wink, I stared at her all night!!! She looked like an angel!

Yesterday was incredible. We arrived at Civil Affairs at 2:30. We paced the floor and looked out the window and then we just sat down and stared at the doorknob. We were waiting on it to turn. One time, I thought I heard someone and I nearly jumped out of my skin. At 2:59, the doorknob turned and the director poked his head in the room. All of the sudden, I was completely calm. I stood up and walked over to the door where she was. I knew her. I knew every square inch of that child. I dropped to my knees to see if she would come to me. She was so frightened. I don' t think she has ever seen an American. As you could see in the videos, it took some time (about 3 minutes) for her to come to me. She had brought the pillow that I had made her and I was pointing to it saying, "mama and baba", hoping she would understand that it was me. Finally, (thanks to Helen), I offered her a rice cookie. Helen told me everything that she would like! She finally "waddled" over to me and I honestly thought I was going to melt onto the floor into a big puddle. There is a lot that we want to say about adoption and how it relates to our Father...but we will share that later. But, it is such a tangible picture of God's love for His children. I have never seen it presented so clearly in all my life. I am changed. Carlton is changed. We know Him better than before. To Him be All Glory.

We stayed at Civil Affairs for about an hour. I was so thankful that our "gotcha" day was just our family. It was very quiet in the room and I think it really helped calm her. I could not and still cannot take my eyes off of her. We just stare at her. She must think we are nuts. We did not go to Walmart after getting her. It was just too much. I mean, Walmart can stress me out. You know? We took her to the hotel room. All was well for about 30 minutes. She played with her stacking cups (thanks Erica), she played with her doll, and looked at some books. I took off 3 layers of clothing. I kept trying to keep it slow, but, honey, I could not wait to get those clothes off !!!! The orphanage returned everything that I had sent her. So, I got all of her clothes back. YuanYuan (this is what we call her now) is very tiny. Most of the things that I got at my shower are 3t and this is good, because I know she will grow. But, she cannot wear a size 3. She is wearing a 24 month and maybe she could wear an adjustable waist 2t. When I showed her the shoes, I got the biggest smile. She is a big time "girly girl". She also loved her clothes that I brought that were pink. She loves to play mommy and baby with her dolls. She wraps them up in a blanket and rocks them in her arms. So, far, she has not said one word. Poor baby, she is in shock. OK, so yes, I remember where I was going....So after about 30 minutes, I was holding her and I heard her start this low sound cry, then all of the sudden she was wailing. Now, its hard to describe this cry. But, it sounds like the kind of cry someone would do if they just recieved a phone call that something tragic had happened to a loved one. She was moaning, grieving. It was horrible. But, I knew her pain and i just held her and sang Jesus Loves Me to her. It really did not help. Nothing would console her. This lasted for a good hour. She cried so much, her hair got wringing wet. Bless her heart. I dont really like to think about it. After she quieted down, I showed her a Chinese movie. She liked that and even smiled a couple times. Then, we took her downstairs to the CHinese restaurant and this is one experience I till never forget! She ate and ate and ate and ate and ate. 2 plates of rice, 2 plates of noodles and 4 dumplings. She also drank 1 bottle of Wuhaha and another bottle of yogurt milk. She also ate about 12 cookies. We finally said, "Bu -NO". I really thought she might pop and I didnt want her to get sick. It was very hard to say no, but I had to. She did not get sick so far. We came back to the hotel room and I gave her her first bath! She did not know what to do. When I showed her the soap, she opened her mouth to eat it. She I rubbed it all over her and told her to smell it. She loved that. *we gotta get this girl some bubble bath!.... I washed her hair. It was all nasty and matted from crying. We got her dried off and put her PJ's on. I said, "Mama layla, Baba layla, YuanYuan layla" (mama tired..etc) I pulled down the covers and she crawled up in the bed next to me. In 5 minutes, she was asleep and she is still asleep (its 5:45am) She did not cry last night, but I am sure that will come soon. We have a long way to go with attachment. She is not making any eye contact at all. (any body got some encouragement on this?) I am playing some games with her to make her look at me, but she won't hold it longer and 2 seconds. Carlton told to me to relax, its just day 1. I am going to try and carry her in the sling today.
Oh, and about her arm. I almost forgot because its such not a big deal to us. I love her little arm. I think I love her MORE because her little hand is NOT there. She is very determined. When I tried to help her with her blocks, she wanted to use her arm and do it herself. There is nothing stopping this little girl. I kissed her little arm over and over so she would know that I love her. Poor baby, she didn't know she was going to be in such a lovey family. Carlton and I are just really affectionate with our kids. We kiss on them all the time. We snuggle a lot. Thats just the way we are. We also say I Love You a lot during the day with all of our kids. (Noah is so attached to us, he won't even talk to us when we call, he is too busy playing Wii and just yells, I love you Mommy!) He knows we are coming home. He is just enjoying himself while we are gone! Hananh Grace is the same. Oh, I miss my children. Susie, smooch on them for me!!!!!

Well, today, we have to go to some more paperwork. I am not sure what we are doing the rest of the day. We will be visiting the orphanage tomorrow. *Friday I am really, really looking forward to this, although I am nervous about how YuanYuan will react.

Grace Fellowship- the orphanage director will be coming with us to pick out the air unit. We will video this for ya'll and share it at church. I think we might be doing a YOUTUBE video to be shown at church this Sunday.!!! We miss you all.

Hugs from China,


Jessica said...

Oh Aimee...thank you for sharing your heart yet again. I am so overjoyed to read that sweet Yuan-Yuan slept all night right next to her mommy and daddy :) What a relief that must be that she was able to rest after a hard time when you returned to the hotel.
I love that she has such a healthy will not take her long at all to fit into those 3t's.

I love that she did not know what to do with soap and tried to eat cute...we do need to get that sweetheart some bubble bath.

I have watched your gotcha video so many times is so incredible. It truely is a picture of the gospel. Here come the tears again...

Praying for you guys. Praying for attachment. Praying for the trip to the orphanage and for Yuan Yuan to be at peace being able to say goodbye on her own terms.

Sending you lots of hugs
love you!

Katy Watters said...

how sweet this is to read!! she is in your arms! she is YOURS!! thanks be to our Father!

Love yall!

Kristin said...


Thank you so much for sharing all of this... I have chill bumps and my heart goes out to you as you and Carlton and Lily experience this miraculous and emotional journey. I am so happy for you! I can't wait to show Jonathan all of this when he gets home.

We'll be praying.

believingthomas said...

it all sounds good. after ??? 3 weeks (its a fog) progress does occur. Of course she is very sad and afraid. Just try not to take it personally. Rachel still eats so much we have to stop her.

have your guide tell her your not going to leave her there...that helped us a lot.

And Hey Carlton!

Tamara said...

I still can't get over those videos. Everytime I think about them or watch them the tears start all over again. You are so right about the picture of the gospel being played out right before us. How awesome!

I'm so glad she slept good but it also breaks my heart to know she is so upset about leaving the only home she has ever known. What such mixed emotions she must be experiencing. We are praying for peace in her heart and to quickly attach to you both. I can't imagine it will take too long as much lovin' as I know she is getting from both of you. She is very blessed and I know she will soon love you as much as I know you love her.

Keeping you in our prayers constantly!

Much Love

The Ferrill's said...

Oh Aimee it sounds like everything is really going well...even the crying part. It is so good for her to grieve and get it out, better than bottling it up. And yes, the eye contact will most definitely come! Will she let you play games with Cheerios, like you feed her one and then let her feed you one? That might help. Or looking in a mirror together with you holding her up? You have probably tried these things already.
She is absolutely beautiful and of course you can't stop staring at her! I think that is so endearing! And I love her little arm too, Aimee! Her determination reminds me of one 3 year old girl I have at my house!
And what you said about adoption and how it changes you...oh yes. YES! It changes us so much for the better thank you sweet Jesus! Not only will it change you and Carlton, but Hannah and Noah will be changed too! We can't fathom the scope of what our Father's plans are through your adoption of sweet Lily! Thank you for being obedient to God's call.
Praise the Lord that your sweet girl is in her mama's arms...she may not realize it yet, but she's got one of the best mamas in the world!
Love you! Continuing to pray for a smooth transition for all.
OH and P.S. Carlton's little southern voice on those videos saying "It's okay. It's a big change. It's okay." Oh my. He was soothing and sweet. It made me cry BIG!

Tamara said...

It's me again. I just wanted to ask if the video you may send to church for Sunday morning will also be on this blog? Carlton and I are going to Cincinnatti and won't be at church Sunday. We will be home by late Monday night but I can't stand the thoughts of missing it!

I know!
If it isn't on the blog I will just get whoever you send it to here to send it to my e-mail! Yeah! that should work! I feel much better now!

Sorry to bother need to respond.

bunches of love and hugs!

The King Family said...

Oh, what an amazing beauty she is! I will say you should have given the warning for tissues again...I haven't been able to stop crying with wonderful tears of joy for your family. I pulled the blog up to show Annabelle Yuan Yuan's pictures and she could not close her mouth the entire time she looked at her pictures. She is very excited about meeting her new friend. We love you all so much!
Jared, Sarah, Annabelle and Baby

Waiting for Mia Hope! said...

What a great description of your first day together. I will continue to pray for sweet Lily's transition. That is good that she cried...not easy...but a good thing. Just keep doing what you are doing...loving her and assuring her that you will be there. I can't imagine how scary their world is to be with new smells, news sights, and with people that speak another language. But thru your love she is going to be just fine! Sounds like the way she is eating that she will be in size 3T in no time. :)

I will continue praying for sweet Lily!

Your doing an amazing job with the blog...thank you for allowing me to follow your blessed journey!


The Ferrill's said...

Aimee, I also wanted to mention that Candace ate BIG when we got her. We had to put a cap on it because of that very same reason...we didn't want her to get sick or her tummy to hurt! She had tummy troubles our entire time in China and even after arriving home because her little stomach wasn't used to so much food. And she just got weighed yesterday and in almost 4 months she's gained SIX pounds! Woo Hoo!
Praising Jesus that little Lily now has everything she needs, but most of all she has her mama!

alanddd25 said...

lily is VERY CUTE!!! :]
Im so happy you guys finally got her and i cant wait to see her! :] ive been waiting for you to get her ;] i showed my mom the videos and pictuers of lily and she just started crying!. I was like " mom why are you crying?" she said " im crying because im so happy for them and i know how it feels to adopt a child" shes VERR happy for you :]

when me and my mom saw the video where lily came and gave you a hug it hit us hard { in a good way!] :]

anyways, im ready for you to come back i miss noah and hannah everyday! :[

well i hope you have a good rest of your trip in china :] give lily a BIG hug for me and tell hannha noah and carlton i said hi :]

see you soon :]

ps im really really happy shes finally with you now! ;]

Jess and Krissy said...

Oh, she is precious and perfect!

The Princess's Mommy said...

Oh Aimee...she is just precious! I have watched your videos over and over and just bawled my eyes out! Connie said you might come to our CNY next year and I told her I couldn't wait that long to see that precious baby! We might just have to load up in her new mini van and make a trip south!

You are doing great on bonding with her. Use the Cheerios or any other snacks to get that eye contact! Hold them up to her, but make her look at you before you give it to her. Just keep reassuring her. Remember the 3 day takes about that long for them to begin showing their true personality. It took Lily Mei four days and I was frantic, but she finally smiled for us and the walls just came on down!

Hang in there! You are doing great!


Corie said...

Thank you Aimee for sharing all of the details. It really makes me imagine your moments there with her. It has to be sooo surreal. I love how you said it totally depicts the Fathers Love to us.

I think my desire to adopt has become more intense by just your sharing, writing and your videos. I just can't wait to give you all a big squeeze.

Praying for you. Praying for rest...praying for smooth transition...attachment...travels..all the details.

Love to you.

Amy said...

I can't believe how quickly she let you hug her. I know it won't all be that easy, but she seems very relaxed with you. I hope the trip to the orphanage goes well and eases any fear she may have. I've already watched your video 3 times today starting at 6:00 AM. I then told everyone about it and how sweet it was. You are all incredibly blessed.

I think singing to her does help. She is learning your voice and your peace. She is also learning that you will comfort and hold her. I did the same thing with Thane for months. He was so fussy when he was little. It also helped me stay at peace when it didn't seem to help. :)

Can't wait for more video and pictures.


Krystal said...

I'm still so thrilled for y'all! I thank God you've made it this far and are doing well. I'm sure the tears were hard for all. I don't have any great suggestions for bonding, but I will be praying for you. I second the comment on asking God to see to the details; I will be doing that.

Don't forget to keep enjoying your time in China! I'd love to go back...

Laura said...

I knew you wouldn't sleep a are so amazing. I watched the video this morning with the kids and Roark asked as soon as he got home from school to see Lily again. He said, "I just want to pinch her cheeks"! SO amazing to watch...

Love all of you,

Sherri said...


The attachment will come. The eye contact will come. Don't force it. You've got the rest of your lives...she will adjust in her time.

She will learn to trust you.

She is beautiful! Enjoy! Guangzhou is just around the corner.


Misty said...

Praying for her to connect with you both in the days to come. She's an sweet and beautiful. She can't begin to know the love she'll experience in her new family. God has worked a miracle in all of your lives.

I can't thank you enough for sharing this moment with us all.

Love you guys,


Barb said...

Thank you again for sharing your heart. I think I love the picture of you tickling her -- she looked so happy. The attachment will come soon. You are all going through a lot and she will adjust. I think once she realizes you are not going to leave her the walls will come down. Continuing to pray for you and for her transition to this new life.

Barb said...

Me again. I had the pleasure of spending time with Hannah & Noah today. They came to Alicia's house with Susie. Noah & I worked on some valentines. He is so inquisitive. It was fun to watch them playing with the others, I forgot how fun their age group is. You have great children & I know Lily will fit right in with them once she warms up to everything.

Linda said...

When it comes to attachment issues, Carlton is right - it's only been one day, and she seems to be doing great. It sounds good to me that she is not fighting against you. The eye contact will come in time, and Sherri is right in saying not to rush it. For that matter, if she accepted everything about you too easily and too quickly, she would do the same to just everyone, and you really don't want that.

I'll give you a little suggestion that worked well for us. I have told you before that Ruthie would not initially allow me to hold her. So, I sat down on the floor to do everything (comb my hair, put on make-up, go through my purse, etc.) I acted as if I was totally preoccupied with myself and did not pay much attention to what Ruthie was doing. Of course, this was very far from the truth! It didn't take long at all before she began to sit closer and closer to me to check out what I was doing. Before long, I began to reach over and put a little lotion on her and put a small clip in her hair. When I painted my nails, she held her little hands out and wanted her nails painted too. She couldn't resist, and this was the beginning a relationship that allowed me to slowly hold and comfort her. I know that Lily is allowing you to hold her already, but I still wanted to throw this out there just in case it comes in handy.

Heather said...

Aimee, I have followed your story for such a long time and I am so proud to call you guys my friends. This story is truly amazing and I feel that I am being able to share it with you via this travel blog. Lily is precious and is entering such a wonderful family. I have watched this video over and over. I am so thankful for you both. Tell Carlton Hi and give Lily lots of loves. I Love You both, Heather

Linda said...

Just thought of something else - I'm kind of long-winded, aren't I?! Going to visit the orphanage usually has just the opposite effect of what you THINK it will. Even when the little kids have a very rough time that first day, they ALL seem to want no part of staying at the orphanage. We visited two of my daughters orphanages, and both of them became very clingy and did not want much to do with the orphanage personnel. Our Abby had cried almost the entire first night, but upon going back, she snuggled into Bob's arms and would not let go. I'll just bet you have a similar experience. I think that in some ways it's a good closure for most kids.

Shea said...

I'm so glad she slept well. I know it had to hurt your hear to watch her cry but with each day, it will get better. Like you said, she is grieving. The orphanage is all she has known. Soon you will have here home and the orphanage will be a distant memory. For now, let her grieve. Let her cry if she needs to and honey...let her eat. 12 COOKIES! Oh, how wonderful that she was able to eat so much. Sweet girl!

Jami said...

I am so sorry Lily had a rough time. The same god that gave you peace and calm will also give Lily exactly what she needs exactly when she needs it. Maybe she needs to grieve now, I am sure she has a lot of emotions bottled up in that tiny body and doesn't quite know what to do with all of it. Crying and screaming is the only reaction she can come up with and it may make her feel in control of those many emotions. Just the way I see it from the outside looking in.

Oh, Aimee, by the way, Friday do you think maybe like ummm Carlton can distract ummm the people that run the orphanage and you could ummm like swipe a couple more of those little ummmm precious angels??? No???Please???? Would you try???

Love you all,


Ryan said...

Well, I'm crying like a baby! Bethany emailed us your blog. We are so excited for you guys!!! Do not be discouraged...she is grieving and that is what she is supposed to do right now. Attachment will just takes time. As far as eye contact goes, try being silly and putting stickers on your nose and face and let her put them on her face. We did that with the boys when we visited in the orphanage and they loved it! Worth a try! :) Continue to see the Gospel in all of this...that is what got us through a lot of days. However hard this process has been, it is nothing compared to what God went through to adopt us!! We love ya'll and will be praying for you!

Ryan & Kelly

Ryan said...

Ok...I (Kelly) posted that but it said Ryan. Don't how my hubby would feel about people thinking he was "crying like a baby". Ha! Love ya'll!

Ashley and Mike said...

I have so loved catching up. I am siting on my couch in Georgia boo hooing and biting my nails as I start from the day that I left off in China (the day before you met your sweetie). She sounds PERFECT. I love the outfits you brought for her, love reading your sweet stories of your hubby and love hearing how much you love your agency. You are in our prayers tonight for a fast recovery.