Hannah’s initial reaction to us could have been anything - especially since she was in a loud, crowded room of unfamiliar people. We knew she may scream or she may quickly shut down and fall asleep as a way to cope. In her case, she was fairly withdrawn and bewildered. She would quickly make eye contact but mostly seemed to be taking things in and uncertain of us — which is totally fair and understandable! Honestly, when we talked about how we thought she’d react that is exactly what we predicted, without even knowing her.
We signed some papers, took some official photos and then it was time to go. We brought Hannah back to our hotel room and quickly let our parents know that we had our girl! We had brief Skype sessions with both of them so they could finally go to bed! Bryan ordered room service so we could have a quiet, calm lunch in the room. Before lunch arrived we noticed Hannah was sweating so we took off her warm layers of clothing and put on fresh clothes. Once the food arrived, Hannah ate noodles, hard boiled egg and congee which is a traditional Chinese rice porridge commonly fed to babies.
After lunch Bryan went to do some paperwork and Hannah and I played in the room! She really impressed me with the dexterity in her hands since they are affected by arthrogryposis. She could pick up just about any toy, was holding multiple toy bracelets at once and was even able to do a pinscher grasp to pick up a puff. She has yet to feed herself but we know she’s done it in the past so with opportunity we expect she will start again. Hannah really enjoyed looking at books and putting her bracelets into various stacking cups. She could also take the bracelets off and on by herself. While we were playing I also had fun putting her first bow on her head and trying on her pink shoes. She seemed to love the shoes- lifting each foot quickly for me to put them on, looking at them often and admiring the flowers with her hands. It was too cute to watch! I even caught her later trying to put them back on.
Trying to put her shoes on!
After dinner we got ready for her bath.
The file we got the day before her adoption said she loved bath time. Well, that was a LIE. She screamed and cried when her feet hit the water. While this sounds mean to many people, it was great to have her finally cry and show some emotion. I was so relieved when she let me comfort her. We abandoned the bath idea and put on pajamas to get ready for bed.
I could tell she was getting sleepy and began to cradle and rock her back and forth slowly. At first she seemed uncertain but then settled into my arms and fell asleep. What a privilege for her to let me comfort her and love her in this way on the first day of being her Mom. Her courage and strength amaze me.
We Skyped with the boys who were both disappointed that Hannah was sleeping. After we hung up I put Hannah in the crib and went to get ready for bed myself, only to hear a noise and Bryan saying “OH NO!”. I came out to find that the bottom of Hannah’s crib had partially broken and collapsed to the ground. Hannah looked bewildered and awake but did not get upset. Housekeeping quickly brought us another, more legit crib. I was able to rock Hannah to help her get cuddly and groggy again, then laid her in the crib where she quickly fell asleep.
Today was just an amazing blessing. We can hardly believe this dark-eyed beauty is asleep- cozy, warm and loved- in the crib in our room. While she has been somewhat guarded with us, we have every confidence that in the days to come she will realize she is safe with us and will let her guard down.
Please continue to pray for us in the days ahead. Tomorrow (Monday night for you) we will finalize her adoption in the morning and then travel 2.5 hours each way to her birth city (Anyang) to apply for her passport. We hope to visit the orphanage while we are there but will not know if we can until we get there. Please pray we would be able to go in so we can see where Hannah lived and also check on the other babies being adopted from there. Please pray for Hannah to feel secure in our arms even if we do take her back inside her orphanage. Pray for us to have good judgment about how to handle any fears she may have.
Thank you all for being on this incredible journey with us!