Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 5, more paperwork

We're official!

Our agency was finally able to get through to the civil affairs after calling for over an hour this morning. Our worry that the adoption decree wouldn't be ready today was relieved; they were told we could come pick it up.

We went to the civil affairs office and got the same gentleman that wasn't very nice to our guide last week. I was a bit nervous but he seemed friendly. Either he was having a better day or we just won him over with our good looks and charming personalities. HA! So the first thing he asked us was how it the bonding was going and we said great and then he asked Claire if she was having fun. Thankfully, she said yes!
So he typed up the decree, printed it and then stamped it. It wasn't a matter of the decree being ready, because it wasn't, it was a matter of them wanting to wait a certain amount of time for the bonding period. While finishing the decree he told us that her family name (in Chinese) is the same as his family name. Claire knew what he was saying and said some stuff about them being the same. His signature on our paperwork was very cool and we said it looked very hard. Our guide translated that for us and then he got up and went to a cabinet. He brought back a brochure type thing that had all of his writings with some pictures of him painting and a picture of him on the front. We told him see-ah see-ah (thank you) and then he took it back, signed the front and dated it. Wow, what a wonderful keepsake for Claire. See, I told you we charmed him!
Upon leaving the civil affairs office Claire got very quiet when it was time to get in the van. Before we made it out of the parking lot we were christened as new parents.
You know, usually you are christened as new parents shortly after the baby's first feeding. We like to be nice and call it spit-up but truly? Your child just emptied the content of his/her stomach all down your back. You are now christened and officially new parents.
Our christening took 5 days but believe me, we are officially her parents now. We have the decree and dirty clothes to prove it.

She absolutely hates the car. We were able to distract her on the other trips today but she tells us (through our guide) that she just wants to walk to food; she doesn't care if it takes hours. I'm not sure how the first few weeks at home are going to go. I'm thinking some of it is simply anxiety and it doesn't help that we were in the same van today as the day we picked her up and the same office we went to shortly after receiving her.

We learned from Catherine (our guide) that 'mama yo baba' and 'baba yo mama' is Claire's way of saying my mom and dad are a good couple and mom loves dad and dad loves mom. J She also said she keeps saying it because it makes us laugh.

We learned today that she had two younger brothers in her foster home; she said they were 6. While having lunch we had our guide ask her if she wasn't allowed to waste food at the foster home. We have noticed she will eat all food. At first we thought she just ate a ton but then we wondered if she was actually cleaning her plate so it wasn't wasted. She confirmed that the foster family told her not to waste food so 7 years of that teaching is going to be hard to break. We put the snacks away in the room because we noticed she will help herself to them whenever she wants. She still eats quite a bit for her size, especially at breakfast.

We were planning on going to the zoo but Claire told our guide that she'd already been there. It feels quite a bit cooler here today than past days so I think we're going to go to the aquarium instead. It is close to the place she was found as a baby so we are going to go there as well so we can get a picture of that for her later.

We finished the day by going to the notary after lunch followed by the passport office. The rule is passports applied for Monday morning will be ready on Friday morning but we didn't get there until Monday afternoon. The orphanage worker came to the passport office with more paperwork from them and sweet talked the director into having it ready on Friday morning. We will pick that up and then fly to Guangzhou that afternoon. And guess what? Our guide is flying with us! It isn't standard that the guide flies with you but she will be the guide for our entire group in Guangzhou so she has to fly there just like we do so she's going at the same time as us. I laughed and said, good another hand to help with the motion sickness.
One cute thing from today-
Claire is very funny; quite the little jokester.  She told our guide today that she loves to smile and be funny and when the younger kids or babies were upset she would do something funny to make them laugh because if you are always smiling there is love in the sky.  Wow, it's hard to imagine her any older than 4 or 5 based on her size but she definitely has the smarts and wit of a child much older than that.  That just melted my heart.
Keep reading, I took advantage of nap time today and posted several smaller posts with pictures.

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