Sunday, July 15, 2012


It finally came...3:00 p.m. and we headed to the conference room to meet Penny and prepare for our gotcha day, which would be happening in 30 minutes.  Boy were we surprised when we walked up to the room to see a little girl sitting in a chair.  It was LENA!  Oh boy...they were early and we weren't prepared for  But it was oh so sweet to see our little girl sitting there in the chair drinking a juice box waiting for us.  Little did she know what was going to happen though.   We approached her cautiously, but she still looked at me as if I was some evil lady.  She got tears in her eyes and started crying quite a bit.  It was all a blur really.   I remember holding her and her not liking it one little bit.  We had to get a family picture of just her, Rick, and I taken and then we got one with Evan too.   Rick and Evan seemed to get her to calm down while I worked on the paperwork.   She was taken with them and even smiling and laughing at one point.  Evan knew just what to do and it seemed as if we were going to have a daddy's girl on our hands!   We were given a list of questions that the orphanage answered about her.  Most of my questions were on the list and I got a couple more answered too.  We also got the outfit that she was found in the day she was abandoned, at approximately 3 months of age- March 22nd, 2010.  That was a treasure!  They also told us they would give us a copy of her finding ad tomorrow.  This is an ad that has to be published for a certain amount of time so that the police have record that a search was performed for the child's birth parents.  We got two of the disposable cameras back I have sent through care packages....not all of them, but I'll take it!  The more pictures we have of our little girl while she was waiting for us, the better in my mind.   We were told they would happily have us back to visit the orphanage on Wednesday and when I asked about advocating for three of the boys who are waiting for a family there, the assistant director happily said she would make sure all three of them were there on Wednesday, even though one of them is living with a foster family.  I am praying I can get pictures and video footage of all three boys to help them find a is amazing what updated pictures, video, and a few pieces of information can do!!

                           Here is a picture Evan made for Lena right before we went to get her.
                                                            Our first glimpse...pre-tears!

Lena with Mrs. Huang- an assistant director or children's director at the orphanage.  She was the only one who came with for gotcha day.  They traveled 2-3 hours by car to get to our hotel in Fuzhou.

                                         Lena with daddy-she seemed like a daddy's girl at first.  I think she will be a daddy's girl for sure, but she is going to both of us equally now, which is a good thing and very nice for both of us!   Rick so needed this since this hasn't been how it has been with Elijah and Jonah.


                                                     Lena with our guide, Penny.

    Lena and Evan really helps having a sibling there if possible for a child this age!
       Mom embracing Lena for the first time!   She wanted nothing to do with me at first.

                                Our first family shots (minus the four littles back at home)!


                                                Mrs. Huang getting some papers ready.

                          Family picture with just mom and dad for some of our paperwork.

                      Eating the Gerber Puffs- those were definitely a hit and a must have!

                                   Evan and Lena playing while mom was doing paperwork.

 Back in our hotel room, where we had some more grieving and some really great bonding      moments too!

In the hotel room with all of the helpful items out- helping Evan with a sticker book, knocking down stacking cups, bubbles, a beach ball, and more!

Once we had all the paperwork done and gave our gifts to the official from the local adoption office and the assistant director of the orphanage, we were headed back to the room.  This is where our 2nd meltdown occurred.  Lena did not want to leave that room and she really wanted to go outside.  Unfortunately, she was in no shape to be outside where many on-lookers would be wondering what in the world was happening!  We headed back to our room and buckled down- pulling out all the stops....suckers, stacking cups, the beach ball, a toy cell phone, light up toys, Gerber puffs, etc. etc. etc.   She loved the Gerber puffs and had fun kicking down the stacking cups and having me build them over and over and over again.  Once I got the beach ball out, the smiles and laughs came out.  She was definitely bonding to me and I was so happy to see that she doesn't seem to have a preference between Rick or myself but enjoys spending time with both of us.    She loved her toy cell phone too and the light up toys.  She also enjoyed watching Evan work on a sticker book and tried to help him push the stickers down.  I really think she is going to look up to her big brother.   I think she is going to give Landyn a run for his money- she is about the same size as him height-wise and they have a bit of the same demeanor...stinkers at heart! :)    We had a few more meltdowns every now and then- mostly pointing out the window or at the door.   We closed the shades so as to not tempt her with a place we could not go at the moment.  Rick tried to leave to go get us dinner only to find himself faced with a major storm starting up outside.  She had a big meltdown while he was gone.  We decided to order room service instead.  She enjoyed some of the fried rice, along with her Gerber puffs.  Evan had a bowl of instant oatmeal I brought from home.  I finished the fried rice and Rick had fried noodles with veggies.   I gave her her first bath with pink water (thanks to my favorite crayola color tablets) and all!  She didn't care for having her face or hair washed, but she did love the bath toys!    She is full of bruises- especially on her legs and knees.  I thought my boys had a lot of bruises, but this girl has more than all of them combined.   She also has a Mongolian spot on her back end.  This is very common in Asian children.  I did not know this until I watched a friend's child and had to be told about it.  I am glad I knew before we got Lena.   She has a fairly large one that we'll have to get documented so no one things we committed child abuse or something!   She has a ton of mosquito bites too- poor thing.  I don't think many orphanages have air conditioning and it is super hot here.  They probably leave the windows open and the kids end up with lots of bites.  Other than that though, she looks great.  She seems developmentally on target and she is very bright and curious.  I think she will end up picking up ASL quickly once we get home.  We are working on basic signs with her already.

I know there are many more things I wanted to say, but this is getting long so we'll end it here and add more tomorrow.  Tomorrow we go to the adoption center and finalize some things and then our guide will take us to Wal-Mart to get anything we need for Lena (we may need some more diapers- she is not potty trained...basically told they have too many kids to have had time to do it....though I often see the opposite and see kids potty trained early so they don't need as many diapers).  We also will buy some diapers to take with us to the orphanage visit on Wednesday.

All in all- a wonderful first day with our little girl!  We are blessed!


  1. You could have written a book, and I'd have read the WHOLE thing!!! Can't wait to see photos! Congratulations and welcome to the wonderful world of little girls!!! You are blessed! May you sense God's presence in a special way over the next few days... Will keep praying here in Florida! Lori McCary

  2. So exciting! I looked forward to reading about your gotcha moment, and it filled my heart with joy. Enjoy your first few days with precious Lena! Hugs to you, Donna Patrick

  3. Oh I am so thrilled for you all!!

  4. can not wait to see precious pictures of you all!!!
    It sounds like all is going very well-if she is eating, and playing, and laughing, ALL IS WELL!!!!
    Hugs to you

  5. WONDERFUL!! Such a blessing to THINK of her in your arms and beginning her life with a mama and baba!

  6. i agree with lori i could of read pages ;) thanks for what you did post...get some rest.
    i will anxiously await more pictures & posts.


  7. I'm so happy for you! Lena is just beautiful! You are such a blessing to so many of us, and part of our red threads too. It's so wonderful to see you with your new little girl! I can't wait to see more pictures and read about your time in China. Praying for her little heart during the coming weeks, for you to be able to sense and understand her needs, for rest and peace for all of you, and for lots of blessings for your new family!!

  8. She is precious!!!! So so so excited for you and your family!

  9. Oh My Brooke- she is absolutely beautiful!! What a precious child!!

    It's so wonderful to se all the pics- thank you for sharing!!

  10. Congratulations on getting LENA!!! I love this post with all it's detail!!!