Now at the laptop, which makes for easier typing, but no photo access. I’m looking forward to being stateside.
Day Two: Adoption Finalization Day
At 7:15am my husband called our guide to find out what time we needed to be ready for Adoption Finalization appointments…. 8am! We had not had breakfast, had not assembled gifts, had not converted our money, had not gathered and sorted the necessary documents. We were scrambling! We were able to make it in the nick of time downstairs to the bus, along with the other two adopting families.
We took a short drive to the Civil Affairs Office where we wrote out promises to never abandon or mistreat our little boy, to educate him and provide medical care, and so forth. We wrote out an explanation of why we wanted to adopt him. The lady at the Civil Affairs Office was so kind; she gave gifts to our children who were there with us, and we gave her our gift as well. After a good 45 minutes of signing and signing and writing and signing, we had to give them his official name – which at this point had still not been decided upon. As of Monday morning at 8:45, Sun Fu Yan became Forest Andrew FuYan (and then our last name).
We went into a large conference room and waited for the other families to go through the same process. I met one family who was adopting a 12 year old boy – number 13 in their family!
After the Civil Affairs Office, we got back on the bus and rode to the notary. Waited forever and a day on the elevator (opted to take the stairs on our way down!), and then signed more papers. They give you a line about 1″ long to sign, which is hard when your full name is 29 characters long…
After Civil Affairs Office, the families split up to complete various parts of their adoptions. All our kids were from different orphanages in the same province. Our guide took us out to lunch, and Forest emphatically insisted that he wanted spicy peanuts to eat. So peanuts he had! My husband decided they were pretty tasty. One phrase I’ve been able to understand in Chinese is “Let’s eat!” because anytime we are headed for food, Forest will chant “Let’s eat, let’s eat, let’s eat!” all the way there.
After that, we took a 2 hour ride to his orphanage. We still did not know if he understood he’d be coming back with us, versus staying at the orphanage. The ride was long and HOT. The American portion of the bus was dripping with sweat and nauseated. Our little fella on the other hand, pulled out his jacket from his backpack, put it on over his long sleeve outfit, and took a nap.
When we got there, we were greeted by the Director. He seemed like a kind man. They took us to Forest’s classroom where he got to introduce us to his friends. He called each of us daddy, sister, brother, mama, depending on the person. We gave his teacher the hats that our daughter had spent several months knitting, and they gave us crafts that the kids at the SWI had made.
It was a very bright and air facility, and the nannies all looked very happy. We next saw Forest’s bedroom, in a line with a dozen+ other little toddler beds. He was very happy to show it to us. We started noticing that he’d run ahead to show us something, then race back to take my husband’s hand. One of the nannies asked Forest if he wanted to spend the night in the orphanage again. *sigh*
After that we saw their sensory rooms, their physical therapy rooms, and then the outdoor playground. Forest ran off to go down the slide, with our other kids following behind. After one turn, he came right back to us and held on to my husband’s hand again. A new nanny came out with a gift bag that Forest had decorated, and a pile of his school work. I need to look up the name of the curriculum once I have google access again, but it’s a kindergarten curriculum. Mostly math work that I could see. Our little 4 year old has already had quite an education! They also gave us two printed books all about his orphanage. There are pictures of him in it, as well as some of his little friend Zoe who was adopted earlier this year. We saw the greenhouses and gardens where they grow fruits and veggies to supplement the diets of the children. It was pretty amazing.
As we left the courtyard to go to the bus, nannies stood at the windows watching us go, and waving. Forest nearly dragged my husband all the way to the bus. Another 2 hours back – this time in some rush-hour traffic – and finally back to our hotel around 6:30 or 7pm. An 11 or so hour day. We got a LATE dinner at the mall next door, and then crashed.
Day Three: Free Day
I don’t remember when we got up, or most of the early portions of the morning, but we headed down to a nice, leisurely breakfast and Forest got to go through the buffet line for the first time. He was very excited about all the food prospects, and had a lot of opinions on what he wanted to eat! Tea-boiled eggs, potato cakes, fried eggs, watermelon, mango, honey dew, dragon fruit, some kind of pastry, watermelon juice, yogurt, sausage, and rice. Never ending tummy. He peeled and ate his egg like a pro. Once he was done eating, he hopped off his chair, grabbed his chopsticks, and started playing with them as drumsticks against his chair. Silly guy.
We spent some time in the hotel room playing with Legos and coloring – he loves to color, and is very detail oriented and precise. He reminds me a lot of someone else I know….
We walked to 16 Celebration, in hunt of swim caps – required for use in the pools in China. Hunted up and down everywhere, and had no luck. We went to the drug store portion of 16 Celebration and finally settled on shower caps. (I figure being strange doesn’t count in China…). As soon as we stepped out of the drug store – we were face-to-face with a huge display of swim caps. Go figure. Our 12 year old suggested we return the shower caps – but there was no way I was going to try to explain THAT with a language barrier – and total, we’d spent somewhere around $8, so we figured we would just keep our collection. 😉 We did buy two swim caps though – but only 2, because they were pricey.
After all that, we had a quick lunch and had the kids rest for about an hour. Gave me a chance to get showered! Forest settled down in his crib with his backpack, and thumbed through his pictures, then put them away, and colored quietly in bed for a bit.
After naps, we got all dressed up for swimming. Forest was stoked. On his Forever Family Day, his nanny had promised we’d take him swimming in the hotel pool and we weren’t about to not live up to that promise!
There was a warm ‘kiddie pool’ area that was just right. He was a little terrified at first, and clung to me in the water – which was great! But within 15 minutes or so he was allllll about the pool – jumping in fearlessly, giggling and squealing with delight.
Eventually it was time to leave, so we all headed up to the room to change and figure out dinner plans. Forest cheerfully helped put shoes on our Meghan, so she’d be ready to go. Really sweet little guy.
We turned on some Chinese cartoons – some show that’s ALWAYS on – about two bears and a wood cutter. My husband and I decided we’d do dinner in the room that evening – but he, and a kid or two needed to go and get it to bring back. I asked who wanted to go – and Forest jumped up, put his coloring book and crayons away, grabbed his shoes, put them on, then took my husband’s hand to drag him out the door. The other kids were content to keep up with the cartoons. 😉
I wasn’t feeling well at this point, so laid down while my husband and Forest were gone. I ended up ultimately sleeping until the next morning – and my husband took care of mealtime for all the kids and himself, and bedtime for all. He’s a keeper! By morning, I was feeling much better.
Day Four (Wednesday): The Zoo
….coming after breakfast… (it’s Thursday morning, nearly 7am here)