Wednesday, May 10

Six Months Ago...

Six months ago this week, our lives changed once again. On November 9th 2005, we started our day in Beijing, China and ended our day watching our new daughter sleeping soundly in a crib in our hotel room in Changsha, 800 miles to the southwest of Beijing. In one moment in a meeting room crowded with seven other families on the third floor of the Hunan Civil Affairs Office, our family of three became a family of four. The baby girl that was handed to Chuck looked exactly like the photos that we spent the past two months memorizing. She had a little more hair, but those cheeks and tiny nose were what we longed to kiss. After being handed over to her not so patiently waiting Mommy, she looked around at all the activity going on around us. As more of the girls were handed to their expectant parents, the noise level escalated as more of the girls started to cry. My heart broke as Mia put her head down on my chest and started a sad wail. It was as if she realized that she was leaving all that she knew for the first ten months of her life. It didn’t matter that she would be going to a big house, filled with toys, new clothes, her big sister and the love of her forever family. She knew the routine of her days at the Hengdong Social Welfare Institute, the sound of her nannies voices and the sights and sounds of the children who shared her first home.

The next day dawned with a happy and energetic baby who seemed to know that it was all going to be okay. Mia wowed us with a wide toothless grin and an unending curiosity about everything that was new. She ate well and slept through the night. She didn’t like her first bath and hated to be undressed.

Six months have passed in a blink and I marvel at my sixteen-month old daughter who giggles with abandon, climbs on any surface that she can swing her leg onto, splashes in the tub, and “reads” to the dog. She indulges my desire to play dress up and on a good day tolerates the bows I put in her hair. She loves to dance, run, torment her sister and give kisses. She takes my face gently between her hands, stares into my eyes and repeats, “Mama” over and over again. I could sit like that all day! However, she has too much to do and see so we don’t sit still for long. She still puts her head on my chest the same way she did that first day that I held her in my arms, but there are far fewer tears.

This is one of Chuck's favorite photos. He took it about an hour and a half after we received Mia.

Chasing bubbles on April 21, 2006