Adoption Day!

Another day is winding down…another GREAT day, I might add. Today was adoption day! You always hear more about Gotcha Day, but today was the day our adoption became “official.” We started the day with all smiles from our princess and a nice breakfast at our hotel. She is a delight!

We had to go back this morning to the Civil Affairs Office, and honestly I was a little worried about this, since Mia was not too fond of us when we met her there yesterday. I was hoping that she wouldn’t be expecting her orphanage officers to be there and take her back. She did great on the bus ride there, and all the families were much calmer than the previous day! No need for nerves today! We got out and Mia grabbed each of our hands and led us in with her little dancing steps and singing. As we went back to that same room, I got nervous, but Mia was just fine. It’s like that room meant nothing to her and she stayed right with us. Of course, her orphanage people were NOT there, it was just the workers and eventually the registration official who signed our official documents.

Vivian explained what would be happening. We had to get our passports ready and we would be called to the big desk, to sign our official documents and shake hands with the registration official who declared Guo Luo Shu as our daughter! When he said those words, and Vivian translated, my eyes just filled with tears! We are officially her parents!

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We shook hands, and he shook Mia’s hand, too, and they all commented on how beautiful she is! In our hurry this morning, we forgot our Nikon camera, so the pictures of us signing on our a friend’s camera and I will have to upload them later. We weren’t the only one’s with “new parent brain fog” so everyone just helps one another in this process. We have definitely made great friends. We snapped a few pics with my phone and today was a MUCH happier process than yesterday in this same room.

Next up was going to the Notary office. To be honest, I wasn’t paying much attention to this part. We had to pay more money and give a gift and give them our new red certificate and passports to our guide for something else. They took each family’s picture with a lady there for official records and then we headed back to the hotel. I’m not really sure why this step is a blur in my mind. We DID have to climb 6 flights of stairs to get to the conference room we were in, and I kept wondering how disabled people do anything in China. There are hardly any elevators, in fact, I haven’t seen any except in our beautiful hotels. Lots of stairs and walking in China.

I knew Mia was getting tired and about ready for nap. We got back to the hotel about lunchtime, which makes things hard. Her nap schedule is 12-2pm, so she is sleepy or cranky by then, but we were also hungry. We decided to stay in and eat snacks and she was asleep by 12:30pm in the bed with me. I stayed up another hour and then took a nap with her. John was busy with two other dads uploading Gotcha Day videos from all the different cameras so each family could have access to their own moments. By 3:00pm, John came back up and we woke Mia up so we could get some shopping done before dinner. She had quite the long nap.

Like all the kids, Mia still drinks formula. She drinks great from a cup, even the take and toss sippy cups, but doesn’t like the hard, thick, Playtex kinds. I think it is too hard for her to get the liquid out. So, after bed and after nap, she gets about 8oz of formula with very warm water. We have a hot pot in the room to heat the water. People in China do not drink cold drinks as a rule, so her little belly is not used to anything cold. Even regular water they heat and you are served hot water in restaurants, as well. Room temperature water she will drink, but we were told it is too cold for her. So, we got her formula ready and headed out with another family to the Walmart.

Honestly, I was looking for a white cardigan and white leggings for Mia’s consulate appointment where she will wear her USA dress. Walmart had zero long sleeve clothes and hardly any pants. Everything was summertime, which is odd because no one has their kids in short sleeves ever! The kids and adults both wear a lot of clothes here. They do not like to be cold. Mia pulled at her short-sleeve dress yesterday until I put a cardigan on over top. We were sweating in t-shirts today and Chinese people were literally wearing coats. It was 80 degrees. Since Walmart wasn’t working out for clothes, we headed back to the mall.

It was really fun trying to find clothes for her because the sizes are in Chinese and we just had to hold things up to her. Some prices were on signs, but if not, I couldn’t read the price tags on the clothes. Store personnel always approached us to help and smiled and made comments I’m sure about how pretty she is. We tried some cardigans and jackets over her regular clothes (2 layers of course) and the workers would get a different size if we needed. I should have taken a picture of the stores. The clothes are adorable and everything is different. They don’t keep lots of sizes right there on the rack. If you like something, they will get you a different size if you need from a drawer or somewhere else. So every piece hanging is unique. So, I didn’t find a white cardigan right away, but I did see an adorable outfit and the jeans were just too cute to pass up. John was surprisingly cool with the shopping experience and really could not say no to his little princess (this might become a problem!). When all was said and done, we bought one outfit, one jacket she can wear with everything, and finally found a white cardigan!

After that, we got word that our friends needed some take-out food before they headed back to the hospital with their little girl. So, we raced around to find take out and ended up at the noodle restaurant we were at our first afternoon in Zhengzhou. We finally figured out how to ask for what we wanted and had to hurry to get back to the hotel in time. We got back and handed off the food and then headed to our own room to unload things before dinner.

Interestingly enough, we smelled the food in the Chinese restaurant while getting the rice to go and decided we’d like to go back there, too! Brad and Karlynn and Emerson Rose joined our family and we walked there together and enjoyed a great dinner with our girls. It’s almost getting comical trying to order and figure out what food we will like, but I would say that we are pretty happy with our choices (or at least what they bring to us) 80% of the time. There is always something that tastes good. Mia LOVED the noodles! Her little smile after slurping them down was just too cute! She also enjoyed sharing her snacks with baby Emmy! Eating can get a little messy sometimes and we learned from the civil affairs office today that Mia loves baby wipes and cleaning up! So, we did some cleaning at dinner today whenever her face would get dirty!

When we went to dinner and on the way back, John and I took turns with Mia in the Tula Toddler carrier. Now, we have never used a carrier with either of our boys, but we decided to check it out after many recommendations from others. Both days Mia has done great walking, but she was dragging a little bit today and we had to carry her some. She’s really not that heavy unless you are also carrying other things, too. John used the Tula first and had no problems once it was adjusted for him. I used it on the way back from dinner and honestly, I love it. She fits great, seems comfortable, and I love that it basically keeps us hugging the whole time and puts her head in the perfect position to just kiss her all the time! The only downside is when you have to use stairs because the added weight makes you feel like you are getting another Great Wall workout. But otherwise, I have no complaints. I see how people think it is great for bonding, and I agree.

When we got back to the room we were able to video chat with our boys and John’s mom again. It is always good to see them. I am really starting to miss them pretty badly. They all seem to be doing well and they love watching Mia in action. She was very energetic and happy. After that, we tried to do bubbles again, but the new bubble gun we got needed

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Blurry picture of Mia with her bubble gun because she was jumping around with delight!

batteries, so I took Mia with me to ask our other families. One family had some, but when we go the gun to work, the little boy wanted to play too and Mia started crying. She hadn’t cried since Gotcha, so I was really not sure what was going on. So, I chalked it up to being tired and we said good-bye and headed to our room. Once we were back, she was all smiles and playing with Daddy like nothing ever happened! I guess she wasn’t ready to share her fun toy! Then, we finally got to video chat with our siblings and nephews. It was so great to see them. It has been wonderful connecting with my sister every day and sharing this with her. They really enjoyed meeting Mia!

Tomorrow is a very big day. We have to travel to Mia’s province center, Luoyang, for her passport process. Then, since we will be in the same city, we are going to see Maria’s Big House of Hope (where I stayed 3.5 years ago with Show Hope). Mia was cared for by Maria’s for four months as a baby and they have her earliest records and pictures. I am very excited to return to this special place. We are traveling there with the Norris family who’s daughter was at Maria’s for 17 months of her life! From there, our little family will travel even further to Luoning, to Mia’s orphanage.

Please pray for this big big day. It will be very long and we have been told there is no stopping for meals, so we will be living off of snacks all day. Please pray that we have a good experience at Mia’s orphanage and that she will not be sad to be there and that our bonding time has been proven through this day. It is very important to me that we see where she has been for over a year of her life. I don’t have a lot of information, so the more we can find out, the better. Maybe she will not want to know about her life in China, but if she does, I want to be able to tell her that we went and found out as much as we could.

So Day 2 with our princess was a good day. Today was the first time Mia said “Mama” and then ran to me and hugged my leg in the store. Today, Mia ran to me and gave me a hug. Mia loves her Daddy and wants him in view almost always. She seems sad if he goes away, but doesn’t cry and adjusts quickly. John is already having a hard time saying “no” to “his princess.” Today, Mia sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” in Chinese and I caught the audio of it.

We are absolutely smitten.

 

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