Joel and I have sensed a calling to international adoption for many years. In May, 2009 God made it abundantly clear that it was time. After much prayer, research and wise counsel we began the process to adopt a daughter from China. God directed us to an incredible agency that was founded by a family with an amazing testimony. This blog is a chronicle of our journey, to inform our friends and family and as a record of events for our daughter to read one day. Join us in the journey... it is sure to be an adventure!

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's Legal!

The daughter of our hearts is now legally our daughter in every way, Praise the Lord! We went to the civil affairs office this morning and processed the necessary documents to make her ours. There is more paperwork, of course, regarding her passport, visa, citizenship, etc. But, in the eyes of both governments, she is officially ours. The photo I'm adding with her footprint being made was the step the finalized the adoption. Also, there is a photo of Joel, Grace, and I with the assistant director of the orphanage.

Her health appears excellent. She will certainly plump up over the next few weeks, but she has been very well cared for. She came to us in the outfit that we sent her in a care package several months ago. It was snowing in her hometown when they left yesterday morning, the ladies showed us pictures on their phones, so she was bundled in multiple layers.

She has done beautifully. She is a shy girl, and buries her face in mama's shoulder when she gets nervous. So far, she is still nervous around Joel. We were told to expect that she would attach to one of us and avoid the other for a while. He has been able to hand her a toy, give her a snack, etc...but then she is ready to turn away from him. We are taking baby steps :)

She reaches for me and clings to me, which are good signs. Some babies need to be taught this. She is eating absolutely anything that we will give her...western or eastern food...it makes no difference! We visited a restaurant this afternoon just down from our hotel that she really enjoyed. (So did we!) As you can see, her lip is repaired, which was a surprise to us. Her palate is still open, but she eats like a champ. We aren't even bothering with the cleft bottles we brought, we picked up regular bottles today like the one from the orphanage. She does not like to leave a table with food still on it, and seems to have no "fullness meter". I've employed a little trick that we learned from our friends, the Turners. We have to put food in her hand to walk away with.

I want to add some information for our sweet friends, the Turners, who recently returned from adopting RuoYi from the same orphanage. Trisha, you won't believe this, but I found out the our girls were in the same room together, and they were playmates. I also found out that the girls went to Beijing last winter together for their surgeries. They were there for two months. Grace's lip repair looks very good, just like RuoYi's.

She can stand, and take steps while holding our fingers. She does not crawl, and does not push up when laying on her belly. We have been playing games to work on upper body strength. She will catch up on those quickly. She has a sweet smile, and giggles when tickled. She also has this little happy dance she does when she sees food that she really likes. She rocks back and forth side to side really fast, it is so funny. She is really good at imitating what we do. When I combed her hair this morning, she reached for the comb and made the same movements. When I clap, she claps, often the same number of times that I did. She is a smart, funny girl. We are so blessed to have been chosen to be her mama and baba.

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