Monday, January 11, 2010

Journey to Grace


I can't remember the day Mom and Dad left for China to get Grace (sorry Mom). I know that it was towards the end of November 2003, because they were gone over Thanksgiving. They flew from Atlanta to LA and then LA to Beijing. They spent a few days in Beijing sightseeing and adjusting to the time zone (12 hours different) before traveling to Hefei where they would meet Grace for the first time. Hefei is in the Anhui Province of China, almost due west from Shanghai. The Chinese consider it to be a small town, but it is home to a couple of million people. Grace is actually from a smaller town outside of Hefei called Bengbu City. For whatever reason, the government did not allow my parents or any other adoptive parents to visit the orphanage where their children were from

They say that they hardly slept the night before they met Grace. Everyone from their travel group was supposed to meet up in the lobby of the hotel at a specific time the next morning, and everyone was there early. Nannies from the orphanage accompanied the director to the hotel from Bengbu City, bringing the babies to their new forever families. It's beautiful to watch the video of that morning because the nannies filed in the room, each carrying a child, while the army of new parents waited on the other side, half holding video cameras. Everyone immediately recognized their child from pictures, but had to endure waiting for their name to be called out by the director to step up and meet her. Dad video taped their meeting with Grace. The nanny gave Grace to Mom and Grace looked down as Mom held her close, beaming from ear to ear. After a few moments, Grace began to cry and the nanny gave Mom a cookie to give her. This quieted her down and then Dad got to hold her too, but she still had a far off look in her eyes. It is amazing to see her a mere two hours later in the next video. Mom had taken her up to their room while Dad finished up some paperwork. During that short time, she transformed into a happy, energetic baby eyes all aglow as she played with her Mommy.

They spent the next two weeks in China sightseeing, filling out paperwork, and getting to know Grace before they all came home to us. In the meantime, Sarah, Andy, B, and I had Thanksgiving with our family and ran the Atlanta Half Marathon. We lived for the phone calls from Mom, Dad, and Grace, listening to her coo and laugh over the line. These were the first pictures we got from them:

We could not wait to meet her ourselves.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

What a beautiful story and what a lucky little lady to be so loved!