Baby Amara is here!

Today was the day. It was a whirlwind…both wonderful and exhausting. We walked into the civil affairs office at 9:30 am and became parents again. Amara is baby 001, meaning she is the first child to be adopted out of Hunan Province in 2013, a lucky number we were told. We were the first family there, so it was very quiet, not at all what I had expected. Although by the time we left there were 6-7 families and plenty of noise, it was silent while we waited. Eventually they brought her in and handed over our beautiful girl. She was so bundled up, she looked huge. Later we learned that almost no one has heat in the province, so she wears everything they have for her! We were extraordinarily grateful that she took an immediate liking to Mark which meant he was able to keep her happy for most of the time we were there. We got to ask the orphanage director a bunch of questions about her and processed a bunch of paperwork. It was all sort of a blur, but eventually we were able to leave and head back to the hotel for a bit.

Because the civil affairs office is busy the rest of the week, we had to go back again a few hours later to finish the paperwork that normally we would have done later in the week. Amara was so tired at this point that she promptly feel asleep in Mark’s arms in the van. Fortunately the second trip to the office was fast and we were all back in the hotel room quickly and ready for another nap. All three of us passed out and slept for over an hour.

Apparently a good nap was what she needed, b/c since waking up she’s been warming up to me and we’ve had some good play and cuddle time. We are extremely thankful that at least for today the transition has gone smoothly. We’ve already had a few smiles and squeaky laughs! Right now Mark and I are holding our eyelids open with toothpicks while we wait for her to be tired enough to put down.

It’s been an amazing and surreal day! Now we’re just counting down the days till she gets to meet the greatest big sister ever.

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