Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Gotcha Day!

Monday, January 26 was the long awaited Gotcha Day!  We met our guide around 11AM and we went to Walmart (yup, Walmart in China!) to buy any baby items we thought we would need or were unable to pack.  We got some diapers and a few other small items, along with some necessary items for the hotel room (water, snacks, noodles, etc).  Our guide did a good job keeping us fairly busy this day, as we were all very anxious about the upcoming Gotcha moment at 3PM.  He also kept us informed about Hannah...when she departed her city, how she handled good-bye to foster mom, how she was doing through the trip, etc.

We then went to the Civil Affairs Office in Nanning.
When we arrived, we were told to sit in the lobby and that our daughter was in a small room off to the side.  Some paperwork needed to be done while we waited.  At one point we saw her run out into the lobby and that was the first moment we saw her.  I saw her and knew it was her.  Her Nanny came out to take her back into the room.  After that they called us into another room where we filled out some paperwork and signed some documents and then....it was time.  There she was!

The Gotcha moment was surreal.  To see this little girl, in the flesh, that you've only seen in photos and video was so strange and overwhelming.  They told us to go to her and to offer snacks so we did and she took them from us.  Next thing we know, they told Chris to pick her up.  He did and everyone quickly disappeared from the room.  She cried.  I took her and she quickly quieted.  We looked at a family photo book I'd packed along and she ate snacks.  Then we left.  Just like that!  It was so fast!  I think we were there about twenty minutes or maybe even less.  We went back to the hotel to begin our 24 hour harmonious period before we would finalize the adoption the next day.  We finished some paperwork at the hotel and then our guide left us to get to know each other.  We played in the room and took a walk in the park.

It was so strange to finally be holding her, to feel her in our laps, smell her, and see her in person.  The journey began....

 Very first meeting at the Civil Affairs office...

 Baba picked her up and she cried.

Mama distracting her with the family book.

Just like that, we were back in the van and headed to the hotel!  No car seats in China!

One of my favorite photos from Gotcha Day.  She was studying me and making great eye contact right from the start, as if asking me if she would be safe.

Playing in the hotel room with balloons...just an hour or two after Gotcha.

Getting snacks out of the cups.

Our first walk in the park by the hotel and first ride in the ergo carrier.  She was exhausted and quickly fell asleep here.  Still feeling pretty surreal at this point!

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