Monday, June 27, 2016

Family Day June 27, 2016

We walked in to the "Adoption Registry Center of Guangdong Province" at around 2:30. It was on the third floor of a regular business building. We walked in and had all the jitters. Our guide started talking paperwork. I asked her if Marli was already there. She said yes, in the playroom. I know we're supposed to wait for them to make sure they're not just handing a kid over to these foreigners. So we waited. Other families were already there receiving their children. The sound in that room was all too familiar to me. I have watched countless videos of "gotcha day"s and knew it would be like that. Luis and Mila didn't. The emotions in that room were almost palpable. The overwhelming happiness of parents and the fear, loss and grief of the children.  I swallowed tears the whole time. My husband's eyes welled up. I have seen him this chocked up less than a handful of times. Mr. Sunshine makes the best of any situation. But this, friends. This is real, hard stuff. 
Soon later Lee asked us if we wanted to peek in. We decided it would be best no to. But I was curious and wanted to know how Marli was doing. She's very afraid of strangers and she had to travel from her town with people she barely knew. She'd go to the orphanage to get check ups once a month and was friendly with the staff. But, to travel even if a short distance, with strangers... I was surprised not to hear cries coming from the room. Lee checked in on her and told us she was doing great. Playing. 
Then, someone walked out of the room and my head did a double take. It was Foster Mom. I exclaimed to Luis "it's her foster mom! She wasn't supposed to come."  Then I looked all the way down and saw that the tiny little hand that she was holding belonged to our little girl. We started taking videos and pictures and bringing them over to our couch ever so slowly and cautiously. I hugged Mama. We tried offering Juanjuan (pronounced J'wehn - e as egg) treats and water. Toys. Nothing. She was weary although she knew us from video chatting so many times. Also, the foster family prepared her well for this. But who could blame her? She was so scared. We gave gifts to the two orphanage officials that came with them. They gave us a small album with a couple of pictures of our girl. (No baby pictures). I felt so bad not having Foster Mama's gift at the moment. Our plan was to take it when we visit her home. Foster Mama had a few pictures as gifts for us. She brought Marli with a little backpack full of snacks. We took lots of pictures and it was time for them to leave. Lee threw around the thought of them sneaking out. Mama bear came out and I calmly, but firmly asked that they please explain to our girl that they'd be leaving and that it was time to say goodbye. And that she'd be staying with her Mama and Baba (us). They all said bye. I thanked them and gave Mama a big hug. She didn't cry. 
Marli, of course, got weepy. Mila was weepy. So many emotions. We took Juanjuan to a couch that had a fan right in front. We tried distracting her. I asked her if she needed to use the bathroom. Lee said Foster Mom has already asked her and she didn't need to. She's a bit feisty. Our girl was sad though. And we were all super overwhelmed. We left that place and came back to the hotel to finish paperwork for tomorrow's interview and finalization. With China adoptions there's a 24 hours harmonious period before finalizing. On our way to the hotel we realized that Marli had to tinkle again. We had the driver stop and Marli and I rushed towards the hotel. But she needed to go right there. When in China, do as they do :) 

We got to the hotel and started filling out and signing paperwork. The whole time Marli wanted to keep her shoes and back pack on. Homegirl was ready to go! Poor baby. When Lee left, she told her bye and that again, she'd be staying with us. Tears again. Sad quiet tears. Never a big cry. The guide left and Marli tried making a run for it. After a few minutes we decided to take her to the kids play room to distract her. Thank God for my sweet, patient, playful husband. He started playing with the foam blocks then throwing them. She joined in. It was so funny because she was so serious and throwing them things. We said, "with a little hate." It's a joke between us. It was hilarious. They did that over and over. Mila was being such a good big sister. 
We decided to go get something to eat and then pass by a market to grab a few things. The mall is connected to our hotel and also another one on the other side of the street connected underground. We ate at a pizza place. Marli had three small spoons of her corn soup then refused. It's very frustrating for me that she won't eat much. She has been drinking a little more water but still. Anyone who knows me, knows I refuse to let anyone be hungry. But I know she's grieving and will need time. 
We bought a bottle for Marli. She was supposed to bring it with her but they didn't :( 
We came back to the hotel and had Mila shower first so she can see. Then it was her turn. She refused at first but didn't fight it. I had Mila hide her shoes so she wouldn't put them on after the bath. But she got her other ones anyway. Lol
I rubbed her a bit with baby olive oil. She is so tiny. She let me dress her and helped, then ran to look for her shoes (to dip) and settled for the other. I explained to her that she stays with us. After brushing teeth,I prepared a bottle of plain milk and she had some. Progress. 
She fell asleep as I gave it to her but woke up when I put her down. Daddy to the rescue as I needed to shower. 
Everyone's asleep now. It's 1:25 am. Another long day tomorrow. 
Here are some photos of our day:

1 comment:

  1. congratulations.
    Hoping baby girls heart starts to open and let in the love of her family in the coming days and that the transition is as smooth as possible for everyone.
    So many memories in that room, it's the exact same one where we met Rosie.