Whew! What a day! In the words of the wisest 7-year-old I know, today was "tough--tough but good." Having gone through a Gotcha Day before, you'd think we would know what to expect, right? Well, right and wrong. We knew she was timid, introverted, and shy; we knew she had a previous disrupted adoption; we knew she was scared of foreigners. What we didn't know was how that would all manifest itself. Well, it was something. There were lots of tears...from Gemma and from us. There were a LOT of prayers. And the biggest thing I can say is THANK GOD FOR SIMON! He was my rock, and he was Gemma's rock too, even though she didn't know it at the time.
We arrived at the Civil Affairs Office with 1 other Lifeline family. We saw Gemma before she was handed over to us, and she looked happy. After she was given to us, it was mayhem for a while. To preserve Gemma's dignity, I won't go into details. Let's just say our hearts were breaking for her. The fear in her eyes was heart-wrenching! But God is good, and as we started to leave the building, she stopped crying. She was still scared, but she wasn't hysterical anymore.
We got back to the hotel, and she let Simon carry her up to our room. We started pulling out every toy, crayon, doll, etc. that we had. She showed some interest in everything. She looked at her hair clips; she colored a page in a coloring book; she watched an episode of Ni Hao Kai-Lan. We even got a few near smiles.
Simon left to fill out paperwork, so I was left with the girls. Can I just say how proud of Gracie I am? She was visibly upset at the civil affairs office, but she totally rallied! She played with Gemma, talked to her, showed her how to do things. I LOVE GRACIE SO MUCH! Thank God she's here with us!!!!
Our driver was sent out to get a little toilet seat that Gemma is used to using at her orphanage. When it arrived, she sat right on it and went potty. But then she didn't get up. She just kept sitting there and sitting there. A couple different times the tears just started streaming down her face. WHAT TO DO??? I cried out to God with my mother's heart for him to comfort her, because I don't know how to at this point. Simon returned from the paperwork sessions, and he could tell Gemma was sad. We decided to make the girls some top ramen noodles (Gracie's fave). Gemma didn't want to eat at the table with Gracie, so I sat with her in on our bed. She fed herself really well. I think she's had to do that for quite a while at the orphanage. :*( Then Gracie brought her little tablet into the room with us and watched a Barbie movie with Gemma. Gemma was really forlorn at this point, and she kept rubbing her eyes. I didn't want her to sleep before having a bath.
I started filling the tub and told Gracie that if she got in, maybe Gemma would follow. Sure enough, Gemma came willingly to the tub. Once she got in, it's like a totally different girl emerged! We got smiles; we got giggles; we got words; she even said "hello" to us. Oh thank you Jesus for the little things! She got a little forlorn again after bath, but she willingly let me brush her teeth and lift her into her crib. So far, not a peep out of her. We'll see how the night goes. We have a king sized bed, so we'll let her sleep with us if necessary.
Gemma is a sweet, sweet girl. I love that she's introverted--so am I; so is Gracie. She is a thinker, I can tell. She even seems to have some of Gracie's attention-to-detail skills. After she was done using each colored pencil, she put it back in the box facing the way Gracie had originally put it in the box. She copied Gracie in the tub--filling her cup with water; splashing it over herself and her sister; rubbing her arms with the washrag. I can't wait to see more and more of her emerge.
Thank you all SO MUCH for your diligent prayers on our behalf...we have coveted each and every one of them. And we still ask that you pray! God will heal her little heart in his perfect timing, of this we are sure.
Driving to the Civil Affairs Office
Having a 'nack (as my nephew Owen would say)