Yesterday marked our fifth year with Ladybug—our fifth-year anniversary of “Gotcha Day.” I remember how nervous I was as we all waited on the first floor of government building in downtown Guangzhou, China. There was over 20 of us in our adoption travel group, and not enough room in the elevator, so about half of us ended up climbing the seven flights of stairs to the adoption registry office.
When we arrived on the 7th floor, our guides went into the office. At first, we all talked and laughed, but soon there was just a nervous silence that hung over the room. We sat in the reception area for what seemed to be an
Finally, it was our turn. With all of the commotion and chaos, and language barrier, I did not realize the official was calling "number 8". As I waded through the crowd, I saw her and her little paper name tag half peeled off with her Chinese name and the number 8. She did not look like her picture, she was older, thinner, and much more beautiful. To me, she was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.
They placed her in my arms, but she did not fuss like many of the other babies. Instead, one lone tear streamed down her face. I was crying though. Years are trying to get pregnant, 16 months of waiting for her, hit me as I held this beautiful baby who would soon be our child. Then my husband took this picture.
I held her for the longest time, and then finally passed her to Rick. He was surprised how little she weighed, at ten months she weighed all of 15 pounds. In her referral picture she looked so chubby, probably because she was wearing several layers of clothes. Rick was also surprised that Ladybug was wearing Target pajamas. He noticed her little bald spot, too. We were both surprised at how mellow she was and thought that the Chinese might have drugged her.
As we left the building, I remember Rick did not let her go. He wrapping her up in his sweater, against the cool wind outside, only to learn that she was a “little furnace” after about five minutes on the bus back to the White Swan Hotel. February 19th is a day is a day in my life that I will never forget.