Tuesday, January 06, 2009

One year a family!

One Year ago today I received the greatest gift. My daughter. One year ago today I became a Mama and the luckiest (in my eyes) person on earth. She has exceeded all of my expectations. She has touched and become a part of my family in so many wonderful ways.

It still floors me when I look at the strong independent little person that she has become. The things that she has lived through and experienced in such a short time and still she shines.

I took her out of an environment that she was used to. In a moments time she was in a strangers arms who looked, talked, smelled different. That stranger took her away from all that she had known. I can't begin to imagine how scared she must have been. How defenseless she must have felt at the mercy of someone she had never seen before. Yes she cried but she was strong and still she shines.

That first moment, the day after we became Mama and Daughter, when she first awoke and looked around and saw where she was and who she was with she cried the most pitiful cry. I scooped her up quickly though and she stopped soon after. We went about our day and she hung in there. Probably so confused and wondering but yet she went on. She is strong and a fighter. And she shines.

When we left China I actually felt guilty. She was so wonderful. Diddn't they know what they were missing? I don't feel guilty any more. She is my daughter and she is right where she is supposed to be and now I shine because of her. I will be forever grateful to China and for the gift that they have given me.

First glimpse. I think this was one of the head nanny's at her orphanage?

The little card Abby is holding had her name and picture on it. She hung on to that card for hours after I got her. I still have it.

Finally! In my arms at last! That is our guide Sissy in the back round. She was great!!


I love how C and I are smiling at each other here. C and M named their daughter Abby as well.

tiny and scared.

It breaks my heart to think of all of the emotions she faced that day.

I love this picture. We are on our way back to the hotel. She wasn't sleeping. We were both quiet just looking out the window.

First bottle. She got it the second we got back in our room.

I kept her original shirt on her overnight for comfort.

My sweet baby.

So tiny!

So tired. We got our daughters around 6:00 PM. we were at the Civil Affairs office for a couple of hours after.

Gotcha day outfit. (minus the shirt I kept on her) The bear was the one that I had enclosed in her care package.

This one is out of order. After we first got back and the babies had their bottles we went down for a quick bite of dinner. The two Abby's really loosened up fast. Both did well with table food too.

In our room at the Gloria Hotel in Nanchang. Look how tiny she was.

Sleeping in her carrier.

Asleep in her crib at the White Swan.

In the plane bassinet. Going home!!!

Sleepy girl.

Snug as a bug in a rug ")

And look at my abba now! So Big and doing great. We are weaning her paci so no flames please. Some of you thanked me in my last post for keeping on with my blog. I feel like it is the right thing to do for right now. I know it helped me to read other peoples experiences while I waited. Now with the wait getting longer, it seems like the blogs are starting to dwindle. No we are not that exciting but at least I can save these blog entrys for Abba to read some day.

Finally, we put a candle in Abby's bedroom window tonight in honor of her birth Mother. I will never know the hows and whys of Abby's story but she was found in a place where she was sure to be found. I hope that where ever Abby's birth mother is she has found peace with what she felt she had to do.


Lindsay said...

Thanks for sharing you Gotcha Day photos and congratulations on you Family Day. How tiny she looks! I went thru Hannah's pictures recently when we had our one year anniversary and I couldn't believe she had been so little!

Abby has grown into a wonderfully happy and confident looking girl. She is beautiful - and like you say, she shines with life and joy.

As for weaning off the paci: we're trying it too! Some days go better than others, but what the hey! It'll happen. Other folk seem way more bothered than me. Can't think why - nor is it any of their business really :) !

amy said...

I have really enjoyed reading your blog and seeing how she has grown..What a year it has been

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

Happy 1 Year..
Doesn't seem possible..
It is amazing how much she has grown..
Thanks for the updates..
I love reading them and know one day I will have my little girl also..
Have a Great day..

Lisa said...

I so clearly remember your first posts when you got her. Man this year has flown by.
It's amazing to see the big changes in her.

What a blessed and sweet family you make.

Carrie (aka Lilly's Mama) said...

Beautiful post, Jenny.

Made in China said...

Happy family day!!!!

Sherry Mc said...

I think the old saying "the gift that gives" certainly applies to Abba. She gives to us continuously and so politely too Her help peas just melts me. Thank you for giving us so much time with her too. Sometimes when I look at the pictures in China it seems to me that she was growing before our eyes and we took a bigger little one home. So glad you are in our world, Abba! We love you so. Meema and Da

kris said...

Here's to ONE YEAR as a family!! I just can't believe it's been that long already!! Loved seeing these moments again :O)

laurie said...

omg i forgot how tiny she was! i'll never forget getting to spend abby's first night home with her sleeping on the den floor with you why you got some much needed sleep. that was a blessing i keep in my heart always. i was overjoyed that she let me comfort her and put her back to sleep when she woke...we had our own bonding time.

you're a wonderful mother to a wonderful daughter. again...we are all truly blessed beyond words!
auntie waurie

laurie said...

oops...i meant her sleeping on the floor with me...

Dawn said...

OMgoodness, now you have done it. I am crying huge big tears at all the details of your special day. Thank you for sharing....it reminded me of ours.

Beverly said...

Happy Family/Gotcha day. Beautiful pics. Not flaming on the weaning but she is so cute with the paci. My daughter never took a paci and I don't think I would have minded (I don't think).

Anne Marie and Julia Devine said...

I've been following your post for well over a year now -- and have loved it all.

Jan 20 is the anniversary of my referral day -- 6 years ago -- still love reading about everyone's adventures and seeing how the babies, so small and scared - blossom into such balls of energy and blessing.

Congrats on the anniverary of your FFD!

OziMum said...

Wow. A whole year? Its amazing how fast 2008 disappeared?! Abby is gorgeous. She is such a happy girl!

Thanks so much for the "trip down memory lane" with all the China photos. I think you did so well, considering your luggage never camE!!! And what a great idea, leaving her first tee shirt on. Think I'll pinch your idea!!!

Harrison loved his pacifier too. I'd read its better for the child to "decide" to give it up. My friend got her son to leave his for Santa, and Santa would swap it for a very special gift. I did the same thing. Worked well.

Special K said...

Wow! You really can see just how big she's gotten when you look at those pics.

Happy Family Day!
PS. I love the candle in the window idea. I'll have to remember that.

PIPO said...

I just cried my eyes out at this post.

Congrats one your first Famiversary.

Susan, Matt, Mia said...

Wow. Abby was so tiny. It is hard to beleive they were so small. I think keeping up on the blog is such a good thing. We are going on over 3 years of blogging. I think it is a great history for Mia to read later.

Congrats on 1 year and thanks for letting us follow you.


Shayla's Mom said...

Isn't it crazy how time flies when you're not waiting anymore!

Shayla's mom
Back from China Sept 2007

Mary said...

Well said Jenny! I feel your Joy right through this computer screen!


Shannon said...

WOW. A year ago and how much she's blossomed and grown with all the love and opportunities. Funny to see myself going through the same process at almost the same time, one year behind! I was going through the paperwork I brought home. That finding ad pierced my heart. I couldn't imagine giving her up. Her birthparents have given me such joy and I hope they somehow have peace in their hearts. Hoping to see you both soon. We have pediatrician appts this week.

daisy said...

thank you Jenny, you shared this with even more poignancy then wheeen it happened. I cried, you were/are so sensitive to what it is like for the adopted child and lighting the candle was a beautiful ritual I hope you will keep it up. You truely are hwr mama. Love Aunt Laurie

Debbie and Sam said...

What a wonderful tradition to put a candle in the window. I love it and might steal it!!!