I met Makenna.
I was nervous and sad that Drew wouldn't be able to share this moment with me (and happy that my Dad was there to help me hold it together). I was worried how Makenna would feel being taken away from everything she had ever known. Especially her foster mom that she was reported to be very close to. The moment she was carried into the room is one I wil never forget. She was beautiful, and bigger than I imagined. And she had the saddest look on her face. It was quiet at first and papers had to be in order and the director had to be present before the caregiver could hand her to me. I looked at her and wanted to hold her and I was afraid to at the same time. I was hot, anxious, and close to tears. I did not want to cry and scare her. Then the woman who carried her in handed her to me. Makenna had a crumpled family photo of us in her hands and a doll that we had sent in a care package. She was scared and she cried like her heart was broken. I tried hard not to. We looked at each other. This daughter of mine that had been in my heart for years but was so unfamiliar in my arms. I didn't know her yet but loved her. She didn't know me...and it would take a while. As I walked her around the halls of the civil affairs office trying to make her happy I caught a glimpse of the woman who brought Makenna into the room earlier. She was sobbing quietly into her hands. She looked up and saw me and hurried away. I know now that she was not Makenna's foster mother but I still wonder if there was a connection there.
I wish I could say the transition was smooth but it wasn't. Not for me and certainly not for Makenna. She was sad and desperately clung to me in China and for a long time home as well. Adjusting to Daddy joining the family after being home for four months was tough too. But she let him into her heart little by little and now she is crazy about him. For a long time I couldn't leave her side because she cried like I was never coming back. I knew why she felt that way but it was tough. Sleep was a rollercoaster for many months but she does pretty well now. I can tell she is much more sure of herself now and of me. We have come a long way in these past 12 months. I do not see that terrible, sad face anymore. I get to hear her wonderful giggles and belly laughs instead. Makenna is fiercely independent,silly,curious, caring,fun, and wild! Her father, brother, sister and I all love her so much. She is home and solidly a part of our family. She carries in her little heart and mind secrets and scars of her past, but she is brave and joyous beyond belief also. We are lucky to have her in our life and our family.
Happy one year home sweet girl, we look forward to every new day!