We had to get up early today. It was the big day. But Lo woke up around 1:30 AM I woke at 4:00AM. We both went back to sleep but it was still an early start. Riley was not scheduled to arrive until around 11AM but we still wanted to eat a good breakfast and prepare for her.
Mo the social worker called at 10:45. We still had some paper work to do. So we met her in the lobby to get that done. Riley showed up soon after that and after some pleasantries with the other families, all 6 of went to our room. Three social workers, Lo and I and of course the star of the show, Riley.
All went well while the social workers were there. As soon as it was evident that they were leaving, Riley became inconsolable. She knew that today she was leaving her foster mom and staying with us but as they were leaving, she cried and cried that she loved them. It was truly heart wrenching.
They left, and Lo held her for an hour while she just cried her little eyes out. She was grieving her losses. First of the only mother she had ever known and then the social workers to whom she was very attached. For the first time in my life, I was truly helpless and all I could do was watch and listen. It was made worse by the fact that Riley wants nothing to do with me. Although today was better than yesterday in the respect that at least she does not run away from me and scream, I cannot hold her. I had no idea my heart could hurt so bad. As my own tears slipped down my face, Riley saw me through her own tears and stopped to wonder what I was crying about. She stared at me for what seemed hours but was really only about 3 minute. I found her eyes to be captivating. I could not look away. God has given me an instant love for her.
As the afternoon wore on, she began to lighten up and play with Lo. She played with blocks, with her piggy bank, her first english word was money! I taught her. She played peek a boo at the top of her lungs and as you can see from the picture above, she is a camera hound. She cannot pass a mirror without stopping to admire herself and strike a pose and wave. She loves blowing kisses at the video camera as well.
We just hung around the hotel room the whole afternoon. We played, we cried and played some more. Then we all cried a little bit more and then played some more. It went on all afternoon. Crying, playing, crying. All in all, it was much easier than Lo or I thought it would ever be.
Around 5PM we went down to the hotel restaurant and had dinner. I had pizza, Lo had a club sandwich and Riley had fried rice and chicken. She ate it and played in the restaurant at the same time. The wait staff were very kind. Since we were the only ones in the entire dining room, they took real good care of us and Riley.
She is still real shy around me. During her bath she almost had a fit when I brought her bath toys in and she was unclothed. Some one taught her modesty. As I write, we are trying to get her ready for bed. So far so good, but we are only in the pajama stage, we have not started actually going to bed. Who knows that that will be like. So anyway, another day in the journey. Eventful but also less so than we though it might be.