Coming to America
It came time to load up all of our luggage and go to the airport and bring our sweet girl home with us. She did great! She never acted anxious about leaving China and was so excited to come to the US and see her new home. On our last flight from Korea to Atlanta, poor little Jian became air sick and threw up during take off, then again at the landing 14 1/2 hours later. We were more worried about it than she was. At the airport, both of our immediate families and closest friends were there to welcome us home. By the time we left, Jian had started to warm up and was smiling and giving “high fives.” My mom, sister and 2 month old niece stayed at the hotel where we stayed for the night, and Jian absolutely loved her baby cousin. She helped feed her, hold her, play with her and change her diaper. Once when I was holding the baby, Jian told me to give her back to her mom. This was a great sign that she wanted my attention instead.
We packed up the car the next morning, and Jian was so impressed that her dad knew how to drive. (In China, most people have a driver or take public transportation.) Her eyes were big and bright as we drove into our neighborhood and parked in front of our house. I held her and took her through every room. She opened every cabinet and closet and asked questions to make sure she understood. (These are mom’s clothes? These are dad’s shoes?) We took her to her bedroom last. She was smiling so sweetly and taking it all in. Gradually, she looked through her closet, dresser, side tables, toy shelves and desk. She played most with her play kitchen and made Daniel have a little tea party with her. She also really liked the huge teddy bear Daniel’s grandad gave to her and the chalkboard Daniel’s mom gave her.
We had planned to let Daniel’s family keep our dog Mina (great dane) for up to a week if Jian didn’t adjust well, but she kept asking about the dog nonstop, so Daniel went and got her. Jian clung to me so tightly in nervous excitement. Then she went through about 30 minutes of terror, hiding on top of the kitchen countertops and washing machine so that Mina couldn’t reach her. Gradually she became more and more brave and has been petting her all day. (She still won’t get down in the floor with Mina in the house, though.) Jian helped me unpack and do lots of laundry. She is not really liking the food I prepare, but she is eating a lot of fruit. She asked me tonight if I would sleep with her in her new little bed and let Daniel sleep with the dog! When I go to another room to do some chores, she likes spending time with Daniel. She was intrigued to watch how he shaves his face. As we were preparing for her to come home, I felt a little silly trying to think of every detail and have everything ready for her. Tonight I was thankful that I had thought through everything. After her bath, I opened up the drawer in the bathroom to reveal a small pink hair dryer. She was so proud, and asked, “Is this one for me!?!” I again started to cry. She literally came to us with the clothes on her back, and she is so appreciative of the smallest things. I can’t wait to see what adventures the summer brings!