Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Our second day with Vivi was a busy day full of appointments and meetings. Generally Gotcha Day or Family Day happens on Mondays. However the week we got Vivi Monday and Tuesday were holidays in China, so we had special arrangements along with two other families to get our child on a Wednesday. It made our trip two days shorter and already being in Guangzhou--the city every adoptive family has to visit--made our appointment days packed. It worked out great. One thing Vivi did and continues to do is be easy when she is out and about. She likes looking at and discovering new things. She is a pretty good on-the-go baby.

When Vivi woke up, she was very scared to see that we were still there. She started crying right away. We hurried to give her some snacks to calm her down. At that point we still hated her feeling uncomfortable even for a second. I can't imagine how strange that would be to wake up to strangers after a long night of sleep. That morning was our first breakfast with her. She didn't want congee, which is what she used to have every morning for breakfast. She loved eggs and yogurt. She was pretty calm and reserved with us that morning. I think she was surprised we were still there and that she was not with her foster family. Every single thing she was experiencing was new. I'm sure it was a shock.

We went for our medical visit around 9 AM. When we got there we stopped off at a little booth and Vivi had her picture taken for her US Visa. As Brent was walking her in, she was watching me from behind and she gave me a little wave. It was very cute.

Then we went upstairs for her medical visit. They checked out Vivi in a general manner and declared her a healthy child. She didn't like some of the appointment, but for the most part she was calm sitting with Daddy. The first doctor that looked at her asked her questions in Chinese and then Vivi answered her. I asked the doctor what she had said and what Vivi had said back and she told me that she just babbled to her. Immediately I thought: "No she didn't! She understood you and she answered you!" I'm not sure why but the entire time I was there it was impossible to get any information about what words Vivi could say in Mandarin.

While we were there waiting for the other families Vivi blew me a kiss. Of course when I tried to video her doing it, she refused. The doctor visits went fast and we were soon on our way to our next appointment. Vivi snuggled with Daddy in the car and blew me another kiss. Again, she wasn't interested in performing on video though.

Our next stop was the registry center. It was the location of the previous day's emotional Gotcha Day, and what a difference a day made in the life of Vivi. She was happy and playing and smiling and just plain hanging out. I personally was so happy to have a chance to revisit this room/office. As soon as I knew what province my child was from I looked into what place we would be having our Gotcha Day. This registry center was a very popular spot that I had seen in MANY YouTube videos. Videos that spanned from years and years ago to present day. I recognized so much of that room and it looked exactly like I was expecting. There is a little playroom that is closed off with a colorful curtain, and that is usually where the kids pop out and the families see the kids for the first time. There are these couches that are along one side of the room where families usually take their newly held children and try and get them to calm down. And there are pictures on the walls that look like they have been there forever. It was nice to be back there without the chaos of getting Vivi and all the drama that went with it. It is a bit of a sacred place, that room, and I was glad for the opportunity I had to just sit in it and reflect on all of the families that had been born in there over the years. Especially since I knew I would most likely never be back in it.

This was the place and day that we made things official. We had been given that day before to officially decide if we wanted to go through with the adoption, and now they wanted us to sign all the papers to make Song-jia ours. Brent made fun of me for taking pictures of us signing all the documents, but I'm glad his taunting didn't scare me because I really love having these pictures. I mostly like having them because I was still in a bit of a state of shock that day. And there was this tiniest part of my brain that was freaking out about signing these papers. I was mostly relying on faith and the confirmation of the feelings I had gotten before we met her that she was our daughter. When they asked me if we were happy with her and ready to make her ours I easily said yes. But I knew if I really thought about it, I would panic, so I didn't think about it. A few days later when we met this lady at the Safari Park she was absolutely shocked that we adopted this little girl without ever meeting her before. I hadn't ever really thought about it because in Chinese adoptions that is just how it is done. But it really is pretty amazing to spend not even a full day with a child and then sign all of these official papers saying you'll take care of this person the rest of your life. It is such a faith-based decision. I don't know how anyone does it without believing in a Father that loves them and knows what is best for you and your family.

We then had one last appointment with a notary. They basically asked us the same kinds of questions and we signed some more paperwork. It was at that point that Vivi got cranky. She was hungry and tired. She fell asleep in the car back to the hotel, but we still woke her up and fed her lunch before she went down for a long nap. She loved her Easy Mac and Cup of Noodles lunch. It's kind of gross to mention, but after lunch she had a poopy diaper and I was actually pretty excited about it because it meant that she was comfortable enough around us to relax and let her body do its thing. She took a pretty long nap, and I took one too.

Stella and I went to Vanguard early that evening which is a grocery/Wal-Mart type store. It was super fun to me to walk around and see all the China stuff. I got a huge kick out of it. We looked into buying an umbrella stroller, but I was shocked at how much they cost and decided to push through the rest of the trip without one since I have two at home. We checked out all of the weird food, candy, and fun clothes. Pretty soon though I was starting to realize we had been gone a long time and Stella was over it and starting to miss her sister. We purchased a few items, but were not able to buy the bananas we had picked out. It took two more trips to Vanguard to figure out that the right way to purchase produce is to have it weighed before you go to check out.

After we got home I walked back to the other fancy grocery store so I could buy real cheese and I made grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. Vivi did NOT like the peanut butter sandwich I made her, but she still clung onto it the rest of the night. She always did that, holding on to food she didn't like just in case. When I took a picture of that typical orphan behavior she looked up to my camera and straight up posed for me. It was ADORABLE. Stella then pronounced: "Mom, she is totally your daughter, she just posed!"

I had spent the entire day trying to do a load of laundry. I even had to have the maintenance guys come by two times to unlock the door of the machine. It got to be pretty comical. So I wasn't surprised when at the end of the night an exhausted me opened up the machine after a two-hour drying cycle only to find the clothes in there were all still totally wet. My last conscious move of the night was to hang all of our wet whites all over the living room, and they still weren't dry in the morning because Guangzhou is the most humid place I've ever been in my life.

And just like that our first full day with our new daughter was over and she had gone to bed officially ours. No longer an orphan but our daughter and sister.

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