I spend SO much time at this time of the year recalling the events of 2 years ago. I can't really put into words all that I feel inside. I so love my life and wouldn't go back for anything....and yet I would absolutely love to re-live that time. I wonder if it's the same with biological children?
To remember when we headed off to Melbourne to stay a night before leaving for China. To remember the time we would have been flying out of Melbourne on our way to Sydney and then to Hong Kong. To try and remember our fleeting time in Hong Kong (totally exhausted after delayed flights etc). Then the time in the train to Guangzhou from Hong Kong where four childless families enjoyed watching the scenery as we entered the Province that held our daughters. Then we arrived at the White Swan and the feeling when I walked in that room and saw the cot that would hold our daughter....that is one of the moments in time I will never, ever forget. The next few days were a bit of a blur - although I remember back to the first full day in Guangzhou when we had the last 'free' day we would have for a long, long time.
Then, on Christmas Day, - I spent much time,amongst the celebrations, remembering all the feelings of 2 years ago - how much I didn't want to do lunch with the other 5 families....not for any reason other than the fact that I felt ill. Those feeling are quite amazing to me. I had waited for so, so many years of my life for this time - yet I felt sick and wanted to withdraw. I even took a video where I said what I was feeling so Eb could watch it in years to come. I cried - I couldn't really articulate what I felt - I was this amazing mix of fear, joy, sadness for all the day held for her, incredible happiness, yet apprehension, for how I would feel. What would she do? would she cry? would she smile? would she scream or not want to leave her carers? would she be exhausted or wide awake? would she be bald? would she be big or little? would she be healthy or sick? so, so many questions.
Then being picked up to be taken to the Civil Affairs office. All of us very, very nervous and saying who knows what to each other as we were moved upstairs by lift. Me, of course, needing to go to the bathroom not long after we got up there and, knowing the girls were on the same floor as us, all I could do was peek into rooms as I made my way to the bathroom in the hope that I might just catch a glimpse of my daughter. I saw a blur of children but of course couldn't make a thing out. My heart was absolutely pounding out of my chest. I made it back to the other room where we took some 'photo's before children' and then we were told the order in which we would receive our daughters. We were to be last of the families. That didn't really worry me for some strange reason. I just used the time to take photo's/video for the other families AND it happened so fast anyway. Then our daughter's name was called - Sui, Hua Xing and Graham and Jennifer Boote - - - - time stood still. There wasn't a sound to be heard except the beating of my heart at that moment. I barely remember another person in the room except the little girl who was placed in my arms and who smiled in a confused sort of way then gave a little wave...the kind of wave she gave in one of the allocation photo's.
My world was complete - my daughter was safe and alert in my arms. I felt a joy and peace that is totally unexplainable. I didn't cry at the moment. I somehow saved that for the moment I had with her on my own when her Daddy went to sign the paperwork etc. Then I wept - I wept the quiet silent tears of a Mummy who has waited a lifetime to be a Mummy. My darling daughter just looked up into my eyes confused but quiet.
Now - 2 years later I still have those big dark almond shaped eyes with long eyelashes, now surrounded by more raven black hair that falls so gently around the most beautiful little face my heart has ever known......look into my eyes with much more certainty....and with love and trust. Probably still more trust than love because that is just who my daughter is - but it will all come in time. We're getting there and we seem light years from the little scared girl that was placed in our arms. I'm totally in love with her and I would die if it would give her life, yet I hope I never have to leave her. She means more to me and has given a sense of purpose that I never knew possible. She is my sunshine - she is my light - she is my long, long awaited daughter.
Now for a trip down memory lane....and some comparisons
2006 - Forever family day
2007 - Forever family day - 1st anniversary
2008 - Forever family day - 2nd anniversary