Saturday, August 01, 2015

Meeting Miss Mabel

Around 8:30am, we left our hotel with our guide to go to the registration office to meet Mabel for the first time.  Zak and I were feeling nervous (I could hardly braid Storey's hair that morning, I was so distracted) and I hardly ate anything.  Well, it was either nerves or the fact that the breakfast is disgusting.

We were taken to an office in the registration building and told to wait for the orphanage representative to bring Mabel and another boy in (there was another American family adopting from the orphanage as well).  They offered us tea, which we politely declined, explaining it was for religious reasons and tried to make small talk while we waited.  A few minutes later, a man walked in holding a little girl.  It took Zak and I a moment to realize that it was Mabel because she was so much bigger than we had expected!  All of the measurements we had been given were of this tiny little thing and here before us was a much bigger baby!


She was dressed in a very frilly white dress (with several layers underneath since it was only 80 degrees outside) and looked a little shell shocked, poor thing.  I quickly stood to hold her once I realized this was our little girl!  I knew it when I first saw her picture on the Facebook forum and it was reaffirmed to me in that room as well.  She is ours.


She wasn't quite sure what to make of all of us.  Zak and I took turns holding and cuddling her.  She wasn't very smiley at first, but as soon as I sat her with Jakson and Storey, they started playing and got her to smile for the first time.  They are so cute and wonderful with her.
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Storey has been waiting to be a big sister for a long time and has absolutely risen to the occasion.    She even downloaded an ABC game for Mabel on her Kindle so she can work on teaching her the alphabet.




Each of the kids took a turn holding her "by themselves."  Jakson tried to play peek a boo and talked in a sweet baby voice.


Storey pulled out the stacking cups that we had brought and helped her bang those on the table while Zak and I signed the paperwork stating that we would be responsible for Mabel for the next 24 hours before the adoption would be final.   It's like a trial period to make sure that you want to sign the paperwork to make it official.



After signing the paperwork, taking some pictures, going to the passport photo office to have her passport photo taken, and paying our orphanage donation at the bank, we headed back to the hotel to start a new chapter in our family. 
Just in the first hours together, we learned that she sucks her knuckle or arm when she sleeps, can stand on her own if she doesn't realize she's doing it, loves rolling around a water bottle and chasing it with her brother, plays a game where she tilts her head back and forth and wants you to do the same, loves being in the carrier, and is super silly.


We were able to introduce Mabel to both sets of grandparents over Skype as well.  She wasn't quite sure what to make of the people on the computer screen.  While I was talking to my parents, Mabel started sucking on my arm, something we've discovered over the past few days that she really likes to do.  It's very slobbery, but we let her do it whenever she wants (as long as she doesn't bite us!).  As I told my parents, I'm trying to be happy that she hasn't really cried at all, but also I worry about the fact that she's not expressing her emotions or seems sad.  Overall she is a happy, smiley baby.  She seems a little wary of us at times but is playing and content.  I have a feeling that right now it hasn't sunk in that this is a permanent change from her foster parents.  I hope to see her grieve at some point just because I know how healthy that is.


We were able to find a Pizza Hut (thank you, Google Maps) and went for linner (lunch/dinner).  It was like manna from heaven.   I don't really eat Pizza Hut in the States, but it was so so good.   Then we went shopping to see if we could figure out some snacks that she would eat.   In Watson's (a chain of stores like CVS), everyone literally stopped what they were doing to stare at us.  We had about 20 people following us around the store as we shopped.  It was a little ridiculous.  I told Zak he should ask where the condoms were just to see what the crowds of people following us would do.  I find myself extremely amusing sometimes.

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After getting home from eating and shopping, Mabel started to get very melancholy.  She didn't want to play as much and seemed to figure out that she was not going to be going anywhere anytime soon.  She was stuck with us crazy Americans.   She cried a little bit and finally fell asleep on me.  She's quite snuggly and likes to touch my face before she falls asleep.  Of course she was also sucking on her knuckle or arm.

We have seen miracle after miracle with this adoption process and today was no exception.  We are so excited to have Mabel in our family.  I told Zak at the end of the day that all of the yucky food and stares and misinterpretations were worth it because we got our girl.  We love her so much already.   God is in the details, He knows what we need, and He led us right to our daughter.  


jaacs said...

Oh my word, she is adorable!! I'm so happy for your whole family. What a little sweetheart. You all are so blessed to have each other. :)

Alison said...

Thanks for sharing your experience!!!

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