Wow what a couple of days! I am again typing on my IPhone email, so excuse any typos and if I don't go into great detail...
Yesterday was Gotcha Day for us and Eden and the rest of the families here with us- I woke up with butterflies in my tummy because you never quite know to expect- logistically (will she already be at the place we are meeting her or we will arrive and wait on her?) or emotionally (how will she react, how will we react?) and you realize your life is about to change forever....it's a whole lot to take in, and of course we know that since we have done this three other times...but still, all the nerves and racing thoughts are there every-time!!
We met Eden in a very large and nice government building on the 20 something floor. She was already there, along with her nannies/orphanage workers. She initially walked right over to us (as you can see from the video on Facebook) and seemed like she was going to be calm- but as time went on the tears started flowing big time. She didn't hit or kick or spit like Emmie did, but she didn't want to be with us and was just grieving so hard- crying and crying. You could tell she was trying to be brave as her nanny would point to us and tell her that we were her mama and baba, but it was just too much for her. Even through the tears she let us embrace her, which we felt was a huge step in the right direction. I just held her and patted her back gently trying to console her. The paperwork that had to be completed took a while, and I just remember thinking "could we please leave?"And of course the orphanage workers mean well, but they stayed the entire time which certainly didn't make things any better.
She had calmed down somewhat when we got in the van and she sat in my lap- the traffic was horrible and it took us almost an hour to make it back to the hotel- Eden fell asleep which was both good and bad- good because I knew she was emotionally exhausted. Bad because I knew she would be so disoriented when she woke up in a hotel room. Well, all "you know what" broke loose when she woke up- loud and violent screaming and banging the floor, etc. She ran to the window, the door, wherever she could to escape. It was very reminiscent to how Emmie reacted. We decided to not leave our hotel room with Emmie so this time around we thought we might try something different and venture out, as the one thing she wanted was to leave that room, and the other couples were going to dinner with their babies, so we thought we would try to also....that lasted until we sat down in the restaurant and they asked us to leave or at least go somewhere else because of Eden's crying :) So we left and ordered room service.
Eden refused to eat or drink and I was getting a little concerned as I knew a hungry and weak child would only add to the difficulty of the grief she was experiencing. We decided to turn on the tv and see if a familiar cartoon would help soothe her, as nothing else seemed to be helping. She refused to play, eat, drink, or anything else. Believe it or not, that did help to calm her, and after Zack and I finished eating, he went on a quick Wal-Mart run with the other dads, thinking maybe some familiar formula she had been used to drinking might do the trick. I got her ready for bed ( which I was very nervous about and totally unsure how it would go) and went through the same routine we go through at home- brush teeth, story time, prayers....amazingly she let me hold her in my lap and read to her- she held her two favorite animals the entire time :) Then I just laid her down with her animals and blanket we brought, laid down beside her, and off to sleep she went....for the entire night!
You have no idea how thankful we are for that because we were exhausted in every way. I have to say, there is nothing quite like being in another country where hardly anything is familiar and meeting your child who is also unfamiliar in basically every way. I think you experience about every emotion possible all in one day, and I can only imagine what her little heart and mind and must have been feeling. It is a helpless feeling to watch your child grieve and to not be able to comfort them. It is just draining.
We have no doubt that what gets us through are the prayers of God's people and the Holy Spirit living in us and giving us strength and grace. You will never know how much your prayers have meant and how seeing those comments on Facebook encourage us. Please keep them coming!
I would love to talk about our day today, as we have seen some awesome progress with Eden, thanks be to God, but I am just spent and ready for bed :) So I will try and work on that in the morning. Goodnight and keep praying!!
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