"Gotcha Day"
May 19, 2002

The Yueyang nanny places Linzhi in my arms for the very first time


Linzhi and her new Mom


Dad holds his daughter for the first time



"Gotcha Day" May 19, 2002
On May 19, 2002, at 3:30 Changsha time, we became a family. The babies arrived with their nannies by bus from the Yueyang orphanage 3 hours away. We were expecting them at 11:00 that day, but they did not get to the hotel until about 3:00.

The delay was due to a big traffic problem. All of the families were beside themselves waiting in their hotel rooms. There was a mini lobby in front of the elevators on the 18th floor where all the families were staying. When our representative got the call that they were near, all the families were instructed to wait in the mini lobby. We're all such sentimental fools... we were crying and hugging each other even before the babies came (myself included). Every time the elevator doors opened, the group of 22 waiting parents nearly pounced on the people coming out.

Finally, the door opened and 9 nannies walked out, each holding a little girl. We spotted Linzhi right away, she was the third one out of the elevator. The nannies were on one side of the lobby, while we were instructed to stay on the other side. Everyone was taking pictures, there were so many flashes going off.

The 5th person called to receive a baby was me. I stepped forward, and Linzhi was placed in my arms. Her nanny, a young pretty woman, smiled but later got teary eyed at having to watch Linzhi go. Mark captured everything with pictures. I told the nannies "Xie xie" many times which means thank you.

Afterwards, we went back to our room. Linzhi was incredible. She didn't cry and even smiled and winked at both of us. She kicked her legs while we made silly faces at her. She loved it. The only time she cried was when I changed her diaper. She looked great - no diaper rash.

The agency had a doctor come to each room and do an examination. Linzhi looked great although we were told to put more layers of clothes on her so she would not catch cold. Later the orphanage director came and presented me with a certificate. Through a translator he said how very thankful they were to me to adopt this little girl. I told them I was thankful for all the good care she had received.