Monday, August 1, 2016

Part 2 of Our Adoption Story: Gotcha Day!

It's been three weeks since we walked out of the government building where we met our son for the first time. It seems like a long time ago and just yesterday at the same time. I already find it inconceivable that there was ever a time when Li wasn't a part of our family, but we've barely begun our journey with Li.

On Gotcha Day, we talked about how different our afternoon would be from our morning. We tried to find ways to burn time until the afternoon. We ate Subway for lunch. (Yes, China has Subway! And it's totally a normal Subway, except they tend to skip a bit on the meat.) Then we met our wonderful guide and got in the van to make our way to the government where our lives would change forever.

As we walked in, I saw Li peeking toward the door of the playroom. It was my first glance of him in real life, and that was the moment that it sank in. We were really, truly going to walk out of that building with our son! And he was really stinkin' cute!

Then we sat there for what seemed like an eternity. The director of his orphanage had to arrive at the government building in addition to Li and his caregivers from his foster home. He was there on time, but we were there early, so we had to wait a few minutes (felt like a few years).

Then we were called to the door of the playroom to officially meet our son. He's just as graceful as his parents (as in us, not his birth family).

Edwin and I were both shocked at how tiny he was. He seemed much bigger in the pictures and on Skype, but in real life he looked like a baby. The fact that he fell meant that I could comfort him, which was a definite up side. There were so many boo-boos that I wasn't around to kiss. It was good to finally be there for one of them.

Then we took him back to the ginormous sectional couch that wrapped around the entire room and gave him the little gifts that we bought. He loved the cars instantly, and he cheered up very quickly. There were other kids who were extremely sad to leave their caregivers, and understandably so, but Li was pretty chill about the whole thing. (We later saw just how sad he was when we made a trip to the orphanage. More about that later.)

I couldn't help repeating over and over, "I get to keep you forever!?"

I needed to speak to his caregivers about his daily routine and eating habits, but I hated leaving him. Okay, I was only two feet away, but it took me so long to get to him! I probably should have asked more questions, but I was completely distracted. We took a picture with his orphanage director and caregivers before leaving.

These people (as well as other nannies who didn't make the trip) were Li's family when we weren't there, and I'm eternally grateful to them. They did an amazing job getting him ready for his forever family and transferring Li's trust from them to us.

Then we rode back to the hotel where Edwin would do some paperwork and I would play with Li in the hotel's playroom. I was just beginning to get to know this kid, but I was already in love.

Then we went back to our room to begin really taking in everything that it means to be Li's parents. We quickly learned that he is an entertainer and a flirt.

But more than anything, he's our's! He is completely, totally, absolutely our son! And we couldn't be happier to finally have him home where he belongs.