They say that every gotcha day is different, and after two, I must say, that's absolutely true. Matt's gotcha day couldn't be any more different than Annabella's!
We started the day early, with breakfast in the hotel, where all of us were excited, nervous, and generally covered in goosebumps and prone to crying at any little thing. After breakfast, we headed off to the local registration office to await the arrival of all but 1 of the children. One family's child had to travel by train from over 4 hours away, so they would have their gotcha day after we got back to the hotel.
When we arrived, we walked into the building to find two children already waiting. We hurriedly took their families cameras and we all started snapping pictures. One by one we watched as the children arrived, and took turns taking pictures for each of the families. Finally there were just two of us left waiting, one family who was waiting for a little girl, and us. The boys kept a vigil by the front doors and alerted us each time a car arrived, and finally a child emerged with a pair of adults. When they turned towards the door, we immediately could see that our son had finally arrived.
We quickly threw our camera at the first person we saw, and ran to the orphanage staff. After a moment, we were identified as his parents, and they handed him over to me. The emotion that comes over you when you hold your child for the first time, is simply overwhelming, and I had tears streaming down my face as I covered him in long overdue kisses, and cradled him with arms that had long awaited the moment.
He was wearing cute canvas shoes, a t shirt, socks, split pant overalls, a heavy coat, and a vest. He never cried, and let Greg and I both hold him. He was silent, and just took in everything around him. Shortly after Matt came in, the last child arrived, and after we signed the 24 hour guardianship agreement, and took the official family photo, we loaded onto the bus and headed back to the hotel. Shortly after we arrived we got the call to head to the third floor that the other family's child had arrived. We headed down to give them our support and meet their baby. After taking some pictures of them, we slipped back upstairs and began the process of truly meeting our son.
As we got him changed, we found a surprise. He has a fairly large surgical scar on the left side of his groin area. Our guide came and took a look,a md took so,e pictures, and is inquiring on our behalf to see if we can find out what surgery he has had, but our guess is that he had hernia surgery. The scar is old, and since the is absolutely nothing about it in his paperwork, we think whatever caused it, probably happened prior to his being orphaned.
Later in the afternoon, Greg and I took turns filling out paperwork downstairs, then decided to head out to do some shopping. Matt was a real trooper, and seemed to enjoy seeing all of the people, lights, and dogs (we seemed to pass a LOT of dogs!) We found a few children's clothing shops, and managed to find a pair of shoes that was cute, and fit perfectly for 55 RMB, which is less than $10.00. A few shops later we found the most adorable hat for 25 RMB, which is around $4.00. As we reached the end of that block, we saw a Chinese medicine/ western medicine shop, and so we had to go inside! You could buy starfish, fungus, adult supplements, and all types of "western" medicine including codeine, and sudafed. It was really quite interesting!
After leaving the pharmacy, we headed on to wal mart to grab snacks, diapers, a bottle, and some toys to take to the orphanage. We spent a long time looking through the store, and finally had everything we needed. After we left, we stopped along the way to enjoy the nightlife here in ZhengZhou. At night, the sidewalks are covered with people doing evening exercise, breakdancing, playing games, and all sorts of other things. We passed several night vendors, and even a gentleman who had a sprayer filled with water. He was using it to write on the sidewalk. Although we couldn't read it, it was quite beautiful, and fascinating to see.
When we got back, we tried giving Matt the bottle, and he lapped it right up! So we will have to wean him, but that will come after we get home. For now, we will bottle feed him, and let him find comfort in everything he can. After taking two full bottles of formula, he fell completely and deeply asleep, and slept all through the night.
Overall, the day couldn't have gone more smoothly, and by the end of it, we had managed to hear him utter one sound, and a few small grins. Today we were able to visit the orphanage, and see Matt's finding place, but I will have to blog about that tomorrow. It's been an incredibly long day, and it's all I can do to keep my eyes open to finish this post. Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support. I wish each of you could be here, and feel the joy that we have in our hearts at finally having our precious baby boy!
"I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High." Psalm 9:2