Kylie day recap (Monday, Feb 5th)

So Monday was a day unlike any other I've experienced. How often in a lifetime do you wake up (not sure that actually happened since I'm pretty sure I never fell asleep ~ too excited!) in Beijing, get on a plane with 10 other families you've been writing email to for months but just met two days ago and already feel like lifelong friends, check into the apartment section of a 5 star hotel, and then get on a bus to the Civil Affairs office to meet your first child (whose picture you have studied for 9 weeks, but had yet to lay eyes upon)?

And then you get there and realize that yes indeed, "We got the best one!"

The day began early enough, we had to be downstairs for breakfast at 5:45 (yes Neil and the Bethel UMC youth, sleepy Kristi actually got out of bed for breakfast on a group trip...) and on the bus at 6:30. If I had ever fallen completely asleep, I'm sure I would have been cranky about getting up so early. However at about 4:15, Ian and I decided to go ahead and quit pretending to sleep...

Here are the parents-to-be getting checking in at the Beijing airport. Hmm, do they look happy to be headed to Guangzhou?Once we were through the security checkpoint, Amy (our AMAZING guide) had a surprise for us. It was updated information on our babies! No picture, but heck, who needed one with such a short amount of time to go? Our information shared that Kylie was 22 pounds (umm, getting nervous about clothes fitting...) and had two teeth! It also said that she was "very, very afraid of strangers. It takes quite some time to calm her down after being around new people." (I will have to say that I was ready to panic at that news, but then I considered that God had brought us through this far...)The flight to Guangzhou was uneventful enough. I spent a good bit of time talking with Mickey Martins (Alexander, he is 8 like you, but is now going to be a big brother, not an uncle). Compared to the last flight we had been on, the 2 1/2 hour trip should have seemed like nothing. But note I said should have ~ it was part of what separated us from Kylie!

After what seemed like 24 hours, our flight landed and we headed to the hotel. Guangzhou is in a totally different climate than Beijing and we were glad that our bus was air conditioned! After checking in to our hotel (we have an apartment that is bigger than our house!!!) we headed out for the last time as a couple ~ and man did it feel good!!! By the way, we are getting good at loading an elevator with far more people than the "personal space" allows at home! Here we are with the Freeman family getting cozy in the elevator!

Upon arrival at the Civil Affairs building, we were ushered into a small, growing warmer by the minute room where we were told to wait a few minutes. Then suddenly the first family's baby arrived in the doorway. When I heard Amy call our names I honestly thought my heart would stop beating, I was that excited!!! And as composed as I thought I'd be, (who was I kidding) I broke into sobs of joy when Kylie was handed over to my arms.

I must pause for a moment in my recollection of the day's events and give a HUGE shout out to our family for making the trip with us! Grandma Shultz, Grandma Miller, Aunt Traci and Uncle Adam, we are SOOOOO glad you made the huge sacrifice to come! Thanks for all the camera action during our meeting moments with Kylie. And Uncle Adam, you were amazing with the camcorder! You got so many of our "firsts" with Kylie and so much footage of her homeland. We will be forever grateful! After a few minutes, we were called up to be given a time to ask the orphanage staff questions. We asked about things like who Kylie's roommates were, if she had been hospitalized while at the SWI, nicknames, favorite foods, and if she had been around animals (answer no, should be interesting with Maya...)

While we were waiting for the other families, some of us decided to take the babies into the "play room" and let them have some fun. Kylie kept trying to take Lottie's photo album. Luckily she was rather easily distracted with the ball...

Then we were free to leave. Surreal to walk into a building, meet some nice folks that we spoke with through an interpreter, and walk out with a baby. Not that there wasn't two years of paperwork that came before this moment, but somehow getting the baby in arms makes you forget a bit about the frustration of the paper chase and the wait before.

I had read somewhere that giving a baby a bath on the first day you meet may not be for the best, but Kylie was sweaty! She and all the other girls take their bottles crazy hot (Kylie REFUSES to consider a room temperature bottle) and she actually sweats when she drinks hers. I think this wouldn't be pleasant, but who am I to judge. So we decided to give the girl a bath anyway. She wasn't a fan. But then when she was snug in her pajamas, she was content to take a bottle and fall asleep.

Funny how God can take three perfect strangers and make them a family!


Anonymous said...


I can't wait to meet and play with you! My mommy and daddy said we'll be down to visit Charlotte VERY soon. Have a good time with your mommy and daddy and a safe flight home.

Cousin Ella

Anonymous said...

Miss you, miss you, miss you! Love, Jen

Allison said...

Oh, congrats to all three of you! You look so happy!!! Maggie and I can't wait to meet you and PLAY!
Keep up the good work, Mom and Dad!

Angie said...

Thank you for sharing your journey to Kylie. I am a fellow AWAA'er and we got our Kylee 2 years ago this month! What a blessing. God bless you all as you begin your new life together.

Aunt Traci said...

What a wonderful day it was! It still seems so surreal! Kylie is such a blessing to us all!!!

LaoLao Shultz said...

There is no doubt in my mind that God had hand chosen this amazing baby for you two. What a beautiful gift from Him. We couldn't take pictures fast enough.
Every angle had to be taken. She is so curious and expressive! Thank you God!

Shelley said...

WOW! It's so wonderful that this little girl will have a loving home.