Monday, April 22nd: Today was THE DAY, the day we had been preparing for for what seemed like so long. We woke up as a couple who didn't have kids and within a couple of hours we were a family for three. It's amazing how fast things can change!
We left the hotel a little before 10am headed to the Civil Affairs office in Urumqi. I was totally keyed up and kept going over what we had and what we knew. We knew that David would be brought to the office though we weren't sure who would bring him. Would we see Wayne, from New Day? I had his backpack full of snacks and some toys including bubbles which seem to be a big hit for most adoptive families.
We got to the office building and were headed inside. David was already there! We rode the elevator up to the 4th floor with him and many people I didn't know. Our guide kept telling us this was our baby, loved it!!! When we got to the floor they took us into an office and handed David to us-just like that he was OURS!!! Yes, there was paperwork and stuff to get done but in our hearts our journey was complete!!! David looked between the two of us for a couple of minutes and then the tears started.
So, I thought I was prepared for him being sad and crying but really I wasn't. It broke my heart! Knowing that his whole world was totally changing was overwhelming to me. I cried with him and we tried to console him with smiles (through our own tears) and bubbles.
We weren't in the office long since we had signed most of the paperwork the day before so soon we were told we were going to the photo shop to get David's passport photo. He was sobbing but we all managed to make it out to the van and head to the photo shop. The photo shop was really a studio and they were very nice. We did a family picture that would be used for the "red book" and the he was placed in a high chair to do his photos. He was crying but stopped enough to get an okay photo. We piled back into the van and went to the civil affairs office to complete paperwork.
When we got back to the office the ladies who were with David at the beginning started trying to get him to eat. Poor David was sobbing and these pushy women kept shoving cake in his mouth. Luckily, our guide suggested we move out to the hallway. Steve and I found a nice window seat for us to get to know David privately. We sang to him, blew bubbles, gave him snacks, played peek-a-boo... we did what we could do to get him to calm down a little. Lily and the civil affairs officer came over and we stated why we wanted to adopt him and promised to love and educate him in the US. David had to have his fingerprint on some paperwork too so that was done. After an hour we were told we were leaving again to go to the notary office. David was still crying but not sobbing, progress! It was awesome having my parents with us to not only take pictures but to have the reminder that things were going to be "okay"!
We traveled to another building and headed up to a nice conference room. They poured us tea and we waited. While we waited I pulled out the stacking cups I had brought. They were a huge hit (and still are) and we finally saw a SMILE! We played with the cups, ate snack and drank tea while the people around us did paperwork and occasionally would ask us for something. We had to sign some more papers and pay some fees. Once again our guide was awesome and kept things moving while we spent time with David.
After about 2 hours we were told we could leave. We would meet Lily again at 3:30 to go to the police department to apply for David's passport.
Here are some pictures of the first part of David's Gotcha Day!!
|One last picture of us without David|
|David's first picture- in the elevator|
|Then there were tears...|
|David taking his passport photo|
|All kids love bubbles!|
|Our first, of many, games of peek-a-boo|
|Getting David's fingerprint|
|and we have a SMILE!|
|He loved the stacking cups!!|
|My favorite photo of the day! My precious boys!|