I was really questioning our decision earlier today when YaYa was so very upset. She wanted nothing more than to go back to her foster grandmother and stay there. I had to keep reminding myself that she would face this situation with some family; she couldn't stay with her foster grandmother forever. Her status as an orphan in this country would not allow her the chance to prosper as an adult so in the big picture we were doing a good thing. But, at the time? I felt absolutely awful and helpless.
We came back to the hotel and ordered room service for lunch; I was simply not taking her somewhere for lunch when she was so upset. We ordered her some egg fried rice and she ate very well. But we learned she does not like water. We had no idea at the time what she was asking for but later learned her favorite drink is orange juice.
After an hour or so she really started opening up. She was still very quiet and reserved but had a wonderful time rummaging through her suitcase that was filled with goodies. The favorite toys thus far are the baby doll (who has tried on every bit of doll clothing I brought) and the Leapster. She told our guide later that the Leapster, "was fun."
We had to go the civil affairs office to officially register the adoption and swear that we would not abandon her. After asking about why we wanted to adopted from here and how many other children we had we got an unexpected response. He told us (well, translated through our guide) that he thinks families with lots of children are great and he was happy that our children were close in age because she will have someone to grow up with. He particularly spoke about that Emily was only 2 years older than Claire.
We call her YaYa for now. The orphanage director and our guide were telling her that we're naming her Claire while she was upset and we said "no, we'll call her YaYa for as long as she wants." She told the guide that she'd picked her own name- it was Trace. The guide had a good laugh about that. Honestly, it's a bit weird to look at her and say Claire even though we've done just that for the last 6 months. Maybe soon we'll start to combine the YaYa and Claire but for now we need to make sure she understands that she is safe with us.
After the civil affairs office we came back to the room and had the best time. She started talking to us in Mandarin and even though we haven't a clue what she was saying we knew she was having a good time. She loves to conspire and do funny things when Dad is sleeping. She put bows in his hair and her necklace on him. She laughs and laughs when we do funny things. The deep belly giggle was so refreshing to hear, especially since just a few hours before that she cried herself to sleep in the van.
We got bundled up (which, by the way, it isn't all THAT cold here) and took a walk. YaYa loved running across the road dodging the cars while we were actually freaking out. We took her to the place that speaks universal kid language- McDonalds. We got the picture menu and asked what she wanted. She immediately pointed to the french fries and then the ice cream. We got chicken nuggets, french fries and of course, orange juice and the little peanut ate all of it. We found a very small playground upstairs and let her play on it. While crying earlier she kept asking to play at the playground so we knew we needed to let her play. She was scared of the slide at first but then thought it was a lot of fun. She tried to get me to go down the slide.
When walking back and crossing 6 lanes of insane drivers, Daddy picked her up and started running. She giggled and giggled and then kissed him on the cheek. Oh my word, how did we get so lucky? We got back and she willingly took a bath, with bubbles of course. We washed her hair and played with a few toys and then got into some warm pajamas. After we were all done she got quiet and the crying started again. She says she wants her foster nai nai (grandmother) and it just breaks my heart. I held her on my lap on the floor and rocked her back and forth and let her cry for as long as she wanted to. After 10-15 minutes she stopped, promptly stood up and got the Leapster. She's now lying in bed playing the Leapster next to sleeping Daddy while I finish updating you all.
Oh yea- She's tiny. We will see tomorrow if the clothes I brought fit her. The pajamas she chose to wear tonight fit but they are much more snug than the clothes. The shoes I bought are WAY too big. I think they really did measure her foot with the shoe on. I brought a size 13 and they are about 2 inches longer than the shoes she has. I'm guessing she might wear a size 9. She doesn't want the coat I bought her, only the one she came with which is fine, I totally understand. She doesn't want a hat or gloves and stubbornness? Emily, you have met your match. Our guide said "she's stubborn and strong willed" after being with her for only an hour. HA! I told her not to worry; I have one at home whose just the same.
Tomorrow we might try and take her swimming in the morning. We showed her the pool tonight and her entire face lit up. Our travel group arrived this evening and we are planned to tour the Forbidden City and then watch an acrobat show after that. I think she would really like the acrobat show but we are waiting until tomorrow to decide if we're going to attempt the tour.
Good night from China!