Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Happy Gotcha Day One Year!

First moment I held Sage. What a feeling!
This was Sage's roommate Evangeline meeting her daddy Jeff. I love how Sage is watching her!
Getting to know you! (must love split pants and knee socks!)

Daddy's Little 3rd Girl!

Group Dinner, much more fun w/ babies!
All dressed up
Getting mommy

One year ago, Sage's story as a Laxton truly began. Of course we knew she was a Laxton from the moment we started the adoption. But one year ago we held her for the first time. And just like the details of birth are so clear to me from Makenna, Sawyer and Malaine, the details of that day are forever on my heart. We had prayed this child through a pregnancy in another womans tummy, a delivery, an abandonment, a stay in an orphanage. We had dreamed of what she might look like, feel like, sound like and even smell like. Unlike my pregnancy's that I knew what was going on, I had no control through that wait. I had no idea of what she was living like. I was not a patient mommy for those 18 months of waiting. But on August 21st, 2006, all of that wondering and waiting was over. I held my 4th child, my 3rd daughter. I remember when they carried her out and called us, I leaned to talk to her, and she reached out for me. I remember how perfectly she felt in my arms. So tiny, so quiet and so perfect. She just stared at us w/ those dark brown almond shaped eyes, drinking in every detail. Her hair, oh how we loved that hair! Sticking straight up. Her round cheeks and her tiny bird legs. Sage, this was the Sage we had prayed and cried and waited and longed for. Our daughter, our gift.

August 21st 2006- Gotcha Day!
Hebrews 6:15
And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

How do you put into words what just happened? What did just happen? Wasn't it just yesterday I was crying my eyes out saying this day would never come? Wasn't it yesterday, God told us we were going to add to our family through adoption? Wasn't it just yesterday I said goodbye to my kids in St Louis? The Lord is faithful, He promised us that He would bring us this child, and she is here! Thank you Lord for this gift!
I woke up at 430, better than 4! Had a little hair scare, and it is so not about Sage, but I am going to write about it anyways. We have been having issues w/ the outlets, converter not working, etc.. So I could not get my flat iron to work today. And you know I totally have high maintenance hair, I have to have an iron! There was no way I was meeting my baby w/ poofy not ironed out hair! So thankfully I find that our hotel has a salon, that would open at 9. I told Mark, no matter what the cost, I am buying a flat iron from them. He freaks out saying my hair is fine, blah blah... And starts messing w/ the outlets. He managed to figure out we were using the converter wrong, and so he got that working, the flat iron working and we were good! I knew if i threatened to spend $ he would figure it out!
Ok, ok, on to why we are here... We ate breakfast at the buffet, and chatted w/ friends. How does one do normal things such as eating breakfast, using a flat iron, etc.. When your whole world is about to change? Mark and I were in our room getting ready to leave and we stopped before leaving so we could just pray together. Our heavenly Father has been so gracious to even allow us to get this far, and before we left, we knew we needed to be w/ him first. It was such a sweet moment, that I will never forget.
Our travel group of 12 families met in the lobby and then headed over to the Civil Affairs Office. A 10 minute drive. Sabrina was telling us what to expect and how to not be surprised if the babies screamed, they are not used to foreigners w/ our big noses and different smells etc.. The big noses got a big laugh! They had hired a videographer to capture the entire thing which was great! We walked upstairs and as we were going in, a group of other families were coming out w/ their new babies. Smiles and tears on both sides of us! We walked into this large room and they announced that Chenzhou babies were not there yet, but the 3 families who were w/ us that were getting Waiting Children, theirs were there. So it was VERY tearful to watch them get their children. Liz was first, w/ her 2 1/2 year old son. He is darling, but obviously very scared and cried so hard, which made us all cry even more! We were able to watch Owen meet his new little sister Finley and then the Curtis Family met Audrey. It was the most amazing thing watching these people become parents right in front of us! I was crying and they told us not to cry to much, only happy tears or we would scare the babies! Then there were people in the hall and they began carrying in babies, our babies! We all watched intently as they marched through our room to the next room. I could not pick out Sage at all. They brought the babies out one by one and called up each family. They would check each family's passport, check the Travel Approval then hand over the baby. It all happened so fast, I really don't remember much. I know they called our name, Yi Qiao, and there she was! I am not sure I can even put it into words. They handed her to me, and it was just right. She was in my arms and my heart knew that this was Sage. This is what I knew she would feel like. When they called my name, I said something to her and it was almost as if she reached for me. Then as we met her and talked to her, she would just study us so intently. No tears, not even a whimper. She just looked as if to say, So, you are my mom and dad! Thanks for finally getting here! After all the families had their babies, we went back to the bus and back to the hotel. This all happened w/ in an hour. We came in and laid Sage on the bed and just studied her. She just stared. She wanted to reach out and touch. We changed her diaper, yes she was wearing split pants, but w/ a diaper. Fed her a bottle, and she was out. While she was eating she started sweating, ALOT! I was soaked.
Isn't she beautiful! I am not sure the pictures show how dark she is. She has beautiful skin. She has a little bit of heat rash, but not bad. And that hair! She went from no hair to wild hair in 4 months! Everyone loves her hair. Even after her bath, it just sticks straight up! Great, she is going to have high maintenance hair too! Her hair is very black and her eyes really really dark. She also has long lashes. And yes, her cheeks are still as chunky as they were in her referral pictures! I love it! She is tiny, besides the cheeks. We weighed her in our room and it was rough of course, but it seemed to be about 13 pounds. Maybe 3 pounds of cheeks? Her bottom is so tiny, skinny legs, no bootie! Long skinny feet. My size 2 shoes are big. Size 2 diapers are a little big, but since you can tighten them are doing fine. Clothes, I am guessing my 3-6 I brought are going to be a good fit, and I think the 6-9 months will be ok since they are dresses, I guess we will see as we try more things on!
She was wearing another boy outfit, w/ Snoopy on it! Yes, she has on panty hose type knee socks. What is that about? We got nothing w/ her, nothing! Just handed her over and that was that. We did not get to talk to anyone from the orphanage, it is not the nannies who brought them. I am not sure if maybe tomorrow we might get anything or not. Does not really matter, we got what is important.
She is very curious and so far very happy. She does not sit up, but is close. When on her belly she scoots, and she can roll from her back to front. If I have her on the floor and I am not close, she pulled herself over to me. She is going to both of us fine. She reaches for me. I like that. And when she sees me, her face gets happy. Not quite a smile but almost.
She has had 2 bottles and sucked both of them down fast. She fell asleep during her bottle and she is out. When she was awake, she was busy and wants to touch everything. She about fell out of my arms trying to turn around and see things going on behind her. She does not seem scared of anyone yet. I realize that tomorrow could be a whole different story, but today, it has been easy. She has not cried yet. No noise at all. Quiet and inquisitive.
I wrote all of the above before dinner, so just a few more notes after dinner. We ate dinner in the hotel w/ our group. There are lots of families w/ babies here. It is fun to see! We tried to feed Sage steamed eggs at dinner. Her updated information said she was eating food. But she did not seem to know what to do w/ a spoon at all. I brought along Gerber fruit puffs and the same thing, she just looked at me like I was nuts! She barely has 2 teeth in. At dinner she began to talk a little more. She is smiling and has a little tiny laugh that is very sweet. She really watches Mark and I, studies our faces. It is as if she is saying, you are mine.
After dinner a group of us went upstairs to the hotel playroom. It is a great place w/ a wonderful view of the city. It is very interesting to watch the girls together. They do seem to like to be around each other. One of the girls, Vivian is the same age, yet she was on her knees crawling and is larger than the other 3 who were in the room. She sat and played at a toy piano, while the others are army crawling around. They are all just beautiful girls. We were only there a little while before Sage stunk up the place. That is a very good thing though! It is always a concern w/ the constipation, so we are thankful to get that out of the way.(thank you Dawn for vanilla scented trash bags!) We were worried since the girls were in split pants that maybe they were trying to put them on the potty. And they say if you don't try, it can mess them up. We were hoping to stick w/ diapers, so looks like we are good in that area.
Sage is getting more smiley as the night goes on, and I can't wait to see her unfold even more as the week goes on. We did finally hear a short cry tonight. Her bedtime bottle is supposed to be made up of formula and cereal. She could not get it out of the nipple, so while I was trying to cut it bigger, she was not happy. But she got it all down. We laid her down still a little awake and she pulled the cover up over her head. It was so sweet but made me sad. Just wondering how she slept all these nights w/ out me. What was her bedtime routine like. And what is going on in her little head right now? When she wakes up, will she look at us and think, oh great, them again? Or will she look at us and know.
Well, Mark says I better wrap it up, who is still reading to this point! Tomorrow we go and do the "official" adoption. It will be neat to see how all the babies sleep tonight! There have been tears from some, but overall I think the girls (and boy!) seem to be doing very well. Please pray that the rest of the night and week go as well! And thank you for all your prayers. I know that all of you were praying along w/ us that God would plant us on her heart, and I feel those prayers worked!
Sage is here! And I am in love.

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