Monday, August 2, 2010

"Gotcha Day"

As Julie noted in the earlier blog, August 2, 2010 is a day that will live forever in our minds and hearts. We began the day with so many hopes, expectations, fears, and a multitude of other feelings. We also began the day at 4:00am so we were praying for strength and endurance. After a fairly easy flight into Emily's tiny village of Wuhan City (population of roughly 9 million), we made our way to the hotel and settled in. "Settled" really isn't the proper word because we were anything but that. However, there was a great sense of peace from the One who has saved us and called us and we latched on to His promises that are extremely sure and good and always present. Around 2:30 in the afternoon we loaded into the van with our new good friends, Paul and Amy, and headed to the adoption center to meet Emily. As we pulled into the parking lot, we actually saw some children getting out of a van with some orphanage workers. Within seconds, we spotted our little Emily!! Complete with at least 8 rubberbands and clips in her hair (it wasn't shaved as Julie had fearfully expected!!), she appeared to us as the beautiful girl we knew that she would be. The kids were quickly shuffled into the meeting room and we were led to a boardroom table to sign some official documents. While signing the documents we could see Emily playing in the room with her nanny and some of the other kids. It was a defining moment and one that will be etched in my mind for as long as I live. After some official formalities, we were introduced to Emily.

The euphoria of the moment and the culmination of years of waiting, praying and form-filling-out was almost surreal. Lest we paint too glamorous of a picture, know that Emily was very shy and hesitant. She is a very bright little girl and she knew that something was different about today. Through her eyes, it was a day of leaving certainty and familiarity only to find herself in the arms of strangers with different skin, a different smell and a different language. Tears were shed by mama, baby, nanny and the translator. Just kidding. The translator didn't cry.

From the very beginning she was drawn to Julie...and by drawn I only mean that she preferred (and still does) Julie over me. Because she was cared for so well by her foster mother, her ability to attach is strong and is definitely associated with women. From that moment until even now, Julie has rarely been without her. If Julie leaves the room or even walks out of sight, Emily starts to cry. She has definitely made eye contact with me and I am counting that as a victory. We played with a ball yesterday and she was smiling and laughing at me. She was smiling at me with her eyes and she captured my heart. It was, I believe, the beginning of many happy moments together, but I am still forced to be patient in these days and I draw great comfort in knowing that Emily's bond with Julie is growing stronger each day.

What we do know is that she likes sweet treats....and that is very vital to being a Barnard! And at almost 18 months of age, she is potty trained! That is also very vital to being a Barnard!

Well, this is all for now. I am tired and Emily is napping, so I better take advantage of the down time. There is a time and season for everything...a time to love...and our time to love is now. We cannot truly verbalize the love that fills our heart for the little girl who now sleeps on the bed in our room. We can't wait to introduce you to her. Hope you enjoy the pics. We love you all and are thankful for your love and support in return. We will check in later...


  1. Praise to the God of adoption! It's amazing, isn't it. Do u see even fuller the miracle of adopting us into His family. So happy for the Barnards. Welcome to your forever family, Emily.

  2. Grandad said

    As I looked at the pictures and read the post I cried. My heart was so overwhelmed with joy as I thought of how God has blessed our family so much. It is humbling to see how He has brought Emily into our lives and we have instantly fallen in love with her. It is such a beautiful picture of how much God loves us as He paid the ultimate price in order to adopt us into His eternal family. We can't wait til you get home with Emily.

  3. Alright, it's official, I'm crying. Praise to the Father above who from before the beginning of time knew He would adopt us and now we are getting the privilege of being part of a loving relationship with our adopted granddaughter. The pictures are beautiful and I can't think of anyone who will be better parents to Emily than the two of you. Emily, when you are old enough to read this please know that you have been prayed for and loved even before you were conceived. This Mimi cannot wait to hold you in my arms. Btw, cookies and candy are waiting for you!

  4. Brandon and Julie,

    What a beautiful post and a beautiful little girl. Chosen one!

    Praying for you all,
    wendy donley

  5. Overwelmed by the words written in love,

  6. God is so awesome, that before the foundations of the earth He knew that little Emily Love would travel thousands of miles to be place in your loving home. That she would be conceived in your hearts and brought forth for such a time as this! I'm both humbled and amazed... We love you.... The Wilkersons

  7. Amazing and so happy for your sweet family of 5!!!

    Melanie (Zamzow) Uchida

  8. I can't put into words how I feel. I am just so, so happy for you and happy that Emily has joined her forever family. I look forward to when we can meet her and share your memories. Brandon, hang in there. She will come around and be a Daddy's girl before you know it. You will be saying "yes" to things you never dreamed you would. Love you Nards

  9. So very happy for you both to be able to have this special bonding time with your new daughter. It's amazing to know that the Lord had chosen her for you and your children to embrace in love forever.
    Many Blessings, from the Berrongs