Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Reader’s Digest Condensed Version

I apologize for all of you that have been waiting and waiting for me to post something. I had every intention of maintaining a journal of our trip. I blame it on a combination of exhaustion, bad internet, and making it a priority to meet all the needs of our new daughter. So here is an abbreviated version of what you have been waiting for posted by my sister since I am unable to access blogger.

She is ours! Now I can finally post photos!
Our beautiful daughter Qian Yin.

Here are some photos of our first moments together on July 6 at the healing home she had been living in.

She was shy at first, but then warmed up pretty quickly. Daddy helped her overcome her shyness by being goofy.  Our camera also helped with that and so did the glow sticks we brought for the kids. She took pictures of everything and everyone and enjoyed looking at all the photos already on the camera. She played the video tour of our house that I made for her over and over. We had a wonderful time getting acquainted with each other that day. We had the opportunity to learn more about her and she was able to meet us for the first time in a place that was familiar to her, surrounded by people she knew and loved. We are forever grateful to all the amazing people who cared for our daughter before us. She was well loved and cared for. I certainly could not have asked for more.

Sunday July 9th was our forever family day. We took custody of Qian Yin that afternoon in Nanchang (Jiangxi province) and then the next morning our family was made official at the Civil Affairs office. We thought we were just going out to get passport photos for Qian Yin and then our guide told us to stamp our signatures with a red thumbprint on the official adoption paperwork. A little bit anticlimactic. We had thought the official adoption was taking place in the afternoon. We did not have our cameras or have any gifts prepared for the officials like is customary. 

We spent all last week in a hotel room except for the times we had to go out for adoption related things. Qian Yin is very uneasy and overwhelmed being anywhere besides our hotel room. She told our guide that she would be happy to stay in the hotel room forever. Sightseeing was on the schedule, but we chose to stay put since our priority on this trip is Qian Yin. 

Good food was hard to come by in Nanchang. Qian Yin wouldn’t eat at the hotel breakfast buffet because she was so nervous being out of our room. Travis and I didn’t end up eating much there either since the food was not very good. Our guide brought us to the grocery store once for a few supplies. There were no restaurants around us either. I ate granola bars and crackers most of the week. We were the only Americans staying in our hotel and none of the staff spoke English. One morning I was trying to communicate that I wanted to take an apple from the breakfast buffet because I had a daughter and husband who were not coming down to eat. After telling me no a few times they gave up trying to understand me and let me take the apple. We felt really out of place in that city. At our adoption appointments throughout the week we kept seeing a large group of other adoptive families from a different adoption agency. They were all staying together at a really nice hotel. I think we would have had a much better time in Nanchang if we had had some other families to interact with and to help us get food.

Here are some things we have learned about Qian Yin so far:
-Favorite English words are mommy and no
-Very sweet and affectionate
-Loves to laugh and make us laugh
-Great sense of humor
-Does not like leaving the safety of our hotel room (Walmart and church will probably have to wait for a while once we are home)
-Likes to act and talk like a baby around us
-LOVES taking a bath (Travis watched an entire movie in the time it took her to take a bath one day.)
-LOVES seaweed
-Enjoys getting a reaction out of us whether positive or negative
-Has perfected the fine art of playing with her food and beverage (in other words making messes)
-Likes to test boundaries, but accepts correction well
-Selective with whom she will interact
-Loud and talkative when she is comfortable in her surroundings
-Very quiet when she is nervous
-Generally very happy with a ready smile (in our hotel room)
-Wild sleeper despite her physical limitations
-Can operate an iphone/ipod better than me
-The bravest person I know


Lisa's Dad said...

You guys are amazing people for what you are doing for Qian Yin.


Vicki said...

I am (almost) without words. I'll never forget the first moment I laid eyes on Qian Yin. I knew in an instant that she was a very special little girl. I thought of her so often and was so thrilled to learn she was going to have a family of her very own. She's changed so much since we saw her again last November. What a beauty! She is lovely and you all are so very blessed. It sounds like you're doing a fantastic job of meeting her where she is; keep up the good work! Can't wait to hear that you're home and settling in. Blessings...

Anonymous said...

We can't wait to meet our new granddaughter! What a beautiful, awesome little girl! We admire her spunk and ability to adapt to so many changes. We are also so very proud of you two!

Love, Grandma Cindy

Spectrum of Amber said...

What a beautiful, sweet girl! Congratulations!