Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Remembering An Incredible Day...

On May 25, 2008, we landed in Nanchang, Jiangxi. We had spent 4 fantastic days in Beijing and couldn't believe that this day was finally here. We found our Holt guide, Lisa, and quickly made our way to the hotel. Lisa told us that we had about an hour before we would leave for the Civil Affairs Office to get Emma. We walked into our room to find an empty crib waiting by the window, a stroller tucked in the corner of the closet, and a baby tub in the bathroom. It was really happening! All the things I had read and heard from other families were finally happening to us. It was just like I had pictured in my mind.
We wrapped the gifts that we brought for Emma's foster parents, the orphanage nannies and the director. Lisa helped us write cards to them thanking them for taking care of our precious daughter. How do you even put that into words on a postcard? Then...we grabbed the camera and headed down to the car. When we arrived at the Civil Affairs Office we took the elevator to the 16th floor. It was such a hot and humid day and there was no air conditioning. We stopped and took a quick picture in front of the sign. I expected that we would have time to get settled in the room before Emma was brought in because this is what usually happens. So, when I walked around the corner and saw her standing there with her nanny, I almost couldn't breathe. It had been 2 years since we filled out our first piece of paperwork you would think that I would have been ready for that moment. I guess you never are truly ready for that moment whether you are picking up your child in a hot room in China or giving birth in a hospital. I just wanted to run and hold her but they wouldn't let me near her until they checked our passports. I thought...Are you kidding me? You can't tell that it is me after all the pictures I had to send you?! Give me my baby!!

Finally, we were allowed to go near her. I walked up and knelt down beside her. She had such sadness and confusion in her eyes. She was covered with little red spots and sweating like crazy. I picked her up and her big beautiful lower lip shot out and began to quiver. The poor dear had been tossed around so many times in her short life. She was with her birthmother, the orphanage, a foster family for a year, then back to the orphanage for 4 months and then handed to these strange looking white people who sound and look and smell so different. My heart just broke for her. We were able to spend a little time chatting with her nanny and the orphanage director. She gave me additional pictures that I saw in Emma's file. She answered our questions about sleeping, eating, etc. She said that Emma enjoys joyful music. This is still true. I asked her why she chose the name Cai Juan for her. The director said that in China the name Juan is a "pretty girly girl" name. Emma was such a pretty baby that she gave her that name. I agree...she is the prettiest baby I have ever seen! When we finished, the four of us went into the elevator. That was the moment that Emma realized that her assumptions were correct. She pulled her head back and let out the saddest sound that I have ever heard. It wasn't even really a cry just a shout of pain and sadness. It was like she was not again.

We got into the car and Matt held her close. She fell asleep in his arms. It was lovely.

For the next 3 hours she cried and slept and ate. We filled out more paperwork, fingerprints, footprints, etc. Finally, it was time for bed. The nanny told us that she likes to be tickled before going to sleep. So, Matt laid her down and started tickling. He finally found the right spot and she burst into laughter and smiles! It was the sweetest sound I had ever heard. We both burst into tears. It was finally a moment of relief. She was going to be okay. Everything was going to be okay.

The next morning we were back at the Civil Affairs Office to complete the adoption. So, on May 26, 2008 Yu Cai Juan officially become Emma Rain Nash. It was a beautiful day!

On Tuesday we had a Happy Adoption Day Party for Emma. It is hard to believe how much she has changed. HAPPY ADOPTION DAY EMMA!!! We can't remember life without you! We love you!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Love NYC!

Last weekend we took the seniors in the youth group to NYC. Emma had a great time with the students and did super on the 14hr drive in the church van. Did I mention that is 14 hours each way?! In fact, she hasn't stopped talking about the "blue van" and "the guys" since Monday morning. One of the highlights of the trip was being able to connect with one of the families from our China travel group. It was so great to see the girls together again. They have all changed so much in just one year. We were actually in Beijing a year ago today! I can't believe how time has just flown by since Emma has been home. Things are definitely different on this side of the wait.

Matt, Emma and I riding the Staten Island Ferry. You can faintly see the Statue of Liberty in the distance.

Here they are a year later at the Central Park Zoo. Emma (2), Bridget (4), Breanna (6)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fun in the Country

Last week while Matt was in CA, Emma and I stayed with my parents. Emma just loves going to Grandma and Papa's house! She has so much fun taking hikes down by the lake and watching the deer and turkeys come out at night. The cows and "neighs" we see on the way there are a huge hit, too!

Emma with Papa Ross in their matching shirts.

Great-Grandpa Hubbard, Emma and Great-Grandma Hubbard

Fun with Uncle Dave!

Matt's brother David came from San Diego to visit. Emma had so much fun with him. It was really great having him here even if it was only for a couple of days.

Grandma Judy

On May 1, 2009, Matt's Grandma Judy went to be with the Lord. She was 95 years old. She spent much of her life living in Guatemala with her husband planting churches. Grandma Judy helped make Emma's adoption possible and we will forever be grateful to her for that. Matt was able to attend the memorial services in San Diego last week. He was given the opportunity to speak for a few minutes at the service. That was very special for him. It was a beautiful time to celebration!
Emma, Great-Grandma Judy, and Cousin Sophie (December 2008)