Monday, 7 May 2012

Gotcha Day! ~ Steph

Wow.  What an emotionally draining day!  We started off with a large breakfast at the buffet downstairs here at the hotel.  We had realized earlier the excessive cost of sending out some laundry to be washed, so we took it on ourselves to wash some in the bathtub.  There is clothes hanging to dry all over our bathroom.  Yesterday, upon noting that we had 2 twin beds for the 5 (now 6) of us, we walked down to the Carrefour (France's equivalent of Wal-mart) and bought two air bed mattresses.  Nothing like camping out in a 5-star hotel!

After breakfast, we enjoyed a swim followed by going out to have lunch at a restaurant just around the corner from the hotel.  No one there spoke ANY English, so it was up to Sara to once again use her Mandarin and order us something.  She did a fine job, though we didn't exactly know what it was she ordered until it got to our table!  After lunch we met the other family here from BC that is also adopting.  They have 2 bio daughters and have also previously adopted one girl from China (actually only a couple hours drive from here).
Our guide Christine
Then the guide came by and we climbed up into the bus and headed out to the government office for the Gotcha day!  The butterflies were flying fast and furious in all of our tummies.  The other family's little girl arrived first - she is about 18 months old and a real sweetie.  It was heartwarming and touching to see mom, dad and the 3 girls in awe of this new little one join their family!

 We then got notice that Li Lin was coming.  She walked in to the room independently.  What an absolute cutie! Taller than we had anticipated, but very petite.  We approached her with trembling hearts, hoping to be accepted by her.  She was a little cautious at first, and not to sure of us.

She spotted some little riding toys at the back of the room and declared - (yes, in Mandarin, praise the Lord! Sara and her can communicate decently well) that she wanted to go play.

Once she got to the riding toy, she seemed to be enjoying herself.  She interacted fairly well with all of us, and we even got a few grins and chuckles from a couple of the toys.

She allowed us to be photographed with her, and had no problems letting Sara hold her for the group photos!  Things were going tremendously well... until we started leaving and the workers from the orphanage were not going with her!  It seems Li Lin had no problems having a little play date with us, but was in no mood to move in permanently!
At this point, she stared sobbing uncontrollably, alternately calling out for her grandpa, grandma and little brother (her elderly caregivers and her foster brother).  She then kept asking to go outside to play.  This continued as we were leaving the office, in the van, as we stopped for passport photos, back in the van to the hotel.
She thankfully fell asleep in Sara's arms in the van and we lay her down, exhausted on the bed when we got back.  We had a bit of paperwork to complete, and Li Lin woke up shortly after that was done.  Her tears and cries continued.  She insisted she wanted to go outside to play.  Really, what she was asking, was to go away from us!  We felt horrible.  Eventually, Sara managed to settle her down slightly with a walk around our floor in the hotel.  She once again fell asleep in Sara's arms and is currently asleep in bed, along with the rest of the crew.
 We are emotionally and physically (particularly Sara, who has held her for most of the time) drained.  It is so difficult to see such a little one grieve so heavily!  Apparently, that's good news for the long run, but it does nothing to make the present feel any easier!  She got quite angry at one point, stomping her feet and jumping up and down.  Sadness and anger are two of the stages of grieving... so we are well on our way!  It is interesting to see how her little personality comes out even during the grieving.  The kids all tried to distract her with the collection of toys and activities that we had brought.  They all worked... for a few seconds!  It was as if she was saying - ok, that's interesting, but I know that all you are trying to do is to distract me from what my main goal here is - to get away from all of you!  The kids are taking it hard.  They feel the sorrow that she is going through.  It is nice to see empathy on their part.

Rykauna and Logan crying along with their little sister.  Empathy - Character Trait of the Month!

We appreciate the prayers.  Tomorrow is another day!  That's right - my newest daughter does not like me, though I don't think she actively dislikes me.  She doesn't particularly want me to hold her though she will let me.  Good news though - she has turned to Sara a couple of times for comfort, which is a great sign!  Sara is able to communicate with her in Mandarin and I believe it has helped.  I'd best sign off now and try to get a few moments of sleep in case she wakes up once again and is still not happy with her situation!


  1. Well if you've never seen Grand-maman cry... this is it. I was reading this blog with tears running down my face. Poor, poor little munchkin. I so feel for this little one. I finished reading and knelt down to pray for all of you. I was sort of hoping that all of you were sleeping at this time but who knows??? This is the heart wrenching part. She looks beautiful. Loved the pictures of her enjoying herself with the kids. Dad and Mom, these are the birth pangs of adoption. May God continue to be with you. Love you all. He is with you every step of the way. Hang in there. Mom xoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxo

  2. Well, here go more tears... My heart aches for all of you :( Praying Li Lin will sleep well tonight and that tomorrow will be a much better day. It makes me think of how our Heavenly Father must feel when we reject His care for us, wanting things our own way and thinking we know best. Li Lin will come around I am certain, God has not led you all this way to stay rejected, and how can she refuse the love of such a wonderful family!! Love will win!! She is even more beautiful than I thought:) I loved the picture of Sara and Li Lin, first Mommy & daughter glimpse:) and the one of her playing with Rykauna, Logan and Hudson, she is a precious little addition to your family. Love you all xo Sheryl

  3. Awwww...heartbreaking. You are right though-it is a good sign of healthy attachment with her caregivers. Praying for you all. She's beautiful!

  4. ohh my heart is hurting with you all so much right now. love & prayers & more love from our family to yours

  5. Talk about mixed thrilled for you and so in awe of your beautiful little Li Lin. She's is absolutely adorable!! But the grieving process has got to be really, really tough. We've been praying that she would go through a healthy grieving process b/c it is so much better in the long run but I still hate that you all have to go through it!!!! We are definitely holding you all up in prayer, many times throughout the day. I loved the pictures and am so glad that you got to have a "happy" play time with her before she began to cry. She is precious beyond words and this Auntie is aching for all of you, but mostly she's beyond happy that Li Lin has a forever family now. Here's to a wonderful ever after...Love you all. The pic of the children grieving did me in. You're such a special family that I just know she will not be able to resist the love that she will be shown. "The greatest of these is LOVE". Hugs. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  6. sobbing here for all of you... praying today/tomorrow will bring a few more smiles.
    Li Lin is beautiful!

  7. aw sweet baby girl. So hard to see someone you love go through such a time of grief. Gotcha day sounds emotionally exhausting! A rollercoaster of conflicting emotions. Thanks for sharing your experience. Praying that her little heart heals quickly and she attaches her obvious ability to form a strong bond to her new family soon. She is beautiful.

  8. also..thanks for the reminder to start learning some Mandarin! Anything to help us connect and communicate with our child in those first few weeks is so worth the effort ahead of time.

  9. Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning!
    So sorry for the sadness in her little heart, but so glad for what is happening on the grand scheme that she can't comprehend...
    Love & prayers, Marianne

  10. I'm tearful while reading this... poor little Li Lin has gone through so much pain at her age,yet joyful for her because the love of each of you from Him is, and will away surround her from this minuete on! The first day is alway the hardest! So cheer up guys! I believe tomorrow she will feel better .
    Our hearts are with you!

  11. Ps: Love her smile!!!

  12. Li Lin is so cute! I am sure that she will warm up to you soon. How can she not when all you show her is love and caring. We are all praying for you here in Nica.

  13. Praying for all of you - and won't stop!!
    Love, Steph

  14. Hi Guys! So happy that you have your little one with you at last! She's so blessed to have a family like you guys, and I know she will warm up to you quickly. I think she fits in already! Passionate and full of life! It hurts to see her hurting so much but it's encouraging to see that she forms strong attachments. That's a good sign! I'll pray for you all and for little Li Lin. Can't wait to meet her!!!
    Carol M.

  15. I'm reading your blog with tears streaming down my face. Praying for God's peace to wrap around each one of you; for His strength to support you and for His love to sustain you every step of the way. Melody

  16. James & Elaine7 May 2012 at 17:36

    Thanks for sharing with us. Your family's trip is the hot topic in our assembly. Little Li Lin will fit to your family, the sign we can see.

  17. When I logged on this morning, even before I read anything I just saw the pictures and got chills. She is a little cutie but my heart breaks for her sadness. Praying that the Lord will strengthen you and your family for the road ahead.

  18. Wow! What an incredible day for you all. So nice to see the updates here and be able to follow what's happening. Will continue praying for you in the time ahead.
    Sonia M.

  19. This is by far the toughest day... it will get better. Praying that her heart will be comforted, and as you rightly said, this part is all so natural. She is beautiful, you guys are doing wonderful - your heart will break as hers does, as a parent who loves this little one so much, you will grieve with her. It just breaks your heart to see their turmoil. They lose so much in a split second. Praying.

    Love to you all.
    C, J & Lilah.