This was us about to go down and have breakfast this morning. Reason 476 why I wish Paul were here: we took a lot more pictures last time, and we both got to be in more pictures.
At breakfast. He does not feed himself yet. This was right after I'd put a piece of peach in his mouth. He had a couple bites of fruit and a bowl of congee and a couple bites of banana bread.
After breakfast, we tried out the stroller for the first time.
Our guide met us at 8:30 to go to the Civil Affairs office to finalize the adoption. This is where they ask you if you are happy with the child and interview you about your family and your ability to care for the child. It's neat to see how provinces do things differently. In Jiangsu, we just had to fill out a form. In Jiangxi, it's an oral interview.
This was the little room we were in. Actually, first there's a room down the hall with a piano bench and a baby chair in front of a backdrop where we stopped first for pictures. Then we hung out in this room. It was like 98* in this office. Our picture shows a *glistening* pasty white mama and a beautiful baby. Embarrassing.
After signing papers, you place your thumb print over your signature.
The civil affairs official gave us this gift from his home province. Then we gave her a gift, as well. We also paid various fees here. The picture fee, the orphanage "donation" (which is required), etc. I have receipts in Chinese, but I have no idea what everything is for.
Luke was about done, and started rocking his head against the side of the stroller, trying to go to sleep. I stuck the tag blankie in there to try to cushion the blow a little. It looks like he's sleeping in this pic, but he didn't actually crash until later, in the van. After screaming bloody murder for a while. I think our driver wanted to drop us off at the nearest curb.
I happened to see this room, while I was waiting for the bank dude to show up and take the orphanage fee (the big money). I realized this must be where all the other families have their Gotcha days. It was weird being the only adoptive parent there on a holiday weekday. The floor was almost empty. I'm very grateful Jiangxi allowed us to get him this week, but it's certainly not the typical group experience. The windows behind me have an amazing view of the city. I should have photographed it. I'm not getting nearly as many pictures as I would like. It takes a lot of effort to get the camera out of the back pack and juggle baby, bag, and camera all at the same time.
This is us with the director of Luke's orphanage. Luke really wanted his hand in his mouth during this picture.
That's it for now. Like I said, since ours was not the typical experience, we had to run around a bit from office to office to office (notary, police station, passport office, etc) after we left here, but I didn't manage to get any more photos, as Luke was DONE with riding in the van. Took about half his bottle, then refused the rest and just screamed and thrashed while we got in and out and in and out.
Finally, he fell asleep on my shoulder. We got dropped off at the hotel. Our guide is going to go back later to hopefully pick up his expedited passport, and then she's going to come here and take us (ON FOOT) to pick up a few groceries. No more car trips today. Although, we walked to the bank yesterday before Luke arrived to exchange money, and holy cow, it's like a live version of Frogger. I just stay next to her and don't look, because he who hesitates is street pizza. Cars, bikes, scooters and pedestrians all use the same streets, and it's a giant game of chicken. We edged around one fresh accident today.
Thinking of calling off "sightseeing/shopping" on tomorrow's schedule in favor of taking Luke down to the pool to splash. If he's going to have a cow every time we get in the van, let's do it as little as possible. Can't wait to see what his first airplane ride is like, lol. Actually, I really AM looking forward to that next airplane ride, at least, the getting OFF the plane part, because then it will be just a few hours until Paul arrives! And once he's there, it will be just a few more hours until we meet Katie!
Thanks for all the comments, facebook notes and encouragement. I'm dragging a little, and it really does help to know you guys are praying for us.