Catherine Casey shares the excitements and frustrations of adopting abroad.

TLC

When Catherine Casey first met her daughter, she had reason to be relieved. After enduring infertility treatments and then patiently waiting nearly a year while the adoption process crept along, Casey was more than ready to meet her little girl. Finally, in May 1997, her wait was over. After a long flight to China, a chaotic six-hour van ride and a few nervously giddy hours at a local hotel with a small group of fellow adoptive parents, Casey and her husband, Stuart, met little LiAnn. "My first thought upon seeing LiAnn was that she was even more beautiful than her picture," Casey recalls. "When the orphanage nanny placed her in my arms, I think I felt that a great treasure had been bestowed upon me." Today, Casey, Stuart and 6-year-old LiAnn are happily settled into life as a family. And while Casey looks back on that day as one of the "coolest" days of her life, getting there required making some tough decisions, committing to an unknown outcome and drawing on an enormous reserve of patience. We talked to Casey recently about how she did it and what she learned. Here is her story: