Monday, November 19, 2012

Gotcha Day!

Darren is now sleeping soundly next to me. When I look at him it is hard to believe I am not just looking at a picture of a cute boy with chubby cheeks like I have for all this time!

I started Gotcha Day feeling very emotional. I am not much of a crier...but somehow the tears were just flowing easily. I think I was just feeling overwhelmed with the unknown and relief that the journey to Darren was almost over. My sister reminded me of a wonderful bible verse:

Luke 1:37"Faith does not make things easy it makes them possible"

After facebook chatting with Erik, my mom, and my sister and much prayer - God provided a wonderful sense of peace.

We met our group (currently three other families) in the lobby of our hotel at 2pm. We rode a shuttle bus to the Civil Affairs Office. It was in a bit of a run down area and the elevator was covered in cardboard (floor, ceiling, walls)...but the room where we met the kids was very nice. There was a red couch that lines the wall halfway around the room. As families arrived from different agencies we all took a seat on the couch.

A few minutes later the kids started to arrive. We were told the order in which we would receive our child. We were #3. We exchanged cameras with those around us and went to wait by the door. The door had a curtain that was partially covering the opening, but right away Darren walked around behind it and I spied his bald little head :) About two minutes later out he walked. They had purchased a new outfit and shoes for him to wear. He came right up to Madeline and I. We got down to his level and offered him a lollypop. They pointed to me and said "Ma ma" and Madeline and said "Jei jei". He popped the lollypop into this mouth and let me pick him up. We brought him back to our seat and got out a few match box cars. Darren did well for a little bit. We were waiting for the orphanage person to pass along information to each family about their child.

It is such an unreal be in CHINA and meet the little boy you spent countless hours starring at in a picture! WOW - such a God moment!!

 We ended up receiving BABY PICTURES of Darren!! Half the Sky has a program at his orphanage and gave us quite a few pictures!! What a wonderful gift!!

We also learned his orphanage has 700 kids in it's care. 300 of those kids live in the actual orphanage building - the rest in foster care.

We were told Darren wakes up at 7am, takes a two hour nap, and goes to bed at 9pm. He shares a bed with another little child. He loves to eat fruit. He is shy and shares easily. We also learned that the scratches/marks on his face are from other kids - apparently they scratch each other :(

Back to the story: at this point Darren decided he wanted to head back to his nanny. When we wouldn't let him he started to wiggle and cry. It was sad. To him he felt like we were kidnapping him. To us it felt like we were kidnapping him. There were other kids crying in the room also. He definitely was flailing about - but if I was him I would have been fighting for my life - including screaming, kicking, and hitting - and he wasn't. When we headed out the door he started to calm down and by the time we were outside he was quietly looking around. On the bus ride back to the hotel Darren fell asleep for a few minutes. 

When we arrived at the hotel we headed up to our room. I walked around the room holding Darren until my hand started losing circulation :) Then we sat down together - with Darren on my lap - and the three of us played with stickers, colored in a coloring book, and drove match box cars. At this point he wasn't crying - except for one small episode - but was definitely on the  verge of tears. We also offered him food - which he readily accepted and ate. Madeline and I kept marveling at how cute he is!

At 6pm our guide came in to help us prepare paperwork for tomorrow. By then we had gotten a few smiles and laughs. He definitely loves match box cars! The guide commented that he has a large head..."like a watermelon". She also commented on his lack of hair - saying he looks like a monk. When she walked out the door she said to him "Good night little monk" :)

After the guide left he got more brave and curious - checking out, as Madeline will tell you, EVERYTHING in the room. He seems like a smart little guy - trying to figure out how everything works. Before the guide came in the room he hadn't said a word. She asked him a few questions in Chinese and he quietly answered them. After the guide left he started chatting away to Madeline and I. Currently he doesn't seem phased that we don't know Chinese - I am sure that will change.

At one point he was eating crackers and kept handing some to Madeline and I to also eat. We were surprised he would share after not having unlimited crackers/snacks at the orphanage. He also seemed thrilled to have a cup of water that he could access at anytime. He drank multiple cups.

We have been told it is good to start setting gentle limits right away. Just not letting the kids do anything. When he wanted to reset the clock and press the keyboard we would tell him "no". After a while he was walking around saying "no, no, no" - cute!

Darren noticed that Madeline had her shoes and socks off so he took his off (many kids wear theirs for the first few days even in their sleep). After using the potty he was interested in the bath tub. I ended up filling it with a couple of inches of water and bubbles. He was a little hesitant, but I stood in it and then he was game. He loved the bath (so did his match box cars) and cried when I finally decided it was time to get out and go to bed.

I was wondering how bedtime would go. I tried to lay him in the pack and play but he would have none of that so I held him on the bed for a while and then laid him next to me. He ended up falling asleep just laying on a pillow next to me.

Random information: 
He has a cough
He has somewhat labored/noisy breathing - not sure if that is from the cold or CHD (I am planning on asking other adoptive parents opinions)
His finger and toe tips are blue and clubbed
His lips and nose are blue
When he cries he gets an even deeper blue color
He seems to fit into 3T - although the pants are a bit baggy (skinny legs and bottom)
He is curious - in the bathtub kept trying to figure out how to turn on the water and open the plug
He is a smart little boy - problem solving with the stickers and match box cars
He colored with his right hand - although it doesn't appear that he has colored/held a pencil much
His name is pronounced "Shong Zi"
We named him Darren Xiangzi

He really is a brave little boy - with an adorable smile. I am looking forward to spending the day with him tomorrow - getting to know him better. (We have to head back to the same place we got him to do paperwork. I didn't realize that and wonder if he will recognize it and how it will go.)

I couldn't get skype to work with Erik or the kids - so they haven't seen their new brother/son yet. I am hoping to get at least ONE picture loaded on here - please slow internet in China let that happen!

Sorry for ALL the details. This blog is the best way to communicate with my family - some of whom want all these nitty gritty details. It is also a wonderful journal for me and the best way for my mommy brain to remember what happened :)

My sister pointed out to me: I am now THE MOM OF SEVEN!!  Wow - God is good!

Blessings from China, Sandy (who is heading back to sleep...I just didn't want to forget this day and I am sure tomorrow will be another big one)


  1. This is so AWESOME!!!! I love reading all the details!!! God is sooooooo good!!!!!! Can't wait for pictures!

  2. Praise God that it went better than we expected

  3. Praise God that it went better than we expected

  4. Beautiful, wonderful, and touching story! Of course, he would have nothing to do with the pack n play...he wants to be next to YOU! ;-)
    So incredible that he is finally with his mommy and that you have baby pictures of him!
    Looking forward to the pictures, when China's Internet picks up a little speed.
    Prayers, hugs, and much love my dear friend,
    Sue Ann

  5. Praise you LORD!! LOVE that little face!! Congratulations momma!!!! Keep the pictures coming!! I may or may not be checking your blog a ridiculous number of times a day. :)

  6. Tears! He's yours, he's in your arms! :) And he is seriously adorable. He's bigger than I imagined. Love the updates!!

  7. PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!! He's so cute! I'm so happy for you all :)