Gemma Lu turned 5 years old on May 11. She was SO EXCITED for this birthday. We had a few other family functions (which involved cake and/or ice cream) prior to her birthday, and she always thought it was her birthday. FINALLY, it was. She had a great time! We had a "Cars" theme, which she picked out. (I asked the balloon store if they had any "Cars" balloons. They said, "No. What else does your little boy like?" LOL) She surprised me by being very methodical in opening her gifts. She didn't want to rip the paper, and she looked at every gift very thoroughly. It was cute.
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 he
Today was adoption finalization day. When we adopted Gracie, we had Gotcha Day and the adoption finalization on the same day at the same time. Now, China often gives families a 24 hour "honeymoon" of sorts. This was the exact spot when Gemma's first adoption was disrupted last November. We were afraid that she would have flashbacks to that time. Also, we had to go back to the same office where we received Gemma yesterday and where she had, ahem...a meltdown. We were really terrified that she would definitely remember the fear she expressed there yesterday. We were praying HARD all morning and all the way to the office.
Well, once again, God proved himself faithful (like I really need him to prove himself again and again, right?)! But he continues to show himself faithful and merciful--Gemma was absolutely FINE at the civil affairs office today. No flashbacks, no meltdowns, no sadness. It was as if God wiped her memory clean of that fear, just like we tried to wipe her t
Today was a great day! Gemma got a good night sleep again last night...whew! No tears today, either. Thank you, Lord! We had a lazy morning. Ate a good breakfast (these breakfasts are going to be the death of me! Seriously! I don't eat this well at home!!), fed the koi with a little more vigor today, and swam in the pool for almost 2 hours! Oops, I forgot to put sunscreen on Gemma and myself. Got a little red...my bad. But she liked the kiddie pool, so we'll probably do that again tomorrow. It's so hot and sticky here. Even with no sun, it's HOT!
Gemma is coming more and more out of her shell. She's still pretty quiet during the day, but she's playing more and more. Today she kept looking to me for approval and even with an impish little grin on her face when she was doing something silly and she wanted me to notice. She saw a picture of our family, and she pointed to Simon (baba) in the picture, and then she pointed to Simon in real life. She doesn't say