I am completely(happily) exhausted, so please excuse this post if it doesn’t make any sense or has many errors.
Our flight was long, some connections delayed by hours, and a night in an airport. I have had about 3 hours of sleep in 36 hours, but it was all SO worth it the moment we arrived at the orphanage.
Rachel ran into the building ahead of us to get Giselle. There is often a “greeting party” of children on the steps, but today there was no one. It was only us. Rachel walked out, holding Giselle by the hand and introduced us as Mommy and Daddy. Giselle didn’t hesitate and walked right into my arms, snuggled in and didn’t move from there. She gave Darren some cuddles too which was great! Darren was able to video tape the moment, but I won’t be able to load it until we are home :(
I had so many scenarios running through my head about how it would go – I must confess non of those scenarios went that beautifully! It was a moment I will treasure in my memory for the rest of my life. Yes, I cried. Yes, I kissed her over and over and hugged her as tight as I dared. It was amazing to finally hold my daughter in my arms, knowing I won’t suffer from a broken heart on the way home.
We spent about 6 hours at the orphanage. She had a good long sleep in my arms, we played with some toys and just sat and cuddled a lot. We spent some time playing with the other children, eating some delicious, fresh, melt-in-your-mouth croissants. She is definitely not “herself”, but she is “normal” for what she is like for me (if that makes any sense). They say she is bossy, and can be loud. With me she is quiet and a bit sad. It’s only a matter of time though, and we will see the real Giselle.
Tonight we opted to leave her at the orphanage for her last night there. In case she has a hard time sleeping at the guest house with us, we want to be rested and ready. Tonight we are too tired, and I think the stress of today was a lot for her as well. This is the way I have always wanted to do Giselle’s transition, so I am thankful it has worked out the way I had imagined.
All in all, today has gone better than I expected. We are happy, excited for tomorrow when we can have her here at the guest house with us. It is quiet here and we can spend more one-on-one time with just her. I know she will be very stressed – remember she rarely ever leaves the orphanage, and now she will be in this unfamiliar place with strangers. Please pray that her spirit can be at peace, pray that we will have wisdom on how to engage and show love to her.
SO, SO happy that our daughter is finally ours! So excited to get to know who she is. Thank you for all your kind comments on fb, here and in our email inbox. It really is so wonderful to be able to share in our joy with you. It is a sweeter journey with all this loving support behind us.