Happy Gotcha Day!

It is SOOOO hard to believe that a year ago we were in China getting to know our sweet Molly Kate.  Her “gotcha” day was July 16th, 2012.  For those that are new to adoption, adoptive families typically celebrate a child’s “gotcha” day, or the day they were placed with their forever family. For the past few days, it has been fun to look back and think about what were doing a year ago.  We left the US on July 12th and traveled to Hong Kong. We spent two nights there before we traveled to Guangzhou, the capital of Molly Kate’s province.  I can remember being SO nervous the morning we were supposed to meet her.  We were suffering with jet lag so we didn’t sleep much the night before – partly because of the jet lag but we were also so anxious about meeting our daughter, a day that we had dreamed about for over a year.  We were not scheduled to arrive at the Civil Affairs Office until after lunch and I remember that being the longest morning of my life. I couldn’t eat anything and there was nothing to do but just wait.

I will NEVER forget sitting there waiting for them to call our name knowing that when we heard “Evans,” it would be time to see her for the first time.  It is such a surreal experience – all these families sitting in a big waiting room waiting to be handed a child.  Some kids go calmly and there are others (usually older but not always) that are screaming in terror. I was praying for a calm transfer and thankfully, that is what we got. As we were sitting there, there were Chinese people walking in and out the entire time – some with paperwork, and some bringing in babies from the surrounding orphanages to meet their families.  It was during this time that I got a sneak peek of our girl.  She walked in holding someone’s hand from their orphanage. She had on a little onesie that I had sent over in a care package and she also had the little baby doll that we sent her.  It wasn’t 2 or 3 minutes later when they called our name and handed her over to us.  She came willingly and didn’t cry at all.  In fact, it would be days before we would hear a single noise come out of her little mouth.  Oh, how things have changed!! 🙂

If I had more time, I could write a lot more about our trip.  But since it is already documented on the blog, I’ll stop here.  If you want to reread, you can look back at my posts in July 2012.  Here are a few pictures from the Civil Affairs Office on the day we received Molly Kate.

Molly was a bit reluctant at first

I can’t even imagine what she was thinking.

Come to Mommy

SO emotional!

Our first family photo

After 14 months and TONS of paperwork, she’s finally ours!!

We knew that we could not celebrate on Molly Kate’s actual “gotcha” day so we celebrated all weekend.  We took the kids to the zoo on Saturday morning. Katie and her kids were there too (Spencer had to work) and the kids had so much fun together. The weather was perfect.  Molly Kate’s favorite part was the fish. I think she liked that she could get up close to them and really see them.  It was hard for her to see a lot of the animals because they were far away.  After a picnic at the zoo, we headed home and played outside all afternoon.  Molly Kate got to skip her nap and play outside.  She LOVES the water table and the swings.  I think it was the perfect day for her!  After church on Sunday, we went and ate Chinese food to continue our celebration.  The boys LOVE Chinese food and so does Molly Kate.  Daddy was the only one that didn’t love it but he’s such a good sport, he didn’t complain once. 🙂

Molly Kate is doing so well.  She is in speech twice a week and I can tell she is improving.  She tries to imitate more words.  She recently learned how to blow bubbles and drink from a straw (big deals for a cleft palate/lip baby).  She is still extremely strong willed but I do feel like she has learned some control over the last few weeks.  She still throws plenty of fits when she doesn’t get her way, but less than she did 3-4 months ago.  She loves her baby dolls and I often find her upstairs feeding them all, reading them books, and putting them down for “night night.”  She also loves her play kitchen and delivers all of us food several times a day.  She adores her brothers.  She won’t hold my hand in a parking lot but will gladly hold one of their hands (changes each day as to who she prefers).  She will quickly run to Carter or Seth if she gets in trouble with me because she knows they will hold her and more than likely give in to whatever she wants.  She has grown up so much over the last year.  She has definitely transformed into a healthy, happy, funny, loud, normal two year old girl!  SO thankful!

Adoption has been an amazing thing for our family.  I know it is not for everyone, but it has truly been a spiritual experience for us.  It has changed us all.  It has been a great lesson to teach our boys about God’s love for us and how He has adopted us all as sons and daughters.  And adoption is forever!! Seth talks a lot about how he is going to adopt babies when he gets older.  That would be amazing!

Daddy and MK

Daddy and his little girl before church last week.  Look at that smile.

Big girl!

She thinks she is SO big.  She demands a “real” cup most of the time and refuses to sit in her booster seat most days.  Next up – potty training!

MK - zoo day

Ready for a fun day at the zoo!

Petting zoo

Molly Kate loves petting animals.

MK

More animals…

Family picture

Crazy family of 6!

Cousins!

All 7 cousins.  Yes, they are loud but they have so much fun together!

Last picture of the day...

Right before we headed home.  They had so much fun together and it was a great way to celebrate Molly Kate.

 

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