So, since it was after 1 am before we finally got to Skype, I am a little tired today. Fortunately, Lydia came to hang with me today, so I had an extra pair of hands and we also did a junk food/movie afternoon which we NEVER do :) The kids loved it and I have to admit that the Odd Life of Timothy Green was a very sweet movie with nothing offensive in it at all. However, that was all just a blip in comparison to Skyping with Liliana today.
I was determined to stay up on Sunday night - certain that by midnight, I would hear something (that would have been 1 pm in China and I knew they were meeting at 9:30). So I tidied up the house as usual and then made a car seat blanket for Simeon (something I have been needing to do for months) and even started knitting an American Girl doll outfit - all the while checking Skype for B.J. to be online. Nothing. So I started checking the Facebook and blog posts from some of the other people in the group. Nothing. I knit some more and checked again. Still nothing. At this point, my face was literally cramping from trying to hold my eyes open and I realized I wasn't going to be able to stay awake (this was about 12:40 am). So I messaged B.J. and let him know that I was going to bed but to PLEASE Skype me as soon as possible and to keep calling in case I didn't wake up right away. Of course, I knew that wasn't a chance. I was so keyed up to meet Liliana and I couldn't wait to see her with B.J. and Mom. B.J. has talked about her being in a picture and that has been very much the reality. I figured that seeing her with Mom and B.J. would make it less of a picture and more of a reality.
I set up the iPad next to my pillow, speaker up so I would make sure to not miss the phone call. Well, they started calling me around 1:20 am and I didn't even hear a single call until around 1:35 am. Fortunately they persisted :) I swiped to answer the call and there she was. My baby girl (with little pigtails!) was sitting on Grammy's lap looking right at me!! I literally got a shock through my whole body and I could not have smiled bigger...at least that is what I thought and then I saw her mouth/whisper "mama". My heart just melted and I wanted to jump through that screen and hold my baby girl. She pointed at the screen again and whispered "mama". It was such a surreal moment. I hadn't even thought to pray that she would recognize me. I was focused on praying that she wouldn't be scared of B.J. and Mom and God saw fit to answer above and beyond my limited prayers. That is so like our God. We think we are praying for this hard, impossible thing and then he blows us out of the water with an answer that makes the faith we thought we had in asking seem like such a small thing. We serve a great God who is bigger than we can fathom and I am continually in awe of what he does for us - even things like a little girl recognizing her 'mama'. It was such a sweet sound. She has the sweetest voice.
Of course, even though I wasn't there and our little girl is closer to three than a newborn, I wanted to do what every parent does - study and watch your new little one to learn as much as you can about them. I wanted to know how she walked, how the hand-off had gone, if the hat I made fit her, if they noticed any of the possible one side weakness the doctor was concerned about, etc. I was studying how she was chewing the food they kept feeding her. I watched how she checked in with Mom and towards the end started checking in with B.J. to see how to react to situations. I couldn't help making notes of developmental tasks, social interactions, physical abilities, etc. There were so many unknowns going into this and so many concerns in her file that I wanted to see what was for real and what wasn't. She was eating the whole time we talked and man was she hungry! She had missed her morning snack and lunch and was clearly hungry. She was eating perfectly. So much for concerns of being able to eat! They gave her some water and she did okay with a cup - though it was more like a 10-12 month old who has had a few drinks from a cup. She had clearly sipped from a cup before but wasn't proficient. She was clearly happy that everyone figured out that she was thirsty though. Mom put her hat that I made her on her and it fit perfectly. It is really cute too :)
I kept talking to her and was rewarded with more "mama's" and whole face smiles that light up a room. She has thoroughly captured my heart by now. Around 2:30, B.J. had to leave to go do some paperwork, so Mom and I and Liliana got to chat. Mom pulled out some toys and Liliana really seemed to enjoy them. Her skills are very good and she had no difficulty with the fine motor tasks. As we played, she warmed up more and more and started walking around the room and gabbing like crazy! For a little girl who has only been reported to have a few words, she was full of words - some of which I recognized but I couldn't remember what they meant. Her walk was very stable and not slow at all. Her feet are very flat and point out a bit, but it doesn't seem to slow her down. All while she was playing, she would occasionally look at the tablet screen and say "mama". I sang "Jesus Loves Me" to her and she seemed to really enjoy the singing. She LOVES her new baby doll from a dear friend of mine and it was the perfect size for her little hands. The 18 month clothes we bought fit perfectly in length but they are way too big on the waist. I figured that would be the case - though we didn't get to see her in those clothes until Monday morning (our time). Liliana is clearly a Meurer - she loved the cheese and bread and fruit and singing and one of the toys that each of our other kids has loved. She is going to fit right in :)
Around 3:45, Mom told me I needed to go to bed (some things never change ;) I knew she was right and that morning would come long before I was ready (like 7 am) but I couldn't bring myself to end the call. I just wanted to stay awake and watch her (just like a newborn :) I couldn't get enough. So, we agreed that the next time Skype dropped (it does that a lot) we would end it. I blew a kiss and said bye bye and she blew a kiss back and said something (I think it was like bye). I am so in love with this little girl. We are so blessed!!! I wish I had pictures, but B.J. has the camera and though I could have taken one with my cell phone, I have no idea how to get it off of my cell phone anyway, so I didn't bother. Mom did some videos and pictures on their end of our conversation.
Sunday evening, on Facebook, a friend of mine told us that her daughter had prayed to ask Jesus into her heart to be her Lord and Savior and she mentioned the angels rejoicing. Immediately, I thought of Gotcha Day. What a celebration and the start of a new life. I am eternally grateful to God for His adoption of us a children of God. Going through the adoption journey has given me a new appreciation for the adoption that He offers us through Christ. What a tremendous gift!