Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Big Day, Big Smiles!

Ah, she slept so good last night!  We, however, woke up promptly at 4:30am.  Ouch.  We actually had to wake the sweet girl up at 7:30 so we could get ready to leave on time!  Looks like we now have two girls that are like Mommy and don't ever want to get out of bed.

When we finally got her to open her eyes, she didn't look surprised or scared to see us.  I was really worried she would wake up upset.  But she was very happy for me to pick her up and get things going.  She very much liked getting dressed up and admiring her bow in the mirror.

While she was finishing her bottle, we Skyped back home.  We wanted to introduce Arella to this Zoe character we've been talking about her whole life, but at the same time we were nervous how she would handle it.  Her reaction...  she kissed Zoe on the screen!  Zoe just stared and stared and Arella was actually somewhat excited!  We'll see if that keeps up once we're home...

A final trip back to the Civil Affairs office this morning made the adoption official in her province.  We'll take all the paperwork to the US Consulate in Guangzhou next week to finalize it on the US side.  Here we are in front of the building.

Zoe was way more relaxed and happy this morning.  Maybe she could feel our excitement.  When we first walked in, the vice director of the orphanage was there.  Zoe reached out for him and he looked to me to see if it was okay.  I could tell from the day before he's pretty close to the kids, so of course I let him hold her.  I was worried she wouldn't want to come back to me.  But she only let him hold her for a minute then reached back for me!  What booming joy coursed through me in that moment!!

We sat with the civil affairs official, and she asked us several questions.  Like, the baby only has one ear; do you mind this?  If you have no problems with this child, please sign this.  Just such a funny process.  Here we are making it super duper official by stamping our thumb prints over our signatures.

Zoe even got to be official with a little red right foot print.

By this point she was getting a little tired.  But the result of that was super snuggly with Mommy!  She would squirm like she wanted to stand and walk around, so I would put her down and she would climb back up into my arms or bury her head in my chest.  It was so precious; I was totally melting.

And then guess what came next...  I twirled her around in a circle and out came her first real smile.  We didn't get the full thing on camera, but this is her happy, slightly smiley face.

So we all have a better perspective, the green is the Hunan province where Zoe is from, and I'm pointing to her city down on the southern tip.

And here is a map of China, and Amy, our awesome guide, is pointing to Changsha, where we currently are.

One last picture of the three of us in front of the office sign after we're officially a family!

All the excitement and happiness wore her out.  She fell asleep in my lap on the way back to the hotel.  

Such a sweet little thing she is and she's starting to open up and give smiles more. Neither one of us can believe how quickly she's adjusting. I almost ended the post here, but itty bit just woke up and we found out a little secret that gave us this!

I'm sure there will still be a few bumps ahead, but it's sure nice to see she's already taking to us.  Must be all that praying...

Tomorrow is a fun day.  Just a visit to the park and hanging out.  Looking forward to it.


  1. I can hardly read the post through my tears of joy!!! Oh Laura, it's so wonderful for you to share this journey with everyone who's been praying for your family!!! Thank you.

  2. Raising kids can be frustrating, but the joys far outweigh it. Children are blessings from God! May God bless you and Eriek, Arella and Zoe. (Oh, and nice teeth Laura. )

  3. Love love love her smile. You can totally see in her face that she loves you both already. So sweet. As I was driving yesterday, I heard on the radio Psalm 52:9. Not even sure what they were talking about because all that went through my mind was you and Eriek and how you waited on the Lord and it it good. He acted on your behalf. And you can see it now that you have her in your arms. Tangible faith lived out right before our eyes. Tears again!!!

    Psalm 52:9 (CEB) I will give thanks to you, God, forever because you have acted. In the presence of your faithful people, I will hope in your name because its so good.

    Heavenly Father---thank you, thank you, thank you for who you are. Your name is great! Thank you for such a sweet picture of faith lived out in our friends, right before our eyes. Thank you for choosing Eriek and Laura to be Zoe's forever family before she was ever born. Thank you for a picture of a rescued life in Zoe and how much she is loved by You. Lord, I am blessed because they are blessed. Thank you for allowing us to share each others joys. Be with Eriek and Laura as they get to know Zoe more and more. May their transition be as smooth as it can be. And Lord, be with Arella as she misses her Mom and Dad. Prepare her heart to meet her sister for the first time. May their hearts leap for joy when they see each other. I pray all of this in your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen

  4. Awesome post and pictures! Congratulations!!!

  5. Tears, girl. Man, you're killing me with these Zoe posts. So so so so so thrilled for y'all!!!!! (and looooooved the tickle video!!)

  6. p.s. She is just sooo beautiful. And Arella skype-kissing her??? MELT.

  7. Thanks for sharing your journey with everyone. I just love reading your blog. It is so touching and wonderful. Praying for all of you. God is so good!
    Kim and Keatyn

  8. Thank you for sharing. Casey loves to look at the pictures when he gets home from diving.
    Cindy & Casey Ponton

  9. Kim do happy for y'all and can't wait to see zoe in person when y'all get back. The long time of being patient is worth it because now look at the beautiful child god has put into your life.
    Katelynn shilling