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Family Day!

July 16, 2007

It is almost midnight now, and I am still in shock that Xiang Yi is safe and warm sleeping in her bed near me. I am so happy how easily it has gone this time. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

I will try to start from the very beginning of the day, as I know that as time passes I will forget how magical this day has been.

The day started very early, as I had a 7:00am flight to Changsha. The airport was extremely busy, and I got to the gate just as they were boarding. I sat in the very back of the plane where the lavatories are. About half way into our flight (a 2 hour flight) half of the people on the plane got up and rushed in line to use the bathroom. I had never seen anything like it before. We hit some turbulent air and the flight attendant told everyone to sit down and buckle their seat belts. Not one person sat down. They were determined to go to the bathroom! As I was sitting there trying to find a happy place in my mind so I didn’t throw up. (I hate flying.)

I made it safely to Changsha, and my guide took me to the hotel to get settled in before meeting Xiang Yi this afternoon. He recommended that I get her some drinks and biscuits in case she had not had lunch. So, I headed out to find these things by myself. I went into a market and tried to find something that young children would like to eat, but nothing looked familiar. I found the nicest lady to help me. I acted out that I wanted drinks and food for a small child. I am sure the people around me were getting a big hoot out of me. But the two of us worked it out, and I came back to the hotel armed with food. I was hoping she would liked it, as I still am not sure what it all is.

My guide picked me up at 3:15, and we headed to the Civil Affairs Office. He told me it is a 4 hour drive from Chenzhou, and there had been some major flooding in the area so he was not sure just how long it would take for them to arrive. We walked into the room and there she was with one of the orphanage employees looking at a photo album that we had sent Xiang Yi of our family and home. She looked up at me and smiled. My heart melted. One of the orphanage employees gave me some things that the director wanted us to have, a map of Chenzhou and it marked where the orphanage is and also where she was found. He also gave me a chop with Xiang Yi’s name, and a thick album with pictures of Xiang Yi and things that her teacher wrote about her. I was so touched at their thoughtfulness as these items are treasures that we will keep forever. The orphanage employees said goodbye and left. I thought Xiang Yi might get upset, but she just sat closer to me, holding the doll that I had given her. I was really in shock; she never cried or looked upset. When we adopted Katherine last year, it was so difficult on her and I had prepared that Xiang Yi would have a difficult time as well. Praise God that the orphanage staff were kind and prepared her for our family. We will never be able to express our appreciation for that.

Our guide took us back to the hotel and left us to relax, get to know each other, and eat dinner together, before he came back later to help me prepare for tomorrow. Xiang Yi almost immediately went to her bed where I had a Mulan Barbie and teddy bear waiting for her. Her eyes just lit up when I showed her that this was her bed. She immediately got into bed and pulled the covers over her and showed the sweetest smile. She had an expression of, “Now this is the life!” We laughed and played with Playdoh, and she loves her sticker book. She spent a good hour just taking the stickers off and putting them into the book.

We went downstairs for dinner in the hotel. I had asked our guide to ask her what she likes, and he asked her if she likes rice and steamed eggs. She said yes. So I ordered this for her and a burger and fries for me. She was amazed at the silverware and when the bread and butter came to our table I showed her how to butter her bread. She loved the butter, and would have been just fine licking it out of the container. Our food came and she picked at hers, and was eyeing mine. I gave her some French fries and showed her that you dipped them in ketchup. She loved them! She just looked so tickled to be dipping them in ketchup and eating them.

We then went up to the room and our guide met us there and helped me complete some of the forms that I will need to have for tomorrow. All the while Xiang Yi played happily with her things. I asked our guide to ask her if her legs hurt her. She said no. Praise God. Xiang Yi has a difficult time walking, and fell once tonight when she lost balance in the room. I pray that the doctors at Shriner’s Hospital will be able to find out exactly what is wrong with her legs, and help her if possible to walk more easily.

I gave her a bath, and she had no problem with me bathing her. She is a very easy going child. When I tucked her into bed, I kissed her forehead and told her "I love you" in Chinese, she looked at me in surprise. I just wanted to cry, for all of those years that she missed having that. Thank you for all of your prayers, God heard every one of them and blessed our family with this beautiful child.

With love from China, Michelle and Xiang Yi


comments

hzhina
July 16, 2007
Congratulations! She looks so happy! I know your cup runneth over! Hugs to you and Xiang Yi!
The girls and I had to check on your site first thing! Hugs to you and Xiang Yi!
The Knapes
blomberg
July 16, 2007
She is just beautiful! I love her smile! I've been looking for this post all morning. I thought about you all day yesterday. We will be praying for you both and for everyone at home. I am so excited that this day has finally come! We can't wait to meet Xiang Yi. Take care -- we look forward to following you on the rest of your journey to bring her home.

John, Stephanie, Ansley & Elisabeth
ycrabtree
July 16, 2007
Emily is a wonderful name! Gracie likes that name for Xiang Yi. Gracie has a cousin named Emily! Gracie XiaoLan really liked the photos of Xiang Yi and we are so happy to see her with her new family!! We will pray for your family especially this week to make the week go smoothly. She is so beautiful! Tell her "Ni shi tai piao liang le" (NEE SURE TIE PEE-OW LEEANG LE) This means "you are very pretty"! Love, The Crabtrees


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