Monday, November 02, 2009

Oh What a Great and Glorious Day!!! Hannah is HERE!!! - Part 1

Wow, wow....WOW!!! How do I begin to capture in mere words what today has been like??? I cannot begin to do so but will make an attempt as I don't want to forget a single detail of this most amazing, life changing day!!!

Here we go.....

After a short night of about 2 hours sleep, I woke up to a sun filled room and called out to anyone who would listen, ok....Norma who was still trying to sleep ;o) that TODAY was Hannah day!!! T-o-d-a-y!!! Not tomorrow, not the day after that, not a week or a month or a year away but TODAY!!!! Wheeee!!!

It was 7am so we got up and began to get ready. I'd packed the diaper bag the night before, wanting to be prepared at a moment's notice for us to GO! Our appt. wasn't until 3 in the afternoon but I wanted to be ready.

Can I tell you once again, how amazing God is??!!! I wasn't sick. I wasn't living in the restroom....I was bathed in his peace and excitement! I wasn't thinking clearly and probably could not have told you the answer to 2 + 2 but...I also wasn't sick. Normally in stressful situations I feel extremely ill and today, God said 'nope...I give you My peace' and that was it....His peace flowed through me!!! It's humbling to type that as I know literally hundreds and possibly thousands of people around the world were praying for Hannah and I and I could tangibly feel your prayers as God answered them over and over and over again!!! Thank you for praying!!!!!

Back to Hannah Day....
Around 8:00 Norma and I headed down to the breakfast buffet. What a beautiful hotel we're in! It will deserve a post all its own later on. I enjoyed a b'fast of cereal with 'clod milk'...heh, typo on the sign ;o), bacon, an omlette and the most amazing fresh fruit. Asia has amazing fresh fruit!!! Knowing this might be my only/main meal of the day I tucked into it as once again I wasn't feeling ill so could enjoy it.

After b'fast I boarded the bus with my parents as Norma and Leslie headed off to find a local market and buy some supplies for us and souvenirs for her family. The bus took the majority of the families to the National Bank of China. At least, I think that's the name of it. Just went to check the name on my recipt but it's in Chinese. lol!! This morning's order of business what to exchange large amounts of Canadian travellers cheques into Yuan for our orphange fees tomorrow as well as other assundary fees. Exchanging money into Yuan in China is a lengthy process but I was just so thankful that I'd been able to travel with travellers cheques rather than US bills that it was no problem at all. I felt SO vulnerable as the gentleman handed me a stack....literally about 4" tall of Yuan! **gulp** Where was my bodyguard?? 'DADDY!!!!!!!!' Yup...still need my Daddy!

From this point our group was splitting into 2 different destinations. My friend Russ (a coworker who is also in my travel!!!) was taking a taxi and going directly back to the hotel. I asked him and he was only too happy to take my cash with him, so I felt like a million pounds had been lifted off my shoulders!!! (Hmmmm...come to think of it....that $ is still in his safe. There's about $6,500 there.....if their family isn't at b'fast tomorrow I'm checking to see if he's still in the country! :o)

After Russ headed to the hotel, a group of us went to the local Carrefour Market. It was directly across the street from the bank but due to it being too dangerous for us non-educated Asia street crossers, we waited for all to be finished at the bank and took the bus across the street. Heh!!!

Mom, Dad and I were able to buy all that we needed for our time here, including all of Hannah's supplies. Armed with a picture from Sara's blog I was able to buy diapers, wipes, baby food, snacks and the exact formula Hannah drank at the orphanage. I bought enough for her to hopefully stay on that formula while we're here in China and then to transition her off slowly to Canadian formula once home.

(It's early Tuesday as I'm typing this and trying to get as much done while my bundle of love is still sleeping. Her little legs have begun to kick around her crib a bit and I've heard a couple of sighs so I think she's beginning to wake.....after having slept all through the night since 10pm last night!!! Have I told you lately how amazing she is??!!!)

We returned to the hotel at 1:30 and needed to be downstairs in the lobby at 2:30. Norma has been a HUGE help and once again she anticipated my needs and had gone above and beyond. The top I was wearing for Family Day had been ironed and freshened and was ready for me. The gifts for Hannah's nanny, director and possibly the Notary Public also needed to be prepared so she helped me get those ready too. She was so patient and supportive during my excited, can't-tell-you-what-day-it-is frenzy of preparation excitement. Thank you Norma!! She'd gently ask at different times (as the safe was wide open and in our main path, 'Do you need anything in or out of the safe' and I'd just say, 'sorry..I really don't know.' Heh...couldn't have answered that.

We were eventually ready to go, dressed, fresh make-up applied, diaper bag with warm bottle, Passport in hand and gifts. We headed to the lobby around 2:25 to meet the other excited families and my parents. I had myself a good cry in the lobby, just realizing that Hannah was probably in the city too and within MINUTES would be in my arms!! We drove to the Civil Affairs Office and as we pulled up some of the babies were being taken into the building!!! There were shouts of excitement, tears and the already emotion filled bus just ramped up with excitement 100 fold!!!

We made our way to the 3rd floor where we saw the sign for International Adoptions. Yes! More tears!! We went in to the room where 7 of the babies were. There was one who could possibly be Hannah but I wasn't convinced that it was her. We were asked to go into the room next door so we did and I began to pace with excitement!!

The hand-over time was a combination of so many feelings and emotions and so much more. I felt like I was in a dream, looking in from the outside and then they called my name and it all became a wonderful, amazing reality!!! Hannah was here, safe, warm, curious and in my arms!!!

I know this isn't fair but I'm going to close this post here and start a new one to cover the remainder of the day. I have a feeling my sweet baby girl will soon be awake and I want to spend time with her. I'll continue with the post soon....promise!!!)


  1. Wow. I get to be the first comment. Glad to hear that things are off to a great start, despite the long travel day and lack of sleep. Hannah is beautiful and you look so happy after such a long, long wait.
    Enjoy the first days together. So lovely to have great pictures right off the bat.
    We met the babies a day early, right after arriving in province and our early photos and video aren't that great because everything was happening early and not by plan. Well, not our plan but I guess it's all by God's plan and that is what matters.

    Theresa in Canada, Mom to a beautiful 6 and 1/2 year from Jiangsu province.

  2. Gosh I can feel your excitement through your writing of the build up to seeing Hannah!
    The photo's of you two together just fill me with joy and happiness.
    God is good and he has bought to two of you wonderful.
    Love and hugs to you and Hannah!

  3. Your posts are amazing. I can't believe you are finding the time to keep us so updated. I can't begin to tell you how happy everyone is for you. Congratulations. I love seeing a new post from you. You my friend have renewed my faith! Hannah is one lucky little girl!
    God Bless!

  4. I am so excited for you. I am home sick today and have checked back every hour or so for updates. Enjoy this time with your new daughter!
    Shelley Molica

  5. Words don't do it all justice.

    I am so happy for you and your sweet daughter...together at last!

  6. Sounds like an awesome day so far! I am so happy for you - I've been following your blog for some time now and like so many others have anticipated this day. What a blessing you have!

    Can't wait to hear more :o)

  7. She obviously knows you're her mama. The pictures say it all!


  8. You absolutely glow in your photos! What wonderful record of your first day!

  9. OMW.. I feel like I am right there..
    I am sooo happy for you girly..
    Can't wait to hear more...
    Hannah is beautiful...

  10. wow i had chills reading this so happy for you can't wait for the second part

  11. I have been frantically refreshing! Thank you for rewarding me with a post about your Hannah Day. Can't wait to read part II!!! Amy

  12. Love this! I'm so thrilled to be reading part one of Hannah Day...can't wait for part two!

  13. More smiles and more smiles here in Cali!!! We are just LOVING your posts Catherine!!!! You continue to be in our prayers. Sending you tons of hugs!!!

  14. Oh Catherine she is beautiful. Can`t wait for part 2!

  15. looking forward to part two!!! Way to leave us hanging and comin' back for more. ENJOY!
    AP to 2 AWESOME kiddos from VN

  16. That sounds surreal and wonderful and just incredible!!!

    Keep smilin!

  17. Wow! It's all so exciting! I can't wait to read the rest of the story!

    I absolutely LOVE all of the pictures!

    Thinking of you!


  18. Congratulations Catherine! At long last Hannah is in your arms! A beautiful new family!

  19. I am sooooo happy for you! Treasure this day in my mind and heart always.

    I can't wait to


  20. Cathy...when am I ever going to stop crying through your posts??? Man, it's been an emotional day on this side of the computer screen too!!!! LOL!!!

    Did you get my e-mail? Hope you received the pics I sent you. As you'll be able to see, I've been just a tad excited.

    Love ya Cathy. Continuing to pray for you.

  21. She is simply adorable! She looks so cozy all cuddled in with you. You were meant to be together! Happy Family Day!!!

  22. Wow!This brings back so many fond memories...i agree it certainly is hard to put into words,the incrediably wonderful moment of having your daughter placed in your arms is the greatest feeling.

    I'm so looking forward to hearing part two.

  23. You are doing great, writing so frequently! Thanks for the news - you are amazing! Take care!

    Alyzabeth's Mommy

  24. What a beautiful story, every time I read an update I'm left in tears! You and Hannah look so great together, you look SUCH like a mommy! I can't describe it, maybe you have that new mom glow! Thanks for the update, these will be great to share with Hannah in the future.. Now get some more rest!

  25. She is precious! Dreams do come true!

  26. Oh Catherine, I am so happy for you!!! She is just BEAUTIFUL!!! Enjoy every second of this special time......what an incredible journey it has been for you.

    Take care and God Bless,


  27. It's so good to see you and Hannah together at last!

  28. Had goosebumps as I read this ... God bless and praying for you and Hannah.

  29. Murray and I were both in tears reading your journal today, Catherine. We remember so well the mixed emotions and "out of body" experience! We are thanking God that you and Hannah are finally together... forever!

  30. AHHHH... I thought you we're going to end this without a picture! She is BEAUTIFUL and looks perfect in your arms!
    Enjoy your time cuddling YOUR daughter in YOUR arms... not just a picture to look at lovingly anymore!!!!

  31. YAY!!!!!!!! Soooooooo incredibly happy for you!!!! From that last pic, it looks like mom and daughter are doing well!!!! Just thrilled for you!

  32. Wow! I cannot wait to read more & see more pictures...what an exciting day :-)

  33. Catherine,
    I have been a "lurker" of your blog for over a year and I wanted to finally introduce myself. I'm Michele a SAHM of 4 from Maryland, USA. I think I happened upon your blog thru a blog of one of my friends who also adopted from China. Congrats on your baby girl she is beautiful! What a precious baby daughter you have. God bless you and Hanna. I am looking forward to finally getting to know you and to see many more of your special days with Hanna. Congrats again and have a safe trip.

  34. What sweet pictures. We are so happy for you. It is a beautiful day!


    Hugs to M3 for keeping us updated!

  35. congratulations you and hannah look so gorgeous together!!! i love the look on her face! so happy for both of you!!!

  36. CONGRATULATIONS TO TWO BEEEAUTIFUL GIRLS!!! It just warms the cockles of my heart to see your prayers finally answered.

    God Bless!

  37. Congratulations Catherine. It brings back memories for us here in NB as that was the exact room that we first met our daughter in too.
    Amazing !!
    Enjoy every moment of this. You've waited a long time and you deserve this :)

  38. The day sounded perfect!!! I love all the emotions that you explain! I cannot wait to hear more.

  39. So happy for you! I felt like I was right in China with you! On the edge of my seat with excitement! Yes, many prayers are with you!

  40. Catherine: When I saw the pictures yesterday and saw your beautiful daughter and how happy you are, I teared up.
    As lucky as you feel to have her, I think Hannah is a very lucky girl to have you.
    I've captured some of your pictures to put outside my wall at work.
    With awe & admiration ... Karen

  41. So Exciting! Enjoy every minute of this well deserved time! She is beautiful and you look radiant!!
    Krista D
    PS: We had steamed Bum and Bears on our b'fast buffet! LOL

  42. I'm still in awe of how much you accomplished that day with only two hours sleep! LOL!!! What an amazing day. Can't wait to hear more!!!

  43. Your daughter is beautiful! The photos made me tear up, and I don't know any of you! But we were in that same room in Changsha almost exactly three years ago, and I remember the racing heart and fear and excitement and joy and concern and wondering why no one told me they had replaced the tape on diapers with these velcro-type things and oh my gosh, how the heck does this work so I can get this thing on this terrified and screaming child, now she KNOWS I don't have a clue! But most of all I remember the surreal excitement and joy as I held MY DAUGHTER for the first time. Enjoy your time! It is so precious.

    Mama to Rachel Shu-Ting, born 1-17-06 in Hunan (family day 12-04-06

  44. I am soooooo happy for you!!!!!


  45. Cathy my heart is SPILLING over with joy for you. To read about your baby girl sleeping peacefully in her crib, uhg the tears are flowing again. Cant wait to read more...

    Love Michelle

  46. Congratulations! Your posts bring back so many wonderful memories. Enjoy this special time.

    Kathy (who can't wait for part II)

  47. I just love her expression in that last photo. She is checking you out :) Can't wait to see and read more!!!

  48. Reading your posts is the first thing I do as I get up:) I am just so happy and Adia loves looking at the pics of Hannah

  49. This is all so cool to read.....I love the detail you have put into your blog Catherine.....but I know it doesn't even come close to the emotions you had and have right now experiencing all of this! Have a beautiful day with little Hannah and enjoy your first days of Mommyhood!!!
    Love and prayers,
    Michele and the Howards

  50. The last picture is by far the BEST! You can definatly tell that is the MOMENT you got her in your arms. AMAZING!!!

    She is beautiful!!! God Bless Her & You!


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