Published: September 17th 2010September 17th 2010
We are starting our 3rd day with baby Julia and, in short, it all continues to unfold like a wonderful dream.
The little inevitable hurdles which come up in every day are nothing compared to how happy we are to be with Baby Julia!
I write to you at 3:30 am local time during Julia’s single night feed. She is a good sleeper and seems to wake up just once a night for feeding.
Yesterday we completed her adoption in the eyes of the Chinese Government by signing countless papers written completely in Chinese characters. (One of the most important legal documents we’ve ever signed but we can’t even read the large
print much less the fine
print. One more example of how much Trust is involved in the adoptive process.)
Although we don’t receive the official paper document confirming our adoption of Julia until next week, we were told after the signing that the adoption was then complete! Glad to have that part behind us. Our many friends familiar with Domestic Adoption will recognize that our wait time of >3 years for our international adoption match with Julia was excessive. However, the lightning-brief 23 hour
She is definitely more animated now than on the first day. She mimics, smiles, babbles and laughs.
period between the point of meeting Julia for the first time and the point of finalizing her adoption will sound just downright wrong & impossibly accelerated to anyone who’s been down the long road of Domestic Adoption. This last step can often take months in domestic adoptions and on occasion may get notoriously hung up for years in some foster-adopt situations. Every adoptive process has its strengths/weaknesses I guess. Ironically the part that will take 3-4x longer will be the process of obtaining American citizenship for Julia at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou next week. Citizenship is not typically an issue in domestic adoption (although getting the domestic adoptee a social security number certainly has been a problem for a few of our friends!) More, important than any paperwork though, we continue to fall more in love with this sweet little baby girl hour by hour. She is the best!
Yesterday, on our 2nd day with Julia, she already began to show good signs of attachment, preferring Mom and Dad over others and protesting at times if we left her for even a moment. She has started to SMILE and LAUGH as well! Her minor medical issues (fever, rash,
ear infections, seborrheic dermatitis, etc) all seem to be dissolving before our eyes. (It’s amazing what 24 hours of intense Love, Attention, Western Medicine, American Nutrition, and a good warm soapy Scrub-down will do for the many human diseases associated with life in an underserved orphanage, be it foreign or American!)
We finally achieved the technical feat of getting a running internet connection in our hotel room via an RJ45 jack. (The 802.11 router signal can’t penetrate all the marble in the lobby where the 3 hotel routers are apparently set up.) We were so eager to let Shannon’s parents see the baby that we skyped with them during a loud chaotic breakfast in the hotel lobby during the sliver of time we had before running out to the bus to sign the adoptive paperwork. Skyping in the hotel room should hopefully be far better than in crowded public venues from here out.
We’re trying to skype other close family members too but with our tight schedule and the time conversion, it’s been tricky at times.
Yesterday, I stayed with the kids (all THREE of them!) while Shannon and my parents went with the other families to
the Lotus Market, a Chinese version of Walmart. I had the opportunity to go to the real Chinese Walmart with our travel group on the 1st night in Zhengzhou. (See associated photos if you’re interested in what a store like this looks like in China.... That’s funny.. I don’t recall the dead chickens still staring up at you with their rigor mortis feet stuck up in the air in the Safeway back home. Americans have it too easy when it comes to food prep!)
While it may seem a bit odd to be shopping at these stores on an adoption trip, such shopping excursions are now a standard and welcome component of Chinese adoption experience as they allow the adoptive families to work-around the near impossible but traditional task of packing every item for every contingency you might face for a baby/toddler you’ve never met. “Pay-As-You-Go” is a far more efficient strategy than “Guess-and-Pack”, especially with the dietary intake of these babies/toddlers being as individualized as any of our babies/toddlers back in the States.
Plan for later today: A day-excursion for the travel group to the famous Shao Lin Monastery.
(“Shao Lin” rhymes with the American pronunciation of
the words “Cow”-”Fin”). This Chan Buddhist temple was built about 1500 years ago and is probably best known in American culture for being the birthplace of Kung-Fu Martial Arts. We are looking forward to a day trip given that Julia is happy with life as long as she is hanging out with us.
Gratitude: A heartfelt thanks to all you who continue to follow our journey and Special Thanks to those who have written such wonderful and thoughtful comments. We read each and every one and they have meant a great deal to us! We are abundantly blessed with friendship in life! Thank you! Thank you!
There are more photos below