Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Gotcha Day- So Many Reasons to Celebrate

We woke up, me much too early after not such a good night of sleep. I woke up before it was light and just couldn't get back to sleep.  I eventually had to drag Evan out of bed to go get some breakfast. We had a lot of time to kill between breakfast and gotcha time.  The night before I had made up all the gift bags we'd need to give out this week.  I spent some time in the morning getting the kids' bags of stuff to do ready and questions written out to ask about Reid.  I wrote down all of the kids who I'd like to see for families waiting back at home and some kids who I'd just like to advocate for so our guide could give it to the orphanage so they could prepare for Thursday's visit.  We checked out a few bakeries for a cake for Reid- they were outrageously expensive for a very small cake.  We went to check out the playroom in our hotel- it is on the tower apartment side and the whole floor smelled like smoke. It was only for kids 3 and under in my opinion and it was hot in the room- I was not impressed.  We then went down a floor to check out the Can Am clinic/hospital should we need to have to go there.   We  met with our guide at 12:30 p.m. in the hotel library to go to the bank to change money at the local bank.  We then had a short meeting in our room to prepare for the afternoon.   Evan and I then went with another family to McDonald's for a quick lunch because we did not have much time.   At 2:00 we met back in the lobby to head to the Guangdong Province Civil Affairs building for our gotcha moment!

This day was special for so many reasons- it was my anniversary- 7 years married to my wonderful husband.  It was Reid's gotcha day- our 7th child in 7 years.  And, it was Reid's 6th birthday!  I was nervous, but not as nervous as I was last year.   We got to the Civil Affairs office to see that many families had already been united with their children.   There were a handful still waiting.  I got to meet one of my adoption friends, Liberty, who was also waiting for her son who has beta thalassemia like Reid.   Talking to her, I started to get a little emotional.  She said she had saw him come out from behind the secret curtain room.  Our guide had us fill out some paperwork.   We were all nervous that we'd be filling out the paperwork when the children walked through the door.   Reid actually did come out, along with his best friend Mason, at one point.  He wasn't paying attention so he didn't even notice us.  It was hard not to just go give him a hug, but we were supposed to wait.  So we waited and not long later, out they came. It all happened so fast.  There were some babies crying, but not as many as I thought there would be.  There were quite a few families in the room.  We were adopting the oldest child that day.  It made me realize how hard it is for school aged and older children to find a forever family and how each year, their odds just keep getting less and less.

Reid was very serious- not many smiles, but he was not crying.  He was very interested in all of the things we brought for him in his bag- snacks, paper and crayons, a light-up ball, and a tablet to color that had numbers you matched to the marker color.  He first drew a picture on the doodle pad- a sun and some grass.  He was very interested in the coloring tablet.  He was very good at matching the numbers to the correct color.  He could pay attention for quite some time when he was coloring.  He really seems to enjoy that.   I was able to talk to someone from the orphanage and I got a few of my questions answered.  He was transfused this past Friday, so he should be fine making it until we get home to see the hematologist and wait for his next transfusion. He did have a bad cough and was congested, but no fever.  They handed me a bottle of medication that he is on to help lower his iron count.  Blood transfusions give the body too much iron so children with this special need have to take a daily medication to rid their body of the excess iron from the transfusion.   It was Ferriprox.  Through an online group I am on, I have learned that this medication is NOT FDA approved in the United States, at least not for children.  I had learned that it would be better for them not to get chelation medication until prescribed by the hematologist at home than to keep on giving them n this medication while in China.  Reid was pretty worried about it though- he kept trying to get it and find it in my bag.  He has since forgotten about it.   We got some pictures together and with the other families adopting from Bao'an.   It was really all a blur.  They boys ran around quite a bit and played with the light up ball- that was a big hit for a handful of kids.   Evan and Reid played catch while I filled out some more paperwork.   Before we knew it, it was time to go.  We headed to the elevators and loaded back into the van for the hotel.  We went to our room and hung out for the rest of the night.

Adopting a school-aged child is kind of like raising a toddler.  Everything is new to them and they want to explore their new world, touching and trying everything.  He was into everything, turning lights on and off, wanting to see how each toy, puzzle, etc. we had in the room worked.   He is like Curious George. :)    It sure kept me busy and on my toes.   I learned that he is pretty bright and seems to have a good memory.  I read through some of the things the orphanage Sunshine School had sent for him- a book of projects he had made and some notes from the teachers and assistant director of the program.   They said that they will miss him and that he is a very good boy- very polite and helpful.   We played a few games on the I-pad mini and from that I was able to see that his fine motor skills are pretty good and that he knows many of the letters and sounds.  He can sort and match things and he can recognize many numbers and can count pretty high, skipping a few numbers as he goes- especially in the teens.

One of the dads ran and got some carry out Thai food from Cow and Bridge restaurant.  He  brought us some delicious chicken fried rice.  After eating it was time for a bath and time to brush teeth.  I had some of my questions answered- I've been wondering about privacy with an older child, bathing, changing into pajamas, etc. Definitely a boy here- no concern at all for privacy- he could care less if I saw him naked. He heard me turn on the shower for Evan and started a bath (likely his first) and got naked as quick as humanly possible. He jumped right in like a cannon ball and was having a blast! They even have a shower sprayer in there- he loved that. He got his goggles and put them on too. He was laughing so much. Evan joined him instead of taking a shower. He was a fish- all over the place. I think he would have stayed in there forever. He then happily brushed his teeth (though he thought he could still eat more after doing that) and put on his pajamas. That was easy enough!

Not long after that- around 8:30 p.m. the doorbell rang.  It was room service with a small cake that our guide had called them about earlier.  I just thought it wasn't going to show up.  It was tiny, but it was amazing.  It had chocolate squares for all of the outside pieces and the cake was inside with whipping in between.   It had some sort of edible bow on the top too.   We sang him Happy Birthday and also played a video in Chinese from Youtube.   We ate some cake and then brushed our teeth again.   Evan crashed shortly after that.  Reid and I skyped dad and the kids. 

Bedtime wasn't as successful as bath time  for Reid, but here's to hoping tonight's will be a little easier. Maybe it was the cake, maybe it's the fact that there is a light near the bed, maybe it was everything going through his head-probably a good combination! Evan fell asleep between 8 and 9 - crashed hard and was up shortly after 5 a.m. Reid, on the other hand, was in and out of bed, flipping the side light on and off and using the bathroom multiple times until midnight. I was exhausted today, but God always gives me the strength I need. All in all it was a memorable and blessed day!

Leaving the hotel
 At the Civil Affairs Office

 Sneak peek of him behind the curtains.

 My friend Sara meeting her daughter, Leah for the first time!


 He likes to color on things he is not supposed to.
 Playing catch with Evan.

 Showing mama his coloring.
 My friend Liberty with her new son!

 All the families who adopted children from Bao'an SWI.

 Reid and Mason- best buddies leaving together- united with their forever families on the same day!

 Headed back to the hotel.

 Checking out all the new stuff!!

 He covered Evan with pillows.

 Bath time!

 The cake showed up!

 Getting ready for bed- he grabbed the flag out of my suitcase.

 After a long night of not being able to settle down, he was out cold in the morning.


  1. I am so happy for you Brooke. We will keep praying.

  2. Congratulations! Tell Richard Paul and Shecki made it home, and Luke screamed half the way there. He told us he would remember Luke forever, lol. He's quite the fit thrower.

    If you get a chance to go to the mausoleum, go. It was amazing.

  3. Give me goosebumps that the two little friends got families on the same day.