November 29: Day of Record
As I reported earlier, we returned this morning to the provincial adoption registration office to complete some paperwork. The process is a little more complicated than that, but before I get into it, a little more about Emily!
Yesterday was Gotcha Day, which means we received Emily from the orphanage director. We are quickly learning what she likes and dislikes, and we are also quickly learning that "very active" (the terms used to describe Emily's activities in reports from the orphanage and foster family) translates into "doesn't like to go to sleep." She took only a brief nap yesterday; only after Debbie rocked her and sang to her for some time did she finally succumb to sleep. And last night, she didn't want to go to sleep; she cried loud and long until someone came to pick her up. She ended up sleeping for part of the night with Daniel and part of the time with Deborah. Needless to say, we experienced a tiring night! Sydney managed to sleep through all the crying, but Tom was not as fortunate; he has an adjoining room to ours, but the closed door could not contain Emily's loudest screams! Emily finally fell soundly asleep last night, so we all managed to wake up around 6 AM after having slept soundly for at least a few hours.
This morning Emily seemed happy to see us, and she displayed no ill effects of a sleepless night. We ate breakfast together in the hotel, then Deborah and I went to the registration office again while Tom and Sydney remained in the hotel. Turns out they made some friends among the wait staff in the main hotel restaurant, so Sydney had her hair done by one of the waitresses.
A little about the Day of Record. Our adoption of Emily is official only after the adoption affairs registrar records the adoption. This happened today, so our official date of adoption is November 29, even though we received Emily on November 28. During our visit to the adoptive affairs office, we had a family photo taken for the official registration document. We then conducted an interview with the registration official who asked us questions about why we wanted to adopt Emily and what our plans for her future might be. We also received some gifts from the orphanage director - Emily's immunization records and a copy of the "finding ad" placed in the local newspaper. The finding ad is required any time a baby is found abandoned, in hopes that some relative might recognize the photos or description and claim the child. After 60 days, the child is officially declared "abandoned" and can then be placed up for adoption. Finally, we offered our gifts, both monetary and physical, to the registration official, the orphanage director, the foster family, and the orphanage officials who oversaw Emily's foster care. We also paid several registration and paperwork fees.
We are pleased that Emily is officially ours. We will return once more to the adoption affairs office to receive Emily's Chinese passport; this passport will be used to apply for her visa from the US Consulate so she can return with us to the United States. We should receive the passports Friday, and we fly to Ghangzhou on Saturday for our meeting with the US Consulate.
Emily appears to be doing well. She has been appropriately happy, upset, frustrated, and funny. She's been using her diapers quite effectively, and she's eating as often as we'll give her food, often asking for more. A local pediatrician examined her yesterday and pronounced her fit, so as far as we can tell, Emily is healthy and happy. She has the requisite runny nose, but what baby doesn't?
I've posted a few additional photos to our public File Share - you can reach it at http://homepage.mac.com/hocuttfamily/public. Open the "Emily Becomes a Hocutt" folder to preview and download the photos. And more will come!