Rosalie’s Forever Family Day: March 4, 2013
Here I am on March 3, when we were supposed to get Rosalie. We had just flown two hours east of Beijing and had 90 minutes to get settled into our hotel, eat lunch and prepare to meet our daughter.
I am packing up the customary gifts for her caregiver and the officials, and packing a diaper bag with any baby essentials we might need. We drove to the Civil Affairs office in Xi’an, the provincial capitol for the province of Shaanxi. Five other American families were meeting their children in Xi’an as well. The children all came from different orphanages in the province. We arrived in a small, crowded room where some people arriving already had their child waiting for them and other people waited as their child was eventually brought in. There was no order at all. In fact it was a bit chaotic with the families, children, and orphanage workers who accompanied the children. Stories were unfolding all around us, but Rosalie didn’t come. Our guide finally pulled us aside and said she was not coming.
What?!? I felt panicked.
He relayed that there had been a “miscommunication” with her orphanage and that she was still a nine hour train ride away. He said the Civil Affairs director was very upset with the orphanage director and everyone was running around trying to figure out what happened and how to get her here. Our guide was most concerned with the delay getting us off schedule because the timeframe for completing paperwork and receiving necessary government documents is very tight and we were scheduled to fly out of the province five days later. We needed those documents!
Those concerns didn’t cross my mind. I was afraid there was a more serious issue and that they were stalling or being untruthful and that we might not get her at all. Thoughts of returning home without her were flashing through my mind and I could not even fathom what that would feel like. If I could only get assurance that she was coming tomorrow I could handle the disappointment of today and be at peace. We were there for a couple of hours and I used the opportunity to be photographer/videographer for the other families. I really did enjoy being a part of those sweet first moments. By the time we left, our guide had confirmed that Rosalie would be put on an overnight train, arrive at 7am the next day and that we would meet her about 9:30. Undeniably, I was very disappointed but I believed that God had a purpose for it, even if I will never know why.
March 4, Take II
I had a lot of fears that Rosalie wasn’t really going to come and felt sick with worry the next morning. When our guide met us at the hotel I ran up to him and said, “Is she here?” He hadn’t heard yet, but soon got a phone call and confirmed that she was. I started crying with relief. This was really going to happen.
When we arrived, the room was as chaotic as the day before because all of the other families had returned to complete paperwork. Rosalie was already there, being held by her caregiver, and bundled in the traditional three layers of quilted clothing. I tearfully ran straight to her. I was prepared that she might be crying or fearful, but she just smiled and cooed and searched our strange faces endlessly. She was very charming and sweet!
We spent the rest of that day doing paperwork and we were able to get caught up with the other families by waiving our 24-hour waiting period before officially adopting her. We did this confidently, knowing there was nothing on Earth that could induce us to give her back. Rosalie has her Forever Family.