Whew! What a day! In the words of the wisest 7-year-old I know, today was "tough--tough but good." Having gone through a Gotcha Day before, you'd think we would know what to expect, right? Well, right and wrong. We knew she was timid, introverted, and shy; we knew she had a previous disrupted adoption; we knew she was scared of foreigners. What we didn't know was how that would all manifest itself. Well, it was something. There were lots of tears...from Gemma and from us. There were a LOT of prayers. And the biggest thing I can say is THANK GOD FOR SIMON! He was my rock, and he was Gemma's rock too, even though she didn't know it at the time.

We arrived at the Civil Affairs Office with 1 other Lifeline family. We saw Gemma before she was handed over to us, and she looked happy. After she was given to us, it was mayhem for a while. To preserve Gemma's dignity, I won't go into details. Let's just say our hearts were breaking for her. The fear in her eyes was heart-wrenching! But God is good, and as we started to leave the building, she stopped crying. She was still scared, but she wasn't hysterical anymore.

We got back to the hotel, and she let Simon carry her up to our room. We started pulling out every toy, crayon, doll, etc. that we had. She showed some interest in everything. She looked at her hair clips; she colored a page in a coloring book; she watched an episode of Ni Hao Kai-Lan. We even got a few near smiles.

Simon left to fill out paperwork, so I was left with the girls. Can I just say how proud of Gracie I am? She was visibly upset at the civil affairs office, but she totally rallied! She played with Gemma, talked to her, showed her how to do things. I LOVE GRACIE SO MUCH! Thank God she's here with us!!!!

Our driver was sent out to get a little toilet seat that Gemma is used to using at her orphanage. When it arrived, she sat right on it and went potty. But then she didn't get up. She just kept sitting there and sitting there. A couple different times the tears just started streaming down her face. WHAT TO DO??? I cried out to God with my mother's heart for him to comfort her, because I don't know how to at this point. Simon returned from the paperwork sessions, and he could tell Gemma was sad. We decided to make the girls some top ramen noodles (Gracie's fave). Gemma didn't want to eat at the table with Gracie, so I sat with her in on our bed. She fed herself really well. I think she's had to do that for quite a while at the orphanage. :*( Then Gracie brought her little tablet into the room with us and watched a Barbie movie with Gemma. Gemma was really forlorn at this point, and she kept rubbing her eyes. I didn't want her to sleep before having a bath.

I started filling the tub and told Gracie that if she got in, maybe Gemma would follow. Sure enough, Gemma came willingly to the tub. Once she got in, it's like a totally different girl emerged! We got smiles; we got giggles; we got words; she even said "hello" to us. Oh thank you Jesus for the little things! She got a little forlorn again after bath, but she willingly let me brush her teeth and lift her into her crib. So far, not a peep out of her. We'll see how the night goes. We have a king sized bed, so we'll let her sleep with us if necessary.

Gemma is a sweet, sweet girl. I love that she's introverted--so am I; so is Gracie. She is a thinker, I can tell. She even seems to have some of Gracie's attention-to-detail skills. After she was done using each colored pencil, she put it back in the box facing the way Gracie had originally put it in the box. She copied Gracie in the tub--filling her cup with water; splashing it over herself and her sister; rubbing her arms with the washrag. I can't wait to see more and more of her emerge.

Thank you all SO MUCH for your diligent prayers on our behalf...we have coveted each and every one of them. And we still ask that you pray! God will heal her little heart in his perfect timing, of this we are sure.

Driving to the Civil Affairs Office

Walking into the office

Having a 'nack (as my nephew Owen would say)

Watching Ni Hao Kai-Lan
Pretty girl

Checking out her hair clips

She likes the balloon

Coloring--is she a lefty??

Gemma's first picture

Trying to sharpen some colored pencils

Bath time!

Look at that smile!!!
During the bath Gracie leaned over and said to me, "I'm glad I got Sanhui!" :*)


Mike and Barb said…
Oh, Amy, I'm so glad you have your Gemma now. Such a scary time for our kiddos! Hang in there, and enjoy getting to know your new daughter! She is precious - her eyes show such a depth to her.
Many blessings, Barb
I feel like the man in Acts 3 who was dancing, and leaping and jumping and praising God!!! Bless you all, and we can't wait to meet your precious little Gemma. Our prayers are continually with you my friends. Paul and Carol
MotherOfTwo said…
Crying tears of joy right now! I am proud of Gracie too! I will keep praying for healing and for sweet, sweet, Jesus-filled bonding!
Adrian Roberta said…
crying, crying, crying here *sigh* So proud of Gracie!!! Way to go JieJie!
Roseann D said…
Give yourselves all a big hug from us! The months ahead may be hard for Gemma, G and you, but the reward will be rich indeed! Keep supporting each other. Congratulations on making it through a very rough day-Gemma is one tough little girl!
rooskie said…
Aim - I hang on your every word. So exciting but emotional and scary too. I was crying all through your blog! People at work are starting to wonder about me! I can't wait for you to get Gemma HOME! Congratulations.

Gretchen said…
Crying at the amazing thing that God has done.

What a precious thing and her heart...sigh....praying God will fill her with security and take the fear away.

Praying for your new family!
Anonymous said…
Beautiful story Amy! How wonderful that you are sharing this with us. Gemma is a very lucky little girl. Prayers that all goes well.
Judi said…
Congratulations! So glad to see Gemma with her family! Haleigh had a hard first day as well - such a scary time for these little ones! Enjoy these first days together!
Vicky said…
Love that you have your Gemma! Praying that she will learn to trust you quickly! I cannot even begin to imagine how hard this must be for her. What a blessing to have such a wonderful mom and dad and big sister! Love that Gracie is such a kind, caring and loving big sis! Praying for continued bonding!
Tammy said…
Amy and Simon, you have two beautiful girls. You are doing great! praying for wisdom and peace for you.

Jackie said…
AWESOME!! God is so good. Praying for you all that God will break down communication barriers and help you to establish a relationship of love and trust with Gemma. Praying that she knows and understands how much you love her already!


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