Finally the time arrived. Julie and I thought we saw her come through the room and back to the 'play room' but we were not sure. And then it all happened so fast. I actually captured the first moments all on video, three of which I really want to share, but I am having trouble uploading them at the moment.
After the first 5 minutes on and off of video I started clicking away with the camera.
The worker set her down on the floor and Travis and Julie approached with tear filled smiles. Shiloh hesitated (of course), and Travis just picked her up and stepped back. She did not cry, she did not kick or scream, she did not bite or yell (that is not to say she won't do that later). Of course, she did not really know what was going on, but she didn't panic, she just wondered, perhaps.
Travis instinctively distracted her, because I do think she was about to cry. I thought every thing he did was so wise, whether he had planned it or not. He held her and quickly walked her around the room pointing out different things, toys, kids, etc. She was just taking it all in. She didn't have time to feel the separation so much from the worker who brought her.
She let both Travis and Julie hold her with no problems. They needed to get a foot print, so they removed her shoe to do that, and still she was not too rattled. Uneasy probably, but not too unsettled. Snacks were quickly offered and she really liked the apple sauce and puffs. I didn't see it, but Travis said she grabbed two big handfuls of puffs and ate away. The room was still chaotic and noisy so Travis took her behind a partition with her snacks, and she remained calm. What a grace gift, the calmness in that moment, and baby Shiloh herself! A precious gift. Into a home filled with gospel love. Amazing.
Earlier in the day, before we left, Travis read Ephesians 1 and we prayed. Faith not fear, he prayed, and what a theme, it permeated the day. We rested in that, and I prayed that for Shiloh too, calmness, not fear, a hope and joy. God gave us glimpses, as you will see.
Parents to baby number 5! Congratulations Travis and Julie!
These are the two ladies that brought Shiloh to the office. The one on the right was with her almost every day for the past year. And while it was Meeko's job to do the translating, I just couldn't help but start talking away and asking all the questions we had. I asked Julie first if she wanted me to or to wait and she was fine with this, and I think it really helped it be less formal. Though this is a Cantonese speaking province, both of these ladies spoke very clear Mandarin and even a little English. She started a little in English until I started with Chinese.
Julie and I both quickly grew to really love these ladies. They seemed to really genuinely love Shiloh and demonstrated that she was well taken care of, at least for the year they have known her. You see, Shiloh is now 2 1/2 years old. At around 11 months she was taken to a rehabilitation center for physical therapy because she could not crawl or walk. We knew all of this from the paperwork.
What we didn't know was that she had been living at this center for the past year! She saw immediate improvements from her time there and can now walk really fast! She has seen improvements in every area and now, according to them, mentally is pretty standard. Of course it is hard to know everything, which is what makes the adoption journey one of complete and utter trust in God!
I kept asking about the center and she quickly got out her phone and texted me the name and told me I could look it up online. She was so helpful!
Julie and I exhausted our list of questions and these ladies were just incredible and patient, and loving, and they asked us if we would take their email and email them pictures of Shiloh as she grows up! I was very thankful for Ms. Li, and Ms. Huang today! An unexpected blessing.
Shiloh didn't pull away from Travis or Julie. And things just got better as the evening progressed. Not cry-free or anything, but good bonding and lots of love poured out.