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.
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.
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.
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.
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.