Monday, August 7, 2017

One Year

A year ago, on July 18th, 2016, we had come to the end of the beginning of an incredible, whirlwind journey so full of blessings and God-winks.

Our time in China didn't leave much room for blogging (and the internet was very spotty until we got to Guangzhou), but today, one year from the day when our whole family was together for the first time, seems like a good time to replay the day that Kassi met her Mama, Kolya and I.

A year ago, Mama, Kolya and I boarded a plane (the COLDEST plane ever!!) and flew across the world to meet a little girl who was our sister and daughter - even though we'd never met. 

At 1:00 a.m. China time, we stumbled out of the baggage claim area in Zhengzhou - suitcases, backpacks and empty wheelchair in tow - and met our guide.

She told us that, instead of the afternoon meeting we had been expecting, we would meet Kassi first thing in the morning. We were told to meet her in the lobby straight after breakfast. 

After showers (necessary when one has just completed a 19-hour flight), a Skype call with the home base, and getting organized a little, we set our girl's backpack in her wheelchair - empty for the last time - and slept for a few short hours. 

The alarm rang. We ate breakfast in a jet-lagged, exhausted, nervous-but-beyond-excited daze.

The view from our hotel window of Zhengzhou - the capital of Kassi's province.
The guide went over a few details of how the paperwork process would go for Mama to take custody of Kassi for 24 hours (this happens with every China adoption - the adoption isn't final until the next day). We got into the car, wheelchair and backpack in tow. It was a short drive to the office where we would meet the girl who had held a piece of our hearts for the last few months. On the way there, the guide got a phone call. "She's already there, waiting for you!"

We pulled up in front of the building. Climbed out of the car. We were told to leave the wheelchair in the car.

We walked in the door.

And up the stairs. (STAIRS!) Mama and I looked at each other - well, this will be interesting.

The guide led us down a hallway - doors on either side. In most of the rooms we passed we saw families being united. All littles, though. As we peeked into one of the left-hand doors, we saw an older girl on the couch with her back to the door. Mama and I caught each other's eye - was this it?? The guide didn't stop, though, so we followed her briskly down the hall.

We had only gone a few feet when we heard our girl's name - "CY is here! She's right here!" We turned around to see a woman (whom we would later know was the one who sent us updates and photos, and told Kassi that we were coming!) beckoning to us, calling us back into the room we had passed.

And there she was.

There's no way that I can describe that feeling.

When she turned around and we saw the face that we had loved and prayed for for months, RIGHT much joy - and such a relief. We let out the breaths that we had been holding for those four crazy months, just so thankful to be there in time.

After a few short moments of just looking at one another (sweet Kassi was so nervous!), and talking a little, we handed Kassi the backpack we had brought. She showed us that she had her bag that we had sent in her care package, with everything all there. We looked through her photo album, pointing out ourselves and the members of the family who weren't there. Mama was called away to sign papers. Kolya showed Kassi the new things that we had brought - a coloring book among them - and we colored for a while.

We had the opportunity to speak with the director of her orphanage, and with the sweet lady who had sent us updates through WeChat (via a friend who works with Kassi's orphanage), and who told Kassi that she had a family coming.

That's the director, on the right
I spoke for a short moment with another Mama, meeting her precious boys, who told me that she had advocated and prayed for our Kassi. We can NEVER be thankful enough to the amazing community that rallied around our girl, fighting and praying for her. She is a gift and a blessing - just like those advocates knew in their hearts she would be.

The photo for the official adoption document.

Finally, we walked out that doorway. 

Sweet Kassi was wearing sandals. Strappy sandals several sizes too big that really just don't work for her feet. At all. 

But our brave girl walked down that hallway and down those two flights of stairs all by herself, so independent. 

When we got out of the car at the hotel, though, she was overjoyed to sit in the wheelchair we had brought around the world for her, on the cushion that her very own Mama had sewn for her. 

We went upstairs, and called home.  Kassi was so excited to meet her Baba, and she woke up Kellin (who had just fallen asleep). Seeing him wake up and say sleepily "oh, hi Kassi"....and then jerk fully awake and realize what he was such a sweet memory! 

We had lunch. Kassi ordered orange juice and all on her own shared it evenly with Kolya. That was HUGE! 

We drew pictures. 

Kolya took a nap (and woke up to a note from her newest big sister). 

We sent emails to family at home. 

We dressed her baby doll. We brushed our teeth. 

That night, she slept with her Mama holding her close. 

And the next day, she became a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, and cousin forever. 

Our God is so, so good. 


No comments:

Post a Comment