Sunday, March 21, 2010

adoption day 1

Wow! So much has happened in such a short time!! Where do I start? Well, the trip to China was long, but uneventful. We arrived on time and Cheng’s parents were at the airport to greet us, as was the guide from WACAP. We were driven to the hotel with the guide, we visited with Cheng’s parents (who know very little English) and then Xiao arrived to visit us. Cheng’s parents took us out to a fabulous, amazing, 25 course (at least) dinner in a private room in a famous restaurant. I could write pages about the elaborate production of the meal, the fish tanks etc., but all that is secondary to the adoptions. Let’s just say we were wined and dined like royalty, and leave it at that. This morning at 8:30am we left for the orphanage to pick up BingHui. It was a 40 min. drive, and we were nervous the entire trip. We pulled up to the gates of the orphanage and were let in by the security guard. The entrance and lobby of the orphanage were quite grand, and I took a few photos quickly. We were led into a conference room where we were met by the director. Our guide translated for us that a teacher was going to go get BingHui, but we had some documents to sign first. After about 15-20 min. of signing and fingerprinting, BingHui followed a teacher into the conference room. He looked tiny and scared, lost underneath his bulky turquoise jacket. I went to him, kneeled down to give him a hug and felt him shaking. The teacher pulled out the photos I had sent a few months ago, and directed BingHui to identify us and point to mom, dad, brother. He obeyed, but we could tell he was terrified. The first word he actually said was “Ba,” which means Dad. David was trying to talk to him by then. We were happy when the guide told us he just called David “Dad.” Then the tears started. He was crying and David picked him up to comfort him, but he wanted to be put back down. The poor kid was forced (by the guide and the orphanage director) to pose for several photos and pretend to look happy. I know that it will be important to him to see these photos later in life, but I couldn’t blame him for being miserable. BingHui was holding the disposable camera that we had sent him last month to take photos of his foster family, and he fixated his gaze on the camera on the ride to the hotel. About 10 minutes into the ride, he fell asleep. When we got to the hotel room and saw all the toys, he was a whole new child. He knew immediately how to work with Playdough and balloons, and within 5 minutes he was chasing Connor around pretending to shoot him with the balloon pump. He was also thrilled that I let him play with our (old) digital camera. Laughing hysterically, he took pictures of Connor making faces, and he didn’t hesitate to pose us or point for us to go to a certain spot so that he could get the perfect photo. By noon, when we joined Cheng’s family for lunch, he was a busy, typical boy, running around wild. BingHui also was not in the least intimidated by the restaurant. Honestly, he charmed the pants off of everyone. After lunch, we tried to get him to take a nap with Connor and failed miserably. No nap today apparently. Around 3p, Xiao (our exchange student from last year) arrived at the hotel. We briefly introduced Xiao to BingHui, and then it was time to go back to the lobby of the hotel to wait for the arrival of FengHong. Our guide told us that FengHong had been carsick, and they would be a little late. That concerned us a bit. Was it really motion sickness or something more serious? When he walked in, he looked exactly as we remembered him from the video. We barely got to greet FengHong when we were distracted by the orphanage director about the paperwork. One of the papers seemed to be missing, and one had my name spelled wrong. More hassles, a few phone calls, and I had to run back up to the room to get my copy of our homestudy. When I got back to the lobby, I saw Connor and FengHong playing a game that involves a string and a wheel. At 4:30pm, our guide took all four of us (I had Connor go back to the room with Xiao) to a photo kiosk to take photos of us with the kids. It was an official government photo for the adoption. By the time we arrived back at the room it was 5pm, and Cheng’s parents were supposed to come over at 6p to join us for dinner. I just couldn’t see the kids dealing with a long, elaborate dinner. We had all had enough excitement for one day, and I asked Xiao to call Cheng’s parents and explain that we weren’t going to be able to see them. I felt terrible canceling on them, especially after they went to so much trouble to meet us here, but I had to put the needs of the children first. David, Xiao and I took them to the hotel pool, where they splashed and played, and we ate Chinese food in the room. All the children were asleep by 8pm. Day one was a resounding success. The boys all seem to like each other and both BingHui and FengHong seem like amazing kids. Thank you, God.

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