LOOKING BACK...GOTCHA DAY
After meeting Ethan for the first time as a family, we left Shepherd's Field separately to meet him in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia where we would process the adoption in his home province. Lily Z, from SFCV, traveled with Ethan to get him to us in Hohhot. This was just part of our process since we met Ethan at Shepherd's Field first. Now Gotcha Day!!! We met our guide, Ethan and Lily Z., and the Director of his orphanage in Hohhot to do the first leg of paperwork at the hotel. We took passport photos and adoption decree photos. Signed things and thumb printed things and that's it. We Gotcha, Ethan! Forever. At this point, they hand him over to us and technically we have 24 hours to change our minds. As if.
We met with LOTS of government officials the next morning. Which was definitely overwhelming. Mostly because we had no clue what was going on. This is where you bring all the gifts for all the officials, by the way. It was about an hour of paperwork and signing and thumb printing again. Which was a little difficult to keep E entertained throughout. Then, there is this sweet moment where they have you state aloud your agreement to adopt and care for this child as your own, followed by signatures and thumbprints for the final adoption decree. And just like that we are forever family. ( I really wish someone had told me I would want pictures of that, so if you are in process, here is your hint.)
There were lots of sweet little moments sprinkled throughout these few days that I have treasured up in my heart. I love to look back at pictures and relive every one of them. That's why these Personalized GOCTHA DAY orders are my favorite. I love getting to help families celebrate and remember when they officially became family.