Sunday, June 26, 2011

An orphan no more! Gotcha Day!

there will be more pictures of gotcha day in the private
blog, want to keep faces protected....

His first machina ride as a "free man"!
changing clothes to leave the orphanage...last moments with his nanny who had true love for him...

this is a dark photo...but a moment full of light....leaving the gates of his orphanage as a Kulp

intwined in all the tender moments and first events of gotcha day there was still much business to be flights out of region to happen in 15 hours time, making arrangements to pay rent and return keys, getting an embassy appointment booked earlier, ensuring all paperwork needed is leaving region with us....

probably the most significant moment of the day....our first ice cream cone together!!!

the trains were good if Shea could watch while embracing mommy...they were a bit too loud on this first day

who is enjoying this first meal more?  mamma or shea?

the train is too loud mamma...there is so much world I want to see...but can we turn down the volume?

This day was a wonderful whirlwind.  His special nanny helped me prepare him to leave, with tears coursing down her face most of the time.  She loved my boy, and was at the same time happy to see him find a mamma and pappa, but sad to have to say goodbye to him.  We took time to walk Shea around to each of his grouppa mates to say goodbye and give hugs and kisses.  His nanny walked us down to the taxi and she hummed "America The Beautiful" and was explaining things to Shea again. 

The pictures above show the happenings of the day.  One of the most fun moments was the pre bed bath time!  He loved it so much, and probably would have stayed in the tub all night if I had let him.  Brushing his teeth was at first a scary ordeal filled with crying...until I stopped and brushed my teeth infront of him...making silly faces....and he caught on with no problem.  It seems to be one of his favorite activities now.  We are already making headway with some of the brown stains on his teeth.  Sitting on the potty ring on the toilet was not his favorite activity...actually probably his only "bad" experience of the day....but mamma is hitting the ground running with this one!  We have had 3 sucessful "foos" in the toilet so far. 

Time for bed and packing came....I laid down in bed with him and his starvation for human touch was soooo evident.  He nuzzled, and hugged and squeezed and sniffed for many many minutes...finally I thought he was asleep and then it was time for me to try to sneak out of the room to finish packing.  Before I was 2 steps out of the room the most mournful wail started... I don't blame many new and overwhelming things to take in, and now in a room by himself ???  What was mamma thinking?  So I climbed back into bed with him and he was instantly calmed....

His first day went very very well, he managed so many new sights, sounds and experiences with awe in his eyes and no major meltdowns.  He showed all spectrums of emotion.  We can't wait to be with daddy to finally be a complete family... I've sighed a big sigh of relief on gotcha day...but will fully feel the relief when we are home in daddy's arms with brat and sistrah!


  1. Pretty soon - Welcome to America the Beautiful!!
    Very soon.
    Love you so much already, Shea!!

  2. All of makes me tear up (in a good way!), especially the nanny this time! As always, you guys are amazing!
    -Amanda L

  3. Your story of over flowing unconditional love for your childrren has me sitting here in tears just streaming down my face! You and Dan are a great example of Christ like love! I will look forward to watching your family growing into one of the most amazing love stories ever told! You really need to write a book, great story and you are a great writter! Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing this journey with all of us! I am so happy for you that Shea Kulp is officially your son...he is a very lucky little boy! You are all in my prayers for safe travels and easy transition!!

  4. I couldnt agree with Amy more! You really need to publish this. i feel like I have been walking the journey with you. Each emotion...needless to say I have gone through my share of tissues here! The way you convey each carefully written word...I feel like I am there with you! So excited for you all!

  5. Ahhh, the snuggles!!! That's one of the BEST parts about being a Mommy!! Thank you for stepping out in faith and being the Mommy Shea gets to snuggle! *Tears!*

  6. Tears, tears, tears of joy. God Bless you and yours.

  7. Praise God ...Shea is out!!!!! I so love that Nanny..what a tender woman she is. I am following your blog every day!!!
    Debbie Gibson (Jill Birschbach's friend.....and Carter B Gibson's grandma!!!!!!!!! see his blog:

  8. So very happy!!!!! That's awesome you got his passport so quickly too! Yay!!!

    I'm sitting here crying too. I still remember back just over 6 months ago when Shea stole my heart, I found out he was listed on RR and I put out the call and YOU answered. I remember Luda's conversation with Debbie when she asked for "Americans, please help." Yep, I'm a puddle. God is SO good, SO faithful, SO AWESOME!!! I'm so honored to have been a tiny part of helping set Shea FREE! To God be the Glory!!!