I know….I have only known Kat for less than 24 hours, but this young lady is remarkable! She is breathtaking, funny, considerate, outgoing, sporty, and determined. I was so nervous about meeting her. I was worried she would hate us. Let me share with you a little about our first day together.
Matt and I left the hotel at 7:00 am to head to the orphanage. Both of us were so nervous we could barely speak. At breakfast we kept looking at each other. Without saying a word we were saying simultaneously to one another, “What are we doing? It will be fine! Are we sure? This will be great, right?!” I am sure onlookers could pick up our anxiety. It took about one and a half hours to get to the orphanage. The day was beautiful. The sky was clear and the sun was shining bright. We felt this was a very good sign of things to come because the previous two days in Beijing were very hazy due to the pollution, and you could not see the sky or the sun. As we were driving our guide said that today is a very lucky day….October 8th. The number 8 is very lucky. MJ and I agreed as we feel 8 children will be very lucky too!
Our guide had troubles finding the orphanage. She said that there are very few adoptions out of this orphanage. She said that the orphanage director said that they hadn’t had an adoption since 2011. Once we arrived some very kind orphanage staff led us to a meeting room. There were some older children in the courtyard when we arrived. Our arrival created a lot of buzz and excitement. We waited for about 10 minutes in the meeting room before they brought in Kat. She bounced through the door saying, “Hello!” I jumped off of the couch, and we both hugged each other for a good minute before we let go. She then went over to give Matt a big hug! All of these worries and fears I had were demolished in the first 2 minutes of knowing her. We then spoke politely between us, the guide, Kat, and the orphanage staff and director. We thanked each other for what we had done for Kat and what we will do for her. We then took a few minutes to FaceTime the kids at home, so they could meet Kat. They were all very excited and happy to meet their new “big sister”! I think the orphanage staff enjoyed seeing our family too. When we were leaving children shouted from their windows to Kat to stay in touch and to send pictures. It was very adorable.
We then went to get our first official picture taken together and to sign paperwork. Since Kat is 13, she had to sign paperwork like MJ and I agreeing to us as much as we were agreeing to her. This was a first for us, and I rather enjoyed the moment. When she finished signing, she looked up and said this was a lucky day! Matt and I agreed! How amazing that we all feel equally lucky and blessed! Eight has always been my lucky number! I was born on the 8th, we now will have 8 children, and we met Kat on the 8th! Lucky indeed! We asked her if she wanted us to call her her Chinese name or Kat. She requested Kat, but she also requested that we shorten our last name. LOL! I said that I had been trying for that for years! We all got a good laugh out of that one.
We then went to eat a nice Chinese lunch. We had Peking Duck and other delicious food. Kat seemed so happy. She talked about wanting to be a doctor and a Chinese language teacher and a soldier. You could see her future open up for her right there at lunch. The endless list of opportunities and possibilities became real for her over Peking Duck, and she was embracing everything. I loved seeing her mind race with ideas! I just kept nodding my head yes, and saying, “Yes! You can do that!”
After lunch we did a little shopping and went to see the famous snack street of Beijing. I could really see her funny personality then. She thought it was pretty hilarious that everyone kept staring at me. She began mimicking them. She’d look at me with big eyes, and act like she was going to run into a pole because she couldn’t stop looking at me. I thought this was so funny! Most of the time we walked arm and arm, and we both had goofy, happy grins on our faces. She also couldn’t get over how tall MJ and I are. She was constantly worried MJ would hit his head. She’d cover her head with her hands, look back at MJ and say, “Dad!” to caution him. MJ would smile and say, “Thank you!” as he would duck a little. On snack street she got some sort of a glazed fruit on a stick. She had me try one. I am not sure what exactly it is because the fruit was very tart. On snack street we saw tarantulas, snakes, worms, bugs, sea horses, squids, and other interesting eats. Kat wondered why I didn’t get anything….hummmmmmm….maybe tomorrow I will try snake…..or not!
Well, as you can see we are very smitten with Kat. She really is amazing! I can’t believe she came within days of never being able to have a family of her own. She is a gem, and MJ and I are feeling very blessed to call her our daughter. I can’t believe that once again fear almost got the better of us. Now….we know there will be challenges as there is with any child, but she is amazing! Her soul is so shiny! She deserves all of the opportunities life can throw at her. I can’t wait to continue to see her blossom in our family. MJ and I can’t wait for the kids to meet her in person. She will fit in beautifully! They will absolutely love her as much as we already do!
Thank you all so much for the prayers! We feel them, and hope you will keep them coming!