The paperwork continues to go forward. We HOPE to leave for China in a few weeks, though it is possible that the wait may stretch out a bit longer. Having gotten another update - and photo! - of our daughter, it's getting increasingly hard to wait.
What will she think of the two strange-looking people who are going to be pressing themselves upon her, holding her, telling her in bad Mandarin that "We love you" and then whisking her away from the foster FAMILY that she has known for almost her entire life? Yes, yes, I know: children, especially very young ones, are resilient, and the trauma of Gotcha Day will likely* fade quickly. But... what will she think? Will she be terrified? Angry? Forlorn? All of the above?
My mental processes are not always the swiftest, but as I was looking at photos of her interacting with her (unseen) foster parents, it finally hit me that she loves them. And, pretty clearly, they love her and have cared for her as well as anybody could wish. It's wonderful that my daughter has at least two fathers who love her very much, and I hope that we will be able to keep her in touch with her foster family in the years to come.
And I will take her from them.
The end of this part of the journey looms larger and larger in the shrinking distance. I am happy, frustrated, eager, frightened, and more than a little sad, because this is not how a child's story should be written.
(*) Or not. The human mind is a strange thing, and some people have an easier time coping with trauma than others. It may be that our daughter will adjust easily to her new life. It may be that she will suffer ill effects for months if not years. Only time will tell.