The day I have been waiting 8 months for…
We were up at 7am, after being up half the night! The jet lag has been rough and we are not sleeping well at all! I was feeling pretty calm, but by the time we got down to breakfast, I couldn’t really eat. Ashleigh, on the other hand, had waffles and fried rice (an odd combination if you ask me!) We met our guide Wendy in the lobby at 9:45 and took our very first Uber ride to the civil affairs office!
I was starting to feel anxious, as we didn’t know if we would get there before Rosie, or not. When we got off the elevator, the room was empty. Wendy asked us to sit and wait while she went to do paperwork. We knew Rosie could arrive at any minute so we were both watching the elevator like hawks! Ashleigh went over and looked out the window just as the orphanage director and Rosie were entering the building! When we heard the elevator ding, we knew it was her!!!
The director carried her in, he was trying to find a tissue to wipe her nose before he handed her to me (Chinese are very particular about that sort of thing) but our guide Wendy was quick to tell him “don’t bother, give her to her mama”. She seemed to know who I was, although I could see she was nervous. She came right to me, and I quickly gave her a sucker, a peace offering 🙂
She started to squirm a bit, so we went to sit down. She played with toys and showed me her albums of us, pointing out Baba, and her sisters/brothers. She was so active, getting into everything and chatting up a storm! It really went so well! After a bit of paperwork and chit chat about her schedule, food preferences etc, we headed back to our hotel for a bit.
We had about two hours to hang out until it was time to go back to civil affairs to complete the adoption paperwork. We just played and ate snacks, but her personality was really coming out! She was being goofy and mischievous, if I left her sight for even a second, she would chase me down calling, “mama?”. She really seemed to immediately understand that I am Mama and Ashleigh is Ayi (auntie).
It seemed like a blink and it was time to go back! We took another Uber over and I couldn’t help but notice some fancy stores along the way… Coach, Louis Vuitton and Vivianne Westood, it felt kinda like being New York city!
The paperwork part seemed to take along time! But we did finally get to the official part where they ask me some questions, and then I do the famous red fingerprint and Rosie does her red hand print. It felt a little ceremonious, which was kind of fun 🙂 We were there a couple of hours and Rosie was getting a tad bored, as was I, but we played and ate some snacks to pass the time.
Then it was time to say Goodbye to the orphanage director and I was a little worried about how she would do. I had no reason to be worried though, she waved to him and said “Bye- Bye”! Then looked at me like, lets go mom!
Back at the hotel we all ate some dinner, then I gave Rosie a bath. I was worried she might be afraid, but nope, she loved it! She splashed and laughed so hard! I had to make it a quick one because she was totally soaking me, ha! I love the first bath out of the orphanage, it’s a cleansing and renewing thing. Washing away the old label of Orphan, and rejoicing in the new identity of daughter.
Now came bedtime. I was bracing myself for her to freak out. Often, kids will be happy all day, but when it’s time to sleep they want familiarity and safety. I gave her a bottle and we snuggled up in my bed. I could see a fear wash over her face as we laid down, but after a few minutes she seemed to settle in. It took her about 20 minutes to fall asleep, but she slept all night! She moves a TON in her sleep! She is all over the bed, as you can see, she didn’t mind using me as a prop for her feet either 🙂
Once she was out, Ash and I got up to repack everything. We had to be done with breakfast and ready to leave at 7am the following morning to catch our train to Hengyang!
The night proved to be another of cruddy sleep for us both.
*** I still am surprised by how well Rosie did that first day, she blew all my expectations out of the water! She is so smart, and understands so much more than she can articulate back to you. ICC did an amazing job of preparing her, and I know that made such a huge difference for her! ***