So much has happened over the last 7 weeks; I can hardly believe we've only known about Nan Yu this long because it feels like she's always been part of our family (even if she isn't even here yet).
We've gotten our official approval from China (weeks and weeks earlier than anyone thought), picked a Western name to add to her Chinese name, filled out endless immigration and travel paperwork, and gotten our visas. We've turned the house upside down in what has to be some bizarre nesting phase -- the AmVets have kindly hauled off embarrassing numbers giant bags and boxes as we sorted and purged the basement, playroom, third floor, and Miss O's room. (Remember that previous post about certain people in this house never throwing anything away? Also, I'd been saving all kinds of things because we didn't know how old this child was going to be. It was bittersweet relief to donate a lot of the infant/early toddler items we'd held onto.)
We've gotten updated pictures and information (twice!) and learned that she's now in a foster home. She looks happy and healthy and more than a little fiesty.
But the best part? We've been able to send her care packages. We sent the first one in December and because we wanted it to get there quickly, we used a wonderful woman who lives in China -- she did all the shopping, assembly, and delivery for us. (Note: Best. Business. Idea. Ever.) We told her what we wanted to include and she made it happen. She took pictures of it to show us, then took pictures of our daughter when she delivered it.
We were able to send pictures that she placed into an album and labeled in Mandarin, so Nan Yu will know what the heck she's looking at. Genius, that woman. We asked her to include a puzzle and a book, as well as some treats for the foster family.
Part of her service includes translating a letter to the child (and her foster family or SWI nannies), which of course meant we had to write one. That was surprisingly difficult -- what do you say to a 2.5 year old child who really has no idea what's about to happen to her? How do you explain who you are, and why she's suddenly going to come live with you, and why you're sending her all these pictures and toys? I admit that I cried when I was trying to compose the letter, and then I cried again when I added the bit that Miss O wrote to her. You all, she's going to make a great big sister...
We've almost finished putting together a second care package, which can be only the size of a small shoe box. We've stuffed in a coloring book and crayons, a copy of Pat The Bunny, some treats for her and the foster family, more pictures (including ones of the house, the playroom, and her soon-to-be room), and Miss O's own contribution: An extraordinarily soft yellow duckling. She initially wanted to send one of her own stuffed animals, but then came up with an even better plan. "Mom, I have a great idea! We can get two of the same stuffed animals and take a picture of me with them, and then we can send one animal to her. I'll write a note and tell her to bring it when we meet her, and I'll bring mine. That way she can recognize us and not be sad!" Sweet kid, and smart -- she knows how to manipulate me into buying more stuff for her.
In the meantime, Nan Yu has also gotten a care package from her Grammie. I expect none of you will be surprised to learn it contained monogrammed stuff. :)
It's unreal to think that we'll meet her in a few short months...