Day 2: More paperwork and we are officially H.'s parents

Day 2 is almost done, but here is another picture from yesterday, first. This is from the afternoon of the three young ones relaxing together while J. was upstairs doing yet more paperwork and I was posting pictures. They are deeply engrossed in the Chinese children's cartoon Pleasant Goat. (I still maintain the creature looks like a sheep, however.) It is evidently entertaining enough even if you don't speak Mandarin because my two English speakers sat through more than a couple of them. A. even managed to pick up a couple more words from it, so I guess it wasn't a total waste.

Last night went very well, with everyone sleeping fairly well. I was up with H. once as she was awake and restless at one point. She snuggled with me for a while and then I had her lay back down and she slept the rest of the night. H. woke up quite cheerful and has remained so all day.

The first item on the agenda today was to head back to the registry office to sign the official adoption documents. The previous 24 hours were our 'harmonious period' where we were to make sure that we are all compatible.  When the bus stopped at the registry office and it became obvious that we were entering the same room we were all in yesterday morning, H. stopped short for a moment and I could tell she was worried. I think perhaps she was concerned that she was going to be taken from us. A quick word from our guide helped her understand what was going on and she returned to her happy self.

Some pictures from the morning:


 H. and TM... they were passing the time by folding paper airplanes.

And then we were handed our adoption certificates and had the requisite pictures taken. (I have no idea how TM managed to avoid this picture, but I guess he did.)

After the registry office, it was off to the notary to sign more paperwork. After lunch and a brief rest, we joined some of our group for a trip to the Lotus Center to do a little shopping. Here are A. and H. looking at one of the toys we bought and TM enjoying his all-time favorite snack of spicy prawn chips. I can get them at home, but have to go to the Vietnamese market to we don't have them very often.

And while all this is very interesting, it doesn't tell you much about what having H. join us as an instant 9-year-old daughter is really like. I think it's safe to say that both J. and I are quite smitten with our new daughter.  She is truly the sweetest thing. I think she will be giving D. a run for his money as our outgoing, gregarious child. H. will happily chat with just about anyone who stops long enough for her to do so. (For the attachment-minded out there... don't panic! It's not the kind of indiscriminate friendliness that can cause concern.)  But I will say it is a bit disconcerting to not have any idea what our daughter and a complete stranger are chatting about.

Sometimes this friendliness leads to some funny situations. At dinner last night, we were waiting for our food when the waitress bring H. a Coke.  We hadn't ordered any Coke. But we quickly realized that H. loves Coke and had ordered one for herself. We knew she had carried on a long conversation with the waitress, but since we currently speak five words of Mandarin, we hadn't realized she was ordering anything. TM was a little put out that she got a fizzy drink, and so he and A. ended up with special drinks, as well.

From what a couple of people have told us, much of what she is telling people is that we are her family and that she loves us. She then proceeds to show the person to whom she is speaking the shoes we gave her, or the clothes, or the nail polish that A. put on her fingers. I have been remarkably dry-eyed throughout the past couple of days, but when the maid who brought up the extra bed last night told me that H. had said she loves us, I nearly burst into tears.

H. has warmed up to J. and has searched him out to give him a hug or hold his hand and she has even started to interact with TM. I imagine that TM is a bit overwhelming to someone and she probably wonders if he ever stops making noise. I wonder the same thing sometimes. (As an aside, TM has done remarkably well so far on this trip, though the motormouth is often in overdrive.)

H. seems to have been blessed with one of those personalities that assumes everyone will like her and so she likes them as well. She has shared stickers with us and with other children in our travel group. And even when we were at the Lotus Center today, an older man was watching her, so she started to talk with him and then shared one of her stickers with him. From facial expressions and body language, he seemed quite charmed by the time they were done talking together, though I couldn't understand a word they were saying.  We have noticed some passers-by staring at H., but it has not yet been at the level of intrusiveness we were warned to expect.

The short story? We are charmed by this child.

I'll leave off here and go and help H. and her Ba Ba work on the puzzle that I brought. Tomorrow is a free day as is the next. Two whole days without paperwork... hard to believe!


Catherine Nelson said…
I think I'm going to have to defer reading your posts until the evening to avoid starting my day at the office with tears. The thought of that sweet girl having a mom to snuggle at night is overwhelming to me as just an observer. Her personality will no doubt serve her well in facing future challenges.
Anonymous said…
Congrats to all! What a joy to see such visibly answered prayer. Enjoy these off days getting to know your sweet girl.
Crawford family
Fam. Huisman said…
she is so happy to finally have a family to call her own... how special! Brought tears to my eyes, eventhough I've experienced the same wonderful thing with my two treasures from China when they came with us at 3 yrs and 5 yrs of age... Enjoy every moment to the fullest! warm rgds, Claudia Huisman
Victoria said…
Con todo mi corazón te deseo todo lo mejor del mundo, difruta de tu familia para siempre sabes que siempre estarás en nuestro corazón y en nuestras oraciones. Un beso desde España.
Sara said…
It sounds like you adopted Pollyanna! What a treat for all she meets! (I honestly didn't mean to rhyme!) Praising God for this new member of your family!
Janet and Kevin said…
I cried as well reading this beautiful post about your amazing new daughter! We are not surprised that she is so wonderful because we remember vividly seeing a happy and confident girl walking about SF on our visit last August! So happy for H. and for you all! Enjoying following your journey every day.

Blessings and hugs from Indiana,
janet and gang
Amy said…
I loved reading this post. It sounds like H is doing amazing! Our boys didn't really do any grieving while we were in China. They both seemed really happy to be part of our family and that has continued. We have definitely worked through some intense feelings of grief about things in the past with our oldest (once he learned English) and both boys have communicated that they occasionally miss certain people from China. I just wanted to share this in case H doesn't have a period of grieving while in China. She obviously really wanted her own Mom and Dad so it is wonderful to see that her wish has come true. What a blessing!
Amy said…
I love reading your updates. What a blessing to have things going so well. And a break from paperwork...what could be better?
Jennifer said…
Congratulations to all of you! I am so excited for you and am enjoying the blog updates. (How do you have time to do it? You must be exhausted.) I wish you all the best over the next several days of travel and look forward to meeting H one of these days at a play group or other event.
Lucy said…
Oh it is so exciting! I love seeing all the new pictures of H. I can't begin to imagine how excited and blessed you all felt to be able to go there and meet her and bring her home!
Many prayers for 'smooth and easy days' ahead!
Stevens Family said…
Oh she sounds enchanting! Just pure joy. Wishing you a wonderful trip.

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