I thought that maybe since we had already been through one Gotcha Day I wouldn’t feel so nervous this time. I was wrong. It was that same exact feeling in my chest and stomach when I woke up Monday morning… like I could laugh, cry or puke, but mostly just crazy excited. We had several things to do that morning, so it helped the time pass by quickly. Before we knew it, it was 2:00 and time to head to the civil affairs office to meet Eva. We loaded in a van with the two other families… who were all feeling the exact same way. On the way there, we were talking about our girls and we figured out that all three of them were within 5 weeks of each other age wise. One of them is from the same orphanage as Eva, and our guide said they were crib buddies (which meant they were in the same room in Maoming). About 20 minutes later, we arrived at the civil affairs building and headed in.
|Last family pic before Eva|
Gotcha Day was amazing! Since our travel group is just us and 2 other families, it felt way different than last time. The civil affairs building was not very busy, so everything seemed really calm and laid back. We checked over some paperwork and sat down to wait until it was time to meet Eva. Within about 1 minute, the first baby came out before anyone expected. By the time we stood up, they were bringing Eva out. I recognized the nanny who was holding her, and she recognized Ayla immediately! She was so excited to see Ayla that she headed straight towards her and forgot to hand Eva to me. I finally just took Eva from her so she could talk to Ayla. I LOVE that they are from the same place, and that moment made me so grateful for the love and care they received as babies.
As soon as I held Eva, the first thing I noticed is how light she is. She was dressed in this puffy one piece sweatsuit monstrosity, and it felt like that’s all I was holding. She did really well. She didn’t cry when I took her, and within a few minutes we saw some smiles and heard some giggles… tiny little giggles. The nannies gave us all the things we had sent in the care package, and she immediately grabbed her little photo album. It looks like she played with it a lot… and chewed on it! We heard some little baby babble that sounded like mama and baba (which means daddy). Her nanny must have looked through it with her a lot. One of the best parts of the day is that she let Steven hold her! She will go to either of us, and that is a huge answer to prayer. I think her seeing Ayla with Steven and the fact that she’s so young has helped a lot too!
We were able to ask the nannies some questions before we left. They told us Eva has bronchitis, and handed me five, FIVE medications that she’s on. They also mentioned she has a temper. We saw it for the first time when we tried to give her the medicine. She is NOT a fan! They also mentioned she has a poor appetite and likes to “skip” naps. Great. (I will say, that as I write this, she is napping in her crib. This was after she drank almost a full bottle and took her meds. I did get a little in my face when she spit it out).
Ayla has done great too! She is playing well with Eva, and Eva thinks she’s hilarious! It is so cute to watch them play together. Eva is feisty and will definitely be able to hold her own. She would act like she was handing her little photo album to Ayla, but would yank it back as soon as Ayla would reach for it. It became a little game and we heard some really cute laughs. Ayla suddenly seems SO big and grown up now. So far she is loving her new role as big sister.
Eva is not walking yet, but she can get around pretty fast. She has a funny little army crawl. She also like to roll over quickly multiple times. She stops whenever she runs into something.
It is still so surreal that she’s finally with us. When you’re in the process, it really feels like you’ll just do paperwork forever. The beautiful thing is that there is actually a child at the end of all that waiting and paperwork. We know people are praying for us, and we are so grateful! Please continue to pray as we walk through these next few days! God is good!
|The head nanny at Maoming was so excited to see Ayla|
|So glad my mom, "Debe", is here with us! Three generations. |
My mom, me and Eva all have the middle name Ann.
|Kisses from Daddy|
|Sweet smile... (not mine)|
|Daddy's first hold|
|A good look at her huge outfit.|
|First family pic. Ayla was really excited, but I love her expression in this!|
|Maoming staff and our sweet guide, Aron (right)|
|And just like that, we walked out... with 3 more than when we walked in!|
|Checking it all out|