Three years ago today, I sat in my house and waited for the FedEx guy to show up with the envelope containing the precious photos and paperwork of the child we'd been referred a day earlier. Every time I heard anything remotely sounding like a FedEx truck, I jumped up and ran to the door! By 5PM, I'd responded to several false alarms: the trash truck, the #31 City Transit bus, the yard trimmings collection truck, and the mailman - but no FedEx guy.
When he did finally arrive, I ran to the door just in time to see the envelope at my feet and the FedEx truck pulling away from the curb. I actually chased this nice FedEx guy down and made him back up the truck and get out and pose for this picture! I told him he was "delivering" our baby girl (in that envelope) and he needed to pose for a photo! He seemed very happy to play a part in this wonderful journey.
I carried the envelope into the room of our house that we used as our home office and sat down at my desk. I turned the FedEx envelope over in my hands and thought about how much our life would change as soon as I opened it. I was so excited to meet our daughter! To finally put a face with the child we'd dreamed about for so long!
I carefully peeled the strip off the back of the envelope to expose the contents. I saw a little peek of some white papers inside so I drew a deep breath and reached in and pulled out the forms.
The three photographs you see in the photo collage at the top of this post were clipped to the front of the papers I held.
I'll never forget that moment! I looked at my Gwenny's lovely little face and a little gasp involuntarily left my lips. She was SO darling! I smiled and my eyes welled up with happy tears because this baby was the most precious little girl I'd ever seen!
I called Daddy so I could be with him on the phone when the photos loaded and he saw our girl for the first time. He was so thrilled! He said "She's beautiful!"
It sounds cliche but we really were in love from that first moment. We could hardly wait to travel to Guangzhou and scoop her up!
That was three years ago and look how much our baby has changed! She's 14 inches taller, 28 pounds heavier and just look at all that hair!
Gwen has a really special personality. Here are some cute things we've noticed about her:
- She used to call ketchup "kchepy" and it sounded so sweet that we still call it that even though she can now pronounce it correctly.
- When she sees something miniature, she always puts on a really sweet baby voice and says "That's sooo cute!" She learned this from Mommy who loves baby things but she thinks this affection should also be applied to anything that is smaller than usual. Last night, she noticed a Diet Pepsi bottle that was small and picked it up and hugged it close to her cheek and said "Look Mommy! It's soooo cute!"
- She just turned four last month and she's absolutely brilliant but she'll only perform a task if it's on her terms. No amount of guilt or reward or threat will change this! She knows all her ABC's and phonics and can sound out words (read!) but she staunchly refuses to put her own shoes on.
- She loves beige colored food: Chicken nuggets, grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, chow mien noodles, popcorn, bananas, pancakes, pop tarts. She won't eat anything else unless it's been squished through the juicer and mixed with something in her sippy cup. Fortunately, she'll happily accept anything she can slurp through her sippy cup (as long as she can't see what she's drinking).
- She'll let me decorate her gorgeous hair with anything I want but won't wear makeup, face paint, or jewelry of any sort. Unlike her sister Madeline, she's not picky about her clothes.
- She has only three bottom front teeth where everyone else has four. This is just the way God made her. There's a really good chance that her birth-mom or birth-dad was this way too. There's a 65% chance that she'll also be missing the corresponding permanent tooth. Either way, this isn't a big deal as it's not noticeable at all.
- She's extremely coordinated and will climb and jump from every surface possible. She never falls.
- Almost from the first moment we met her, she's been obsessed with sticks. She seeks them out everywhere we go and has incredible "stick radar" to immediately locate anything even remotely matching the characteristics of a stick.
- She loves to cuddle and will mournfully complain to me each morning that she has "no Mommy loves" when I attempt to sneak away and take a shower. She puts on her best/most irresistible sad face for this performance and it's impossible not to jump back into bed for five more minutes of snuggling.
- She loves to help even though her help is usually not very helpful. But the desire comes from a good place in her heart. Ironically, that good place is also a really messy place.