How sweet it is! It’s 2:11am here and I woke up because my side was soaking wet from Hope’s pee! She usually sleeps in a crib but our hotel didn’t have any available so she is wetfully sleeping between Kim and I. This soaking is doesn’t surprise me because the diapers we have for her are pretty thin/lame. The soaking was a bit alarming for me personally though because it was my second Hope pee soaking, and I was the one who got soaked the first and only other time when she was sitting on my lap earlier in the evening. Is it my destiny to have multiple direct skin contacts with Hope’s pee on a daily basis? 😉 I am just kidding around of course, but it’d be a small price to pay to be continue to be able to be near this sweet little gem of the orient.

We now have around 6GB of photos and video from our gotcha day, but I am going to have to leave you waiting in prolonged suspense because it’s dark and I don’t want to roust anyone by lurking around for my gear. So I will try to give a brief description and then head back to my cold wet side of the bed (with a towel down underneath me since I can’t find my swim trunks).

So we left with our guide and driver and went back through the city of Beijing again past the Square, marveling once again at the sea of Chinese humanity that was present there. Then we had about an hour drive into the countryside. We got a little lost toward the end and then wound up in what could best be described as Podunk China. We made it after a while into a small village/town where Guillamme then met us at the entrance of their complex and escorted us back down a dirt road to Bethel.

The minute we got out of the van I saw Hope through the window in their entryway, and my heart jumped! I think we were all pretty nervous! We had excited hugs with Guillamme and Delphine at the van then we hurried in to greet Hope. Sarah was holding her and we all hurried up and had greetings. It was quite a blur at that point. I can’t remember if Sarah passed Hope to Kim or if she just set her down. I had said a quick hello and then spent a few moments with Guillame getting the recording gear going. By the time I turned around with my camera ready, Hope had wandered right up to me and so I just kneeled down and she came right into my arms and we hugged! I am tearing up again just thinking about it. It wasn’t long before we all had a chance to hug with her. It was an absolutely amazing moment!

They began to tell us how Hope had been acting out of character all day and and seemed to be a little down and to be aware that something was up. From the moment we all came together she brightened and seems to be enjoying herself, and we all have been bonding like crazy!

Bethel is such an amazing place! I can’t put into words right now how being in the midst of these children impacted my heart. If I have to try, I’d say I feel like I left that place wrecked with love for each one them. Over the course of the few hours we had there, we were able to tour their facilities, they sang us some songs and we shared a wonderful cake and watermelon together. We got to go outside and see their goats and chickens and dogs, and to see the new houses that are currently under construction. It was such a joy to have this time together with Bethel. Many of the kids had a hard time with Hope leaving and needed encouragement. For others it was obvious that it was extra hard for them, because they are older and more aware of their own desire to be adopted. Our guide didn’t rush us, and we probably could have even spent the night, but it didn’t ultimately seem the right thing to do. They gave us a special keepsake photo album that one of the Ayi’s put together that covered all of Hope’s time at Bethel. They also gave us a heart necklace for Hope for when she gets older, so she can be reminded of their love for her…

We got back to the hotel around 8pm and went right back out to another Chinese restaurant called the South Beauty. It was very good food (I have more fascinating menu sample photos to share later) and nice ambiance. It was a surreal experience to have Hope there with us. Our only minor problem so far, aside from some of Hope’s occassional fussiness, has been the few times when Jonathan and Abigail start to fight over who gets to hold Hope next! 🙂 It was neat because there was a piano player and violinist playing at the restaurant and it was obvious that Hope was enjoying their music! I held her and sang to her on the way back to the hotel, which was my first extended time of getting to hold her, and my heart continued to swell with affection toward her. She has such a sweet spirit and is very go with the flow. She got pretty fussy at one point during dinner but Kimberly did a great job managing it. She was very cute playing with her rice! I got to sing and cuddle her to sleep tonight when she started to get upset, and that was highlight of my whole trip so far! Once she was calm we just cuddled there for a long time playing with her bottle, and then we fell asleep together. 🙂

11 Responses to “G-O-T-C-H-A!”

  1. 1
    Stacy Richards Says:

    Simply beautiful…oh you guys, we are so happy for you! I am in tears as you explained how sweet Hope came right to both of you. There is NO doubt that God had been preparing her for you! Ooohhh, it’s sooo wonderful!! Give her hugs and kisses for us…can’t wait to see pictures…and definitely can’t wait to meet her!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Hugs, stacy (& family)

  2. 2
    Alida Says:

    Praise the Lord, beautiful merciful Jesus! Words cannot express how delighted we are to share in this experience with you. We are so filled with joy hearing what our faithful Father has done for your family! Love yo lots. CONGRATULATIONS on finally having your little Hope in your arms.

  3. 3
    Judi Ditmer Says:

    Oh my. You have been blessed!! what an addition to your family. I can’t wait to see the pictures.
    God sure knows what He’s doing, dosen’t He.

  4. 4
    maita jones Says:

    How sweet and wonderful!!I am beyond thrilled for you guys,thanks for not leaving us in suspense til the morning :)She sounds like a love bug,I can’t wait to meet her…
    Hugs all around,

  5. 5
    Rachel Jacobs Says:

    Wow! My heart is so touched and happy for all of you! Thanks for posting on this site your journey so we can experience Hope becoming part of your family! Praying for you guys!

  6. 6
    Kristen Halvorson Says:

    Gosh, I got all teary-eyed just reading the post! It reminded me of the first sweet moments with Blanca! Isn’t the Lord just so amazing? He fills an adoptive father and mother with the same joy and wonder and love that we have for our biological children! I’m so thrilled for all of you! Enjoy this time together. May the Lord continue to bless you, protect you, and provide for you!

    By the way, how are all of you feeling (i.e. back, viruses, etc.)?

  7. 7
    Laura Says:

    Praising God for your family!!!! I cannot wait to see your first family picture!

  8. 8
    Jenny Says:

    Tears rolling. Thank you for the amazing update. We love her.

  9. 9
    Barb Says:

    It was exactly 10 months ago that we met Nina!
    Thank you for updating in the middle of the night (wetness and all 🙂 )
    Blessings to your family!

  10. 10
    Amanda Hutchins Says:

    So happy for you all!!! Thanks for the update!! I’m so glad you are ALL there to get her together–what a great experience for your whole family to have.
    Those gifts they gave you at Bethel are so incredibly precious. They are such a thoughtful and devoted group of people.
    Will be watching for the pictures! Rejoicing with you!

  11. 11
    Kathleen Says:

    At last! Congratulations to the big, happy family; what a wonderful day for you all.

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