Ten years ago today we were standing in the hallway of the Lakeview Hotel in Nanchang China waiting to hold our baby for the first time. We watched the four Ningdu girls as they were carried past our room to the end of the hallway, and we watched as the other three families received their Ningdu babies. Then it was our turn. The woman with the green jacket, a nanny, was holding Ning Wen Ling, our Rachel. She handed her to me, and I'll never forget what it felt like to hold my baby for the first time. She looked at me for a few seconds, and then started crying. The nanny came back and would stroke Rachel's face, then take Rachel's hand in hers and stroke my face while saying "Mama, mama." After a little bit, Fred took her and she stopped crying, until she looked at me. Every time she saw me she'd cry, then stop. Finally, Fred's dad (Fred's parents had travelled to China with us) held Rachel and hummed softly to her, and she started to quiet down and fall asleep. I took her again after she was sleeping, and she slept soundly for 12 hours. And from the moment she woke up in the morning, she bonded to us. It only took a day or two to get her first smile.
This was about a week later, on a shopping trip in Guangzhou. No wonder she's such a shopper now. We started her young!
Ten years later. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She is my baby, and I'm so, so proud of her.