our four-week update… {thank you, China}

Yesterday marked the 4th week of having Julianne with us.  It was the day we traveled to an office building, somewhere in the middle of Shanghai, China, and signed a bunch of papers.

on our way to get her!
on our way to get her!

She was led into the room, and I couldn’t believe it.  Just. Couldn’t. Believe. It.

Here she was!  This child that we had been dreaming of for the past 9 months!  We had read all of the information there was to read about her, requested updates as often as we could, and were blessed with many pictures documenting her growth in those months.

IMG_5788
first smile…

Today is the 4 week anniversary of her being officially ours in the eyes of China.  It’s her Adoption Day anniversary.  It’s the day we went to two other offices somewhere in the middle of Shanghai, China, and signed another bunch of papers, promised to care for her like we would our biological children and took a family picture.

see!  we have the paper to prove it!  she's ours.  it's official.
see! we have the paper to prove it! she’s ours. it’s official.

PS – It was freakishly hot in those office buildings.  SO. HOT.

done with the paperwork!  our guide demonstrates the ever-present "peace sign" fingers. :)
done with the paperwork! our guide demonstrates the ever-present “peace sign” fingers. 🙂

Our girl is doing well, China.  We are treating her like we do our biological children.  We are learning about each other the same way we had to figure out what our babies were like when they were born.  She is a spicy little thing.  She likes to eat, and she plays and sleeps hard.  When she’s awake, she’s moving.  There is no settled-down-cartoon-time in our days.  We are busy.  ALL. THE. TIME.

She likes her family, China.  She gives us hugs, and kisses, and cries when one of us isn’t around. She’s learned how to count a little in English, and she knows several phrases really well.  She’s the same that she was, and she’s different, too.  She’s learning that family life in a home is different from orphanage life.  She’s learning that Mommy isn’t ever far away.  She doesn’t quite like it yet when Mommy has her attention on other people.  She likes to be the center of attention, and she often is.  She loves picking out her own clothes to wear every morning, and delights in having her hair fixed nicely.  She tells us she is “so pretty”, and we agree.  She is.

She is a blessing to us, China.  A blessing.  We love her, and we don’t regret opening our home and our hearts to her.  We have hard days.  Days when some of us cry.  Days when we are thankful when bedtime rolls around and there is peace in the house again.  But we never regret it.  Never.  We know that we will continue to learn about her.  That she will continue to learn about us, and that “normal” will slowly develop.  A new normal.  A normal we are glad to have because it means having her.

Thank you, China, for our daughter.  You didn’t have to say yes to us.  But we’re glad you did.

We’re thankful that she was cared for until we could come get her.  We hate the time she had to spend in an orphanage, but we’re glad that she had someone caring for her needs before we could get her.

Our time in-country was difficult for us, China.  It was hard to be away from some of our children at home.  It was hard to be away from home!  It was hard to be in the unfamiliar, to not understand what was going on around us.  But that time made us appreciate the struggles our girl would have once she was in HER new forever-home in a totally different environment, not understanding anything going on around her.

It was SO hard.

But we would do it all again for her.

We would.

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