Wow, wow....WOW!!! How do I begin to capture in mere words what today has been like??? I cannot begin to do so but will make an attempt as I don't want to forget a single detail of this most amazing, life changing day!!!
Here we go.....
After a short night of about 2 hours sleep, I woke up to a sun filled room and called out to anyone who would listen, ok....Norma who was still trying to sleep ;o) that TODAY was Hannah day!!! T-o-d-a-y!!! Not tomorrow, not the day after that, not a week or a month or a year away but TODAY!!!! Wheeee!!!
It was 7am so we got up and began to get ready. I'd packed the diaper bag the night before, wanting to be prepared at a moment's notice for us to GO! Our appt. wasn't until 3 in the afternoon but I wanted to be ready.
Can I tell you once again, how amazing God is??!!! I wasn't sick. I wasn't living in the restroom....I was bathed in his peace and excitement! I wasn't thinking clearly and probably could not have told you the answer to 2 + 2 but...I also wasn't sick. Normally in stressful situations I feel extremely ill and today, God said 'nope...I give you My peace' and that was it....His peace flowed through me!!! It's humbling to type that as I know literally hundreds and possibly thousands of people around the world were praying for Hannah and I and I could tangibly feel your prayers as God answered them over and over and over again!!! Thank you for praying!!!!!
Back to Hannah Day....
Around 8:00 Norma and I headed down to the breakfast buffet. What a beautiful hotel we're in! It will deserve a post all its own later on. I enjoyed a b'fast of cereal with 'clod milk'...heh, typo on the sign ;o), bacon, an omlette and the most amazing fresh fruit. Asia has amazing fresh fruit!!! Knowing this might be my only/main meal of the day I tucked into it as once again I wasn't feeling ill so could enjoy it.
After b'fast I boarded the bus with my parents as Norma and Leslie headed off to find a local market and buy some supplies for us and souvenirs for her family. The bus took the majority of the families to the National Bank of China. At least, I think that's the name of it. Just went to check the name on my recipt but it's in Chinese. lol!! This morning's order of business what to exchange large amounts of Canadian travellers cheques into Yuan for our orphange fees tomorrow as well as other assundary fees. Exchanging money into Yuan in China is a lengthy process but I was just so thankful that I'd been able to travel with travellers cheques rather than US bills that it was no problem at all. I felt SO vulnerable as the gentleman handed me a stack....literally about 4" tall of Yuan! **gulp** Where was my bodyguard?? 'DADDY!!!!!!!!' Yup...still need my Daddy!
From this point our group was splitting into 2 different destinations. My friend Russ (a coworker who is also in my travel group....cool!!!) was taking a taxi and going directly back to the hotel. I asked him and he was only too happy to take my cash with him, so I felt like a million pounds had been lifted off my shoulders!!! (Hmmmm...come to think of it....that $ is still in his safe. There's about $6,500 there.....if their family isn't at b'fast tomorrow I'm checking to see if he's still in the country! :o)
After Russ headed to the hotel, a group of us went to the local Carrefour Market. It was directly across the street from the bank but due to it being too dangerous for us non-educated Asia street crossers, we waited for all to be finished at the bank and took the bus across the street. Heh!!!
Mom, Dad and I were able to buy all that we needed for our time here, including all of Hannah's supplies. Armed with a picture from Sara's blog I was able to buy diapers, wipes, baby food, snacks and the exact formula Hannah drank at the orphanage. I bought enough for her to hopefully stay on that formula while we're here in China and then to transition her off slowly to Canadian formula once home.
(It's early Tuesday as I'm typing this and trying to get as much done while my bundle of love is still sleeping. Her little legs have begun to kick around her crib a bit and I've heard a couple of sighs so I think she's beginning to wake.....after having slept all through the night since 10pm last night!!! Have I told you lately how amazing she is??!!!)
We returned to the hotel at 1:30 and needed to be downstairs in the lobby at 2:30. Norma has been a HUGE help and once again she anticipated my needs and had gone above and beyond. The top I was wearing for Family Day had been ironed and freshened and was ready for me. The gifts for Hannah's nanny, director and possibly the Notary Public also needed to be prepared so she helped me get those ready too. She was so patient and supportive during my excited, can't-tell-you-what-day-it-is frenzy of preparation excitement. Thank you Norma!! She'd gently ask at different times (as the safe was wide open and in our main path, 'Do you need anything in or out of the safe' and I'd just say, 'sorry..I really don't know.' Heh...couldn't have answered that.
We were eventually ready to go, dressed, fresh make-up applied, diaper bag with warm bottle, Passport in hand and gifts. We headed to the lobby around 2:25 to meet the other excited families and my parents. I had myself a good cry in the lobby, just realizing that Hannah was probably in the city too and within MINUTES would be in my arms!! We drove to the Civil Affairs Office and as we pulled up some of the babies were being taken into the building!!! There were shouts of excitement, tears and the already emotion filled bus just ramped up with excitement 100 fold!!!
We made our way to the 3rd floor where we saw the sign for International Adoptions. Yes! More tears!! We went in to the room where 7 of the babies were. There was one who could possibly be Hannah but I wasn't convinced that it was her. We were asked to go into the room next door so we did and I began to pace with excitement!!
The hand-over time was a combination of so many feelings and emotions and so much more. I felt like I was in a dream, looking in from the outside and then they called my name and it all became a wonderful, amazing reality!!! Hannah was here, safe, warm, curious and in my arms!!!
I know this isn't fair but I'm going to close this post here and start a new one to cover the remainder of the day. I have a feeling my sweet baby girl will soon be awake and I want to spend time with her. I'll continue with the post soon....promise!!!)