Sunday, July 14, 2013

China Day Seven - It's Official

Davis woke up bright and early at 5:30am. This boy is going to make a morning person out of me yet! It wasn't long before two big brothers were up and all five of us were piled on the big bed to hang out. 

We were a little slow to get moving to breakfast, so Davis enjoyed a few snacks in the room before we met up with Grandmommy and Granddaddy to eat. The snacks did not in any way diminish little guy's appetite though - he ate congee and steamed buns and a banana and picked at other things we had on the other plates at the table. 

We had one official appointment this day - to go back to the same Civil Affairs office as the day before to make the adoption completely official. We traveled with our two Lifeline families again and the guide Helen and saw all the other families from the day before. Daryl had signed what amounted to temporary guardianship papers the day before so we could leave the office with him. China now gives you a 24 hour period to get to know your child and then you come back to complete the process. When we arrived, we had to have a family picture done of Daryl, Davis and I for the adoption certificate. Then we had to visit two different offices in order to finalize the adoption. The first was with one of the Civil Affairs officials. We three were the only ones in the office and the person behind the desk asked if we were satisfied with the child and did we want to proceed with the adoption? It felt funny to have to sit and answer those questions because for us, the answer was a resounding "Yes of course!" But they do this now because there have been some families who go all the way to China, meet their child and for whatever reason disrupt and return home without their child. 

Our next interview was with the notary on the 9th floor. He asked more detailed questions of us in English and then translated the answers and wrote them down in paper in Mandarin. His big question: "Why do you want to adopt a child from China?" For us, the answer involved that we had more love to give, desired another child for our family, fallen in love with this little guy's pictures, and had a great respect for the people of China with their history and culture. Ours was fairly painless, but the other two Lifeline families traveling with us were interviewed by a different notary and got a little more grilled.

After this appointment it was back to the hotel. We grabbed some lunch and headed for Trust Mart - which is really a Wal Mart, because it has the same colored signs with the same fonts and the Great Value brand everywhere you turn. That was an interesting experience. The tiny entrance does not help you to understand just how big this place is - it sprawls out and even has a couple of escalators that you can put your cart on (the magnets on the cart lock the wheels up when you are on the escalator so the cart can't get away from you!) Their meat and seafood counters were pretty interesting too. 

Catching someone's dinner. 
Love these baskets with wheels and a handle! 
On our way back to the hotel, we tried out the underpass of the main road in front of our hotel. It's actually the Taojin subway stop and we checked out the machines for prices and picked up a subway map - we were planning some outings of our own and needed to know how to navigate. 

After some naptime and playing in the hotel room, we headed out for dinner to an Italian restaurant, just around the corner. It was a very interesting take on Italian food. There weren't a lot of people in there and we were very conscious of being the center of attention - not sure if it was the 6 Americans with a Chinese baby, or the idea of 3 generations all out together or 5 of us wearing matching outfits! But two waitresses pretty much stood 3 feet away from us the whole time we ate and the Italian guy behind the counter kept coming over to get Davis to high five him. 

We grabbed some snacks and water at 7-11 on the way back to the hotel and eventuallly called it a night. Here's a glimpse into bathtime in our room - the motorized screen is halfway down and Davis was rolling all around in the tub. 

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