I've been writing all about the days leading up to Gotcha Day & can't leave out Forever Family Day. What's that? That is the day that the adoption is finalized in China.
Don't ask me what the times were. I couldn't tell you. I don't remember. And I don't care. Because they really don't matter. What does matter? The fact that on June 3, 2003 China officially recognized that Chun HuaXu was now Erin Chelsie.
When we got to the police station, our guide Cindy showed us where to go, where to sit, what to do. We were going to get all of the paperwork notarized, completed. On the Sunday before Gotcha Day, the parents went down to Cindy's room to complete the paperwork we would need to accept the children. When I looked at Erin's pictures, I got very upset. In fact, I think I may have screamed that this wasn't my daughter. David got terrified & looked at the pictures & also wasn't sure. All the parents in the room looked at their daughter's pictures & all was fine for them. Apparently Erin had done a lot of changing from the time her referral picture was taken (January 2003) until the date her picture was taken for the Letter of Acceptance (May 2003). Oops. I felt like the behind of a donkey. Anyway, apparently the police officer who was assisting David & me was also unsure. He looked at the referral day pics, the Letter of Acceptance pic & the baby in my arms & started to question everything. I was dying inside. Were they going to take my daughter from me!? There was no way I was going to let that happen. And neither was Cindy! She started to yell at the police officer that everything was okay, & it was the same baby. He signed off on the paperwork.
We went back to the Guangdong Provincial Civil Affairs Building to finalize the paperwork, give the donations to the orphanage directors & give the officials their gifts.
When we got back to the hotel, I called my father. "Daddy, she's ours officially now. No one can take her from me." My dad & I were crying.
And here we are 5 years later. Erin graduates from kindergarten Thursday night. I continue to be awed by the child that is my daughter.