Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gotcha Day!

November 1, 2008 - our "Gotcha Day" with Anna. Russ and I met with the agency team at the Novetel Peace hotel (our hotel for our visit in Beijing) for orientation that morning, then had a wonderful group lunch with the other families adopting and with some of the agency staff members. Then we were driven to the Beijing Child Welfare Institute. At 2:30, we completed, signed and fingerprinted documents. And at 3:00 they brought the children in to meet their forever parents. Russ and I saw Anna for the first time. It was surreal to see in person this precious child that we had studied in 3 photographs for more than 4 months.

Adoption Paper Trail

The adoption process is quite rigorous and it took us 6 months to complete the paperwork to send to China. We began working intently on the documentation in September 2006, turning in our paperwork in early October 2006 to begin the home study. We wanted to provide all the necessary documents to the adoption agency doing the home study before we left for safari in early October 2006. Subsequently, we learned that Anna was born within days of us turning in our paperwork. Important dates are:

Log In Date (LID) in China: 4-13-07
Letter of Intent (LOI): 6-13-08 – first we saw Anna’s photo
Letter of Acceptance (LOA): 8-21-08
Travel Approval (TA): 9-26-08
Gotcha day at Beijing Child Welfare Institute (BCWI): 11-01-08

BA = "Before Anna"

Before we got married (18 years ago!), Russ shared with me that he wanted to have children..including via adoption. That conversation -- plus many subsequent conversations --lead us the thrilling event of meeting our daughter this week in Beijing. Her name is Ma JiaXi and she was born in Beijing on October 9, 2006. She is a precious little girl. We will call her Anna Katheryn. We are so happy to welcome her into our family and our lives with our boys Spencer and Kent.