Life back in China feels like a dream. A foggy one, that I'm already starting to forget. For me, it hasn't sunk in yet that we aren't going back. It feels like just another trip home. I think taking care of Cora helps to distract me. Jacob seemed a little down yesterday, and when I asked him what was wrong he said the finality of our decision was starting to sink in. I know it will happen for me... will it take a few days? Weeks? Months? Will it hit me as I'm walking through the grocery store? Or doing dishes? I wonder what I'll do... it's not going to be easy, I know.
Little things amuse me. We were in the grocery store and were waiting in line to checkout. The cashiers were all busy, with one or two people in each line waiting. My mother-in-law commented on how busy it was - and don't get me wrong, for our small town, it was busy. But my mind immediately flashed back to the week before when I stood in line for 45 minutes behind about 10 people to check-out. Busy-ness redefined.
Or at the airport in Seattle. The train arrived and as I was waiting to get on, I felt an urge to inch forward to the doors before anyone had even exited the train. I'm used to elbows and pushing, and suddenly I realized I was the only one preparing to push my way on.
I also find that overhearing others' conversations, and being able to understand all that they say, is distracting and sometimes surprising. I'm probably going to become entirely too noisy. Oh, and commercials on TV. We never watched Chinese TV, so for the most part, I don't watch commercials. (Except when I intentionally went online to watch the Superbowl commercials - my favorite? Darth Vader/VW.) Suddenly I feel the same old pressure to make my life better, faster, and more indulgent.
So that's a taste of what coming home has been for me these last few days... but right now I want to record our last week, before it feels even more fuzzy and dream-like.
We spent lots of time with friends... meals, pictures, laughter, conversation. My favorite moment? When one of our friends told us that we'd need to bring Cora back in a few years, so she'd understand her "roots." That made me smile...
Do you see that red envelope tucked into her blanket? That's called "Hong Bao" (literally: red envelope) It is a traditional gift... you put money in it, and give it to someone on a special occasion - a birth, wedding, Chinese New Year. Cora got several Hong Bao to celebrate her arrival, and I saved them all...
thought it'd be neat for her to have someday.
We also gave Cora her first haircut. I know, a little early, right? I wouldn't have - if it weren't for the unfortunate mullet she was born with. I still might have left it alone, but then I found out about a Chinese tradition where they cut a baby's hair and make a calligraphy brush from the trimmings. I thought that seemed like a beautiful way to preserve her baby hair, so the night before we left, Cora got her first haircut.
We spent time at the foster home, too. Saying last goodbyes to the children. I promised Ethan that I'd try to see him when he comes to America with his family... if I can figure out where he lives. I love this picture we took with Vincent. He loved holding Cora, but sometimes he'd get distracted by something else, and she'd topple off his lap onto the couch. It made me laugh, but it worried the nannies! Doesn't he look as proud as punch to be holding a baby? Robert had to check my belly one last time to make sure there was no baby still inside... I can't wait for all those little guys to join their families... I'm thrilled that they are all matched.
The trip home was tiring and long, but at the end waited our families. Cora meets my parents tonight, but she already got to meet Jacob's parents (that's his mom down below). We know it is good to be home with our families right now... good for all of us.
There are a few more pictures on facebook... but Cora wants to eat now, and there's no putting off a hungry baby.