Sunday, October 28, 2007

We have her!!!

We woke up to clear skies this morning and arrived in Nanchang at 2:40 this afternoon. We arrived at our hotel at 3:30 and Rylee arrived about 20 minutes later. She was looking very timid and not at all happy when she walked into the room with two orphanage workers and the assistant director all speaking to her at once. She looked at Pat first, looked very solemn at me and then at Hanna. She turned back to Pat and lifted her arms and said "Baba", she stuck to him and only to him for about the next half hour. I could tell all the women were telling her to got to Mama, but I did not push her at all. She sat on Pat's lap and let out such deep serious sighs as if she new that she was here and she may as well just accept it. She studied everything we did very intently. Hanna pulled out a few toys and played with her a little bit. Slowly she slipped out of Pat's lap and followed Hanna into the bedroom. Hanna showed her the crib and the monkey slippers that we had placed under the bed. Then she got out the matching pajama's that we had gotten for the girls. Then they walked out of the bedroom so that Hanna could show me that Rylee was holding her hand. I was keeping my eye on them while I was asking the orphanage workers questions about Rylee. I could see Rylee by the bed studying the pj's and she started tugging at her shirt. I told Hanna that Rylee wanted to put the pj's on so they went into the bathroom and came out in their matching pj's. Rylee was so thrilled to show them to everyone and she was smiling a little more.

Then she tugged Hanna back into the bedroom and came teetering right back out with the slippers on (I don't think she ever wore anything so thick on her feet). From that point on she started mimicking Hanna. When Hanna would say something Rylee would copy her. She followed Hanna everywhere or pulled her where ever she wanted to go. The did stickers and played with some of the toys we had brought. They came to show me the page they had made with the stickers and I gave Hanna a big hug and Rylee tugged her away from me. She just kept studying me the whole time, arching away from me if I came too close. I just spoke softly to her whenever she was close and lightly touched her whenever I was close enough. The staff taught Rylee how to use the American potty before they left because she has never seen one that is the American style toilet. The next time she had to go, she took Hanna with her. She got more and more comfortable and was smiling a lot and looked much more relaxed. She LOVES Hanna and by the time the orphanage staff decided they would leave she called out "bye bye" waved at them and never let go of Hanna's hand. A while later after we were done with the paperwork and it was time for our guide to leave Rylee again said "bye bye" waved and gave her a big smile. I played with her some, showed her some of her clothes and we tried a couple of things on. She is tall and thin with very tiny feet. The shoes we brought were way too big! I tried the new Dora shoes on her but they were so big, I took them off to put her old shoes back on since they fit her but she let me know that she did not want those old shoes on, she most definitely wanted to wear her new ones no matter how big they were!

She was doing so well we decided to go to dinner instead of room service (which is what we had planned). As soon as we started to go toward the door she got very solemn again. She took my hand and kind of pulled back. I told her it was okay and asked her to come. She kept looking back at the room and looking at us. I think she thought we were going to take her back and she looked so sad. I picked her up and she let me carry her to the elevator. Once we got in the elevator she got distracted by the mirrors and pointed and said "Hanna" and then pointed to herself and said "Xiao Bao", a few giggles slipped out. Once we got downstairs she let me fix her plate for her and nodded yes or shook her head no for things she did not want. I tried to put some cucumbers on her plate and she protested, I was still going to put one on there but she actually tugged on my arm and emphatically shook her head no! She wanted and ate things I did not recognize and never would have put on her plate. She ate everything on her two plates plus some of Hanna's ice cream, something she obviously had never had before, but loved! She also tucked an orange and some small apple like fruits into her new purse before we left.

She took food from me and let me feed her a few things, but she is fully capable of feeding herself and is a very neat eater. The few times she dropped a piece of food on the table she quickly looked at us, picked the food up off the table and placed it back on her plate. There was not a drop of food on her part of the table when she was done. She studied us intently and copied the way we ate. If we used a fork on something, she used a fork. If one of us wiped our mouth or fingers with a napkin, she did too.

Hanna and I brought Rylee back to the room while Pat waited for the bill. I gave Rylee a bath and tried to get as much of the layers of dirt off of her hands and feet that I could. I got her ready for bed and tucked her in the crib and Hanna and I laid down beside it in the bed. Rylee gave us all hugs and kisses before she laid down. She just laid there, but I could tell there was no way she was going to sleep yet, so I let her lay in the bed with us. Hanna was coloring and Rylee wanted the pen. She took the pen and started writing small markings on the paper. She wrote them all the way down the paper and kept going until she had filled the page. She was very meticulous and it really looked like she was trying to write Chinese characters. She was so proud to show me what she had done and then she went out to show Baba. She is talking a lot and can understand Mandarin, but she speaks a dialect. We have had no trouble understanding her, and if we are unsure Hanna tells us what she wants or needs.

Hanna also explained to me what was going on during the My Little Pony cartoon that was in Chinese! I also found out today that Rylee had been in foster care for the first three years of her life and has been in the orphanage for the last year. She was really close to her foster dad and not so much to the mom. She has also been going to kindergarten and the director wanted to make sure that we put Rylee in school soon.

Back to getting to bed - Rylee was kind of laying on me but eyeing Hanna and she stood up on the bed walked over to Hanna, said "tickle tickle" as she rubbed her hand over Hanna's ribs and then doubled over in complete and total belly laughter. After she caught her breath she did it again and again, each time laughing so hard she could not even stand up! It was so hilarious that we all were laughing! She is adorable, sweet, a bit timid and so very brave! When I finally got her settled down she was laying between me and Hanna. She kept feeling my face in the dark and then Hanna's, finally she grasped my hand, wrapped my arm firmly around her and tucked my hand around her belly and drifted off to sleep. It has been an amazing day!


  1. Wow! What an amazing day! She is a beautiful little girl and what a great smile!


    Kimberly (from the MayDTC group).

  2. Oh my god!! You made it you are all so beautiful! Rylee welcome to our family!! Aunt Annette

  3. Ni Hao, Dawn and family!!!

    I am so very excited for you and so glad to hear that Rylee had no problems with the transition!!! What a happy girl! Campbell is sitting on my lap as I type this...I showed her Rylee's picture (the one in the yellow outift sitting on the planter) and I asked her if she knew who the little girl was. She said, "that's me". So, we had a long talk about Rylee.

    I look forward to following the rest of your journey!

    God Bless,
    Laura Marusa & family
    Spring, TX

  4. Oh, Dawn!!! Your family's gotcha day is so sweet. Thank you for sharing. Your daughters are beautiful. It is so precious that Rylee loves Hanna so much. God bless, Tonya Lindsey

  5. congratulations!! She is so beautiful!!! It is soooo common for the kids to go to one parent or the other at first!! You are all doing such an awesome job with her!! I love her smiles!!!!!!!!!!

  6. I am so glad it is going so smoothly- you ALL deserve it soo much. I had no choice but to cry while I was reading this. All four of you make such a truely happy looking family. I love you all so very much and I am sooooo happy for you!!

  7. That is so incredibly precious. Ohhh my heart is just melting and excited for the day I will be writing our first day story. She is just precious and adorable. My eyes are shimmery with tears. I am so joyful for you and the hope she now has. I look forward to watching her bloom! She is already wonderful. What a doll. :0) Angel

  8. Just found your BLOG through Angels...What a AWESOME day to find it...Rylee is a DOLL and so is Hanna...boy are they goint to be BEST OF SISTERS...your story made my day...Hugs Candy, Kya Blu and Jagger

  9. Oh My Gosh! :) Your family is so blessed!! :) I have tears in my eyes as I read your gotcha day! Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your day, it so encouraged me!!!

    God bless,


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