For many of you, the term “Gotcha Day” may be unfamiliar. It was to me a few years ago. But now, that term means a lot to me and reminds me of the joy that entered into my life on that day. For those of you who have read my blog for awhile, I mostly write about gardening subjects but occasionally I do share a bit about my personal life, especially when it concerns my kids.
I would like to share with you a special story of an event that happened in my life 7 years ago. I promise that I will include pictures of beautiful landscapes and gardens as they have a part in the story.
My husband and I along with our weary travel group, ready to board the bus.
Now, our journey was not over yet….we still had to travel 3 hours by bus to the city of Hangzhou. I really didn’t mind the upcoming ride because I was extremely curious about China and wanted to see more of the countryside and cities.
Our guide told us many interesting things about China along the way but she also had additional information about our children and when we would get them. All of us were supposed to get our children the following day, but there had been a change in plans….two of the families were to receive their new daughters that evening – after traveling for over 24 hours! As excited as I was to get Gracie, I was relieved that I would be able to get a good night’s sleep first.
The city of Hangzhou
We arrived in Hangzhou late in the afternoon. As we drove through the city streets, I had so much fun seeing the things that were the same as back home….
“Fire Fighter Bicycles”
Dangerous position for a workman leaning up against wires in the middle of an intersection….OSHA would be literally speechless.
There were many stores that I was anxious to explore later….
Our hotel was located by a beautiful lake (West Lake) which was quite famous in China and a tourist destination.
Well, we got to our hotel and checked in. As we opened the door to our room, the reality that we would have a new daughter in less than 24 hours really hit me….there was a crib already set up for us. I spent some time unpacking and as I put away the little dresses, diapers and socks, I could hardly wait to meet Gracie the next day. After unpacking, we went to take pictures of the two families as they greeted their daughters for the first time. I was so excited for them and I had a hard time taking pictures because I kept crying. Their daughters were 3 & 4 years old and just darling.
The next morning we had a wonderful breakfast in the hotel with the other families and were eager to see the new little girls who were somewhat shy and withdrawn, which was normal. Since the rest of us were not to receive our children until 4:00 in the afternoon, we decided to walk to the local grocery store and stock up on some baby supplies and snacks.
Okay, at this point I have an admission to make….I thought I would have no problem with the summer heat – I mean I live in the Arizona desert, right? Wrong! I am absolutely a wimp when it comes to humidity and you know what? It makes the heat so much hotter and uncomfortable. As our group walked to the grocery store (we all got lost for a while so it took longer), it was in the 90’s, which when it is dry, is not that hot. But when you couple that with humidity of at least 80%…..well, I thought I would die. I have never felt so hot in my life….my husband and I got very light-headed and had to stop inside a jewelry store that had air-conditioning for a few minutes. I think the salesclerks were hoping that we would buy something since I kept looking at the jewelry so they wouldn’t think we were only taking advantage of their air-conditioning 😉 The other families in our group were from Ohio and Texas and did so much better with the heat & humidity then we did. It was kind of embarrassing 😉
*I must say that this about warm, humid climates….they are absolutely beautiful with all of the greenery. If I must be honest with myself, I would probably acclimate to the humidity if I lived in that type of climate and love it as much as I do living in the desert 🙂
Okay, back to my story…..as 4:00 got closer, I began to get nervous butterflies in my stomach. The clock seemed to move so slowly. Finally at about 3:45, we went to a meeting area at the hotel by the elevators with the other families and waited for the orphanage officials to bring us our children.
Just when I thought I would die of impatience (it was only 3:55), our guide received a call from the orphanage officials bringing Gracie to us stating that they would be late due to traffic. I was disappointed, but it meant that we could help take pictures of the two other families who were receiving their children at 4:00 (their children were from different orphanages).
It is such a privilege to be present at the birth of a child and it is the same when you are there when a family meets their new adopted child. I was so honored to be present when the other families in our group met their new children. I was busy taking pictures for the other families when I saw the elevator open and then I saw Gracie…..
I realize that this is an extremely long post and I will write the conclusion in my next post. *I do appreciate you taking the time to read about our adoption adventure. I will never get tired of sharing it with others 🙂