Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I don’t know how many times I’ve imagined our Gotcha Day in my mind. There are so many different versions I’ve played in my mind over the past days, weeks and even months. But I can’t say that how today played out was one of those many versions.
All 10 of the adopted families boarded our bus in the morning and the excitement and tension in the air was pretty thick as you can imagine. It was a short ride – maybe ten minutes – which wasn’t enough for me to settle my thoughts and feelings. For lack of a better description, I felt a little ADHD.
When we pulled into the parking lot, people on the left side of the bus exclaimed, “there they are” and then the bus filled with all kinds of chatter and ooo’s and awww’s. Just outside the door on the landing were two cute little toddler boys. 
Isha, our ccai guide said that the Anyang babies were already here and so we rushed in, quickly asked some people to take pictures and video for us, put our bags down inside the door and rushed over to the opposite corner where Anna and Nathan were sitting on a sofa with their nannies.  They were so adorable and had no idea what was going on. I had grabbed whatever was handy in my bag in my rush which ended up being a little stuffed animal.  

We knelt down in front of Anna and started talking in soft voices. We offered our teddy bear to her.  She looked at us with a blank stare and then firmly pushed the bear away. Now, I hadn't  imagined that anna would run into our arms with joy, but I also didn't expect that.  After what seemed like forever, I looked over at Laura. She had a little bowl of snacks that she held in front of Nathan who was calmly eating them.  Of course...Food!  I rushed back across the room to get the animal crackers I brought and we were in business. The first thing I learned about this little girl is she can put away food.

After several minutes, of trying many different things, her nanny said she was going to leave because she was making it hard. I'll write more about xin later though.

So Anna was in my arms and she was wailing. I had imagined a room full of crying babies on gotcha day but there was only 1 baby that was really crying.  Ours.  She was very attached to her nanny and was clearly heartbroken and frightened. I tried distracting her and moving her attention to other things, but nothing worked.

After maybe 15 minutes, she stopped crying, pulled her head back, looked up into my face for about a full minute and then put her head down on my shoulder and wrapped her arms and body around mine.

She still gets very scared and sad, and then she starts crying silently in the most heartbreaking way. But as soon as I hold my arms out to her, she in turn holds her arms out to me and I hold her as if her little life depends on it...which really, it does.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing all of these details with us Natalie! I'm sitting here tearing and choked up as I read about Anna and can just imagine her silent cry and the embraces you give one another.