Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Full Day With Miss Hattie

Hello From China on our first full day with Hattie. She is very sweet, brave, curious, alert and a snuggle bunny. We were told she would do the best if she slept with us, which is the Chinese way. We put her to bed and she slept all night, not a peep out of her. When we woke up (good old 4:30 am is our new wake up time!) she was at the top of the bed on the pillows of the king size bed all sprawled out. We each took showers and got ready for the day and did a bit of handwashing before waking her up for breakfast. I thought she might wake up and realize she was still with those strange white people and become afraid, but she just woke up and soldiered on. It really makes us wonder what she is thinking and feeling inside. After breakfast, we met Mary at 8:30 to go to the Notary Office for an interview. When we got there we were called into Notary Room #4 and we were asked to confirm that we would like to adopt this child, we were asked our education level (very important here in China!) and we were asked what year we were married and also that we would promise not to abuse or abandon "this girl." Then we had to sign 4 or five documents and were told we were done.

We left there and traveled to the hotel where we received the babies yesterday. We went up the elevator and saw the orphanage staff right away. They gestured to us trying to ask if Siqiong cried. We said, no, but very serious. This was such a blur-we had a big box of blankets to donate to the orphanage on behalf of a company called aiden+anais. We gave those to the Orphanage director who told us (through our guide) that they were so happy to have these and all was happening so fast and I wanted to document- so I asked if we could please take a picture. She agreed, but I was thinking what fun is this picture when no one can even see what is in the box? Kory teased me a bit for this, but I swept up some blankets and handed them to her and held them myself so we could take another photo to share with aiden+anais.
(A side note, for future adoption travelers to China, we ordered a stack of these blankets before we left to bring to China as they are light weight which is nice especially here where it is so hot and

We left this room and went to another room down the hall where we had yet another interview. This time it was with the Civil Affairs Office. She asked us first, "would you like to adopt this girl?" we said, yes. Then she asked, "do you know she is special?" Kory and I said yes, and looked at each other. I know she meant "do we know she has the special need of cleft lip/palate? Our first thought was, "Of course she is special!" (Not in a special needs way if that makes
sense) She asked us to tell her why we want to adopt this girl. we said we would like to love and care for her and have her join our family. She wrote this out in Chinese. We then had to sign more documents, complete with our thumbprint in red ink and followed by a right footprint of Hattie on the paperwork. She then said, now she is your daughter and handed the papers to our guide who will do some work now, to complete the Province Paperwork.

Next, we were called down the hallway to another room. Remember, our good camera is being weird here, so we are taking pictures with our iphones. I had my hands full with Hattie. Kory has a backpack loaded with baby gear, gifts for the orphanage director from us and last but not least a huge stack of Chinese money that we are required to donate to the Orphanage. This is the famous money that adoptive families gather crisp hundred dollar bills for, then convert to Chinese money and then freak out for days as we have to carry it around while being aware of "picky pockets" as our guide informed us; there are no "criminals in Nanning just LOTS of picky pockets" :)

Anyway, we were led into a room that had stacks of cardboard boxes and was full of furniture. There were two ladies at a desk from the Civil Affairs Office who were silent but had to watch the money exchange. Anyway, Kory and I were so surprised when they told us to please now hand the money to the director of the orphanage. I was freaking out as I wanted a photo of this in the worst way and I wasn't sure it was allowed, but Hattie was grabbing for the cardboard boxes and her book was falling on the floor causing the orphanage staff to chatter, and Kory was trying to grab these wads of bills from the depths of the backpack and I asked him for the camera which he dug out of his pocket. I snapped a few pictures, one was of Kory's hands handing the the money to director who then hands it over to a man from the orphanage to count. If they say it is ok, we are done and are then free to exchange gifts. We gave dried cherries and Gwen Frostic Stationary as a gift from our local area. They gave us a disposable cameral with pictures from Hattie and her foster family. Also, the care package items we had sent for her birthday which I wish we would not have done as they didn't allow her to have the gifts, which was the only reason we sent them. The best part though was a bound book showing Hattie as a new baby on up through now, with dates. There were details from her check ups and we also received the note she was found with (a copy, they keep the original) and her vaccination record book(this will be translated into English next week when we go to the

Lastly, we had a chance to ask more questions to the staff. We wanted to know how they fed her bottles. We had such a hard time figuring out how to feed her liquids (with Cleft Lip/Palate, babies can't suck). Last night, Kory was using a straw to drop water in her mouth and we ended up spooning her formula into her mouth. But her diapers have been hardly wet, which makes us nervous. Plus, as I have said, it is super hot and muggy here. After quite a heated discussion in Chinese, they told us to use a toothpick to make the hole of the bottle bigger and they also gave us two new bottles. Chinese style that she is used to.

Now, she and Kory are napping and I should be but I am so messed up sleep wise. We have free time until Thursday morning when we will go out with our guide for fun and also to buy Hattie Sea pearls. We plan to try out the swimming pool and the park near the hotel. Mary told us she will feel sad in the room but happy when she is out, even if it at the grocery store.

A few odds and ends. Yesterday, after we received Hattie, she fell instantly asleep. We had to have a family photo with her and she needed to be awake and in the middle of us. This photo will be on her adoption paperwork. We all tried to wake her to no avail, so they wanted us to set this sleeping baby on her feet to wake her. We kind of ignored this request. But then they asked again and we felt we better do what they asked-no one could believe it, but she stayed sleeping! They told us to go and they would come to our hotel room later to try to take a photo. They did come back and they took the photo right here in our room. (glad we weren't yet in our jammies!)

Well, enjoy the pictures! We have loved this process here in China and now having Hattie and seeing the end result of years of paperwork, it is really just unreal.

Thanks for the comments and emails. Please know, we are unable to see our blog here in China. Feel free to email your comments if you are having a hard time with posting to our blog.

To Hayden and Culley; we noticed that Hattie really perks up around kids. She is very curious and likes to play. Daddy and I know she will be very happy to have such wonderful big brothers. we love and miss you!!!! We think she will like to play "kitchen" with you Culley. Hayden, I think she may like to have you help her do dress up. And guess, what? We set her down to play a minute in our room and she popped right up and walked along the bed towards us. She wants to be held all the time since we are new to her, she is scared. we will all have to be extra kind and helpful to make her feel comfortable. Hattie really loves the book we brought her with the crinkly sounds, she has played with that a lot.

I am glad you all are liking the details.We want to document as much as possible for Hattie to read someday. Also, for us while we were waiting to go to China, reading and learning about the process from others made it more real to us and helped keep us focused and excited.


  1. It is wonderful to see you with Hatti in your arms. She is adorable. I am sure you will soon find out a way of feeding she likes. And about not crying and laughing, that will come too, for sure. She only needs some time, but you know all about that.

    For me it's special to see the same faces and places we did see 1,5 year ago. Hope you like it over there as well.

    Good luck from Holland!

  2. keep posting pics of your new love! I love seeing her and am so excited for your family. Graceful is pumped for another cousin!

  3. Meghan...when I got my daughter, the orphanage told me she was left with a note, but it was "part of her files." I didn't say anything, but when I got home, the first thing I told my agency rep was this. The next morning she called the agency director, who called the orphanage and told them in no uncertain terms that that note BELONGED to my girl, and if they needed something for their files, they should copy it and SEND the original. SO they did. A few weeks later we received it...written on red flocked paper...it is treasured. If you ask your agency, they may go to bat for you to get the original. After all, why in the world does the orphanage need the orignal!?????

    Nancy in CT