Monday, November 23, 2009


I woke up this morning feeling pretty okay. I knew that we would be heading to the Civil Affairs office after breakfast and then I would get a text letting me know that Catherine and the orphanage director had left their hotel to walk over to where we were. I was okay with the plan and I was pretty calm. That is... until I got the text! My stomach was in knots, my pulse was racing, and my hands were shaking!

We were watching through the window and we saw them walking into the parking lot. Ms. Tang was holding her when they came in through the door and after they came over to me I reached out for Catherine and she came right to me... no tears at all. I think Ms. Tang was relieved. She seemed a little stunned at first and just looked around. I don't blame her... with as much as her world has been turned upside down in the last few days I think a few skeptical moments are understandable! All of the other kids being adopted today were very quiet and passive but not our girl... once she got over all of the "newness" she was EVERYWHERE. She wanted to walk everywhere and touch everything. We fed her way to many M&M's (which she loves, of course!) and she was not upset at all... she just busied herself exploring the room.

The only time that she got upset (and I use that as a relative term as it was more stubborn than upset) was when they were trying to take our picture for the adoption paperwork. There was a red background hanging from the wall and she wanted desperately to touch/pull on it. We would not allow her to do that so she would not allow us to take her picture (2 year old girl anyone??????). We were the very first family at the office this morning and we were the very last family to leave... if that gives you any idea as to how long it took to get her to look at the camera!

When we left the office we had to change money at the bank so Jay went inside with our guide and Catherine and I stayed in the van. This is when it got really difficult for her. She was bored and hot and she wanted badly to go outside. She kept grabbing my hand and pressing it against the window. I knew exactly what she wanted and how to make her happy but we were parked in a construction zone and I simply could not do it. Big tears and a quivering lip that just broke your heart!

We got back to the hotel and quickly put her in the baby backpack to go for some fresh air. You should have seen the GIANT smile on her face when Jay lifted her up onto his back... it was spectacular. She loves the bouncing around and she LOVES being up so high that she can see everything that is going on. We walked around for a while, grabbed some Starbucks (hey, the girl has got to know where she is going to be hanging out once she gets home!), and now we are trying to give her a nap because she is completely exhausted. She has a little bit of a different plan though as she is currently bouncing and laughing in her bed (trying to get my attention!).

First observations of Catherine...
  • She likies food! She would much rather have an M&M or a yogurt bite than a toy.
  • When she meets a new person or enters a new environment she gets very quiet and scans (up and down, side to side), taking it all in
  • She hates being indoors... does not bode well for the 4 hour van ride to the orphanage on Wednesday or the hundred hour flight home next week
  • She is SO TALL! She was not the oldest child in the room but she was definitely the tallest. Her size 7 shoes fit perfectly... yes, I said 7!
  • First thing she does when you sit her on the bed or couch... shoes and socks OFF!
  • She does not talk but she makes a moaning/humming noise to communicate. No noise means she is fine. Low noise means she wants something. Higher pitch noise means that something is wrong.
I am going to lay down now so hopefully she will get some rest in the quiet! It was a long but wonderful morning/afternoon :)

(more pictures and video at


  1. Yea!!! So happy all is well & Miss Catherine is just beautiful & simply amazing!! CONGRATS...dosen't even seem like a big enough word for it....but from the bottom of my heart I am so elated for your family. What a very lucky Mommy & Daddy. =)
    -Jenny (another Xuzhou Mom)

  2. Beautiful! What an amazing day. Catherine seems like such a joy. I am looking forward to following along.
    Many Blessings,

  3. She is beautiful!!! Came over "stalking" from RQ! Erin put a link up over there. So glad things are going so well for you all. Hope she continues to transition well.

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  5. What a wonderful sight! (I had to re-write because I spelled sight wrong in the previous post:-/)

    A very special Thanksgiving...Catherine finally with her mommy and daddy.

    Much Love,

  6. Radiant and happy new parents united with their beautiful daughter! What could be a greater Thanksgiving wish for all of us? Wishing you every blessing as you and Catherine come together as a family!

    Lynne and Ed
    Proud parents to Amelia MeiYun, our fabulous four year old...
    b. Guangxi Province, PRC

  7. Jen thank you for sharing this journey, I am so happy for you, she is BEAUTIFUL, I can't believe she is so tall! Sending warm wishes! Marla (waiting for Tian Tian in Liuzhou)

  8. Just went over to the photosite and saw all those great photos again---and watched the videos! Oh my, Catherine is so striking and you cn see the curiousity in her eyes. To see her blossom so much already and know what is to come (even more blossoming) when she is home with you---My heart cannot take it.

    Oh---and Hot Pink is 'her color' :-)

  9. She's beautiful! Glad to hear things are going well. Can't believe how tall she is! It's definitely going to be a special Thanksgiving this year!

  10. I woke up this morning and found you in China,
    I was thrilled to see the beautiful pics of
    Catherine. She's so beautiful!!! I wish we
    were able to meet you guys. We leave for
    China in 10-days!!!



  11. Congratulations! She is beautiful. I love that picture of her Daddy holding her up between you and the guide. We are due to adopt 2 year old girl as well, so I will be watching your progress.

  12. Catherine is absolutely beautiful. So wonderful to hear how well she is adjusting to her new world. I love that she enjoys riding in the backpack carrier. That is wonderful news and will definitely help! Sounds like you'll be spending lots of time sight seeing.

    Get some rest and I look forward to more posts!

  13. Jen, She is beautiful! I am so happy to hear your first few hours as a family have gone well. I never get tired of seeing families being united. Chills and tears of joy everytime! Pamela

  14. Jen,

    She is absolutely precious! It amazes me that she is doing so well...she was well prepared! So you have an outdoor girl do ya? Oh is she going to love those days at the playground :-).

    Glad all is going so well! Miss you.


  15. What terrific pictures!!! Catherine is beautiful!!! I am so happy for you and your family. What a terrific Gotcha Day!!! And she isn't screaming like Olivia was! So your picture is wonderful. Can't wait to read your updates.
    Sheri (Leilah Di and Olivia Xia's Mommy...and Mom to many more!)

  16. Simply beautiful...I love that she doesn't keep her shoes and socks on! Sounds like another XZ sweetie I know. ;-) Enjoy making many memories together in Nanjing!!!


  17. Congratulations!! I'm loving following along on your journey and this post is by far the greatest!! Congratulations again!

  18. Jen, it's so hard to believe that you're finally in China and Catherine is finally in your arms!!! She is beautiful!! And I'm so thankful she has responded so well to you and Jay. Can't wait to hear more stories and tidbits this week!

  19. Congratulations!! Catherine is simply beautiful!!



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