Monday, January 3, 2011


When we started this journey (officially) 10 months ago.... every night I would watch "Gotcha Day" videos on YouTube. I have watched countless videos of children meeting their parents for the first time.

As we get closer and closer to our very own Gotcha Day, I have stopped watching anything related to anyone's Gotcha Day. They are just TOO PAINFUL to watch. I can't help but see our G in the videos... and I see pain. And fear. And heartbreak.

And it hurts to watch.

We can't wait to see our little girl's face in person. We can't wait to scoop her up and hold her. To see our family grow in just an instant. To call her our own. To wrap in her love... love she has never known, the love of a mother and a father.

The feelings of joy and happiness that S and I feel will not be shared by our daughter. She is probably pretty happy right where she is. She probably likes her crib. Her room. Her nannies. Her friends. Her food. And while every child deserves so much more than growing up in an orphanage. It is the ONLY life she has ever known.

Then, here come these two Americans. They look funny, talk funny and smell funny.

It's painful to think about how afraid, confused and heartbroken she will likely be. Even if she is prepared at all, she is really too young to understand.

I've had dreams about Gotcha Day. I've seen her face through a window as we enter a government building. I have heard the facilitators say her name. I have have seen her handed to me. In every dream she is crying. And so am I. She looks away. She screams. She reaches for her nanny. And I cry. Because she hurts so much.

A mother doesn't EVER want her child feeling ANY of these feelings. While there may be many tears of joy, I am sure I am going to share tears of heartbreak with her.

How does one handle such a crazy convergence of emotions?

I'm thinking I might just want to hand her back.... because it will ease her pain for the moment. I know. I KNOW that sounds crazy! But, what a mother wouldn't do to ease their child's pain even if just for a moment.

I'm not sure how to even prepare for this. I can prepare to have a baby again. Packing diapers and bottles, toys and treats. I can be prepared for illness. I can be prepared for sleepless nights and changing stinky diapers.

All of that is easy.

I cannot seem to figure out how to be prepared for heartbreak.

I pray God will see us through. He has led us this far. He has moved mountains for G to become a part of our family. So, I must trust in Him. I pray that God helps to prepare our little G for the two (actually five) strangers that will come into her life and turn it upside down. I also pray that He will prepare this mother to help her daughter heal from the pain that IS adoption. On Gotcha Day. During our two weeks in China. The first few weeks home. And on ALL the days in our future.


  1. awww i hear you girl.. it IS hard-- you truly have no clue of how it will turn out. amy was very sad and clung to me for dear life. ben was just mellow- had no idea what was happening. and noah was fine that first day and then not great for the next 2 weeks.
    it is hard- so much harder than giving birth. and she will probably be sad- if not that first day- then at some point- but God will give you what you need when you need it- don't depend on your strength, but His:)

  2. Your right Emily. (Deb, Emily was in my travel group...miss you girl!). As for Lily, she did amazingly well. She didn't cry when they handed her over to us and she was a happy little girl. When we got home, she was very clingy to me and I would say that was the hardest adjustment, other than going back to a 1 year old. God will give you the strength to give your little girl all she needs. After all He hand picked you for each other. Never doubt that for a moment.

  3. Thanks so much for this post. I really enjoyed reading it as an adoptive mom myself, and it really touches on the bittersweetness of Gotcha Day. (We returned home in July 2010.) I think this post would be great reposted on, a Christian adoption forum. Would you allow it to be reposted there? If you could email me ( to let me know, I would really appreciate it! We would just need a brief bio of you and a picture. If you have any questions before you say yes, please let me know that, too!
    Thanks again for your heartfelt post!

  4. Beautifully said!!
    And yes, God WILL see you through! Through all the hard stuff of adoption, and He'll lead you right into all the beauty of it, which makes all the hard worth it - and does bring a happy ending - beauty from ashes!

  5. Deb- so so so understand! I went through the same feelings. And I pictured things in my heart the same way- that Lauren would reject me. And she did. But she also welcomed me. Gotcha night, she did cry for a long while. And I cried too. And I even asked Michael if we were doing the right thing. I wanted to ease her heartache and yet I couldn't. I wanted to bring her back to the only family she had ever known.

    I think you are really wise to prepare your heart for anything. God will see you through it. I know He will. And He will bring your heart peace. We are praying for you!!!!

  6. Dear Deb,
    I found your post @ Grafted In and knew just how you felt. We have been home about 4 months with our little one and I too couldn't watch gotcha day videos either. Really still can't without crying and feeling such sadness~ especially when watching the two we have been through. Not even the same child playing right here near me as I write. I just wanted to say hello and hope your TA comes soon! I would love to follow your journey to China and look forward to seeing your precious family become complete. :)
    Blessings and Joy!!!