Friday, February 26, 2010

Gotcha Day

25 February 2010 – Gotcha day dawned and of course nerves were on edge, while trying to remain calm, it was an exercise in control, doing what needs doing, leaving feelings, pushed back until nearer the time of meeting.

Ellen had a gift for the foster mother, a exact match of one she wears with our family pictures inside, this one with a picture of Yu-Hsuan inside. Tian made a paper heart to go on the outside.

Since this was the last day at our hotel in Tainan, we made sure we took advantage of all the wonderful items from the breakfast bar, and they were wonderful – ham and cheese omelet made to order, fresh yogurt, juices, muffins, wonderful country bacon with more meat than fat, sapodilla, which we used as a jelly, and many Chinese delights for Tian.

Breakfast finished we returned to our room to pack it up to check out. The things that strike one upon leaving a hotel, the furniture, one last picture of Tian, pictures in the lobby.

Then off we go to check out and make arrangements to leave the bags while we are gone. A taxi ride ensues with the orphanage a scant 2 miles away, the driver gets lost 3 times, stopping to ask for directions of people in the street until we finally arrive at St. Lucy's about 30 minutes early.

We were shown to a room, where we waited for our son and his foster family to arrive. I took these pictures while waiting and camera died. The battery had run out of juice. What a bummer, on this most important day.

While waiting, we were informed that not only would Yu-Hsuan's foster family be there to meet us, but also his biological mother, step brother and step father. We also learned that his name was not pronounced U-Swan but U-Shin.

Yu-Hsuan's foster parents are both from aboriginal tribes of Taiwan. Unfortunately at this time I do not have a picture of our actual meeting only subsequent pictures.

His foster mom presented us with a hand made hat for me, a cap for Tian with Yu-Hsuan also wearing a hat. The three of us each received a handmade necklace made with beads of specific meaning.

Presentation of necklaces to us with Yu-Hsuan in aboriginal garb.

Our family of four!

Foster family and us.

Biological mom, step brother, Yu-Hsuan.

Brother and sister.

Foster family and us.

Biological mother, foster family and us.

Step father, biological mom, step brother.

Tian and Yu-Hsuan.

Foster mom, Tian and Yu-Hsuan.

Tian, foster mom telling about Yu-Hsuan's shoulder bag, Mei-Chun, interpreter.

First impressions – he is tiny. Then again, so did Tian seem when we adopted her two years ago. He weighs around 42 pounds.


  1. Oh, Tim! So happy for you guys. What wonderful pictures to cherish forever. You have a beautiful family of 4!


  2. Tim-It is just amazing that you got to meet the whole family this way, and that even with the camera cutting out for a while, you get to have these memories for him in pictures. Congratulations!

  3. Tim! I'm SOOOO glad I took a quick check back in with your blog! WooooEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! I am incredibly happy for you guys and feelin' quite emotional. ;-) Your new son is such a handsome little man. Oh, and I LOVE that pic where he is putting the necklace around your neck-- precious! (made me cry a bit too)

    Prayers and love coming your way! Celebrate and savor every moment~


  4. Hello All,

    This is April Mueller, I meet you in China when I traveled with Connie and Clayton. Your family is beautiful! Congratulations on your son, he is georgous, and Tian is beautiful. A long time since I have seen you all, she has grown up! Praying for a smooth transition, bonding, and lots of love for all! Once again congratulations on Gods blessing for you!

    PS ~ we have adopted as well, our travel journey is and our family blog is

    Sending much love your way,

  5. congrats on becoming a family of four. What cherish pictures that you have. It is amazing to hear and see you meet the biological mom. wow

  6. Tim, I am sooo happy for your family!! :) Your son even favors you but with darker skin :) heehee Thanks for sharing the pictures you did :) I am so excited to watch as your family four melts into each other and become more and more close :) Keep us posted on how things are :)


  7. Oh wow,
    Amazing to have so much history in a few pictures for your boy. He is handsome! Congratulations to your family.

    Min Sibs mom

  8. So happy to see your post today and happy for you folks! Congratulations on adding a son to your family! What a wonderful opportunity to have these pics for your son to have forever! He's a handsome little guy! :)


  9. Beautiful! What a day. Congratulations to you all!

  10. We met our daughter and her first family in this room, as well. Brings back a flood of bittersweet memories. I'm so glad for you and your son that both the foster family and first mother agreed to come on this special day. Very hard for them, but so important for your son as he looks back on his life story.

  11. Oh Tim & family, I'm here overwhelmed by emotion reading your story, seeing the pictures of your new son with his new family surrounded by his other families. What an amazingly fortunate boy to have three families who love him and want what is best for him. To have these photos, and to have these memories of meeting together, all unified over the life of a young child, what an incredible, amazing blessing! How I wish we had some foster family and birth parent connection to our daughters' from China...we have none, just some overworked, overwhelmed nannies who tried to care for too many children at one time.

    What an incredible blessing for your son to have this information to cling to as he negotiates the tricky waters of adopted international child.

    God bless you all as you become a family of four!

    Kelly (aka "notallboysanymore" on the LCC group)

  12. So happy for you all!!!!!!!!!!! He is adorable and being able to meet his foster family AND his bio mother is simply amazing!!!! Copngrats!!!

  13. Congratulations, Tim! What a beautiful family of four you now are!
    Best Wishes,
    (Adopting from Taiwan group)

  14. Aaaa, didn't realize I could leave a comment!! Tim, Ellen, and Tian - congrats on your new son and brother. He is adorable - lots of fun ahead I think!! How exciting that you got to meet so many of his people. Beautiful gifts they made for you. Have a wonderful time, keep in touch!
    Barbara in CT
    (LCC, FB, CAFT)

  15. YEAH! I a sooo happy for you!!! Keep the updates coming!!!! Your son's bio mom looks so wonderful and caring! What a wonderful foster family as well. You are blessed to have those photos!!!

  16. Happy Gotcha day...and congratulations! What a beautiful family you have!
    We are next in line for our second adoption..... we take off tonight from LAX and arrive in Chongqing sometime Sunday afternoon. Our gotcha day will be Monday March 1st. We'll be adopting a little 17months old girl....!
    Good luck to you and have a wonderful time in China.
    Karin Petersen

  17. So congrats on finally becoming a father to your long awaited son!! He is precious and to have the information you do and to meet the people from his life is so amazing and such a treasure to keep with you forever and to have an open connection with. I can only imagine what is going on in your sons mind with all this - the photo's are wonderful and precious - and the momento's given to you are just priceless.
    How exciting.... thinking and watching you Ellen and your wonderful new family of four!!
    God Bless
    Lavonne and clan

  18. Oh my goodness Tim - what a handsome little boy you have there. The pictures are just beautiful and I LOVE the hats they made for you all. Congratulations to you all!!


  19. Congratulations on your new family of 4!! He is wonderful, so handsome. I can hardly believe you were able to meet his foster family...but to actually meet his birth mother is amazing. You said that was his step dad and step brother, but was he his 1/2 brother? Same mom, different dad? Such a connection. You will all be blessed by such roots you can explore. My dh was adopted when he was 4, he would give anything to have known his bio family...even though he loves his Forever family more than anything.
    So happy for you all. I'll be praying for a smooth transition.

    Sheri (Leilah Di and Olivia Xia's Mommy...and Mom to many more!)
    (from your LCC family)