Sunday, May 13, 2007

We’ve met the girl!!!
I’m sitting here in a gorgeous hotel room with panoramic views of the South China Sea, sorting through hundreds of photos (and who knows how much video!) of the most incredible of afternoons. After a long but beautiful ride through 200+ miles (ie. 6 ½ slow hours) of Vietnamese countryside, we finally arrived in the Ninh Thuan province, the birthplace and home of our daughter! We settled into our hotel, ate a quick lunch, and then set off for the “center.” I had butterflies, tears in my eyes, and was just overwhelmed with the idea that we were finally about to meet Reagan! I recognized the gate from pictures, but was a little disoriented at first because the orphanage is going through some renovations. The blue building where I was sure we’d ascend the stairs to see Reagan for the first time is now pink! And it’s empty! The children have all been temporarily moved to an adjacent building, which we followed our agency’s staff to the front of. Then, without any ceremony or warning, the caregivers started bringing out the babies. Reagan was the first one out – I didn’t recognize her name when they said it, but I knew her face immediately. She was happy, calm and came to me right away! I had wondered many times if I would even know which child was mine, but those fears were quickly displaced with joy and awe. She’s adorable, sweet, very easy going. Dan, my mom and dad all took turns holding her, while my uncles captured everything on video and stills for us. She was happy to be passed around and cuddled with us for most of the hour and a half we were there. I got to feed her a bottle, and the caregivers were content to let me comfort her when she did get a little sad at one point. They made her laugh so we could see her smile, and just kind of let us be a family. After a little time had passed, we realized that while we’re going to have a lifetime to enjoy Reagan, we would only have a few short hours to experience the place and people she’s spent the last six months with. So, we started snapping pictures and interacting with the other children too. They all loved getting their picture taken, crowding so close that it was a little difficult to get a decent shot. The highlight though was watching them view themselves on our camera. I think that was a bigger hit than the candy and snacks we passed out! We also got lots of shots of the babies – especially those with families waiting for them in the states. (Be patient Dillon families, I’m going to try to send them off to Jynger soon, but the connection is pretty slow here– we really are in the middle of nowhere!).
Tomorrow we’ll do a little sightseeing in the morning and visit the orphanage again in the afternoon. Then, on Tuesday Reagan will be ours for good! I thought it might be harder to leave her there today, but we were exhausted – physically and emotionally – and I’m actually grateful that we’re able to ease into this life change gradually. It feels a bit like the first day or two in the hospital after giving birth: you’re thrilled to have finally been able to see and hold the child you’ve loved for so long, but so tired that letting someone else care for them while you recover doesn’t seem so bad.

11 comments:

Ms_Saigon said...

CONGRATULATIONS...cannot wait to see PICTURES too. Reagan is BEAUTIFUL, ENJOY every moment of the JOURNEY, it will go by sooooo fast!!!! Love re-living the incredible place of VIETNAM & the SPIRIT of the VIETNAM people again.

God bless & HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, it's a VERY special day indeed for you NOW with Reagan too!!!

Best wishes, Kim-Lan & family

**Saw Maile for the FIRST TIME in Ninh Thuan 2 months ago TODAY!**

Cindy said...

Congrats! We are so happy you finally made it and are finally united with Reagan!

Leigh said...

Simply inspiring! What a wonderful day! Enjoy this special time...you remind us all that it is truly "worth the wait."

Peace.

jjm said...

WOW! Happy Mother's Day!

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU MARC AND BOB FOR THE GREAT PICTURES. I'M SO EMOTIONAL WATCHING THEM I CAN'T IMAGINE WHAT YOUR ALL GOING THROUGH. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MARGIE AND LAURA, ONE YOU WONT EVER FORGET. REAGAN IS BEAUTIFUL. HURRY HOME.

GAIL AND PAUL

Tricia & Kirk said...

YEA!!!! I am so happy for you. I just love the picture of you guys holding her. She is quite a doll! Please love on Vy for me!

Joseph & Elizabeth said...

Oooh, Laura, I got chills reading that you finally got to hold your baby (I don't usually cry tears of joy, or I would have been in tears, too!).

Praise God from whom all blessings flow and who bestows on us every good and perfect gift.

And Happy Mother's Day!

Chuck, Jean Anne and Lucy said...

She is absolutely gorgeous! Congratulations!

clyde said...

Lisa and I are thrilled!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! Reagan is so cute!! We are so happy for you guys!!
Brian and Jacqueline Amandus

Lori said...

Wow!! The wonderful day has finally come! You guys all look so happy. Now, we can't wait for pics with Alyssa and Parker and Reagan, all together. How fun, and how kind of God to let you live this great experience. Love you all, the Frenchies