January 24 was Gotcha day for Finley, one year ago in Liaoning China. We got to visit her in the orphanage the day before GOTCHA and she seemed to like us pretty OK that day but we did come bearing gifts for all the kids which obviously made us white strangers tolerable. Here is a video of that day:
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We were so excited to have the opportunity to meet Finley the day before GOTCHA and we thought we would wow her with our gifts and love and that GOTCHA was going to be a breeze-- NOT!!! It was not quite like that. Finley showed up with Mr. Zhou and the day before she would not go to Mr. Zhou but on GOTCHA day she was clinging to him.
When we saw her she would not come to us and it was only over the whole time we were at the civil affairs office (we were the only family there and it was more like going to the DMV than the traditional GOTCHA. Fin just hung with us while we were doing the paperwork) she was giving us the evil eye and was not interested in us. As time went on, she opened up a bit but not really.
It was time for Mr. Zhou to leave and Finley was less than happy to be stuck with us. But she said goodbye to Mr. Zhou through the tears and she left with us.
She was not happy and cried most of the way back to the hotel. When we got to the hotel, we knew she (and us) were starving so Kevin and our wonderful guide Maggie went out to get some KFC right on the corner and Finley was left alone with me in the room. She freaked out the whole time and just kept running and banging on the door yelling "aye"-- auntie-- which is what she called the nannies at her orphanage. It was horrible to watch her fight for her life and finally give up and lay on the bed in the fetal position and suck her fingers hoping just to fall asleep and maybe wake up from her nightmare. Right about when she took the fetal position Kevin came through the door with food and it was like he was her savior. She ran to him-- I'm sure hoping it was going to be Maggie or one of her nannies-- but Kevin was there and that was good enough for her and he at that moment became her savior. She went to him and he picked her up and from that moment on she loved her daddy and clung to him wherever she would go. I, on the other hand, became the lowly helper whom she had no interest in and saw as more of an annoyance than a mom. Of course in time that changed and now I am loved like crazy, but back then she was not my biggest fan-- which was hard-- but at least she loved her daddy and was able to be comforted by him.
Finley has grown in every way in the past year. She has learned to trust and love me and she is a happy kid. She and her sister are the best of friends and Finley is the most giving and sweet little girl ever. She is always willing to compromise and is naturally an easy going little girl. Her English is nothing short of amazing. She speaks fluent English like any 4 year old would and her articulation is coming along. She loves to sing, do gymnastics, play inside and out and she loves to do crafts. She is the best helper in this house (and Owen too) and if you give her a job-- man does she do it with vigour!!! Her transition into our crazy family has gone exceptionally well and I will tell you this little girl is excited about getting a baby sister. Every morning when we are in the car to do the drop offs we first drop the boys at their school and we always pray before the boys get out of the car. Finley, every morning, will say "mommy pray for our baby sister in China". It is so sweet and she genuinely loves and cares for her already. She is an amazing little girl and I am proud to be her mommy!!!!
We love you Finley Hao Yi!!!!