Our Dear Daughter
It has been an incredible day for our family. Norah is a wonderful child and I am not just saying that because she is our daughter.
We got to the resgition office before Norah arrived which gave Lori and I time to gather our thoughts. We had gotten some gifts from friends and family that we brought to the Registration office in Henan.
Norah was the first one through the door, and we recognized her right away. The lady caring Norah handed her to Lori after only 20-30 seconds and all was well. Norah looked at Lori with fascination and as Lori showed her the bear her grandma had sent her. Lori asked me where Norahs hearing aids were. I told her I did not know but we would find out. So Norah is 100% deaf right now because they told us she only had hearing aids when she was at the deaf school, and they didn’t work very well, so she didn’t take them to her foster family. So they hoped that we would have her checked out when we get her back to the USA.
Well yes we knew that she may come to us with out hearing aids but hoped that she would have them even if they didn’t work very well because she must be scared as hell right now. Then it was my turn and Lori set her down so she could see me and I came well armed with cereal. I talked to her awhile then I brought out the big guns I had brought some cheerios from the breakfast bar at the hotel. When she saw them she started eating like she hadn’t eaten in days, but she was not so hungry that she wasn’t willing to share with Dear old Dad. Lori was shooting video of us feeding each other and laughing our heads off. We had thought about leaving the video camera at home and just shooting a lot of photos, but I wanted a backup in case the camera wasn’t working. I am so glad I brought the video camera the video is priceless.
Lori sat on the flour with her and we got out a magic doodle we had gotten from Linda J who had to express it to us because of a wrong address the first time she sent it. Everyone started getting books of photos and the things they sent their children in care packages. We did not get anything back. I asked and they told us the care package we sent never made it, Norah had never seen us before in her life, not even in photos. But she thought we were pretty darn good play mates…..
Up until it was time to go then all bets were off. She didn’t want to have anything to do with either of us and was arching her back as far as she could and bawling, reaching for the orphanage workers. We left the building and went to walk to the photo lab where she was too get her photo for her passport. We were the second people in line and all the families had to stand outside. There was still no consoling her she was trying her darnest to get away from us. When it was our turn to get the photo we went into the booth with the photographer and Norah wailing, kicking and arching. We were just going to try to get the photo when she caught her breath in-between screams when the Nanny, I think, tried to come in to help, this was less then helpful, and we asked her to leave. When the photographer got the shot he could accept we got up and our giuide told us to wait out side it would only take about twenty minuets to get all the photos done, well we were only ten minuets from the hotel so we told her we were heading back to the hotel by ourselves rather then wait outside for twenty minuets because we could not set Norah down. When we did she would try to run away. So we headed off to the hotel Norah wailing and arching and climbing us for the first eight minuets of the walk. We had to stop every once in awhile to give her a drink because she was sweating up a storm and bundled in four layers of clothing.
I guess after all the kicking and screaming she did she figured we were not going to give up so she started weasing down and held our hands and we walked to the hotel together.
Since she was calming down we stopped off at the hotels water fountain, and the Koi pond inside the hotel, then it was up to our room.
When we entered the room she spotted the couple of things we and set out ahead of time, and we all began to play again and she has the most wonderful laugh. We went out for a walk around the hotel and found the pool and the ping pong tables. She got some ping pong balls to take too the room and I offered to pay for them but they just smiled and said no it was ok to just take then. The ping pong balls and tcardboard tube from the wrapping papper were a BIG hit. Why did we pack actual toys? All we need now is a Big cardboard box.
She screwed the cap back on her drink then turned it over to show us that it won't spill. The funny thing was she did it with the flourish of a magician showing off a big trick.
We headed back to the room for some serious coloring time. She has to put all her crayons back in the box and they MUST all face the same way, she defiantly likes to have things in order. Because we were making progress we decided to see how she would do at the buffet from our hotel. She not only did very well she loved some of the dishes we gave her and spit others into Lori’s hands.
We have already started to use sign language with her and she is a quick study, she has signed YES, WATER, and DAD a couple of times. I would be willing to bet she picks up MORE and WATERMELON really quick. Watermelon is her favorite but the cheescake, let me tell you I handed the little dish to Lori and Norah grabbed it and started shoveling it in as quickly as she could. So we got another lirttle dish for her and she did the same thing.
After lunch we hit the park behind our hotel.
I had to go to do paper work for the adoption before I left I ran some water for Lori to see if she could give Norah a bath. It worked, by the time I got back from paper work she was walking the halls with her, back in her orange jacket but with clean pjs on. She wants to keep her jacket on all the time, her shoes too. Lori and I had discussed this before we left for China and if holding onto the only things in her world that she recognizes gives her even a little security then she can wear her jacket and shoes as along as she needs to.
She is willing to go to us both and take both of our hands play and crack-up with both of us at this point but after dinner we got back from the park she showed preference for Lori, but still asks me for help going to the bath room, and to fetch her ping pong bolls from under the bed, and play dolls with her.
When she started to notice the sun was going down she started doing everything she could to stay awake, not know if when she wakes her life would change again. We turned on the lights in our room because. deaf children already are missing sound if you take away another one of her senses would not do any one any good. Lori got in a cat nap as me and Norah played on the bed for about an hour. Then Norah got up walked around to Lori’s side of the bed and started to cry. She cried herself to sleep at first then had a very bad dream, for obvious reasons, but then when we woke her up to use the bathroom after that she was able to snuggle up VERY closely to Lori and go back to sleep peacefully as long as she has a hand on Lori at all times while she is asleep.
She is a happy child and smiles and laughs often, it is just going to take us some time to let her know we are her last stop. This is it girl, we are your family we love you very much and will never let you go. We know you don't understand what is going on or why but in time you will see we are your forever family.