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April 05, 2006

Seven months post "Gotcha"!

Here we were seven months ago. We waited in a hot, humid, room until it was time for the babies to arrive then we went into another room where Gwen was the first child to enter.

They put her in my arms and she just cried her little heart out! She was scared to death and if I'd understood her cry (like I do now!) it would have broke my heart. I knew she'd be scared but I didn't have a maternal reaction to her fear like I do now. She was just a crying baby and I was just a new mom trying to calm her. We were BOTH very foreign to eachother.

I didn't cry that day but I look back on the video now and I always cry. The child in the video isn't a stranger to me anymore. She's *my* precious daughter now and I know her as well as I know myself! When she hurts, I hurt! Obviously, Gotcha day was traumatic for her but I couldn't understand how much it rocked her world until I got to know her better. She's only cried like that two or three times since that day. My poor little sweetie!

She cried so hard for the first 90 minutes that the Orphanage Director came to us with a translator to reassure us that "...she always smiles". We'd not seen it so we weren't sure but we smiled and nodded and went back to trying to calm our hysterical little 14 month old daughter.

As soon as she got a bottle and a nap and woke up in our hotel room, she was the Gwendolyn we know so well. She's delightful and we're blessed to be in her life.

We're a family now and I can't remember a time when Gwenny wasn't with us. The Director of her SWI was right. She is happy all of the time. Even when she's sick. Even when she's tired.

It's exciting to imagine what the next 7 months will hold. We expect that there'll be a sister here in 5 to 7 months and we expect that we'll have an "explosion" of language (finally). We've been waiting for that as it always seems to be right around the corner! She has a vocabulary of about 15 words and she obviously feels content that she can make all of her needs known with such a limited vocabulary! Strangely enough, she knows an equal number of animal sounds! So maybe she's keeping her options open in case a nice gaggle of Geese come along and want to adopt her?

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