1 Year Gotcha Anniversary

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The first time we met. Emma Claire is being held by her nanny who was reluctant to let her go.
It was a year ago today that a little 11-month old baby girl was brought into the Heilongjiang Provincial International Adoption Center and I got to hold Emma Claire in my arms for the first time. I couldn't wait to Sk*ype and introduce Emma Claire ShiWen to her big sister and brother and of course, Daddy.

I guess it's only fitting that this week Emma Claire started saying her first three-word sentence, "Hold Emma Momma!".
Emma Claire on her one-year Gotcha Day. I dressed her in blue, because she was wearing a blue, baby boy onesie overalls when we met.

I keep repeating that this past year has been a whirlwind. She's turned our world upside down but we wouldn't have it any other way.

The Heilongjiang Provincial office doesn't complete a lot of international adoptions, in fact, our large agency hadn't had a referral from that province in 10 years when we got our referral! So, when Heilongjiang does have an adoption, they are very welcoming and make it a celebration with a photographer on hand. When we were leaving the province to go to Guangzhou, we were given a photo album by the province official. I am sharing photos of Gotcha Day that were taken by the province photographer.
Emma Claire's Chinese passport photo. Not sure why she was dressed in an adult shirt for the photo.

Emma Claire (after being changed out of her blue overalls by her nanny) and I with my sister, Deanna.

The first time I got to hold her.

Emma Claire being held by her nanny after a clothing change.

Emma Claire's nanny changing her clothes. She's also telling me how to make a bottle and Sophie, our translator in the gingham shirt on the right, is translating and also telling the nanny that Emma Claire isn't my first child. The nanny meant well and you could tell she loved and cared for Emma Claire. Of the three adoptions we've completed this was the least stressful and most relaxed one because the province officials were so welcoming. Having the process calm and not rushed was nice. The nanny offered lots of advice and insight into Emma Claire and was truthful in the condition of the orphanage and areas that she knew Emma Claire would need some extra attention to be brought to age-level.

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