Gotcha Day

Today was Kate day. Very fitting to get her on August 27 as that’s the day I first became a sister (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BETH), and I’m glad my girls will always have this as a special day as well.

A little about our day before getting Kate… We had an awesome breakfast at our hotel. Really, really good. I ate so much that I didn’t eat again until dinner. We Skyped family and went to Walmart. That was a neat experience that I’ll share more about later. The lack of sleep was catching up with us by early afternoon, so Tim and I slept for about an hour.
We were told to be in the hotel’s business center at 3 p.m. to meet Kate. About ten minutes before that, David called our room to say she was there and that we needed to get there quickly. I could hear her sobbing in the background. When we got in there, she was a mess. She had thrown up in the car on the way (motion sickness), and they had quickly changed her clothes before we came in. She has a cold, so between that and all of the crying, her nose was a mess. And she was crying over and over, “Mama! Mama!” So, so sad. We were able to calm her down fairly quickly (within ten or fifteen minutes, I’d say). It helped that the orphanage staff left, but Bella June stayed. David needed a family picture for records for the orphanage. Kate wanted Bella June in our family picture. So we ended up doing a picture of the two of them and then she warmed up to the idea of a picture with us.

We spent the next hour or so in the business center showing her toys and trying to get her to warm up to us. When David suggested she go to the room with us, she did so willingly and without crying for Bella June.

The next couple of hours were o.k. She played quietly with Sophia. We quickly learned that she is a smart and organized little girl. When I took her shoes off her, she took her plastic braces off that were inside her shoes, stood up and walked over to where I had put her shoes and neatly lined up the braces as well. We had noticed when she first came in the room, she located where we keep our luggage and placed her little backpack on top of our luggage. It’s easy to tell that she has been taught that everything has its place. At 5:30, we met the group for dinner. She did very well at dinner and was able to signal to me that she needed to use the restroom. When I used the Chinese word for bathroom with her, she nodded yes. Our first real communication!

When we got back from dinner, David came to our room to help us with the blogging issue (still not resolved). I noticed that she was busy packing her backpack up and placing her shoes on top of it. Apparently, she thought that when David left that she was leaving because when the door shut without her, she LOST IT. I mean, it was awful. Our very quiet girl was suddenly talking 100 miles per minute in Chinese and all we were getting was “MAMA!” in every other sentence. She was sobbing. I really thought she was going to throw up. To say it was heartbreaking would be an understatement. The three of us had a hard time keeping it together because it was very difficult to see her in that much pain. At one point, she opened the hotel door and attempted to leave. Sophia cried.

To try to distract her, we ran bath water and put some ducks in there. Sophia got in to take a bath, and I hoped that Kate would. I took her dress off. She left the bathroom and put her old tennis shoes on with her panties. She got her Chinese dress out of her backpack and wrapped it around herself. She was determined to leave. There’s nothing to do in this situation but hold her, agree with her (not sure what all I agreed to), and love her. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I did realize that she calmed down when I sang, so I did a lot of singing. I think her foster mom must sing to her a lot because we caught Kate singing a few times at dinner.

She is used to sleeping with her foster mom, so Tim and I put her between us. She cried herself to sleep, but seemed to bring it down from sobbing to quiet tears as I sang. She woke at midnight and needed to use the bathroom and get a drink. She cried again for her foster mom. I sang, and she was asleep again in about five minutes. She woke again at 3 a.m. for bathroom/drink. No crying this time. Tim says she sat straight up in bed at 4 a.m., looked at me then at him and laid back down and went to sleep.

Sophia looked at us after two hours of the sobbing last night and said, “Will she always be like this?” I reminded her of how she would feel if she had been taken away from us. It will take a while for Kate to recover from this. Until then, we will show patience and love and pray that each new day is better than the last.


19 thoughts on “Gotcha Day

  1. You have a lot of people praying for that same thing…..please know you all and lil’ Kate are COVERED in prayer. Wear it like a cloak. We love you guys.

  2. I sat with tears streaming down my face as I read this post. I know it must be difficult, but she is yours & God is still in control! He has brought you all together and He alone will provide comfort & peace. I pray He puts a song in your heart for every tearful moment you have with Kate. And I pray that she will find comfort and peace in the loving arms of her God given mama. Love you guys and praying for all of you!

  3. Michelle, oh my goodness, this is amazing!!!!! I have just started reading your blog from Beth’s link. I have loved reading all of this and I am so touched by your story!!! I will pray for you and your beautiful family and your new daughter. I pray that the new adjustment for her will be as easy as possible and for all of you to have patience with her since she is 3 and not an infant. She will have meltdowns but with the love and patience of her new family I know she will be fine in time. This story is an inspiration to me. Best of luck to all of you!!!!!!

  4. Dear Sharp family….Kate will feel your love..just be assured of that. Yes, having an older child has much different adjustments than when getting a baby. Bill would not let any one near him for a long time except Scott. Scott held him 24 hours a day for weeks. This broke Pearleena’s heart. Slowly but surely he learned to trust his family and felt our love and he could show he loved us. Food/snacks were a real incentive.
    God is in control and He will see your family through.

  5. Just know that 86 of your friends were led in prayer by Ben Holleran for you on Sunday night! I wish you could have heard his precious words. My heart is aching for you all…Sophie, it will be okay! God knows that Kate needs your family! I will pray…and pray more!

    From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He deteremined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for HIm and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:26-28

  6. Oh my goodness!!!
    I was checking in at “An Orphan’s Wish”, and saw that “Sophie” …. Now Kate, has a family!
    This is SO awesome to me. I sponsored Sophie at AOW!! Thanks to Stephanie at Ni Hao Y’all, I read about her. I was able to sponsor her as a TINY baby until she went into foster care. I even got to give her the “American” name …. Sophie!
    I have checked on Kate on a regular basis, and watched her grow. She is SO adorable!
    I am just so happy for her, and for your family! I would love to be in touch one day!

  7. Love reading your blog! Hope all continues to get better everyday and Kate finds her perfect place in your family! Also enjoying Sophie’s blog and seeing the experience through her eyes! Enjoy the rest of your trip! We miss you at school, things are going well there! Jenny

  8. Hang in there Sharps. Leah screamed for over two hours when we got her. It did not take long and she warmed up. It took her a little longer to warm up to Nathan but now she is a daddy’s girl like the other two. We are praying and thinking about you all. Cant’ wait to meet Kate.

  9. Hang in there! She was loved and knows what love is. Once she realizes the new love she has now, all will settle down. As hard as it is, it is a positive. Odviously, she was loved and in good hands. Also, I didn’t have to hold Bill for weeks without him going to Mama, just a few days, so don’t get too worried! HaHa!

  10. praying for each day to be better than the last….praying for transitions and patience for everyone. Can’t wait to see everyone together!

  11. Oh yeah….do your girls watch Jessie? There was an episode on last week called “Gotcha Day”. You’ll have to try to catch a repeat of it for them to watch. 🙂

  12. Sharp family please know that our bible study class is also praying for you all and for Kate to have an easy transition. She is so blessed to have you all as her forever family and I know you all are very blessed to have her.

  13. I sure hope and pray that each day will get better. Just remember we adults can have melt downs when things don’t go our way too. Life can be very upsetting at times but hang in there as thankfully it doesn’t stay that way. Love, Mary Sue

  14. We were praying for each of you to have the patience, words and gentleness needed for that exact moment. We are continuing to lift each of you up in prayer. It has brought tears of joy to my eyes as we all know she has gained a wonderful blessing, Michelle, Tim, Sophia and Ella as her new family that God has known all along he had chosen. We love y’all. I can’t wait to hear more later. What is the exact date on your flight is returning?

  15. Prayers of comfort for Kate, Sophia, you and Tim as you all work through her trauma. I look forward to reading the blog post that writes of her unmistakable acceptance that YOU are now her new mommy! I remember when that was for both of our kids, and it’s progress that took my breath away. Blessings and hugs.

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