Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gotcha Day, a Movement, and a Mutiny

Really, Gotcha Day?!  As a creative group of Adoptive Parents, couldn't we have found a better name for today (which was really like yesterday, or so... I can't keep track of days anymore.  I think we've been in China now for only 4 or 5 days, but it feels like a month because of all that has happened!).  How about we start a "movement".  Now, if only one person walks in, stands up, and says "Lets call it Delivery Day!", well, they might think he is crazy.  But if 2 people walk in, and call it "Delivery Day"... well then... they might think they are crazy too!  But if 3 people, I mean if THREE people walk in, and call it "Delivery Day", then we might have a Movement.  And if you have not lived through the 60s or 70s, then you are probably too young to know what a Movement is.  

But I digress...

On our Delivery Day (delivery like, a Childs Birth, not like a package in the mail), we woke up at our usual 3am, anxious to get things started!  Its amazing how slow time moves when you are waiting for something... and it is also amazing how "Natural it Felt" that we were now getting ready to meet Ping. It really did feel like I was sitting in the Hospital Waiting Room with my Wife, waiting for the labour to continue its progress... being in the actual government office was like being IN the delivery room... with every piece of paper which came our way that we had to sign, I could hear a nurse in the background yelling "Push!  Push!!  PUSH!".  To which I would lovingly encourage my wife "Baby, the nurse says to push".  To which, my wife, would look at me, with wide loving eyes, and say "Dont talk, I hate you.  You're a moron."

Anyway, this felt alot like that.  And that was a good thing, because any questions or worries I had about "Am I going to love her the same", or "How am I going to feel about the adoption" just vanished because it "felt the same".  Although I had not adopted before, I have had children before, and this felt the same... so natural (and c'mon, child birth is NOT natural, I don't care WHAT Doctors tell you!  Its this big messy mess, and I'm positive that it was not meant to happen the way it happens!), and so familiar.

2:10  The last of the families arrive from the Guangzhou airport.
2:15  On the bus ready to go!  We had to be at the Government Offices for 2:30pm.
2:30  Leaving the Hotel Parking LOT!  YAY!  We are only about 10 minutes away from our babies!
2:40  Still leaving the hotel parking lot... hmmm... the traffic seems kind of bad today.
2:45  Yulin informs us that the traffic is indeed bad... confirming my suspicions.
2:47  We have now left the parking lot!
2:49  Becky jumps out of the bus, and runs back to to Hotel.  Yulin informs us that she will take care of some other stuff at the hotel because the bus is moving so slowly, and we are going to run out of time.
2:55  We have now rounded to the back side of the hotel.  Did I mention traffic is bad?
2:57  Yulin is appologizing on the phone again to the Government Offices for our tardiness.
3:10  We are now caught in traffic... that other stuff... that wasn't traffic, THIS is traffic.  Some moron (no, not me this time) parked thier car in one of the driving lanes.  So things are continuing to slow down.
3:20  Yulin answers the phone, its Becky!  Shes AT the Government Office, apparently, its only a 9 minute walk.  The children are there, and they have been waiting for quite some time.
3:21  We're starting a mutiny on the Bus to start walking to the Offices.  Yulin has to shoot someone to get us all back in order.  Okay... maybe that DIDN'T happen.  But we were thinking of walking.
3:25  Yulin points out the Government Office!  So close!
3:30  Bus stops a building short of the office, everyone jumps off the bus and runs to the Offices!
3:32  We all clamber into the "Delivery" room, off on the left hand side is a toy room, and inside, our children are playing!  As all the parents coo and swoon and try desperately to get a peek at their beloved child, a man comes into view, and slides the curtain closed.
3:33  More paper work, sign this, organize that, put bags over there, get your temperature taken (this will happen a couple more times over the next 2 days)...
3:45  1st name is called... little girls steps out from behind the curtain, big smile on her face!  Goes to their new Mama and Baba and thus begins a new family.  Wait, make that, "thus continues a family".
4:00  Our Zhong Dongping is called!  We anxiously await in front of the curtain... Grandma (not our biological grandma, but one of the grandmas on the trip (Grandmas are awesome by the way!)) had the video camera going for us, I was ready with the still camera... and out walked Ping!  I can only hope that Grandma remember to press "REC", because I was too dumbstruck to do anything.  6 months of still pictures and poorly translated letters turned into flesh and blood right before our eyes.  She walked slowly towards us, her caregiver holding her hand.  She faced Roberta, and said Mama.  Roberta hugged her a few times, I finally managed to take a couple of pictures.  Then Ping turned to me, and in the sweetest voice, said softly, as if meant only to be heard by herself to remind herself, or to tell herself who I was, were the words I've wanted to heard for over 18 months... Baba.

What happened after that is somewhat of a blur.

I asked her caregivers a bunch of questions, while Roberta took her to a couch and started showing her some toys and Cherrios (seriously, anyone adopting, bring LOTS of Cheerios!).  I then made my way over to Ping who was playing with Kole, and watched her play.  While other families were still getting thier children, and starting the same process of simple bonding... I'm not sure that I actually noticed they were there.  In other "Delivery Day" videos, I thought "how can you bond in a moment like that!  There is so much chaos and noise, and confusion!".  But being there, it was simple...  there was only me, my wife, our son, and our new daughter.  There was no one else.  There were no distractions, there was only us in this moment.

That moment had to end eventually, when I got asked to do more paper work.  A donation here, some money there - all which got official receipts from the China Government agency.  The receipt from the Orphanage Donation was done up in this commemorative beautiful red folder for display.   

After that was taken care of, I went back to spend more time with the family.  As more and more families finished their paper work, the children started mingling with each other and the parents already started sharing stories of how fast kids grow up, and did you see what my child did today?  Parents are parents are parents... I don't care how you became a parent.

Each family then got brought to the Directors(?) office - a final interview that we do accept our new daughter, that we will love her, never hurt her, give her a good life and good education... and sign here, sign that, give some bath salts... and another piece of paperwork down.

Some more playing...

Then, family photo.  For what?  I'm not sure.  Some government use tho.  Can't remember.

Then, finally, done.  For today.  There will be more tomorrow... actually, there will be more later tonight.

5:10  We arrive back at the Hotel.
5:15  We meet Yulin and Becky at a board room in the hotel, and do more paper work for tomorrow.
7:00(?)  Paper work finally done!  Now, its off to eat... and then bed.

What a crazy (but beautiful) day.

  • For those considering adoption, its really not that bad, in fact, we didn't even need an epidural for this child's delivery!
  • To those of you on this wonderful journey, thats what a Delivery Day may look like, and yes, it will come, and no, it will not be "soon enough".
  • For those of you who already have passed through this way, good on ya, and well done.
  • For those who are supporting adoptive parents, understand that this is as real, emotional and trying as any child Delivery... just with less stretch marks on the tummy... but maybe more wrinkles and grey hairs.


  1. You guys are awesome! Thank you for the detailed account of your day! I LOVE delivery stories:)

  2. Wow. Amazing. Hurray!

    Looking forward to seeing you guys back home, when we all get back there, that is!

    PS: I participated in a lot of deliveries as a courier, but I don't remember any being like this. What? Oh, right. Not THAT kind of delivery. Nevermind.

  3. Happy Delivery Day! What a beautiful account of your day! My eyes have welled up with tears of joy for you all! Enjoy these next few days getting to know one another!

  4. Until you have experienced it, it is hard to believe "there is no difference". You love just the same. That child has grown in your heart and she is yours.

    Sniff, sniff.....we are so happy for you!

    Kim & Steph

  5. So happy to hear about your trip! Dong Ping is beautiful! Can't wait to see your trip to the orphanage and if you see our sweet Yang Ya. Good luck!

  6. Awesome guys - just awesome.


  7. I'm so happy for all of you that everything went well on Delivery Day! Some families refer to this day as Family Day, or Forever Family Day, or Adoption Day. I don't really care for the "Gotcha" terminology either.

    When we adopted Josie, we were first. I took her and sat in a corner with her. I didn't see any of the 11 other families in our group receive their children. It was like being in a dream--only awake. I can't wait to do it again!

    Great commentary! More pictures!


  8. What a awesome post! Congrats to you all on such a wonderful day!
    Enjoy that beautiful girl!
    Safe travels,

  9. I love the term "Delivery Day!!!" I didn't like gotcha day either and have refused to call it that.
    I am living vicariously through yall! Our daughter, Yang Yi is at Zhongshan too! We just got LOA for her so we are not that far behind you!
    Blessings for the rest of your trip!

  10. Beautifully written! And there was definitely some sniff, sniff here as I read it. I will happily join your Delivery Day movement!

    Congrats! Your daughter is precious!

  11. Loved reading this and remembering the mayhem of our Delivery day. What a wonderful day for your family.

  12. Now that things have settled down over here, I was able to get on your blog finally and whoa! You have Ping! I'm so excited for you guys and will now be checking in everyday! Have a blast getting to know her. That's the really fun part. Imagine discovering that your child MUST put his shoes on every time he uses the bathroom in the hotel room. It's hilarious. Enjoy!

  13. Wow, how incredible, sacred and beautiful! I'm still bawling and praying. Bless you guys and thanks again for the big privilage of being able to share in these precious moments because of you blog and sharing your heart so openly. God bless you all, and speedy return. I cant wait to hug Ping! Much love
    Kimberly O(you'll be able to know it's me by my terrible spelling-but all the love is still in tact)

  14. Well said, well done! Love it, love it! More photos please.

    I'm not partial to gotcha day either and have been looking for an alternative. I think I like adoption day but I'll support your delivery day movement.

    Ping looks like such a brave little soul with a happy spirit. I hope she finds the adjustment as easy as can be. Looks like Big Brother is helping ease her way. She'll take her cues from him I bet. Congratulations again.

  15. What a labor - great job - you done good! Ping is beautiful!