Honestly, my brain is in such a fog lately that I'm not sure what day it is. I have trouble remembering back a couple of days to catch up this record. I keep asking Kelly what we did which day and what day it is now.
I do know that the little girl who was fighting to get out of the same room with me a couple of days ago now follows me into the bathroom. I have to enlist Kelly to distract her (usually with puzzles or cutting out paper shapes) so I can do anything besides attend to her. I think this is good. It is almost like she is a newborn and we are totally focused on learning about each other so we can move on and continue to grow.
So, if Kelly's memory is serving me right, yesterday was adoption day.
We left in the morning to go back to the Civil Affairs Office. We were supposed to take gifts but they got left in the hotel. We are going to make our coordinator crazy the way we forget things.
There was another family on one side of the room. We had to try to keep Claire occupied quietly while we filled out paperwork, signed enough papers to buy a house and stamped red thumbprints on all those signatures. The hardest part is that all those officials are watching our every move. When Claire tries to leave the room and pitches a fit because we say "no," there are a dozen eyes on us. It is stressful to say the least.
Our documents from Lifeline did arrive. So after about an hour, we received the official documents making Claire our daughter. It wasn't very ceremonious or special. It really did feel like a business transaction. Kind of weird, but maybe not so much. Really, this is an act of commitment, not of feeling. We might feel all sweet and mushy when she smiles at us with all her charm, but the feelings can be quite different when she stands in the middle of the sidewalk with her arms folded and her expression defiant, refusing to move and screaming if we try to pick her up. The feelings can do what they want, though. We have entered a covenant that promises to love and care for her no matter what. I guess I'm glad the official adoption had very little pomp and circumstance and a lot of hard reality.
The translator from the Taiyuan orphanage gave us a lovely gift as we were heading out of the lobby. It is a scroll created just for Claire, with a famous poem on it having something to do with remembering and remaining pure to who you are. We videoed her description and I'll have to get home and listen a few times to sort it all out.
We spent adoption day coloring, cutting shapes, sticking stickers and dressing paper dolls. To celebrate we ate noodles and dumplings for supper.
|The lovely scroll presented by the Taiyuan SWI.|
|Daddy and Kaichen trying on the swim caps we found while organizing the suitcases.|
|Kaichen telling Daddy about her family using the photo album we sent her.|
|Bath crayons made this "swim" more colorful!|
|Wrapped in the hotel robe that is just a little too big, but oh so cozy.|