I'd choose you, in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I'd find you and I'd choose you. -The Chaos of Stars
Sweet Bei Er,
Daddy and I came for you on a cool and rainy day in the city. My heart was pounding as we watched other families meet their children in the lobby of a big building. We were almost last when I heard Daddy say, "Krissi, It's Bear! I just saw them pull in!" I asked Daddy if he could see you and he answered, "No, but I just have a feeling that it's him." I peeked out the window and instantly recognized your mop of jet black hair as the orphanage director took you from the backseat of the car. I cried as I returned to my spot in the waiting room, knowing that you were seconds away from my aching arms. And then it happened. I was holding you for the very first time.
You were scared, little man. And we cried because we could see that you were looking for someone. Your eyes were scanning the room for Grandma Han. I took this time to look at you. You were so much bigger than I expected. You are tall and muscular and have strong hands. And your voice... what a pleasant surprise to hear your voice has a soft hoarseness to it. The sound of you makes me smile. That was the only thing I couldn't imagine while we were apart..your tiny voice.
We learned quickly that you were unsure of Daddy, so he stepped away while we got to know each other for a bit. We looked through your backpack and found the picture book that we sent you. I showed you Rosie, Jack and Kate and told you about each of them. You stopped crying and listened quietly. I assured you that it was going to be OK. That we would go home soon. And that we would do everything possible to keep in contact with our beloved Grandma Han. She sent you a precious gift. It is a tattered, well loved traditional Chinese ornament that is thought to bring happiness. The orphanage director said that Grandma Han had sent it and asked that we keep it tied to your crib or under your pillow to bring happiness throughout your life.
About 30 minutes later it was time to load that bus and make our way back to the hotel. You were so sad and cried most of the way. I don't know if it was the bus, the proximity to Daddy or the feeling of leaving your old life behind, but you cried the saddest of cries. A recognizable cry..that of a broken heart. I gently held you as you let the emotion from the day pour down your little face. You were the only child crying on the bus...but not the only person. I could see other mamas crying too. They were crying for you, with you.
There is sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. The speak more eloquently then ten thousands tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, of deep unspeakable love. -Washington Irvin
You are sleeping comfortably now in your crib at the hotel. All I can see through the dimly lit room is your mop of black hair. Your breathing is steady and you look peaceful. Just a few feet from you are two strangers who look different, smell different and sound different. In time you will see that these strangers are your greatest fans. Your biggest cheerleaders. Your protectors. And your guidance counselors. These people will love you unconditionally, celebrate your successes and help you pick up the pieces when you fall. These people will be there every step of the way. Because these people are YOUR PEOPLE...your parents and they are forever.
Wo AI NI,
Mama and Baba