Monday, January 12, 2009

We have her!

What a day it was today! Our "gotcha" moment was pretty tuff...screaming, arching back, kicking...the whole nine yards.


She loves her caregivers and wanted them so badly it broke my heart. We stuck with it and after a while (a long while) she calmed down and we actually had some smiles!


When we left the building to board the bus she had a major meltdown while I was carrying her out...it was quite the scene. We're in the middle of the busy Guangzhou street waiting for the bus and here I am, an American, holding a Chinese baby who is screaming on top of her lungs while kicking me and trying to push me away. I could barely keep hold of her...I just held on as tight as possible and finally the bus showed up. On the way back to the hotel, she feel asleep from sheer exhaustion.


Once at the hotel, we had just enough time to change her diaper before we had to go to dinner. She was screaming and kicking her legs uncontrollaby, which made the diaper change quite interesting. She had a great appetite at dinner and we got lots of smiles.


Once back in the room, she was quite upset again. She is just very confused and doesn't understand what's going on. She was brought to a strange building, handed off to strangers and everything she knew was gone in a flash. I can see her frustration when she's crying. She doesn't know what to do...she's both pushed me to get away, but when I put her down she's grabbing on. She's SO confused and upset...it's very hard to watch. You feel like someone is ripping your heart out because you can't just fix this for her.

Right now she is sleeping...she's been down for over an hour. She's just so peaceful and sucking her thumb.

You can check out all our pics here.

73 comments:

Cora said...

It is so hard for that age as they just don't understand what is happening but soon she will. You are doing great. Love to see her smile she is just beautiful.
Take Care,
Cora

Tracy said...

Dear Lauren, I only know your mommy and daddy through reading their journey to you. Trust in them. They are there to comfort and love you. Let your little heart meet theirs.

Shelley said...

Donna and Joe, your daughter is just beautiful. Congratulations on your new addition.

And sounds like you're doing everything you need to do to make this transition as gentle as possible for her. Hang in there. You'll start seeing the smiles more and more.

xo,

Shell

Sophia's Mama and Baba said...

Donna you are doing everything right just hang in there. Gotcha day is always a hectic day. Things will settle down ion a few days. Just be there to meet her needs and give her space when she needs it. The most important thing is that she is BEAUTIFUL! and you have already seen her smile...We are so very happy for you and Joe...

Hugs
Susan

Catherine said...

Oh friend...hugs for all of you. Wanting so badly to take her hurt away yet unable to do so.

Praying, praying, praying for all of you.

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

SOrry to hear she is having a tough time.. but she must have been loved and she will only know the true family love now.. Lauren has a BEAUTIFUL smile.. she is soooooo pretty..
Hugs to you girly..
Things will get better..
Love the pictures..
Get some rest..

Catherine said...

PS - Lauren is absolutely beautiful! What a precious smile!

Congratulations mommy and daddy!

Scott and Kim said...

Wow! Lauren is beautiful!!! She has a great smile in the last picture. Congratulations Mama & Baba! It sounds like you are hanging in there, it will get easier. :-)

Jennifer R said...

WOW ! I can't wait for you guys to come home. Lucy is being a good girl :) Lauren is really a cutie pie.

Allie's going to be a Sister said...

Donna, Joe, and Lauren,

All 62 pics from Gotcha Day
were amazing, I'm so excited
for you both. Lauren is a
beautiful girl. It just warms
my heart to see you three
together as a forever family
and it only gets better from
here!!! You have done such
amazing job and this blog!!!

Many Hugs,

Sindy

a Tonggu Momma said...

She is gorgeous! And you are doing everything right, Donna and Joe. We had a happy baby in China. Believe me, you don't want a happy baby. A happy baby, at least in our case, means she hasn't attached to anyone previously. That Lauren is fighting so hard means that she HAS attached. And THAT means she will attach again. I know you know this, but I also know how much it helped to hear it from others when the Tongginator finally did start fighting us. You're doing great... and hang in there!

Sandy said...

Awww, Lauren is so gorgeous, those early smiles will give you strength during the transition for her. Thought about you both all weekend and had chills just thinking that you are finally getting your daughter!

mumma to many said...

She is precious! What a great smile and the fact she is holding on hard is positive! she is fighting and knows that life will never be the same again for any of you!
Breathe and remeber that there is huge support for you all!
She is lovely and I loved the photos!
Hugs Ruth in NZ

chicknboy said...

oh how my heart breaks for sweet Lauren...and you guys having to watch her be so upset.

praying for her sweet little heart.

congratulations! she has the most wonderful smile...and I'm sure you'll see lots more of those in the days to come. :)

Jboo said...

Congrats!! She is so beautiful even during such trying times for her. Take care.

Janet

Dawn and Dale said...

My words are Catherine's words!! PRAYING for everyone and Miss Lauryn is SOOOOOOOOO beautiful!!!!!

Thinking of you lot's!!

Dawn

Laura and Dan said...

WOW! What a GORGEOUS smile she has! Our experience with Dominic was different than yours but we had the language barrier too, we tried lots of music (toys, iPod, radio) because music is universal. We also did lots of peek a boo with diaper rags, our hands, etc. Just try little games to make her smile and relax her. You seem to be doing just great given the situation and I so admire all the preparation you did so you weren't overwhelmed. You are BLESSED, she is a LIVING DOLL! Laura
P.S. Dominic kicked, screamed and TOOK OFF many times when we changed his diaper in Guatemala. It gets better once you're on your home turf and can set meaningful boundaries.

jgiel said...

The pictures of you three are beautiful! I love the part where you mention that Lauren was struggling against you and you just "hung on tight." That was very telling.

We are so anxious and overjoyed for all three of you, and can't wait to meet her!

Stephanie

Julie said...

What a tough time for Lauren! But it sounds like she has the great ability to bond and as soon as some time passes and she sees what an awesome Mommy and Daddy she has and all they are doing to provide for her needs, she will bond to you.

So very happy for you Donna and Joe and Lauren!

Kristin said...

Your daughter is just lovely... congratulations on becoming parents!

Bless you for being so sensitive to her situation and what she is going through... with your love and patience, she'll come out on the other side and understand that she is safe and loved.

The magic number seems to be about 3 days... hang in there!

Susie said...

Congratulations!!! Lauren is beautiful and has the prettiest smile. Hang in there as things will get better. BTW, Joe looks like a pro at giving her a bottle!!!

Julie said...

P.S. That photo of you on the bus reminds me so much of our bus ride. Tess fell fast asleep on my shoulder the same way.

Melissa said...

I know it is so hard to watch Layren go through this. She will soon understand thatyou are there to love and protect her. You are all going through the hardest time righ now but just remember that youare strong and you and Lauren will get through this. She is beautiful!!

3D said...

Congratulations!!! She is just lovely. I am sure it is really hard but hang on cause it is going to get WAY better!

Keep smilin!

Anne said...

Oh, hugs, hugs, hugs to all 3 of you. You are doing a great job, things will get better!

Mya said...

What a BEAUTIFUL child! Hang in there it will get better! They say the reaction you received is good. That's exactly what we got with Karlee! She will attach to you as well, it just takes time! By the time you leave China you will be amazed on the changes in her! Thanks for letting us follow your journey. For me atleast, it brings it all back and makes me want to do it again. But sadly, it's just taking too long! BTW, you guys are just glowing with pride! Donna, the picture of you holding Lauren sleeping brought tears to my eyes!
Mya

Ava Baby said...

Donna & Joe, Congratulations!! Lauren is sooo beautiful! I know how difficult it is to see Lauren mourning but everything is going to get better for all of you. It just takes time and love. You will have a beautiful life together!!
Love, Michele and Ava

Katie said...

I know it is so hard - hang in there. 72 hours hours was the magic number for us and many of the people in our group. We suddenly had a different baby that smiled and played with toys. It is amazing at how fast you actually become a Mama isn't it? Especially when Lauren needs you so much right now. Congratulations!

Sherri & Todd said...

First off Congratulations!! And second i'm so very sorry she's having a tough time. I'm not in your shoes and i'm sure it's difficult, but she will come around. She is just beautiful and i'm very happy for you.
Sherri

Christi and Abbey said...

Oh, everyone felt so sorry for Abbey and I on that day because it was so hard for her. There was only one photo I would even put on my blog. The orphanage director said that because she was older than the other babies she was more aware of what was happening. Although things got much better in a couple of days I really didn't begin to see her true personality emerge until weeks and months later. The transformation is so incredible. Tonight at bedtime A was giggling and saying how happy she was that "God hooked us together" and that she loved me so much. You will come through it all and I am so happy you have this gorgeous girl. Gerber fruit puffs helped. Can someone get you in the White Swan playroom? That helped too.

Brandi said...

It's so hard to know they're hurting and there's nothing you can do to take their pain away.

Hang in there! Everything will be better soon!

She's beautiful!

Joan said...

You guys have her! You are Mom and Dad :-)

I remember the heart break with my second daughter and how stressful it was. I remember wishing there was more I could do to let her know that I was ok.... but time took care of that. Just hold her and let her feel your love.

Congrats!!!!!!!!!

MotherMotherOcean said...

What a great looking kid (and family for that matter)!

I am sorry you have a rough start. But it sounds like you have your head on straight and are ready for the long haul. Hang in there, kiss her for me. All the best.

Lisa~~ said...

Congratulations!! It is such an emotional experience for everyone, the parents so happy to have their long awaited child and the child not understanding why they've been taken away from all that they've ever known. I hope that Lauren attaches quickly and I know that with such loving parents she'll make the transition with time. Good luck to a beautiful new family of three.

Lisa and Tate said...

Congrats on you gotcha/family day!!!

She is precious.... so much a Lauren!! I could hardly contain my tears reading this You are such a great momma already to recognize her confusion and agony. I know this does not make it better, but they say it is a good thing when they are attached to the caregivers and cry... attachement to you is so much easier!

I am so overcome with JOY for you and Joe!!!

Hugs
Lisa

Diane said...

She is just beautiful! It won't be long before Lauren is all smiles because she has such a wonderful mommy and daddy now! Hang in there, you look like you are doing a great job with her!
Love,
Di, Gary, & Bing!

Kathy said...

Donna and Joe,
Congratulations! I am so happy for the both of you.I know it's hard right now but, hang in there. Lauren will learn to trust and love the both of you. I'm sure it's hard to see her go through this. You are doing a great job loving her. It will take time, hugs, kisses and just being there for her. She is beautiful.
Hugs
Kathy

M3 said...

Huge hugs for all. You are a kick-butt mom already to understand what Lauren is going through. My heart just breaks for her and I know so well how these precious children are grieving and confused. I still can't think of our first few incredibly hard nights with our girls without tearing up.

Cheryl said...

Donna, she's absolutely gorgeous!! I'm so happy for the 3 of you!! Hang in there, I know it's hard right now -- I'm thinking of you and wishing you the very best. Keep those photos coming!!!
With big hugs,
Cheryl

Dori's Mommy (Diana) said...

Congratulations! She is so beautiful! Hang in there, I know it's heart-wrenching, but it will pay off in the long run. The grieving will end!

hiltonsheadeast said...

Donna and Joe ....you are doing a GREAT job! You know why she is crying which is half the battle. These poor little things are so confused. It's awesome to have smiles on the first day and that she was so attached to her caregiver. Just hold her (when you can) and let her know you'll be there no matter what she throws (sometimes literally) at you. She'll feel safe and calm down soon. It takes about 4 days. Hang in there. You guys are awesome parents to a beautiful little girl.

Hugs,
Lori**

P.S. -- are you calling her Lauren straight off? Maybe you could trying calling her by her Chinese name for a day or two. It might give her some sense of normality.

Heather said...

Congratulations, Mommy, Daddy and Lauren! I am so very happy for you all.

Kristi said...

Hang in there! Our first few nights with our son were pretty rough, but it does get better! She's beautiful!

Johnny said...

Congrats!

Rebecca/Taryns Journey said...

Donna...I am so happy for you both! What a long road! Beautiful family...Congratulations!

Shannon said...

I'm so happy for all of you! She sure is a beautiful child. I hope tomorrow she starts to trust you guys more and more. I can tell how upset and frustrated you guys are. All 3 of you. hang in there. It WILL get better!

Doreen said...

A HUGE CONGRATS!!!! Miss Lauren Day is here!!!!!!! She looks adorable.
I had the same experience with my oldest daughter. She couldn't stand me but wouldn't let me out of her sight or my arms. It really is heartbreaking but as we all know, it does get better. She just needs time to climatize and she will begin to trust you. You're doing fine and I'm just so thrilled for you!
Doreen in Montreal single mom to Faith-Jiangxi & Mia-Sichuan

kelly said...

Congrats!! the beginning is sooo hard. You'll be great parents!!

Esther's mom said...

It will get better! She's beautiful! Congrats to your family.

Kramer said...

I am so excited for all 3 of you. I can only imagine how much it hurt to leave her caregiver but she is in store for the most amazing life with you and Joe. You are already wonderful and amazing parents with so much love to give. I can't wait to continue following along with your journey!

Diana said...

Donna..my youngest was 14 months and in Foster Care in Korea before we got him. Honest to gosh I would have given him back to her as I had heard how hard she cried and he GRIEVED for a long time. It broke my heart to know he was taken from a happy home and given to his family that he wanted no part of. It truly is heartbreaking to watch them go through this. Me saying I would have given him back to her was not that I did not love him it was for that reason..I loved him that much and I know he was LOVED. He is now a HAPPY 11 year old and all is well. Your daughter will know your love and she will adjust. She is beautiful. I could not wait to come home to check out her pictures.
Hugs

Donna said...

Congratulations Donna and Joe! Lauren is so precious and I'm so glad you got to see some sweet smiles on your first day together. The journey was long but look at you all now! A beautiful family of three at last! Thank you so much for sharing all of this with the rest of your China Adoption family!

Gwen and Maddy always sit with me at the computer when we look at referral day and gotcha day blog photos. Maddy kept thinking Lauren was her (their orphanages are not that far apart and there's a resemblance). I kept saying "No, that's baby Lauren". Now she wants to know when Baby Lauren is coming to visit her!

Guess that means you're all invited! (you are, of course)

:)

Donna
Our Blog: Double Happiness!

Dana E. said...

Congratulations, Donna & Joe! I will pray for as quick a transition as possible. Before you can blink, this will all be water under the bridge. Take care and keep Loving Lauren!

OziMum said...

Aaaaawwwwwww.....

My heart aches for you all!

It was lovely to see her beautiful smile though... you can't be that bad, then?!!! :) Hugs for you! Absolutely THRILLED you finally have Lauren in your arms!

Amy said...

Looking at all the pictures and video - I'll say that you and Joe look like parents. You've already transformed! In a few days both of you and Lauren will feel more comfortable. Unfortunately, lack of sleep is something that all parents have to deal with sometimes. Somehow we all survive it and so will you.

Carol and Taylor said...

We are so, so happy for you all, even with the upset. We just want to reach out into the computer and give you all a hug. Its always a little more difficult the older the child, but looks like you're doing a fab job.

Lauren is beautiful. Thank you for allowing us to follow along. Our day was Jan 15, 3 years ago, so watching your family this month, so close to our time has been extra special.

Kind regards,

Carol and Taylor in Miami

tocspaw said...

I can't even imagine what it must feel like to be so far from home experiencing something so wonderful, heartbreaking and terrifying. Know that you, Joe and Lauren will find your way - together. We're thinking about you guys!! Extra hugs to all of you! ~Heather

Kayce said...

Congratulations Donna and Joe! It's been so wonderful to follow along on your journey to Qing Qing! Thank you for letting us all follow along! Enjoy all the moments.

Mary said...

Hey Joe and Donna...Congratulations and she is adorable! We're enjoying reading of your day to day adventures in parenthood...although Joe looks a little uneasy in one of the pix.
Enjoy the rest of your stay...we're all looking forward to your return. And Ed (yes...Ed) has orgranized a little surprise for your return.
Mary

Jacquie said...

Poor little baby. But as hard as this is to watch, this is all very good. She was attached and therefore knows how to be and she's not holding anything back. All good. Better to come screaming out so to speak than to withdraw and hold it all in. Hang in there mama. It will get better. She sounds like a smart cookie and she'll figure out in no time flat that you all love her very much.

Karsynn's Mommy...Sammi said...

She's just perfect! So cute and what a sweet smile. Just remember, the screaming will become less and less and the smiles will become more and more. Just hang in there!

Chrissie said...

Congratulations on your beautiful daughter -- she's just precious. I know these first few weeks (or days) will be rough, but it will get better.

Hang in there and keep those pictures coming ~

Chrissie

G's Momma said...

Just keep telling yourself, it will get better. It will. She's absolutely gorgeous, her life has turned upside down but it will get better!

Congratulations!!!

susan
mom to Georgiana dob 1/7/2008, ours forever 12/8/2008

Alyson and Ford said...

Of all the families we have been following, we were afraid you were going to be similar to our situation. We have been silently praying, hoping that you can make it through this tough time. Holding our breath waiting for your next update. Tears in my eyes, seeing you go through what we went through. It is tough. I thought some days I just couldn't walk with her anymore; dead tired - I know what that means now. So sorry. As you know it does get better. AA really made the "turn" near the end of our China trip but it was weeks at home that she finally started "relaxing". She is guarded and still doesn't think there will be food every day even though we have fed her for 16 weeks; even though at times she is a happy, perfectly content 2 year old. Take care of yourself as best you can. Hold Lauren very close.
Love and hugs to your little Lauren and to you too!

Alyzabeth's Mommy

Shannon said...

We understand. And it's gonna get infinitely better. My goodness but she's got a gorgeous smile! More of those to come for sure! Hugs to you all. =)

potandkettle said...

Congratulations. We were the family who prepared for the worst and hoped for the best, but got a level or two shy of the worst. Olivia was miserable with us the first few days. We stayed as strong as we could and were determined to make sure she knew we loved her. Sounds like you're doing all the right stuff. You've always been a mommy, now you just have the baby to go along with it.

There are many prayers headed your way and will continue to be. You've supported all of us at one point or another in some way and now it's our turn to give the love back you've always given to us.

Lots of love from us to you!

reneeks@gmail.com said...

Smiles on your first day after all the protesting?? That is fantastic! Sounds like you are doing GREAT! She is doing what she needs to do, letting it out, wow, it's the greatest gift. Remember that when she cries, it's soooo much better for her and you that she lets it out. From the video, she looks like she already feels safe with you. It's all good. Congrats again.
Renee

Natalie said...

Such an exciting day for you three and for all of us who have been following your journey. She is absolutely beautiful. Sorry for the difficult adjustment, but you know it will be great in the end. We must sacrifice and face hardships to get a beautiful and wonderful result at the end.
You are wonderful parents already and it will just get better and better. Lots of best wishes on this truely amazing journey.
Hugs

Anne said...

She will relax sooner if she senses you are both relaxed and confident. (Hard? Yep!) :)) You are SO capable of this.

She sounds like she forms strong attachments, and all this will be SO worth it when she is relaxed enough with you to begin building strong confidence in you, and love for you.

PIPO said...

I so feel for what you are saying. My heart just aches for what our children go through with this huge transition.

It may be normal...and even good when we know how well our children are able to attach. Still, so painful to watch when all their familiarity is gone.

In time...in time.

Ivy said...

My goodness, I am so far behind in blogging, and now to see these wonderful photos of you with your daughter! Just brings back so many wonderful memories.

I am so happy for you. She's quite a little dollie!

Enjoy China, it was a wonderful journey and a lifetime of memories.

Hugs,
Ivy

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

I am sorry I haven't been by to visit... I have been SO busy with work etc that I pretty much forgot everything...
I am so incredibly happy for you all and it is great to see Isabella coming along great! And great to see finally after this crazy wait... you finally have her...
Hugs to you all..

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

P.S.... See what happens when you are tired and not concentrating on what you are writing... I meant to write Lauren!!! Sorry about that... must be cause I am getting old...