I am writing this at 1:00 am on August 21st, one hour after our special, special Gotcha Day has wound down. I'm awake mostly because my right arm is killing me - but that's just a testament and sweet reminder of the events that took place today. Lucy Hope was given to me around 2:30 pm and I did not put her down for a good 3 hours (and that was only to use the restroom). Then I think I held her for most of the rest of the night!
Anyway, here's how it all happened. I want to record as much as I can for her to see one day as well as for me to never forget the miraculous events of this day.
We slept really well the night before. Somehow, as Andy mentioned, we were both so unbelievably calm. I was almost nervous about how calm I was! But I know it was because SO MANY of you were praying for us and for her. I know I asked for prayer for a calm heart for the flight but I truly believe you all prayed that for the entire trip. So thanks for being a step ahead of me.
Andy and I woke up around 7:00 am, got ready and headed downstairs for the hotel's incredible breakfast buffet. Really, it was the most impressive breakfast buffet I have ever seen - anything you could ever want. Thinking back on it now, that's how lavishly God has blessed us through this adoption journey and was just a taste of what was to come for the rest of the day.
We came back to the room and skyped with both sets of grandparents, working out the kinks and making sure they were ready to take the call when Lucy was finally back and settled (which we still haven't done yet - the timing was off and it was busy, busy after we got her but we're hoping to take care of that first thing in the morning).
Next, was our meeting with the guide and the other 4 families who are in our group. We were given details on the day, checked and rechecked the paperwork needed, prayed together and made our way down to the copy center to finish up some last minute paperwork. Yep, we were doing that until the very end and have more to do tomorrow :)
Then Rebecca, our guide, talked to us one by one about a questionnaire our children's orphanages were given. They had responded and given her the information about each of our children to go over with us. This was extremely helpful and Rebecca was able to find out some things that we were already wondering (pertaining to Lucy's daily routine, eating likes/dislikes, health, etc). Basically, we continued to get the impression we had one healthy, happy girl. The one thing they did say was that she was afraid of being in a car! Oh, my. That one was going to be interesting. But more on that in a few...
Andy and I finished getting our things together, headed out for some Subway and to get some juice for Lucy (apparently she liked sugary drinks so we wanted to be prepared, you know, get on her good side!).
We met our guides and the other families in the lobby at 2:00 pm, loaded onto a bus and headed out for a 20 minute ride to the Civil Affairs building, where Lucy would most-likely already be waiting.
We snuggled on the bed some more while she played with a few toys. Baba came back about an hour later, we headed out for dinner (of which she ate fried rice and congee) and then came in for a bath. She was so precious in that tub and we loved every minute of caring for her in this way. She played a little but seemed a bit confused by it. I doubt she'd ever been given a bath in a tub like that. But she let me wash her, rinse her, shampoo her hair without much fuss at all. Honestly, she's making it seem all too easy. We're reminding ourselves not to judge too quickly, as this day is probably not a great indicator of her complete personality and temperament. There probably will be tears eventually and that's okay too. But for today, she was an angel - almost too good to be true. Again, we know it is His grace and your prayers. Please continue to lift us up. It's not even been 24 hours.
But, we are in love. She fell asleep in Andy's arms tonight while I was getting ready for bed. She's sleeping soundly between us and it's a wonderful feeling. That's the other reason I can't sleep. She's just too cute to not watch, lying there in all her beauty. Fearfully and wonderfully made.