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Well….it’s finally the day! We are leaving for China.

Day 4 - January 24, 2005 Gotcha Day

Okay, it’s 3:15 am and I simply cannot sleep! It’s amazing how much the body can handle. I thought after 24 hours of not sleeping, my body would simply give out and give me a few good hours of sleep. I guess the mind and heart are more powerful because I can’t sleep – all I can think about is TODAY IS THE DAY!

I can fill you in a bit more on yesterday now that I have a few minutes… back to that 11 hour plane ride…okay it’s just not right to eat 3 full meals without ever getting up. Yes, we both tried to walk up and down the isle a few times but trust me, it’s not the same! Chris and I just kept thinking, “Where is Alyssa going to fit on the way back???” There wasn’t very much room between the rows of seats, especially when the person in front put their seat back for a nap! Oh well…I’m not worrying about that right now…I have 2 weeks to enjoy before that crisis hits!

We are really missing the boys (Caleb, Dylan & Nathan) but it would have been such a LONG, boring trip for them. There were several young children on the plane and they did pretty good but they were definitely getting antsy by the time we landed!

Our hotel here is very lovely. I had specified having 2 beds in the room because for those of you who know Chris you know how nuts he gets over his precious sleep! I thought I would be smart and get 2 beds so if I needed to sleep with Alyssa he would still be able to get some sleep. Well, we got 2 beds but they are singles!

We leave in 1 ½ hours for another plane ride (this one is only 2 hours long) and we will go to our hotel in Changsha and wait until 3:30 pm when we get to go meet our beautiful Alyssa. I am still in a state of “not believing”. I simply cannot wrap my head around the thought that I will finally have our daughter TODAY. We are praying she won’t scream and cry for too long. Most of the babies in our group have lived in foster care for many months but Alyssa has only been in the orphanage.

Okay…I’m going to get ready now…I will post more after our “Gotcha” Moment with lots of pictures, of course!

Tammy :)

It’s now 3:30 pm and we are ½ hour from getting Alyssa. I don’t know how to describe what we’re feeling. Definitely butterflies in our stomachs! We saw some families here at the hotel who received their daughters at 9:00 this morning and they said the Civil Affairs office was very chaotic! There are 100 babies being adopted this week in Changsha! That’s a lot of emotional parents, nannies and babies!!!! Next time I write, there will be photos and a new baby with us!!


Hi, it’s Chris writing! Well no one could have prepared us for the moment when we received Alyssa. Tammy bawled her eyes out and I was running like a chicken with its head cut off! What a moment:) Before we left for China, Stephen and Marie Fenton showed us their video of their identical experience here…glad they did, it helped so much. We arrived at the Civil Affairs Office in a very large group (there were others from the US picking up their girls as well) and as soon as we made our way to the meeting area, our little girls name was called FIRST, “Yong Duan Li”. Tammy was already bawling, then I cried, and then we just fell apart at the seams. The moment we waited for was finally here!

Alyssa was crying in the arms of her orphanage nanny, who quickly handed her to Tammy and said, “You can hold your baby now”. Music to our ears:) It was quite amazing to see Alyssa actually reach out to Tammy and then she calmed right down. Tammy and I were directed immediately back to the bus, where Alyssa remained as calm as a cucumber. The other babies were just a howling. I was so happy for Tammy at this point.

We came back to our hotel, filled out some forms and took Alyssa to our room and then just sat there in wonder. The exact same feeling when Caleb and Dylan were born. This is just too much to put into words. Everyone who is able and has ears, let him hear: COME TO CHINA TO ADOPT…IT’S AN ABSOLUTE BLESSING.

So, we’re sitting here in the hotel room now, wondering what her schedule is like. Will she wake soon? Is she down for the night? What time(s) will she wake up?! She is a dear little thing; she’s connected to Tammy like a magnet; it may take a while for Dad on the other hand! But she is definitely an angel from heaven.

Caleb, Dylan and Nathan are going to just fall in love with Alyssa Li MacKinnon. (more...)

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