3:15 am, China time
First: what is going on in my heart now:
Hi y'all. As I type this, during Cara's nightly "awake time" (usually about 2am-5:30am), we are only SEVEN hours away from holding our little miracle! I bet you are thinking, "I wonder what Jamie and Doug are feeling like?" I interviewed Doug just now and he said that, he "feels the same excitement" of when I was in labor with Cara. Giddy excitement, tinged with a splash of nervousness.
How do I feel? I wish I knew. During every really major event of my life: when Doug proposed, our wedding day, when I was told that it was "go time", it was time to push Cara out, I felt waves of strange calmness, pensiveness, and almost that "out of body experience". All those times, like these, I wasn't in control at all. Whatever happened, and will happen today, I firmly believe, is already known by God Himself. I wonder if Katie will be crying all day. I wonder if Cara will be super jealous and not want to comfort her. I wonder if she'll even laugh or smile ONCE today. I wonder if Katie will let us cuddle her or if she will completely resist my attempts at soothing her. I can't know, and last night I was as quiet as a mouse, just thinking. Everything is about to change for each of us TODAY. I feel this tension in my heart that this morning is a indescribably joyful time for us, but I cannot, as a mother, neglect to notice the painful feeling in my heart that Katie IS grieving, will be very confused, and will be experiencing intense feelings that I absolutely cannot "fix", as much as I want to, and that I "can't wrap my mind around", as hard as I try.
I know with certainty that the Lord will accomplish His purposes for today, with or without my trust in Him. I am choosing to trust fully in Him, and know that HE made Katie, HE is with her as she does her "last sleep" without her mama, that HE is the one who can slowly and beautifully heal her brokenness. HE is the Savior, not me. I really believe (although many of you reading this may not believe this, and that is your right to your own beliefs), that we did not really choose Katie from a group of orphans, The Lord chose her for us, and us for her, before she was even born, just as he knew Cara would exist, and be our baby too.
I'm amazed that this TWENTY-TWO month wait, (since we made the initial decision to pursue adoption instead of conceiving, and I started babysitting Joey full-time to save up money), and this 4 YEAR wait for Katie is going to reach it's completion in seven short hours.
Yesterday we took an enjoyable hour-long train ride to Shijiazhuang, the capital city of her province, Hebei. We ate a Korean bulgogi lunch and went grocery shopping with our new translator and guide, Emma, age 24, and the adoption coordinator, Mrs. Wang, age 31. They are both very kind and likable and Emma even watched a movie with Cara in the room while I unpacked and carefully organized everything out of all of our luggage, since we will be here in this city all week until Friday, when we fly to Guangzhou for another week of appointments (and fly home as a family of 4 on May 15th!)
In Beijing, we saw a couple Westerners each hour. Here, we have seen NONE. We are probably the first blonde people some of these locals have ever seen. No one has requested photos yet here but ALL have stared, followed us around stores, whispered, and told Emma how beautiful Cara is. In Beijing, Dennis told us it was because she is a "jin fa": "golden hair", and the "ideal child". Whew, that's so strange for me. Ironically, I know Katie will get a bunch of attention in the U.S. for being adopted from China. If they are staring now, just wait until they see Doug and me with BOTH girls!
Today, we meet and receive Katie at 10:30 am or so. They told us that we aren't going to the civil affairs office to meet her (we'll go there tomorrow morning, Tuesday, to sign all the adoption papers). We will meet her in our hotel lobby briefly, then we will bring her back to our hotel room so as not to "disturb the hotel guests with her crying". Oh man.
I have pictures from yesterday, but I will add them later to this post. I'm in "emotional labor" right now and just have to focus! LOL, today, I might even have to employ "Lamaze" breathing. Kidding! Wait, maybe. Hmmm. lol
For those of you have never seen it, I would encourage you to watch Katie's video. We made it 6 months ago for our fundraising "Katie's Dinner". At the end, it says "6 more months"... now it's closer to 6 more hours!!! Here's the link again: http://www.kizoa.com/slideshow/d6703135kP144326994o4/katies-dinner-video-119
THANK YOU for all the continual prayers, astounding love and support you have all poured out on us, and your enthusiasm. THANK YOU for cheering us on. I feel like so many of you are living this vicariously through me, and I don't feel alone.
Today, it may be hours after we get her that we will have a chance to post anything. I will try but it's more important to me to calm my baby and bond. You should see pictures, if not a brief blogpost, by the time you go to work Monday morning. :) I know just how much you want to see pictures, I was the exact same way for Greg and Allison Despres' adoption 3 years ago of Sienna. Every morning they were in China, I'd wake up and immediately open my laptop to go to their blog for more pictures. Every morning was like Christmas morning. I didn't know it, but the Lord was softening and preparing my heart to not just be an outside observer, but to actually decide that adoption was our path too! I'm praying that for so many of you. I can "tell" whose hearts God is developing a dream and passion in as well, even some of you who are in your fifties. Many empty-nesters go on to adopt from China. If our story inspires even ONE of you to "go for it", I will be thrilled. I know it's not for everyone, but fear should never prevent us from following our God-given dreams. I'm praying for you all as you continue following our journey!
MUCH love! Jam