Musings from Daddy

Monday, March 26, 2007
Big brother is awesome!

Her first bath with our family.

This is a post from Dave in his own words. Keep in mind, he has not really slept much in the last two days. It is stream of conscious but beautiful to me:

I woke up at 6 a.m. and tinkered around the room. I am already very nervous. I don't feel prepared -- I only had two years to get ready. Why is it time so quickly? We went to China Civil Affairs office around 10:30 am. The children arrived in two different vans apparently. (different orphanages?) Three families, I think, met their children at basically one time in a noisy, busy, room that may have had a flow to those used to it. Other 4 families waited and wondered, and I was one of those. About twenty minutes later, our children arrived, and all were placed with us at more or less the same moment. We were not called out to the middle of a room in a one-by-one fashion. So- three families are very busy trying to cope with their new children, and four families are receiving children, trying to take it in, be strong and loving for the new child, have pictures taken, have video taken, make bottles, calm the cries, and wondering what to do next (as in next minute and next 10 minutes, and next hour).

I met Lu Dan Ru (Kate), it was a wonderful and nerve-racking and reality-setting-in all at once, standing there with my 9 year old son who is saying "she's beautiful Dad", half way across the world. Wondering 'what to do now?' Feed? Sit? Stand? Have brother hold? Where is the care-giver? The foster parent did not make the trip. Perhaps she is not allowed - maybe it is the orphanages responsibility only? Is she healthy? She's big. Wow. Arms are getting tired. Couples all around me crying tears of joy. Equal number of babies crying tears of fear. Mom would know what to do - but I only had Will to ask - what now Will? We coped - we stroked her, we kissed her, we hugged her, we cooed at her, we got peed on, we are now family. Do I make sense? I entered into this with about 4 hours sleep. Once a bit settled down (not really), we went through a brief interview process one family at a time. We needed certain papers at certain times. After we made it through this, we came back to the hotel. We then were told to have "one parent" to go and do some paper work. I was the only parent, so I, Lu Dan Ru (Kate) and Will all went to the conference room. I filled out papers. Will said he locked the key in the hotel room. Our guides (they're great) got Dan Ru to smile across the table, between signatures. Will told me his Nintendo DS is gone - missing - likely stolen. And we're locked out. I can't find a most critical paper. Panic time. Without this paper, I cannot receive the status of Parent. It is needed for the interview/meeting where I sign to become fully responsible. I cannot say no after this meeting - but I can't find the paper for it. Maybe we can generate a new one in the US and get four levels of authentication and overnight it here within 24 hours. Ten minutes later - I found it. I'm set. I can quit shaking. What, me panic? I set a new standard. We weren't locked out of the room The Nintendo DS was where I put it - in a suitcase. We can proceed. I am a lone tree on the wrong side of a hurricane. Then....we had the meeting, everything worked out just as planned and perfect, and Dan Ru is working on becoming Kate Emerson and Dad is working on trying to become the calm and mellow person he typically (obviously not always) is, and being a caring Dad.
Back to the hotel. Everyone made it through.

Kate is still fussy to me. She won't drink a bottle. Put on carry-thing (whats it called?) and Will and I walk around. We meet an Australian group in the play area. They ask me if the Rumor Queen is part of our group. She's here, they say. The Aussie group is one day ahead of us. They had Pizza Hut delivered for several families. I have an idea of how to be popular with our group. No telling on me. Wondered down to the lobby and went to the buffet. I missed lunch, stomach acid churning, trying to unwind, Dan Ru Kate is chilled out in the snuggli. She goes to the high chair easily. The women waitstaff are great. They see I haven't done the highchair and baby girl thing for a while, if at all. They help. They tuck in a napkin as a bib because I didn't take one. Would any Mom not take a bib? Dan Ru Kate eats a whole bowl on Com Chi (fix the spelling, Kim) and some bread tidbits. She's happy. I eat bread, a little rice, two bites of chicken, another bread. Stomach churn is starting to recede. Will enjoys gluten AND cheese AND Sprite all in one meal. Wow - glad Mom isn't here. He earned and deserved whatever he wanted. No Five Guys here, so we made do with local gluten, dairy and sugar.

Made it back up stairs, talked to Mom, talked with Aunt Dawn. Gave Dan Ru Kate a bath. She cried, but not nearly as bad as I thought she would. Will helped. Will helped all day. I should have said that in every other sentence. He carried the backpack, he watched security for abandoned Passport while I had to go somewhere, he sat when I said to, and he never got in any one's way. He never complained. He got Dan Ru Kate to laugh after dinner but before bath. I haven't accomplished that yet. But I think she wants to trust me. That's good, well maybe that is great and what I'm really after for at least one of my many roles and goals for now. I got the other solo Dad and Non traveling Mom together on my webcam setup so Mom in PA saw her daughter (live) this evening. Our group works as a team. I've been helped more than once. I tried to help someone. We're a scruffy bunch - but we work it out together pretty well so far. Dan Ru fell asleep on my belly and I set her into her crib. I will do whatever it takes to keep her trust. It's a play it as it comes situation. She and I don't know each other well - but I have a feeling she's going to like our family, I guess I mean her family. She's got an awesome set of brothers to whip into shape pretty soon. And as for Mom, she's already jello. And me, you make the call. I know where I'm going with this one.

Okay, tissues please? I have the BEST husband in the world!

32 comments:

  1. Tears in my eyes...how beautiful! What a happy day for your family.

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  2. Incredible!!! I am now home to take it all in and be in awe of your men!!! WOW!! Dave, thank you for sharing from your heart how a new Daddy really feels in China! Congratulations! She, is so beautiful!! Cheers from Minneapolis!-Diana

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  3. Wow! What a special husband and son (and now daughter) you have!!! The photos are wonderful. You are blessed.

    Mary of the October05DTC Yahoo group

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  4. Wow, wow, wow! How very beautiful. Thanks again for sharing your family and your journey with us.

    We are all blessed by being able to share in this experience!

    TJ

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  5. I'm am bawling! I'm overwhelmed at what a gift your husband and son are to go there on their own to get your baby girl. I really am just in awe of both of them. What an amazing experience--something that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.
    Kate is BEAUTIFUL! Look at that smile! I think she was crying so hard because she was hot in that outfit! lol Is is freezing there or what? Look at those red cheeks!
    I am LOL about the Sprite!
    Kim, thank you for sharing this with all of us. What a treasure you are!

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  6. Just beautiful! You've gone ahead and made me cry. Congratulations and thank you for sharing your moment with us.

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  7. Beautiful ... your family, your journey and especially precious Kate! Thank you for allowing us to join you on this life altering journey ... having been there twice, I sincerely feel your joy!

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  8. WOW, that was so cool to read that special note from your dh. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be there, getting a small child and being the "dad". (not that dads don't do it great!!) I just mean.. not many men would be adventureous enough to step out and get it all done.

    What a blessing you have.. All "5" of you!

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  9. We are so happy for you! She is just adorable- we can't wait to meet her!
    xo Colleen & DJ

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  10. Oh yeah- I am bawling- you have and incredible husband and son. Kate Emerson is going to cherish these words from Daddy some day! I love that you have been able to talk to her, Kim- I started crying when I saw that on the DTC Oct 2005 thread. She is beautiful!

    Congrats Mommy!!

    Stacie Hrabe in KC
    (forzoey)

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  11. Wow. I'm very impressed. My husband would DO all of the above, but he'd never tell me about it, let alone write about it!

    It sounds like Kate is in the perfect family.

    You realize that Daddy and Kate are going to have a bond stronger than gorilla glue, right? You don't go through stuff like this and remain aloof. What a lucky baby to have a Daddy like that, and how great for Will to see his Dad step up to the plate like he has. That's the kind of Daddy I want my sons to see.

    Looking forward to the next installment...

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  12. Swales,

    You are truly blessed. Harry can now have a younger sibling to care for and love, just like Will has done for him. Congrats, and I can't wait to come up there and meet her! She just has no idea how good her life will be. God works wonders!!

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  13. I'm in tears also! What a wonderful account of Kate finally being in her forever family's arms. Dad and big brother are doing marvelously. And my oh my how great is modern technology huh?!....the mobile phone and the computer cam - allowing moms and sibs left at home, to see their gorgeous new family member.
    I'm moved.
    Very best wishes to your family.

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  14. OH Kimber, thank you so much for sharing all of that with us. Bawling like a baby here!

    Just one question: does your husband have a brother??????

    Snick :)

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  15. We are elated for you and your family!! Thank you for sharing this incredibly moving moment, it brought tears to our eyes.

    Laura & Rodney

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  16. Kim, this was wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It makes me even more anxious to get on that plane. Just 14 hours and 20 minutes to go. :O)

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  17. Your new daughter is so blessed to have such wonderful, loving people in her life, a new family that absolutely adores her. I can also see why you sent your husband. He's doing an amazing job!! Lucky you!

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  18. Thank you so much for sharing! I laughed, I cried and I am so happy for you all. I know you are so proud of your husband and son. What a treasure they both have in these precious memories they are making. The honesty is beautiful and you all are blessed beyond measure!

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  19. Just found your blog and first off, Big huge congrats on this beautiful new addition to your already beautiful family. How wonderful. I will be traveling alone to get our daughter so this was very inspring for me to see - May God Bless all of you - I will look forward to following the rest of your journey. Your family is in my prayers.
    Daniella

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  20. OK now I am sobbing !!
    How amazing. Way to go Daddy and Will !!
    Great pictures !

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  21. That made me cry! You do have an awesome husband and son!!! It sounds like they are doing a great job!

    Hugs, Shana

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  22. Sweet Sweet Will, and wonderful brave Dave... Kate won't remember these first hours, but what a treasure to read about them later. Thank you for sharing these moments... I have not shed this many happy tears so many days in a row in years. Love you all, Keesha

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  23. Wow. What a great daddy! You and Kate are lucky girls!! I am so happy Kate got you all!

    Amy

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  24. I just found your blog today. What an AMAZING Daddy & big brother Katie has! Your husbands words brought tears to my eyes!

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  25. Absolutely beautiful...What an amazing post! We can finally view our blogs in Guangzhou and Kate is adorable Kim! We are soooo blessed!

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  26. I can barely see to type. You should put a warning at the top of that post. I am so happy for you and your family. Thank you for posting, it does help with the wait. God has truly blessed your family.

    Peggy

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  27. I just read Dave's post..... what a priceless treasure of a special day that is beyond words....

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  28. Awesome, simply awesome. My husband is a GREAT father, but I'm not sure he could've handled this trip on his own. Way to go Dave and Will! :)

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  29. Now THAT is love...and awesome! He is so honest, that's what I enjoyed so much about this post!

    Jill

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  30. I read this once before - but still brings a tear to my eye. There is nothing like our sweet girls (or sweet husbands. Happy two year family day to all!!!! May you always find such love and happiness with Kate and your boys!

    Hope Kate is feeling better!

    Bridget

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  31. Aw he definitely has me crying :) I'm so glad she's okay.
    xoxo,
    lauren

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Thank you for your kindness.