Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Close your eyes...

Okay, now you can look!

Mommy finally finished her "Gotcha" Anniversary post!


Here are a few more photos taken before dinner...









I haven't quite figured out the timing on this "Gotcha Day" anniversary celebration. Last year we were headed to Guangzhou during the Super Bowl, but our actual "Gotcha Day" was the next day...then, if you take into account the time change, do you celebrate on our time or China time? We decided to celebrate on Monday night and finally decided on "Chili's", believe it or not! I know most families would probably choose Chinese food, but our favorite Chinese food is "Panda Express", and we wanted something a little more fancy than fast food. Not to mention the fact that if we really wanted to pay tribute to our actual "Gotcha Day" experience, we'd be eating McDonald's! Here are a few photos of Caroline with her "big kid" meal...it was a celebration, so we let her have her own "pop"...yeah, yeah...we're bad parents...well, she was thrilled and more than a little possessive of her cup. Besides, she didn't get all that much, considering it was far more fun to chew on the straw!







Caroline's "Gotcha Day" present...

a little handmade doll music box that plays a Chinese love song...she LOVED it!



Once we got to Guangzhou last year, it was a blur of activity, and by 3:30 pm, we had checked into our hotel, readied our orphanage gifts, gathered our paperwork, scarfed down the best McDonald's food of our lives and were on a bus headed to the Civil Affairs office! HALLELUJAH! The air was almost electric on that bus ride (see previous post). Makes me smile, just thinking about it...




There was a lot of pacing in the conference room...and more than a little bit of perspiration, as much from the heat and humidity as from the excitement! It was at least 80 degrees that day, and the weather was absolutely beautiful...a stark contrast to the gloomy skies of Beijing. And in one quick moment, all the waiting evaporated, and the room was filled with exhilaration, tears, laughter, photo-snapping...it was wonderful! I have watched so many "Gotcha Day" videos and I have choked up so many times, but when it came time to finally get my own baby, it seemed so surreal that I didn't shed a tear...until I looked at Mickey. It was one of those moments that will stand out it forever in my mind...he was crying because "I'm just so happy about our baby. I just love her," he said...who would have thought that my eight-year-old son would best express the very emotion we were all feeling...


"So you're the one, eh?"



Caroline was fairly calm while we were at Civil Affairs. I took a picture of her with one of the nannies that brought her, and then the nanny held her hands as she toddled back toward me with a big smile on her face. It was as if she instinctively knew I was "the one". And then we got on the bus to go back to the hotel...I'm fairly certain that the bus trip to get to Guangzhou did not impress our daughter. The minute we sat down on the seat, she started flipping out, arching her back and screaming. I wanted to get one of those cute pictures through the bus window, but she wasn't having any of it! I remember looking around at the other babies, who were exhausted and falling asleep, and thinking we might have gotten the live wire of the group...hmmm...




Daddy catches the first right hook.


You get the idea...she wasn't exactly in a cuddling mood.


What a whirlwind, those first couple of days...I was intimidated by very little in this whole adoption process...I had little apprehension about attachment, and I wasn't the least bit afraid of a little one-year-old baby...I mean, this was my fourth child...how hard could it be? Lemme tell ya...it was a humbling experience to be taken to the mat by a squirming, squealing, sometimes screaming, Chinese firecracker! And the total lack of remorse on her face...the "Is that all you got?" look...but by the next day, she started to open up and give us a glimpse into her sweet, affectionate little personality. More on that tomorrow...

By the time you get to this slide show, you'll have to

click on the "x" in the upper right corner in order to view it.





Most of the photos on this page are "never before seen shots" that are not on our website. They are but a sampling of the 2000+ photos I took on our trip. About 600 of those are posted to our website, Hope for Caroline. Photos from "Gotcha Day" are here, but you can look at any or all of the photos by visiting our home page and clicking on "Travel Logs".



I love this picture! This was taken right after we told Mickey

it was about time for bed that night...

to which he responded, "I'm not tired!"

3 comments:

Judi said...

Caroline is adorable! I enjoyed following your journey a year ago as a new waiting family with AWAA. Now I enjoy your blog! We are still waiting, but it will happen in God's time!
Judi
www.ourabundantlives.blogspot.com

Kristi said...

How could it be already a year since that day? I'll remember it always and will forever be grateful that our lives were thrown together in that hot room! I sure wish that we could have celebrated our one year anniversary in China reliving memories! A year ago today we went to the Yuan Tai gardens and then had a play date for our girls in our hotel room...
Can't wait for our reunion this summer!
Much love!
Kristi, Ian, & Kylie

Chris & Deb said...

Congratulations on your recent adoption of Caroline! She is adorable!

You asked if we could e-mail you so you could ask about our photography. I was unable to find your e-mail address....so here is ours:

cdandersen@comcast.net