we have eliana!!!

Our appointment to meet Elie on the 16th was not until 2.30 pm.  What
an incredibly long morning that was.  We tried to sleep in, take a
long breakfast and take our time getting ready, still only 10 am.
Ugh!  What to do to make the hours pass.  We headed across the street
to a McDs for a coke and to review our Mandarin,  walked around a
supermarket and then wandered the city streets.  We found a park.
there are some walking paths and a playground.  I immediately started
to feel my anxiety lessn when we saw the trees, walking the paths
seemed to moake the stress fall away.  I am so excited to find a park.
 With a park, I feel more like myself.  We were scared, excited,
nervous, but ready to meet our daughter.

When we walked into the civil affairs office, Eliana was playing with
two women and another child with adoptive parents.  There were 4 other
children in the room besides Eliana.  She gave me a hug but did not
want to hug Kevin.  They pulled out the photo album we sent to her
with our picture and held it up so she could see it was the Mama and
Baba she had been looking at for the last month.  The album is well
worn and we can tell that she looked at it often.  We got her to open
up by doing some bubbles and giving her the unicorn pillow pet.

She is incredibly active and outgoing.  Very loud and vivacious, with
always a bit of mischief up her sleeve.  But she is also loving and
will snuggle easily, especially with me.  Kevin entertained her while
I talked with the staff from Tuanfeng social welfare institute (where
she has lived for the past 5 years with her foster mom).  We were
given a great photo album with pictures all the way back to her
finding photo when she was only 1 week old - such a huge gift!!!  We
were also given the disposable camera, which I cannot wait to develop,
our anwered questions and snacks that she like.  She was wearing the
red T shirt that we had sent to her.  She left the building with us
with no problems in my arms.  Not a cry or even a whine.  She is
absolutely beautiful and very smart.

Next stop was the police station.  The station was packed full of
people and very hot.  We were taken to a back room with the other
adoptive families and all the children had their passport photos
taken.  Elie did NOT want to participate.  After much coaxing from our
guide she finally gave in.  There is no forcing this girl to do
anything she is very strong willed and strong physically.  While we
were waiting for our turn, I played a game with her where we would
count to three in Manderin and then English.  She would repeat
everything I said.  She puts her arms up and makes baby sounds for us
to carry her, but she CAN walk and RUN.  Her gait is not stable, but
she doesn't even seem to notice.  Her fine motor skills are
outstanding, she can write the character of her name and use
chopsticks with no problems.

We were unsure how it would go communicating, but she speaks Mandarin
very well  and we are working it out.  So much more to share, but she
is melting so I have to go.  Thanks for the prayers.  She is very
exhausting, but she sleeps great at night and takes a nap so we are
all surviving.  Please keep praying for wisdom and bonding.

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