Tuesday, August 15, 2006
It is official
August 15th, evening
Sophia is doing wonderfully. She is starting to come out of her shell and we have gotten some really good smiles from her. Katie is the best at getting her to laugh and smile. This whole process is amazing. We are really beginning to figure her out. We definitely know when she is tired, she can get very cranky and clingy. We are also pretty good at figuring out when she is hungry. She is a good eater. We gave her some cheerios, congee (rice cereal/soup that is feed to all the babies here… adults eat it with dried fruits in it as well), potatoes and watermelon. She likes to finger feed herself. We figure about 1/3 goes into her, 1/3 on her and 1/3 on the floor. Feeding her the congee ensures her belly is full. She likes her bottle and drinks about four a day.
For lunch she had some turkey, potatoes, rice and congee. She enjoyed it all. She slept through dinner tonight. We all went out to a Sichuan cuisine restaurant. The food is very spicy. It is believe that if you eat spicy food, you will sweat and then be cooler. I don’t know about that. I do know that I did sweat after a few of those dishes. Sophia had a much milder dinner in the room afterwards, rice cereal and prunes. The diaper changes should be fun tomorrow.
After dinner a few of us asked to be taken to a store. Some people had to buy a stroller. We wanted a few more clothes for Sophia. We packed very lightly and she has spit up on some outfits so we are running low. The shopping was an experience. Our guide took us, thank goodness. We went to a French department store with a name that starts with a C. I could not believe how big this was. If Shihong wasn’t leading us through it, asking people where the stuff we were looking for was, we would have never made it out of there alive. The store was packed. There is no personal space her in China. People stand right (and I mean right) besides you. They push if they want to get through. I guess it is survival in a county that is so heavily populated. We got stares before we got the baby but now we can’t walk anywhere without being stared at. We are also out of Beijing and I think this city sees a lot less travelers. People come up to us and talk to us in Mandarin. They admire the baby and touch her. It got very overwhelming after a long day in this hot weather.
It is over one hundred degrees here today. It was hot at 8:30 this morning and did not cool off at all this evening. The humidity is oppressive. Chongqing is called one of the three furnaces of the world and I can attest that it is true. I have never felt anything quite like this. Many stores do not have AC. It is something which words can not describe. We will be looking forward to Thursday when we got to the mountains to visit the panda reserve. We will get some respite from this heat.
The driving in China is frightening. Apparently the rules of the road are merely suggestions. It is rare that cars stop for red lights. Cars cut over into your lane without a blinker. There have been three cars driving to merge in the lane we were driving at one time. It is a game of chicken. None of the cars want to give in, so they sped up and try to be first into the lane. There are no seat belts or car seats in China, so we have the babies on our laps. It scares me to death every time we get into a taxi or our van. I can’t look out the windows.
And the most exciting, although that is not the most accurate word, part of the day was our appointment at Adoption Registration Center at 2:00 today. This was the moment that Sophia officially became part of our families. We were merely babysitters on a trial period before this “ceremony.” We all went in for our family pictures. This becomes part of her adoption paperwork. Sophia was sleeping and we had to wake her up for the picture. She did not like that at all. She kept falling back to sleep before the guy had time to snap the picture. We then were fingerprinted as part of the form. We were handed her adoption decree and a little gift, a gold etched plate in a wooden box. It is beautiful. It was a very meaningful moment to know that Sophia is officially ours. It is a good thing because they are not getting her back!!!
We have a small copy of the offical picture but until we can get it scanned and on-line the picture that Katie took above is all we have. (Linda do you recognize Hollie's dress. We got more compliments on that dress today. Tell Hollie Sophia thanks her and can't wait to meet her.)
One neat thing is that there were nannies from the same orphanage many the children from our travel group were in. We watched the babies and the nannies interacting with the babies. Just as we were leaving the families arrived. They are also staying at our hotel and I am sure we will bump into them tomorrow.
Sophia is asleep in her crib. Last night she would not go in it without screaming so she slept with us. It is important to the bonding process that she knows we are there for her and she is not being abandoned again. She has had some major changes in her life in the last day or so. We was separated from her foster family and then given to this doting family who doesn’t look, smell or talk like people she is used to. All in all she is doing great with the transition.
Oh, and one last thing. She is beginning to crawl. She likes to be carried and probably hasn’t gotten much floor time. I am sure she will be full out crawling by the time we get home.
Posted by Anne and Steve at 9:32 PM