Saturday, November 3, 2012

More Catching Up

Whew!  I cannot believe it's been so long since I've blogged.
Life is sure crazy with a super busy 2 year old!

OK...a few of you have asked for details on the rest of the trip, so I will try to catch up some more!
(and I really need to for my own memory!)

The next day of our trip was Wednesday, August 29.  
We didn't have any official adoption business, so it was a free day for us.  
We started the day with a trip to Wal-Mart for some stuff.
Wal-Mart in China is similar, yet very different from Wal-Mart in America!

 Cart escalator

You can select your own frog, turtle or eel for dinner.

 The smell was horrible because lots of them were dead!

Fish heads on a bed of ice

The kids had fun playing "Name that Product"

Corn juice anyone?

And we got a kick out of the different snacks

The whole Wal-Mart experience was a bit overwhelming for all of us.  It was hot, dirty and smelly, and it was overstimulating for Nola.  She had a complete meltdown.  
If you have never been to China with a baby, let me tell you, if your child cries in public, every woman younger than you stares at you like you have 2 heads.  Every woman older than you comes over and tells you how to take care of your child, and some will even try to take the baby out of your arms.
We were just trying to find our way to the exit and get out of there when 2 employees pulled me over to the cigarette counter and gave Nola some water while they reprimanded me.  (However, I was VERY thankful for the water.  It was so hot in there!) 
Then we made a mad dash out!
We took the rest of the day very easy.  Nap for Nola, then walked around Shanghai a bit and went to a cute little pizza place for dinner.  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's Official!

The next day was Tuesday, August 28.
We got up early, got everyone ready and went to breakfast.
This was the first time it really hit me that I don't know so many things about my daughter.
I had no idea what to put on her plate, what she likes to eat.
As soon as she saw the watermelon, she about jumped out of my arms trying to get it!
So I put some on her plate. 
Ok, maybe this isn't so hard after all.
I got a few other foods for her and figured we'd just go by trial and error!
Turns out, she likes EVERYTHING!!!!

She ate 4 slices of watermelon and almost everything else on her plate.  And then she wanted more.
We were truly in awe of how much food she ate!
And we were surprised that she knew how to use a fork and spoon!
She does a great job of feeding herself.

Evan was dying to try out his new chopsticks he bought the day before!

After breakfast, we ran up to our room for a quick clothing change for Nola, she had spilled on her dress.

Then we were off to the Registration Office.

We had to wait for our turn since there were other families there with us.  So we ran the halls, played with balloons, and tried to get into everything we could!
We have one VERY silly girl!

Our official Registration picture

Then we headed to the Notary Office for more official stuff.

Nola caught a quick nap on the way.  They do not use seat belts or car seats in China, so we held her on our lap everywhere we went.  Talk about unnerving.

The Notary Office was very quick.  At some point, either at the Registration Office or the Notary Office, we "officially" adopted Nola in the eyes of China.  Not sure exactly when it took place--it's all very uncerimonious.

First Family Photo!

Alice wanted to take us to the Silk Museum to look around.  It was such a neat place!

Loom used to unravel the silk from the cocoon

There was a woman soaking the leftover cocoons in water to get the worm out.  The worms are later used to make cosmetics.

Stretching the unbelievably strong silk

Silly boys!

After the Silk Museum and some lunch, we went back to the hotel for naps.  We are all still acclimating to the time difference.  The humidity and lots of walking zaps the energy right out of us!

Nola is very leery of Tyson, she won't let him hold her much.  Once she fell asleep, she climbed in bed and snuggled up with her.  She had no idea, but Daddy was able to get some lovin' in!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

One Less

When we returned to our hotel after meeting Nola, it was still early.
We took her to our room to spend some good quality family time getting to know our daughter.
She was still very shy and apprehensive.
She didn't disagree with anything we did, she just went with the flow because she was so scared.
I sat her on the sofa and began to play and sing.
She had no idea what I was doing!  
I engaged her for a few minutes with some toys.

Tyson and Tim went out to get us all some lunch and bring it back to the hotel.

Then I couldn't stand it any longer.  
I had to see her little feet.
I gently took off her shoes and socks, she wasn't too sure about it, but she let me do it.
She has the sweetest little piggies!
Then I sat her on my lap and painted her toenails.
This baby had never had her toes painted before, and she was VERY intrigued!
She was so still.  
As soon as I finished the first foot, she lifted the other one up for it to be painted!
She was so proud of them, and as soon as Tyson got back she showed him her pretty toes!

It was definitely a good ice breaker!

I gave her a snack, which she thoroughly enjoyed!  (Cheese & crackers!)

She got fairly messy with the cheese and was still a little sweaty from crying earlier,
so I decided to try giving her a bath.
Again, she was unsure, but went with it.
She didn't cry when I undressed her.
When I put her in the tub, she didn't know what to do--like sit down.
I helped her sit and gave her some toys.

After her bath, I rubbed her down with lotion, which she LOVED and dressed her in an outfit we brought.

Then she was comfortable enough to explore the room a little bit.

She liked the mirror

She colored with Rylee and Evan

We read books

And then went down for a nap

Later, the Martin family came to our room to hang out for a bit.

Rylee painted Millie's toenails

Nola played with the stacking cups

That evening we all went out for dinner and when we came back it was time for bed

On this night, we fell asleep with One Less.
One Less empty belly.
One Less crying baby.
One Less sad face.
One Less child going to bed without a story.
One Less going to bed without kisses and snuggles.
One Less with no one to kiss boo-boos and wipe tears.
One Less with no one to comfort after a bad dream.
One Less not knowing the love of a family.
One Less orphan in this world.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Forever Family Day!

As Tyson mentioned, Monday August 27 was our Forever Family Day!

I barely slept the night before.
I was so nervous and excited, but mostly I was worried about Nola's little heart.
I didn't want her to be afraid of all the changes that were coming her way.

We couldn't get through all the paperwork and red tape fast enough for me!
Our guide, Alice, kept telling me "Soon.  Soon you will have your daughter and she will be yours forever."
Alice took us downstairs to pay some fees in the office,
and when we were down there, we saw a couple of the babies wandering the hallway!
We even rode up in the elevator with one of them!
It was so exciting to see all of these families coming together at once!
(Besides us, there were 4 other families in the room.  We were crammed into a tiny little conference room that was filled with tables and was about 145 degrees!)

When Nola came in the room, I felt my heart leave my chest for the third time in my life.
She was so incredibly beautiful and so small.  Even more so than in the pictures I have of her.
More than I dreamed she would be.
Her skin was so soft.
She had been bathed right before she came, she even still had baby powder in the folds of her neck.
She smelled incredible.
She had on a purple romper that was a little too big, with yellow socks and pink shoes.
I will keep them forever.

I slowly approached her.
I didn't want to freak her out, she already looked so scared.
I greeted her and her nanny began explaining to her that I was Mama.
Those beautiful brown eyes watched me intently while sticking close to the familiarity of her nanny.
I offered her a lollipop, which she took apprehensively.
I tried coaxing her to come to me, but she cried and cowered to the nanny each time I touched her.
(Inside, I wanted to snatch her up, hug her and run out of that building!)
She threw the lollipop at me the second time I touched her arm.
So I offered her Cheerios!
She took them from me, and even began to feed me some.
The whole time the nanny was trying to get her to come to me and telling her who each of us were.
I tried everything I had--food, toys, etc, and still she wouldn't budge.

After about 20 minutes, Alice said to me "She is going to cry but you are going to have to pick her up."
That's not how it was supposed to happen!!!
I REALLY didn't want to upset her.
So, I picked her up, and she went ballistic.


I tried to comfort her, but she was too upset.
Alice stood next to us and spoke to her softly in Shanghainese, and after a few minutes she calmed down.
During this time, her nanny went and hid under the table because Nola was looking for her.  At some point she snuck out of the room.
Once Nola calmed down, she was a bit lethargic from being so upset.  She was hot and sweaty.
But she looked at me like she knew she was going to be OK.
And she will.

As we left the Child Welfare Office, the nanny was sitting in the hallway.
She saw us, and quickly scurried away so Nola didn't see her and get upset again.
I asked Alice to please thank her for us and assure her that we will take good care of Nola.
Alice went and told her, and when she came back she told me the nanny was crying.

The joy of adoption does not come without great loss.

We left the building quickly and got in the van to go back to the hotel.
In the van, Nola was still a little reserved, but was playful.
We even got a few smiles!