First of all, like I said, we were just in awe of how well she did-- how she adjusted to an entirely new set of circumstances: new people (even if we WERE pretty nice people, we were really complete strangers to her), new places-- living out of hotel rooms, eating in restaurants, walking through different cities, eating completely different foods than she was used to I'm sure... honestly I can't imagine how these new adopted children do this part. The enormous amount of trust and acceptance it takes to join a new family. We had known of Corrie for 4 years. We had seen pictures and videos, asked questions about her over the years, and were completely in love with her already. Us...well, she must have had no idea of what had hit her. We had sent a picture book of our family, but being deaf, I don't think she really had a clue AT ALL. She was so happy with us! So content and trusting... all I can say is that I know she has had some amazing people in her life all of these years to prepare her for the unknown like this. She had no fear. And she LOVED to love us and for us to love her, and to play, play, play! It was like she was saying, "Hooray!!! I've been waiting for you guys!!!" :)
We were so thrilled with her sunny, happy, loving personality. Her smile lights up the room! She gives some pretty intense squeezes! She walks with a purpose, like she is on a mission to have the best time ever that day! She would grab both of our hands, and out the door we would go, her looking from one of us to the other with the hugest smile on her face. Seriously, she is adorable. :)
Yes, it was love at first sight for us and our Corrie.
Corrie has numerous special needs. She has physical and mental delays. She has some quirky behaviors pointing maybe to some neurological issues. She is not yet potty trained. (We sure are hoping for the best on that one!) She had surgery to correct a major issue she had when she was born, and there are some lingering effects from that. She very likely has a genetic syndrome with some unknowns attached to it. According to the paperwork we received, she has a serious kidney issue that someday could likely require a transplant. She has torticollis in her neck that will require therapy...and she will need various other therapies. And she is deaf. All of these things present challenges for our sweet girl. However... when I think of the mountains ahead of us, it makes me happy to think of the God who can leap those mountains in a single bound! (Kind of like Superman, I suppose... but way, way, way more awesome than him!) When I think of Corrie's past, I see God moving on her behalf at every turn. He simply would not let the devil win. He has placed her with people who could help her--with people who would love her--and finally moved all the pieces to put her in our family forever. I don't believe for a second that He is finished doing His thing in her life, and I can't wait to see what He is going to do!
So, those first days in Nanchang with Corrie were fun. :) There were some surprises and things we hadn't expected for sure, but we were so smitten by her. She slept all night from the very first day! I had brought things to do in the hotel room like stickers, coloring books and crayons, bubbles, a light-up ball, books, puzzles, and ASL flashcards. She had fun doing all of them! Her attention span is more like a pre-schooler's, so she would move from one thing to the next pretty quickly, but she really enjoyed all of the things I brought out for her. I know she was loving the attention that was lavished on her!
Like I mentioned before, she loved when it was time to go somewhere. She picked up the sign for "shoes" quickly, and she'd rush to get them. At restaurants she would hold our hands, sometimes put our hands together so that we would hold each other's hands, hold out her hands to us to kiss them (it was so cute), and smile so sweetly. And she ate like crazy! She loved almost everything we fed her, and she'd give us the thumbs up sign after almost every bite. :) We had learned that in her home she ate mostly soft, soupy foods with ground up meat and veggies in rice that they had prepared for all the babies. But it did not take us long to realize that she is not a baby, and even loves a good burger or slice of pizza like any respectable American. ;)
Communicating was not really difficult. Mostly we could point to things, and she would, too. She would drag us to where she wanted us to go, or pat the bed if she wanted us to sit down. She would mimic when we signed things to her, and soon was picking up the signs! It didn't take her long to learn "shoes," "socks," "table," "ball," "brush teeth," "bed," and others. Mostly she just knew what we were saying, but it didn't take her too long to sign some of them herself. It made me so happy to see her communicating more than just "eat" or "more," which were the only things we saw her saying at first. I can't wait to learn more ASL so that I can teach her and watch her soar with it!
Ready to go! (She loved looking at herself in the mirror. Of course, why wouldn't she with a face and an outfit like that?!)
LOVE this princess!