All I can say to those of you waiting, get rid of any notions of what you think the first meeting with your child is going to be like. I had done that for the most part after reading so many blogs of those who had gone before us so I felt a tiny bit prepared. But in reality all the years & months of prep don't get you any near ready for such a moment as this.
Our arrival from the hotel to the airport was a little chaotic as our plane had been delayed by about an hour so we had very little time to prepare. When we got to our hotel Matt & I discovered that our room had not yet been cleaned (which added to my already mounting anxiety). Thankfully Dan & Renee were right next door and they let us put our bags in their room and quickly get ready to go.
The van ride from the hotel to the Civil affairs office was one of the quietest rides for our group of the whole trip. Just 2 days earlier on the way to & from the Great Wall our ride was full of energy, laughing & joking around but on this day is was quite the opposite. When we piled into the elevator you could see all eyes on the lone button that was pushed for the 26th floor where our babies waited for us. Our guide quickly got off & told us to wait as she checked out the scene. She came back & informed us that just beyond the door ahead our babies were all dressed in red waiting for us.
As soon as we walked thru the door, we saw our babies & the nannies sitting on the left. We saw Maddy right away & I think my heart must have skipped a beat as I saw live the face that I had only been able to see in pictures the 2 previous months. One by one we were called up to confirm our identity and take our precious daughters. We were #4 of 5 so the waiting was a little hard. Finally our girl was handed to us and then started the almost 3 hours of crying. We were rushed thru to get pictures for official documents and poor Maddy was crying in all of the photos (including her passport).
Here are a couple of photos from the van ride back where we managed to get her not to cry for a few minutes:
Once we were able to get her in the room and settled down for the night, I remember just sitting in our hotel room at the table crying. All of the years of waiting & knowing the grief Maddy was experiencing being separated from her foster family just kind of overwhelmed me. It's so hard to believe that it's been one year since that day. We are just blessed to have been chosen to be Ms Le Ping Yi's parents.
Maddy's very first bottle that we fed her
She finally wore herself out to sleep