we've had Jenna for just over 4 hours now.
I haven't felt like I could get away from her for even a second!
Our first meeting was rough.
We arrived at the Civil Affairs office a little after 3. There was one big room that had several other families already united with their children. There was a lot of crying.
You could practically feel the tension in the air. From all parties involved.
All the other families were matched and many had left while we waited for them to bring Jenna in. David, our guide, went out to the hall and came in with her following closely behind. She was accompanied by one of the orphanage directors and a nanny. She was walking and holding one of their hands.
I know now that they have been telling her about us, because the moment that she saw me, I knelt down in front of her, and she threw her head back and started wailing. Not screaming mad, but crying, scared to death. I think she recognized me from the photos as the 'mama' that they have been telling her was coming. I put my arms out to her and said 'bao' (hold). She really wanted nothing to do with me but I picked her up anyways. Tried talking to her. Got the backpack of things I brought for her; smarties, suckers, toys. She wanted nothing to do with any of them. She wasn't reaching for the people she came with though. She was so tense and so scared. You can see from her face how nervous she was. Breaks my heart.
We left with her about 20 minutes later. She cried most of the time until we left. Would stop for a second with interest of bubbles or something else, but she would grow bored with it quickly and start crying again.
I think just getting out of that anxiety filled room helped even just a little. The drive back to the hotel she was fine and has only cried a little since then. But she is so sad. She has hardly moved. Just sort of limp to whatever I do with her. She came into the room and we sat down on the floor together and played. She didn't move until I moved her. Same thing when we returned from WalMart buying formula and such. I carried her the whole time there and she was fine with that. I did let her walk a bit and hold my hand and that was fine too. I sat her down when we came in and she didn't move until I picked her up to get ready for a bath. She also has hardly talked. Ben played with her quite a bit; we got a brief smile (though when she saw me looking, she quickly removed her smile), and she also said 'ge-ge' (guh-guh, big brother) which was incredible. David and I were sitting in another corner of the room doing paperwork and could hardly believe our ears.
She ate some congee pretty well for dinner but wouldn't take her last bottle of the night. She didn't cry or anything; was just about to fall asleep sitting there, so I just put her down for the night and she's asleep a short 5 minutes later.
I know I'm not doing this day justice by my recount. It sounds all business. Believe me it was not. It was the most anxious I think I've ever been. I was sure I would either vomit or pee my pants before we arrived. Neither happened, luckily.
When we first got to civil affairs I was very emotional and teary eyed entering "the room." But once I saw her it all felt so surreal. My heart is aching for her tonight. She is very cautious of me. I notice her looking at me alot when I'm not looking at her. I pray that she will trust me soon. No little girl of two years old should have to endure the heartbreak that she is feeling tonight. She said good bye to her closest nanny early this morning before leaving to come to Nanning with another nanny and director. I'm sure that set the stage for the day. They both seemed very kind. They were smiling a lot as I tried to calm her. When they left, she was still quite upset. But on our drive after they called my guide to see how she was doing, which made it obvious how much they care for her.
Anyways, I am heading to bed as it's been one terribly long day. Thank you all for your prayers. As rough as the day was, I felt God's presence right there with us. The compassion he gave me. I hope that Jenna is feeling his strength as well. I marveled at the fact that he brought us from east and west to unite as a family. Incredible day. But I am so glad to have it behind us. I can't wait to see her personality emerge!