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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy Anniversary Sweet Alli part 1

This was Alli a few months after coming home.
Last year at this time, we were minding our own business and had no idea that God was going to intervene in our family  once again and change it forever.  Last year at this time,  the little girl we had been told about the October before, was fading from our memories, other than to pray for her now and then.  We had been told the opportunity was not there, and all was over.

And then, On March 1st we got a call.  "Do you remember the little girl we talked about last October?"
"Yes"
"Are you still interested?"
"We were never NOT interested. Why?"
"You need to be in NC tomorrow! ASAP. "

I was in shock.  We were doing our school work on a non eventful day, and suddenly, our entire lives were turned upside down!

"WOW! TOMORROW?" "Don't we have time to drive?"
"No, you will need to fly."

And thus began our Journey into adoption for our 4th Noelle; Miss Alli. :)
Suddenly we were given details and information that we didn't know all about before. I was packing, looking for airline tickets, talking to excited girlies, planning for meals, and schooling, and transportation.... all at one time. 
And before I knew it, I was off on a great adventure ALL ALONE!  We couldn't do it any other way.
It was exciting and scary!  I was going to a place I had never been, renting a car, driving to a mysterious office and then, by that evening, meeting our daughter for the very first time.

In my mind, I was wondering, "What will she do? How will she react?  What makes me think I can parent her?  Is this really happening?  What if she won't come with me?" 
As I rented the car, I was shaking, LITERALLY SHAKING!  And then, when I turned on the vehicle, the radio was already on, and already set to a station. 
I started to drive and over the radio came on "It is well with my soul" and another song about Peace.... and then a sermonette on Peace and trusting the Lord.  And that is when I knew that I knew that I KNEW, we were going to be ok.   The Lord was with me.  With us.  And even though we knew we had a huge road ahead of us, and that it would not be easy, it was the path that the Lord has chosen for us to travel down.  There is a security and peace that comes in the midst of a storm, when you know the Lord is holding you. Literally HOLDING you. :)

As we pulled up into the Walmart Parking Lot, we couldn't see the car we were looking for.  The attorney called the couple, and they explained that we were at the wrong Walmart.  The attorney continued driving another 15 minutes until we got to the right one.  And there, we pulled into the garden section of the parking lot.
How strange to pick up a child in a parking lot. :( 

I asked them if they would join us for dinner and they said no.  I understand, I guess.  I wasn't thinking about them really, but about Alli's transition and how it might make things a little less blunt to sit together and then at least have some conversation first.  But no.... they started putting her bags into the back of the car, and then, it was done. There was a quick goodbye and we drove away.

I cannot imagine being Alli.  I still shudder at how she must have felt. How VULNERABLE children are!  I asked the attorney to stop so I could get into the back seat.  I climbed into the back and began to talk with Alli, asking her what she liked.  I asked her if I could rub her back, she was tense, and she said yes.  I reassured her that I would keep her safe.  She had no reason to believe me.  I reassured her anyway.
                                    (Distracting ourselves in the hotel, waiting for ICPC paperwork)
Those 2 weeks in the hotel were invaluable! We had a lot of time to talk and get to know each other, without the distractions of normal family life.  She knew we were going to face that soon enough, and for HER, it had never been good..... only heartbreaking.

to be continued......

13 comments:

:)De said...

I can't wait to here the rest of this story even though I read and re-read every post you did at the time you were bringing her home. I too picked up a child at a Mc D's parking lot with about as much pomp and circumstance as you describe. Van door opened, bags tossed in, child strapped in a car seat and I think the dad patted him on his head and said, "Thanks" to me. What was on this little boys mind? Now 6 years latter I can tell him that I went to Mc D's for a happy meal and came home with the most beautiful blond haired, blue eyed boy in the world!

Congrats on your year one.

:)De said...

*hear

I are a homeschooling teacher. LOL!

Joy said...

This reminds me so much of how we received our children in China. It was a quick handover the moment we met and then a few moments later their "loved one" turned and walked away. Then we spent two weeks at a hotel before going home.

Can't wait to read part 2.

Callie said...

Wow, Christie! I started reading this blog only days after Alli came home. I can't believe how time has flown. I have really enjoyed following her story as she becomes such a wonderful and caring young girl, and you do such a good job of telling her stories so her awesome sense of humour comes out!

Happy anniversary Alli!

Michelle said...

Happy Anniversary! I can't wait to read more. We have submitted a letter to a family adopting their child through disruption, please keep us in your prayers.

Mike and Christie said...

Michelle, we will!

De, We home school teachers need a break now and then.... :)

Joy, that is how my friend also described their China experience. That is soooo different from Ukraine. And now, I have been told that Russia is requiring a THIRTY 3-0 day wait AFTER court where you go and visit for a month! That is instead of the 10 days.

I am amazed at how the time has gone by. And her accent cracked me up! I forgot about that. She speaks Texan now. :)

JJ said...

You mean there is a difference in southern accents??? LOL!

Christie, God was so good to send you to my home state and work events so that I needed to pass right by the greater-Raleigh area TWICE in the time you and Alli were in NC! What a shock to meet your 4th daughter within 24 hours of getting her, and to be able to be there for YOU, and for our newest son to be able to speak peace to Alli, as one transitioning into a new family himself!

Wow, so it has been almost a year since I have seen you. That is WAY too long, friend. WAY TOO LONG!

Happy Familiversary, Alli! It was a long journey from Russia to your forever family, but you made it! And, yes, ANY girl would be lucky to get to be a Minich girl. Congratulations, Noelle #4, CONGRATULATIONS!

Chiara Elena said...

Happy anniversary to Alli, mun, dat and sisters! Nice pic, I love toothless smiles!

MariaG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MariaG said...

I love the video. Alli must have been scared but little did she know, it was the beginning of something wonderful! I'm sure she couldn't imagine how happy she'd really be becoming a Minich! You are blessed with a loving family Alli, and are a blessing to them too! I'm very happy for you.
MariaG (Canada)

Muddled Muse said...

Wow. I had no idea that you picked Alli up at Walmart - I'm almost in tears picturing that scene. Will you please give Alli a hug from me? *HUGS*

Mike and Christie said...

I will Jean. :) We picked Sarah up at a McDonalds. It is all just so sad. :(

Annie said...

I do think that there might be a book idea in this: Profound things that happen at McDonalds. That is where I picked up Anastasia! Same scenario! I went to MEET her and before I knew it, her bags were in the trunk of my car.

But I've also taken Maxim to meet both sets of his previous adoptive parents in McDonalds.

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