A long time dear friend of mine, C, along with her husband R, and their family have recently arrived back home to Canada after adopting a beautiful little girl in China. C, her husband, and her two older children (Bean and Boo) waited a long time for this, and I’m so happy for them that they finally have their family complete. While in China, C wrote a series of emails describing the addition of their new daughter to their family, and how they have all adjusted. I loved her emails so much that I asked her permission to post them here. Graciously, C said to go for it. I have edited what she has written to remove identifying information. So in the words of C:
R and I are very happy to announce the formal adoption of little Miss Button this day, in Chongqing, China.
We started our day off at about 6 am when Button woke for her morning bottle and a diaper change. We then took our family to brunch where Button’s big sister, Bean, and big brother, Boo, enjoyed gathering all kinds of foods and juice for mommy and daddy and Button. Button ate some congee, poached egg and watermelon. She had no trouble being spoon fed or fed with chopsticks or fingers so it appears that she has no oral aversions – a very good sign.
After breakfast we met our guide to complete the adoption paperwork in the lobby of our hotel, the Marriott. Then we went to the bank to wire the orphanage donation amount to the proper authority. The bank was very busy and people were supportive of our adoption. A couple with three children attracts a certain amount of attention in China where the one child policy is still in effect. Many people told us how beautiful all our children are and we had to agree…(Me too! – ed.)
We had a bit of time after banking to visit the mall next to the hotel to stock up on snacks, diapers and toys and to grab a quick lunch at one of the restaurants. Then we were off to the civil affairs office to hand in the paperwork, pose for the official family photo graph (Button cried) and the official adoption ceremony complete with red finger prints where Button was presented with a commemorative “gold” plate of Chongqing and the adoption order.
Button’s nanny met us at the civil affairs office. Button was happy to see her and gave her some nice smiles but she would not go to her when given the opportunity. She wanted to stay with her mommy 🙂 Another very good sign.
Also at the civil affairs office was a woman whom I met on the orphanage’s parents’ group. She was adopting a little 4 year old boy who happens to be Button’s friend! This little boy would always run to give Button candy whenever it was being passed out at the orphanage. He really looks out for her. It was thanks to this woman that we were able to pick Button up at the orphanage rather than at the civil affairs office.
After the adoption ceremonies we arranged for the other family and their guide to come to our hotel rooms to share Button’s birthday cake. Button turned 1 today and the nice lady at the reception desk arranged for the cake for her. Big Sister Bean sang happy birthday. After dessert we went all went to a hot pot restaurant called the Sygnet. It is in the mall next to the hotel and has excellent food.
All in all it was a long but exciting day. All the children are sleeping in their beds and all the parents are relaxing. Tomorrow we visit the panda bears at the Chongqing zoo, get laundry done and photos from the disposable cameras we sent to the orphanage developed. We also hope to visit the hotel pool again tomorrow. It is refreshing after the heat and humidity of the outdoors here.
Button is starting to behave more normally today. She is voicing her opinion and trying to communicate her needs (like crying when tired and crawling into my lap in bottle feeding position when hungry). She is also more comfortable around other family members today and less terrified in general. She can be really squirmy and she is very strong – 15 pounds of determination! She let me set her on the floor after changing her so I could wash both my hands at once today for the first time. She is also more comfortable with us touching her and she will smile at us and play some games with us, too. When we first got Button she did not want us touching her hands or anything even though I was holding her.
It is hard to keep the orphanage routine while traveling. We try to feed her bottles on the same schedule (minus the 1 am feeding she now sleeps through) but she doesn’t nap as long in the carrier so I’ve put her down for a nap this afternoon. I had to rock her to sleep – she would not go into the crib willingly like she does at night.
Today we went to Eling park where we posed under a 600 year old banyan tree and in front of a 300 year old rope bridge. The bridge is actually made of stone but part of it is carved and looks like rope. We also rode the bumper cars (twice!) and a fish-go-round ride with water guns attached and a really obnoxious song. Finally we climbed up the pagoda for stunning views of Chongqing. Chongqing is a huge city with sky scrapers as far as the eye can see. When they build one tower they often build 7 or 8 of the same building in the same field. We stopped at the old city hall building which is now a concert hall and an art gallery. We bought a painting from a Mr. Lu who is currently a professor at the Szechuan Art Institute. The proprietress urged us to make our best offer and she would call the artist to see if she could sell it to us for our price. We are horrible bargainers and hate to do it. We walked away when she countered the offer and then ran after us after hastily calling the artist again. It was quite a process. After that we went out for Szechuan food in the mall beside the hotel. Our guide helped us order there and also helped us figure out what we will order for dinner at the Korean bbq restaurant.
We got Button’s papers today from the notary and everything looks good. Tomorrow we will have her passport and in the afternoon we will fly back to Beijing to complete the citizenship application.
With all the sunshine (well, shade shine anyway) Button’s complexion is much less pasty and has a more healthy looking tone.
I think Button might associate the teddy bear we sent to her which the nanny was holding when we arrived at the orphanage with the terror of leaving. So, we have put the bear away for now. It was too big for her, anyway.