March 3, 2013
"For once you have seen the moon from the other side of the world, it changes your life forever."
Today on March 3rd, 2013 at approximately 3:00 pm, we met our guide Sherri and drove 25 minutes to the Civil Affairs office to meet our sweet baby. Anticipation was high and we actually spent most of the drive sitting quietly looking out the window, taking in the city of Xi'an. Our guide Sherri told us the Civil Affairs office was moved to a building that is still be renovated. We would be one of the very first families to complete an adoption there, including the 5 other families who would be united with their children.
We pulled into the parking lot of the building, Sherri announced she was texting with Lottie's Nanny and she would arrive around 3:30, it was 3:25. I was so nervous, how would she take to us, would she cry or even worse scream. This is our first time being parents, although we have read every book and prepared and dreamed for this moment it was so surreal, almost like an out of body experience As we walked into the building it was clearly brand spanking new-the main lobby was still in the midst of construction, we found the elevator and began to go up to the fourth floor. Sherry received a text, they were already here and in the office. We quickly shuffled out of the elevator tears already forming trying to pass cameras around and get ready, for as soon as we walking into the office, she would be there waiting for us. Now I was really nervous! We walked into a small office, there were only a few people in the room, and only one baby. I instantly recognized the Nanny from pictures and videos we received, she was holding Lottie.
As we walked in she said MaMa and BaBa and pointed to us, we slowly walked up to her, tears flowing, and legs shaking I grabbed her hand trying not to snatch her out of the Nanny's arms and scare her, but the Nanny insisted and handed her right over. I braced myself for the water works, this would be natural as this sweet 18 month old baby is handed over to complete strangers, but they never came. Instead smiles and giggles. Lottie put her forehead on mine ans starred into my eyes, she took her tiny hand and touched my cheeks, my neck and my arms. She studied me, as I did her. She was more beautiful in person. Her eyes so deep they speak to your soul. Her lips gorgeous, her porcelain skin and her tiny button nose. Scott and my Mom who Lottie will call Lola (Chinese word for Maternal Grandma is Lao Lao, so it's close) just circled around us in amazement. She was hesitant to go to Scott and the Nanny said she has never been held my a man and would be fearful. She glanced at him and studied him from afar. But within moments reached out her arms and went into her Baba's arms.
Honestly the rest is kind of a blurr, more families began to trickle into the office and more babies were being united with their forever families, but sadly we didn't catch all of those moments as were were transfixed on our beautiful baby girl. The entire process from start to finish (not including the paperwork, that is completed the next day) was done with in 25 minutes and we found ourselves carrying out this overstuffed baby girl (she was bundles in 2 layers of thick clothing) to the streets of Xi'an. Lottie never looked back, she held tightly to my arms and snuggled into my neck. I know its crazy to say, but it is as if she knew who we were and she wasn't afraid. God handpicked this beauty to be our daughter as he handpicked us to be her parents. The feeling as we left the Civil Affairs office, was one of peace and as if we had been together forever.