Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gotcha Day!!!

Brooke is officially in our arms forever! What an amazing day- so incredible to finally be able to say that!!! Larry, Erica and I flew to Zhengzhou, Henan, Brooke's home province, and met Brooke there at 9:30 AM. She had come separately via train with her precious nanny.

WOW….it has been a day of amazing answered prayer…thank you so much for lifting us up and coming alongside in our journey—thank you all for lifting us up to your SS classes!

My day started in the wee hours of the morning with prayer and anticipation of what the day would hold and how our lives and Brooke’s would FOREVER be transformed. The Sunday before we left, our church prayed for us and the message and music has affirmed me so much throughout this week. One phrase from a song that we sang keeps replaying in my soul: “we walk by faith and not by sight”!!! When we walk with the Lord and learn to continually trust Him… we respond to His love and mercy with blind faith so that He becomes our vision.

Our “vision” started with gathering all documents, gifts (thank you Joanie Coleman!), toy bag, food and candy stash, camera, and Erica’s backpack and then savoring a wonderful breakfast buffet. We then proceeded with Yo-yo, our guide, to go get Brooke!!!!

Erica waiting for Brooke to arrive!! Last breakfast as the youngest Toering! 

We immediately saw Brooke and her nanny sitting on a couch and Brooke was NOT too happy to see us…understandably so…since she knows in her mind that we are going to take her away from everyone and thing that she has known. Much to the surprise of the other adoptive couples – we left Brooke alone to have a peaceful time with her nanny while we signed all the documents. We explained to the other couples that we had all ready had our “meet and greet time” in her foster home for 3 days and that Brooke very much loves her nanny. For us, having experienced unattachment issues, we could not be more thrilled with this bond that she shares with her sweet nanny.

We met several nice couples there…Mom and Dad…one couple lives about 6 blocks from you in Carmel…and another couple from Indy and one from Huntsville and you guessed it – one from Birmingham…and yes, they know Meredith! It’s always fun to be immersed in the “adoption community".

Here she comes!! First glimpse!

She LOVES these socks/shoes :)

With everything signed, photo taken, and gifts distributed and nanny hugged it was time to gather my sixth child, my fourth daughter, my SECOND beautiful Chinese daughter. Larry and I chose Brooke, we want Brooke, and we promise to love and care for her for as long as the Lord allows us to have her. She is a gift from the Lord and we thank God for her.

You know the scene at the church nursery…peeling the clutching 2 year old from the mother?…ok…well, that was our “Gotcha” moment as expected. No candy, sucker (it went flying across the room), song, jiggle, juice, NOTHING was going to console her but time…and we had lots of time and prayer…”we live by faith and not by sight” kept replaying in my head to keep me sane. Slowly…after 20 min or so she calmed down in the car and she resigned herself to be with me…but it was “BOO YOW” (“don’t want” in Chinese) to anyone else.

Her sweet nanny, Sharon, saying goodbye to Brooke. We are forever grateful for the love that was poured into her life by these incredible women. 

Explaining to Brooke that her family is here. 

One last hug goodbye- absolutely heart-breaking! We will be sending LOTS of updates and pictures back to New Day- these precious ladies have truly loved our sweet girl and have made such an impact on her life. 

Officially "gotcha"

Car ride back to the hotel- sweet girl was so tired. 

The rest of the day went well…Larry and Erica hit Walmart with Yo-Yo to purchase a stroller (we had thought they would give us one like they had with Erica – guess it is only for babies) and Brooke and I waited in the car while our driver fought with the parking attendant! We purposed to keep her schedule as close to the foster home as possible. Lunch brought smiles and then we headed upstairs for naptime. It was fun to see her get excited to see all her giraffe blanket from her foster home and then she went right down for a nap!!! I’m sure she was exhausted from all that crying!

She loves skyping with Meredith and Allison who are now back in the States taking finals! (pray for them...jet lag + finals...not a good mix! Ha!) Brooke gets so excited to see them on the computer, and especially loves when Meredith speaks to her in Chinese! She understands what Mei is asking her, and will respond back to her! It is too precious!

After nap, as only God can work together all things, we played a video that I had purchased in Tulsa and it was exactly the one the foster home had used during their “preschool time”. So fun to see Brooke light up and start singing songs in English. Dinner was great and then we went on a stroller ride though a beautiful park. Erica was a great big sister and Brooke is enjoying her. Bedtime was fun with reading books and brushing teeth…she really brushes good!!! And then bedtime…she cried for about 20 min…she kept wanting to get back in the stroller. I think she felt we could stroller her back to her nanny like we did at her foster home. She finally calmed down as I kept singing…”God is so good”…she settled down on the verse “He’s all I need” so I sang it over and over…it dawned on me “I need” (without the “d” sound) sounds like “love you” in Chinese…  

Headed out to the park :)

Mama with her girls

Forever sisters :)

Baby girl waving to Baba! 
We are so blessed by her and are thrilled with the progress she is making! Tomorrow we are heading to her birth city to complete some official paperwork- she will OFFICIALLY become a Toering!!! We will also have the chance to visit her finding spot, a park in Luoyang City, where she was left when she was about 10 months old. We thank God every day for her birth parents and for the love and care they must have shown to her her first 10 months of life...we hope and pray that they will somehow know that their precious baby girl has a forever family, and that they will have peace knowing that she is SO very loved and cherished. Our family has been forever changed for the better by sweet Brooke- she has blessed our lives immeasurably. We are so very grateful for the precious gift we have been given.

Precious sisters

Our little diva :)

With her baba!

Using chopsticks like a drum! 

"Why is she sitting so close to me??"

Erica does a great job playing with Brooke!

Please keep praying for Brooke's adjustment to our family and for our bonding/attachment to grow stronger every day!! Keep her heart in your prayers- that the medicine she is on will be effective, her heart won't be under any strain with all the traveling we are doing, and that she will remain healthy for all the appointments she has coming back when we get back to the States. She has a little cough/runny nose right now, so just be praying that clears up soon! Keep us in your prayers- for stamina as we run after a 6 year old and a 2 year old...that the rest of the paperwork will go smoothly and without any hiccups, and that flights will remain open as we try to fly home standby next week! We LOVE reading your encouraging comments and emails- each one has blessed us SO much!!! Feel free to email us at toeringclan@cox.net- we don't have consistent access to facebook as we don't have a VPN! Love to you all!

God is so good… and He is all we need…and He is all about loving you! Good night.   

My "littles"- Erica is loving finally being able to be the big girl :)

Sweet, sweet, SWEET sisters! 

Precious doll- we are SO BLESSED!!! 


  1. Shyla thank you so much for sharing. She is adorable! Can't wait to see you all soon! Praying all goes well.

    The Cornelisons

  2. We will definitely pray God's will in all those details! He has brought you thus far and He will remain faithful through to the end of your trip....which is really just the beginning of new life with Brooke!!!! Praise the Lord! He is so faithful ALWAYS!
    I love seeing her and Erica together...Brooke's cheeks make me want to come through the computer and PEENCH them!!!!

    Praying for grace in Meredith and Allison's finals! I know you're so thankful that they could be there for that first leg of the trip!

    Sending Alabama hugs...