2.23.2016

Gotcha Day

After 10 long years, a precious Chinese daughter is finally in our arms. It has been a busy and emotional day. We met Lexi around 2:30pm, and as most gotcha days go, it unfolded quickly and with little fanfare. The government official was late arriving and so the room where everyone was told to meet was locked. We had gotten there several minutes early and all of a sudden Lexi and her nannies were coming down the dark hallway toward us. They instantly stuck her in my arms. It was all a bit unplanned and the lighting wasn't stellar, so our first pictures are the best we could do given the circumstances. She is beautiful and as expected, completely terrified. We don't look, speak or smell like anyone she has ever even seen and they just handed her over to us. I can only imagine how scary it was for her. 



Patrick and I spoke last night about our feelings going into today. When we adopted Caleb the situation was different in a number of ways. We had never adopted before and we also knew that he was relatively healthy with no major physical issues. With Lexi, our expectations had already been tempered by one adoption and we also knew that she had some significant special needs, and so there would be much work ahead once we arrived home.  I feel as though we went into today with a cautiousness and understanding that was much more realistic than the first time around.





I haven't spoken much of Lexi's special needs, because we do not want her defined by them. But as information for those who will be walking alongside us in the years to come, there are several issues. To begin and probably the most noticeable is that she has bilateral club feet (that means both feet). We knew this going in. What we discovered today is that her ankle bones look pretty bad, so the road ahead may be even more challenging. She also has an extra thumb, which we knew about as well.  Upon inspection is appears insignificant and I don't think removal will be incredibly challenging. We also knew she was tiny and behind developmentally.  Our hope is that it is caused by a combination of the physical disabilities, poor nutrition, lack of proper medical care and not having a family. Only time will tell for sure whether this is the case. Children in orphanages typically lose one linear month of growth for every three months they are in an orphanage. That would mean Lexi should be about at the development of a 14-month old. However, she also has a physical disability which can delay milestones even further. Based on our time with her today though, she is much more like a 9-month old in many ways. What was a surprise to us is that she is incredibly underweight and malnourished. Lengthwise, I believe she is close to what a very small 21-month old would be, but I suspect she weighs 13 lbs at the most. When we removed her clothes for a bath tonight, we both gasped. She was so tiny that I feel as though we got here at the last possible second. It was heart-breaking to see her bones protruding everywhere...we had no idea how underweight she truly was. 

By the end of the night, I was able to get some smiles and she gobbled up a good bit of food. Our main goal in the next few weeks will be to increase her calories in an effort to stimulate significant weight gain. Until she is bigger and stronger, I don't think we will have much success tackling the other issues. 


Overall, it was a special day. Lexi is gorgeous with porcelain skin and a heart-shaped mouth. She is incredibly alert and you can see she is trying to process all that is going on. This is a traumatic event for her and it is going to take her some time to feel safe and comfortable with us. The kids are overjoyed and they have been very sweet. Caleb is especially excited and proud to be a new big brother, so if you see him you may want to congratulate him. While some want to be the baby forever...he was desperate not to be. We are smitten with this princess and we know that she needs us. We also understand that there is a very long road ahead. If you feel led, please pray for her full and complete healing and that Patrick and I are prepared for the challenge. 

Tomorrow we will be driving four hours to Datong to turn in some additional paperwork. It is going to be an excruciatingly long travel day, especially for the kids. We would love you to cover us for that as well...safe travel, patience, and stamina for the day for all of us. 

Happy Gotcha Day Alexis! 


10 comments:

Ana Maria said...

Yay!!! Can't wait to meet her and see you guys again! Caleb's officially a big brother!!!:-) :-)

lymanfamilyfun said...

Haven't missed a moment of your journey and it's all so familiar except for the special needs. Right now her needs are just your love and acceptance above all else and I know she will get loads of that from the Moody family! :) Praying daily for all of you and for sweet Lexi's adjustment. The kids will help her adjust more quickly. She is precious!!

Tiffany said...

Tears of joy! So very happy for you and Lexi! So thankful for you taking the time to journal each day so we can share in your story. We are praying often for all of you. Can't wait to meet Lexi!

Martha said...

Just beautiful!!!

Kristin Richardson said...

Congratulations!! Rylie says "hi" to Emmy and is very excited to meet Lexi!

Lisa Edmondson said...

Congratulations to your beautiful baby girl, Lexie! She is adorable! I know you all have waited a long time to see and hold her! Please tell Caleb we have missed him this week and can't wait for him to give us a travel report when he gets back-ha! We can't wait to meet Lexie! I pray that you all have continued safe travel China and on the flight back home! Much love to you all! Mrs. Edmondson

Barbara said...

The Williams family is praying for your family and for a safe and smooth journey back home. Lexi is beautiful and is a perfect fit for the Moody family - God knew exactly what He was doing - what a surprise - NOT! :)

The Smith Family said...

This is so beautiful!!!! I can't wait to meet sweet Lexi!!! She is precious! The girls are thrilled too!

Karina Stuke said...

Continued to read these updates as a family. This one got us. Tears of joy and some amazing discussion ensued. Praying fervently for a safe travels home. What a journey. Can't wait to meet her. Love you all!!

Tara and Julian said...

So happy for you Tiff! Brings back a lot of memories. Not sure how you are doing it with 4 other kids in tow though- that part is definitely different! You mentioned her ankle- if it is true club feet, then the issue is just with the tendons, but the challenge is it sounds like they haven't started correction yet. (With our Bailey, she had her first surgery at 1 week old and 2 more at home.) As you know, our doctors are amazing and she'll be running in no time! Praying for y'all! Tara