February 25, 2007 February 25, 2008
One Year Later - Happy Gotcha Day Anniversary!!! (a little late)
I'm a little late with this post but life has been a bit chaotic and our internet's been unreliable. But, better late than never. I cannot believe Jess has been with us a year. On February 25, 2007 we flew with the Goulds to Jinan expecting to receive the babies the next day. On the bus to the hotel, our guide casually told us that the babies may already be at the hotel when we get there. We were in shock. The Goulds hadn't charged their videocamera. I didn't have my extra batteries and film out. The snacks we brought for Jess were packed. They weren't there when we got there so Jason and Mike went to the bathroom while John, our guide, started to check us in. We saw a woman come in holding a baby but since there was only one child we didn't think it could be the nanny. I noticed she was holding a plastic bag with what looked like disposable cameras so I started calling to Mike & Jason who were headed back to hurry up! A few seconds later another woman walked in with another baby. John went to talk to them and sure enough, they were there for us. The next half hour or so is not totally clear for me. Jess was handed to me. I'd heard about how they keep their babies very warm so I wasn't sure whether to take her coat off. The nanny fixed that problem by taking it off for me. Jess started sobbing. At one point I remember Mike holding her when she wasn't crying and I thought what if she won't come to me? No need to worry on that count - for the next 2 weeks it was me and only me 24/7. Our guide wanted to know why we didn't have food to stop her from crying. Hmmm....maybe because we'd been told we wouldn't get the babies until the next day so everything was packed?!? We eventually got upstairs (I was dying to get out from under the nanny's watchful eye) and spent some time with Jess. There was one scene I wished I'd been able to catch on film but didn't get it quick enough of Jason with Jess sitting in front of him on the bed and he was feeding her fruit puffs. She was starting to calm down at that point. She was wearing tights, pj's, red shoes, the dress I'd sent in the care package, and an orange winter coat. I got back everything I'd sent to her except, of course, the candy. So many people said they didn't get anything back I really wasn't expecting to. The most priceless thing to me was the 2 disposable cameras that I'd sent that they filled as well as the list of questions that I'd sent and they answered. John translated them for us. We'd been told Jess could walk well. She was able to walk if someone held both of her hands but not independently. Fast forward a year later and this child is ready for gymnastics class. She runs, skips, hops, jumps, climbs. She's almost never still. I have a quilt rack in the living room that she pulls herself up on. She's going up and down stairs and is Miss Independent. When I face her on the stairs so she doesn't fall she tells me to "round" (turn around). She's been getting Early Intervention for a year and is going to be re-evaluated in May. If she qualifies at all, it'll only be for speech but I'm doubtful she'll even qualify for that anymore. This child is simply amazing! We'll be visiting Dr. Rhodes again soon (her cardiologist). Hopefully she'll let them do the echo. If not, they may have to sedate her which I'm not crazy about.
Our referral picture
The nanny with Jess, Mike and Jason
Jess and Mike in the hotel room
Taken the first morning with us. She looked so sad.
Jason and Jess when we went out to dinner for Gotcha Day anniversary
Just a cute picture of Jess. I think it was Fat Tuesday at church