Well I wanted to blog last night as all my memories of my day from Dongguan would be fresh but sleep prevailed!! As soon as we got back I chatted with the kids briefly and Linnea and I were down for the count!! So now I am up early and will revisit my day and then get ready for our consulate appointment.
As DP already mentioned we started our day out with the Medical Exam check on the TB test and a visit to the zoo. I woke up with a headache. That is my way of processing stress - so I of course took some advil right away. I was just nervous and I was a little concerned about the TB test check as Linnea's arm looked a little suspicious to me - but I worried for nothing as she was just fine!! The zoo was a good distraction and Linnea loves to be outside and she likes animals from a distance so it was fun. Around 12:30 we headed to Dongguan with Miko (our guide and now dear friend.) Our van driver was kind as well and stopped at a KFC for us to grab a quick lunch. I will have to do another post on eating here it is always an experience!! At this point I still had a headache and the drive to Dongguan was not helpful - so glad I had taken some motion sickness meds as it was quite the bumpy ride!!! We arrived at Jenny's place safe and sound and me with sweaty hands!! Bless DP he offered to do the whole visit for me - but really this was something I wanted to do and I knew if I didn't do it I would be regretting it. So we all got upstairs and got settled and Linnea and daddy played while I took my turn to visit with the family. Jenny, myself, and Miko headed down to the lobby and found a good spot to sit and then Jenny went to get Rose and the foster family. At this point Miko gets out her tissues and gives me some and herself some and tells me I am going to need them. It was funny because I told her I didn't think I would cry as I was too nervous. Ha ha!! Miko knew best!!!! Rose and the foster family came in - and they actually had a baby with them. They told us it was a relatives. Jenny had told me that it would be okay to hug the family (hugging is not the norm in China) and that Miko would explain that - but the mom really didn't want a hug and that was okay. They came in and sat down and right away the foster mother began to cry - this was very hard on her. And that is when my tissues from Miko came in handy - because as her cries got heavier so my tears began to shed. I cannot begin to remotely imagine what she was feeling. I had known from previous pictures that this family adored Linnea! For pete's sake I was worried they would run off with her!! I could clearly see in those moments of her grief why I felt the way I did. With my whole heart I believe if they were able to adopt children they would do it. The mother expressed to me that she felt sadness every time she had to let go of a foster child. They have been parents to two other foster children. As we were all crying - I had Miko tell her that I promised to love her and take care of her (Linnea) always. Jenny had Miko ask them what a favorite memory that had of Zhongsha (Linnea's chinese name - Shasha is her nickname.) The foster mother couldn't say much as she was emotional but the father told me that she loved to go outside and she would follow him outside and if he wanted to come back in Shasha would cry cry cry. At one point the mother did tell me that when Linnea would watch tv and she would see a white lade on the commercial she would point to her and say "mama." Oh how my heart was melting. They also told me that she could say mama and baba which is daddy in chinese. I had asked her a couple of other questions related to speech and she told me it wasn't time for her to learn those things yet - I thought that was pretty funny. Rose told me that most of the time Shasha is quiet but that when she would take her out - she would stand up in chairs and climb on the table - I laughed at this as well and told Rose I knew she wasn't really all that quiet as she has become quite the ham!! Rose is such a special young lady!!! She was in and out of the foster home on numerous occasions and knew Linnea just as well as her foster parents - maybe a little better. I am so thankful for her investment in Linnea's life. Rose did allow me to hug her and thank her and my emotions were overflowing. The foster mother wanted to make sure Linnea was eating well and going to the bathroom well. I did find out that Linnea is not a meat eater which helps explain a lot of her eating habits. She also told me that when we get home I need to give her formula. She is very concerned about her wellbeing and I am so thankful for this!! We didn't want to drag out the meeting with the family as the mom was having a hard time - so Miko told her about that I had a gift for her and asked if she would go ahead and open it - another thing Chinese people do not do is open gifts in front of one another. So she opened the necklaces and allowed me to put them on her. One of them was a photo pendant and the other was her Chinese name. I think she really loved the photo pendant. Miko said she thinks she was so surprised to get this and that the meeting was "so perfect." I thanked them again profusely and then we had a few pictures made and then I went back upstairs to be with Linnea so David could go and meet the family. When I got back upstairs to my little girl I hugged her oh so tight and cried a few tears. How thankful I am to be her mother - really there are no words that can adequately describe how I was feeling in those moments so I am not even going to try. So so so glad I had the opportunity to do this - as it truly was priceless. The rest of the day was just as exciting as the first part but my ladybug is awake so I guess I will have to post a part 2!!