Family Day/Gotcha Day
I don’t ever want to forget a single moment from today.
The hotel lobby was a buzz with excitement and nerves. All eight families gathered in the lobby, all preparing for the addition of one more. This is the day we have been waiting for, Family Day.
On the bus ride to the Civil Affairs office, Echo, our Holt representative, began telling us what to expect for the day. Since we have a large group, all the children would be brought out and placed in the play area with their nannies. Each family would take turns meeting their child for the first time. We were sixth on the list.
We pulled up to the Civil Affairs office and started walking toward it. I realized land and sea no longer separated us from our daughter. She was just inside this building, and in mere minutes I would be holding her. I felt calm with maybe a butterfly or two.
Inside the Civil Affairs office, we all sat down to fill out a 24 hour temporary custody form. As the last form was being signed, in came the children with their nannies and I saw a familiar face, one my heart knows all too well. And that’s when I lost it. I saw my daughter’s face up close for the first time. The same face I’ve studied in photographs and videos.
The nanny placed her in the play area on a toy scooter. No list or order could keep me from her, I was drawn to her like a magnet. I walked over and sat down in front of her, tears streaming down my face. She looked at me curiously and reached out for me. The nanny lifted her off the scooter, and she walked toward me reaching out her hands. Holding her was heaven.
Kyle knelt to the ground and picked up his girl, and that’s when her personality began to shine. She started imitating our facial expressions and throwing us huge grins. We also heard her little voice say Baba. One of the nannies came up to us gesturing and saying in mandarin that our new lil family was a good match with similar facial features.
We took our first family photo used to finish up some paperwork, and then off we went. All eight families, plus eight new little ones, loaded up the bus and headed back to the hotel. Family Day is an amazing, exhausting, emotional and for some a traumatic day. The morning began to wear on our little ladybug as she drifted off to sleep in her Baba’s arms.
We are so blessed!