Monday July 18th - "Gotcha Day"
That morning we flew from Beijing to Guangzhou - about a four hour flight - and checked into our hotel. We were scheduled to go to the adoption office at 2:00 to meet XiXin (which now I know is pronounced She Sheen - with long e's and and the tone goes up high at the end)
. We went in a taxi to the adoption office, and there was a big waiting area, or lobby, lined with red and black couches. There were so many families there. Next to us was a family from France and on the other side, a family from Spain. Everyone had a translator with them to do their paperwork. They told us that XiXin had to come about two and a half hours to Guangzhou, and she was not there yet. There was so much excitement, everyone was talking and people were walking around everywhere. Then they started bringing out babies. Most of them started to cry, and many families had older siblings trying to play with the babies and make them stop crying. The children's home director came out to talk to us while we waited. She gave us contact information for the home, the foster family, and more information about where she has been for the last year. She gave us a baby quilt and a scrapbook with lots of pictures of her, including some when she was found. We waited until 3:00, and finally they said she was here. She was in a smaller room with her nanny Rose. She was standing between Rose's legs while everyone was reaching over her, busy getting the papers ready. She was so tiny! We started calling her name and waving to her, then she saw us and smiled. The children's home director went over and picked her up and handed her to me. She didn't cry, she just looked at everyone and we went over and sat down and played with a toy. Rose was afraid she would cry if she saw her leave, so she waved at us and ducked out the door. They finished the paperwork, and we went downstairs and got into a cab. She was fine for a couple of blocks, and then she wanted out! As soon as we were at the hotel, she stopped crying, and didn't cry again until it started getting dark. Then she cried for about 2 hours.
The next day (Tuesday 19th), she opened her eyes, and looked over at me like "Oh my God, that wasn't a dream!", and started to cry, but just for a few seconds. We went back to the adoption office for the official interviews and to take a family picture for her adoption certificate. I had to take her into two different rooms for interviews. They asked me general information about my occupation, salary, etc. and why I wanted to adopt a Chinese child. In the last interview they asked me if I still wanted to adopt her, and of course, I said "Yes!". Then it was official! That night when it got dark, she only cried for about 30 minutes.