Some babies come from the hospital. Some babies come through revolving doors in hotel lobbies.
By 9:30 the next morning, we were waiting in the lobby to meet our girl. We weren't allowed to go to the orphanage because of fear of spreading Swine Flu. We also weren't allowed to meet her nanny because in the past nannies have contacted families for money. China is very careful about what may or may not be a bribe.
So we sat for an hour in a smoke-filled, bustling lobby waiting for our daughter. We watched business men, a wedding party, and countless bellboys pass through the revolving door. Each slowed down just a bit to have their temperature taken by the automatic scanners.
She was an hour late.
"We're not thinking about TB today," Jonathan reminded me.
I gulped. It was all I thought about. I was about to be handed a baby that I may have to hand back. But if I was truly meant to be her mom, I knew there had to be a miracle in store for this child.
Suddenly, a young woman can through the revolving door holding a baby. I knew in an instant it was my daughter.
We jumped up, and the woman told her, "Mama," and pointed to me. She handed Princess to me. I'd never seen such fear in a child's eyes. She screamed, like she'd been kidnapped. I held her for the next 45 minutes and her heart broke into a million pieces. Everything this child had known was gone. Everything, whether is was good or bad, had changed.
Hours later, Princess stopped crying. Her face was blank, she stared at nothing, and her limbs were limp.
She had shutdown.