Gotcha Day is such a blur. Our appointment was at 2:30, so we spent the morning anxiously watching the minutes tick by. To pass the time, our group decided to try and find the city’s only Starbucks. We walked there and discovered a huge shopping mall with pretty fancy stores, so we walked around for a little while.
After lunch, we had to exchange all of our money. It happened in our hotel room, so it felt a little mafia-esque, but it all worked out in the end.
We left at about 2:00 in a van with our group to go to the building to meet our kids. After an elevator ride that felt like an eternity, we walked off and into the Children’s Welfare Institute of Guizhou office. There were four foster families and four children sitting in the room when we arrived, and in a moment of chaos we all scanned the room for our child. Dan spotted Selah first; she was wearing the pink sweater we saw from the photos of her cake and fruit party. I knelt down in front of her and opened her backpack we brought with some toys for her. She looked at me, smiled, and said, “Mommy” perfectly clear. I looked up and her foster mother was smiling with tears in her eyes. It was a beautiful and sad moment all at once because while I was gaining a daughter, another woman was losing one. I stood up and gave her foster mother a hug and said “xie xie” (thank you in Chinese) and we both cried. I can never repay her for the wonderful job she did raising Selah for 14 months. Selah is so incredibly smart, and both her foster mother and father had been preparing her for our family very well. She knew mine and Dan’s faces from the photo book I sent. Her foster father pointed at Dan, said something to Selah, and she said with a big smile, “baba!” which is Daddy in Chinese. She immediately started playing with us and the toys we brought her. We were so concerned that it would take her a long time to be happy and to smile. We never saw her smile in any of the photos we had of her, so we wanted so badly to make her smile. It happened within seconds of meeting her! We really felt all of the prayers on our Gotcha Day. It went better than we ever could have imagined. Selah was wonderful, her foster parents are truly gifts from God, and it was incredibly special all around. Selah kept getting more and more comfortable, and she eventually started going around to the other kids and the room and sneaking their toys away to play with. She is a little rascal! If you point the camera at her, she grins from ear to ear. We just love her so much already.
After a very long three hours in that little room while we finished up some adoption paperwork, we took a long van ride with lots of traffic back to the hotel. Selah continued to do very well with us and kept calling us Mama and Baba. We went to dinner and she ate well and was VERY busy trying to get into everything. She did get upset at bedtime; I really think she was missing her foster parents. She finally cried herself to sleep in Dan’s arms around 10 pm. She is independent, curious, smart, and such a sweetheart. God is so good, and we are so lucky to have her as a part of our family.
All National Parks: Our Travel Bucket list
X Acadia National Park