On February 5th, 2006, I landed in Hong Kong for my second journey in parenthood. Having gone through this almost two years earlier, while I was familiar with the process and things to expect along the way, I would soon realize, that I would learn even more about where my daughters were from, important so that I could let them know what it was like.
On February 6th, Emmalie was placed into my arms.
This was one of the events that was very familiar to me, and why I express, this moment, and the adoption of my older daughter, being the top two moments of my life, both their adoptions tied in the number one spot.
I was in China during the tail end of the Chinese New Year, Year of the Dog. Fireworks cracked day and night celebrating the lunar new year. Although I was pretty screwed up sleep-wise from the 13 hour time difference, I had no problem sleeping through the nighttime celebrations.
This is a picture of a new hospital across from the hotel we stayed in. It is the same hotel as two years prior for my older daughter, but two year prior, this was a hole in the ground. A couple of days later, I would get to see Chinese medicine first hand. Long story for this post.
One thing we did not get to do two years before, due to SARS, was travel. This trip, we were taken to a village, very similar to where my second daughter is from. It was a humbling experience to say the least because unlike those living in the city areas, here, there was no running water or electricity, floors were concrete, and the people who lived here, survived on bare minimum.
A trip to the medical clinic at the US consulate to make sure my daughter was healthy.
Big sister also got to deal with the new sleeping/sleepless routine.
Pictured here with my daughters, are the two most precious people to me, the ones who helped create my family, Helen and De. Normally they do not get to see the children after the adoption is complete, but by coming back to adopt my younger daughter, they got to see Madison again, who they had not seen since two years before. They were so happy to see her and showered her with gifts.
She has a million different expressions that she can make with her face, and almost all bring a smile to anyone near her. I describe her as my comic relief, because she really is such a funny daughter.
But if there was one thing for certain, I would not be here today, if it were not for my daughters giving me the will to keep fighting. Having had cancer, it was next to impossible in the US to even think that I could become a father. China gave me that opportunity no questions asked.
I have been blessed to see both of my daughters grow through their childhood. This time of year always reminds me of those first days and how far we have all come.