Hintons 2015

Hintons 2015

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Forever Family Day

Today was the most exhausting, yet fulfilling days of our life. We met our daughter for the first time. We flew from Beijing to Nanchang (our flight was late getting in) and went to the hotel with a half hour to get prepped to go get the babies. We went to our room to discover it had not been cleaned yet (& when I say not clean it was an absolute disaster from being someone’s honeymoon suite the night before). Thankfully Dan & Renee let us come into their room with our luggage & get ready to go.

While we were waiting in the lobby for the rest of our group, there was a van that showed up with babies for another group. We all got very excited & a bit choked up to see this reality right before our eyes. We headed to the Civil Affairs office at 4:00. This was one of the quietest rides are group has ever had as everyone contemplated the magnitude of what was about to happen. By the time we arrived at 4:30 the babies were already there. Our guide went in & came back out to inform us that they were ready & that all of the babies had on red outfits. In China red is the color of happiness. It was beautiful that the orphanage took the time to dress these babies so beautifully & with such love.

Another group was already in the room that had gotten their babies before us. So babies were everywhere crying. Our babies sat quietly with their escorts (at least for the time being). One by one we were called forward & given our babies. We spotted Madison right away & began snapping pictures of here & the other babies going to their new parents in our group. One by one there quite little cuties began to wail as they realized they were with strangers.

Our turn came fourth in the group. Madison was handed to me & didn’t cry right away & actually reached for Matt. I let him hold here for a little while but then it hit her that she didn’t know us. Between the strangers, hotness of the room & other crying babies, that was enough to make anyone cry. Our group had 3 little peanuts & 2 bigger babies. One of the babies has the cutest, chubbiest cheeks I have ever seen.

It took several attempts to capture Madison’s passport picture since she was crying so hard. We just felt awful for her. We also had our ‘first family picture’ that will be used for filing the paperwork in China.

As soon as we left the building, the fresh air made the babies stop crying for the time being. The van ride back was fairly crying with a few minor outbursts here & there. Some of the group was nice enough to share their Cheerios which Maddy really liked. We saw a little bit of her personality come through on this ride. She started to make a few funny faces.

From the time we got on the elevator at the hotel she started to cry again. The crying continued for the next 2+ hours as we tried everything to help her out. We tried a bottle, toys, we changed her diaper, walked around but to not avail. Our hearts just broke her for as she looked at us, these strangers she did not know. She was apparently with her foster mother likely up until this morning. It has been a long day for these precious little ones. Finally around 8:00 she wore herself out & fell asleep.

We are in absolutely amazement at this beautiful bundle of joy that God has bestowed upon us. Once I realized that she was finally in our care & just looking at her, I cried tears of joy in the hotel room. We are so blessed & so thankful today, this day of days.

At the beginning of the day today, there was a small part that was sorry to say goodbye to Beijing. There is certainly more to see there, things that will just have to wait until we visit again.

The Beijing airport is a real zoo! We were berated by one of the airport staff to move to another line, and didn’t seem to care that we were travelling as a group. The flight to Nanchang was a bit of a throw back to the 80’s complete with retro styled meals with the hot part coming in a little tin tray covered in foil. Chicken, rice and vegetables (mmmm… good).
Nanchang is worlds apart from Beijing. With a population of only 4 million it pales by comparison to Beijing with its 14 million. This is quickly apparent in the quality of the public roads, the cars that travel them and the driving ability of those on the roads (the lane markers appear to be suggestions only as drivers rarely stay in their lanes and the horn gets more use than turn signals or brakes (at one intersections cars from all directions were crisscrossing the intersection at the same time not for the faint of heart.

Upon our arrival, we were told we only had about 30 minutes to get settled into our rooms and prepare the necessary paperwork and then go and get our daughters. As soon as we got to our hotel, we made our way to our floor, as we approached the door to our suite, we discovered that it had been decorated (for a moment we thought that this was some gesture of goodwill to adoptive families staying in the hotel, but upon closer inspection it was wedding decorations). Upon opening the door, we were welcomed by an enormous mess. The suite had apparently been used by a newlywed couple the night before, and the room had not been cleaned, and was a complete disaster (Like Axel Rose and stayed here sans the broken furniture and tv). We stood there stunned for a few moments, almost expecting the couple to emerge from the suite’s master bath… It was at this point that shock turned to anger and Tanya looked like she was ready to throw down Hong Kong style. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and Tanya held back the roundhouses and crane technique in favor of calling our guide. Michelle our guide entered the room and it was “go-time”, she immediately got on the phone and laid down the law, or at least I think it was the law, judging by the rate and tone of her Chinese. Let’s just say I was just glad to be on this end of the conversation. The hotel sent a squad from housekeeping, who were quickly scolded for not having the room prepared. Despite the drama, the Hoy’s (one of the other families in our travel group) were kind enough to let us get ready to get the baby while our suite was cleaned.

We got our paperwork and camera’s ready and went to the lobby. While we were waiting for the rest of the group, about a dozen babies were carried passed us. Seeing these babies raised everyone’s anxiety levels as we knew that in less than 30 minutes we would be handed our own babies. The trip to the Adoption office is blurry, even the elevator ride up to the 26th floor seemed to happen in an instant and we found ourselves standing in a hallway greeted by the sound of crying babies perhaps 30 feet away. I remember some of the group asking if there was a restroom and joking about how everyone was so stricken with anxiety that we all had to pee.

Our guide went to check and see about the babies as we all just stood there sort of dumbstruck. Soon our guide came back and said that our girls were just inside, we would just have to get our passports ready to show. The next part is fuzzy, I just remember watching the others get their babies through the little screen on my camcorder, like I was a watching someone’s Gotcha Day video playing on YouTube. The next thing I know, my wife is asking me for my passport, which incidentally, was still conveniently tucked away in a secure and undisclosed location (No that ‘s not where I keep my passport! Shame on you for thinking that, I mean who would put their passport there… actually, it was in a pouch under my shirt… I had to fumble around for a few moments trying to retrieve it because the pouch was between my undershirt and my polo shirt and I was reaching all the way in (all this while everyone looked at me like I just left the dog in the hot car with the windows rolled up or something dramatically less serious). That’s when they handed us our little girl…

At this point I suppose I could describe in lurid detail how she cried almost non-stop for the next three hours, however, during that time I also got to feed her for the first time… When we finally got her calmed down she made some absolutely delightful sounds that I will remember forever. I will also never forget the way my heart melted when this precious little girl stared curiously into my eyes, or watching her drift off to sleep for the first time while in our care. What more can I say, I am in love with my little girl, Tanya and I couldn’t be happier with this precious gift that we have been given, she’s perfect!!!
~Maddy’s Daddy


Michelle & John said...

Yeah!!!! So happy for you all! Have been praying every day and was waiting all day to see you all together! Every day will get better, I just know it!

Zweilausbube said...

Congratulations to your new family of three, what a blessing for you!

The Motto Family
Adopted by Group 91


Dan & Karen Herman said...

Wow, it was absolutely awesome to see the photos and your journal of your first moments with Madison. Congratulations!

RoLo said...

Congratulations We are very happy for you.

fivekidz said...

Congratulations Mommy and Daddy
what a precious baby girl.. Your journal is so well spoken and straight from the heart. Don't worry soon Maddie will realize that she has the best parents and her tears will turn to smiles and her cries turn to laughter.. Love love that photo of Daddy and his girl...thats one to treasure. good luck on the rest of your trip
peace and happiness Bonnie
Zoe Day Dec 3, 2007

Amy said...

She looks so sweet! Congrats!

Janay J said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! We are all so happy for you both! Trust that we were thinking about you yesterday and I was anticipating reading your blog. THANKS for allowing us the opportunity to share in your happiness. Your journal entries are such a delight. We LOVE you guys and Maddy is truly BLESSED to have you for parents. Aarylin can't wait to meet her newest play mate! Love always Janay and Family

Tara said...

You guys look so happy and content. You can see the happiness glittering in your eyes. God bless you.
Love you guys,
Tara Justin, Kyra, Kirby and Kenyon
P.S. Kyra is happy for that girl and wants to know when you're going to bring that baby to her:0)

Auntie Shanita said...

Your dream has come true at last! We're so excited to meet the newest member of your family - congratulations!

Michael and Gina said...

Congratulations!!! What a wonderful Forever Family Day story. Enjoy your sweet little one.

Gina (Caleeo)

Amy Fine said...

So exciting to see Madison with her parents! It is going to be great fun for you two to get to know your daughter and vice versa. Babies bring so much joy! It really is a privilege to watch them grow up.

Emma's Journal said...

Congratulations to your family. Your daughter is beautiful.

Beth said...

Amazing journal entry! Thank you for sharing these moments with us. Your daughter is beautiful! Enjoy this time together learning about each other and just loving her like crazy before you come home and are surrounded by all the other family and friends who have prayed and waited along with you.

Blessings -
Heutmaker Family (Group 91)

Bob said...

I have tears in my eyes. Life is such a precious gift. You can appreciate why Christ would what He did to save it. I am so happy for you three. You deserve each other.

- Pastor Bobby

Shannon said...

Awesome recount of such a great day. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!

Mary said...

I am so happy for you all. I can hardly hold back the tears. We love you all so much see you soon.

kelly said...

I can't wait to see Madison. Hopefully I get home before too long. I want to see the outfit see was dressed in to meet you. It would be neat to have it framed and hung in her room. Your joy is obvious in your faces. What a miracle she is. Love, Aunt Kelly