Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Day 4: Adoption Day

This morning I decided to try and see if Hallie would let me bathe her.  She did great! 

Making funny faces.

Hallie doesn't have a "chosen one", for which I am very grateful.  She'll happily go to Ryan and I equally.  Although, she won't give Ryan kisses because she doesn't like his beard.  That's an understatement, she actually despises his beard and pulls the funniest faces at the idea of touching it.  She also really dislikes the stuffed elephant we brought for her and pulls a similar face then tosses it whenever we hand it to her.  She definitely likes us, but still doesn't grasp the whole Mama/Baba/Family concept.  She called her nannies Mama and sometimes calls Kaitlyn and our guide Mama too.  She'll go to whichever "Mama" is most convenient at the time.  Indiscriminate affection is a common issue with children who have lived in an orphanage.  It's a survival mechanism born out of not having a person to permanently attach to and will probably take some time to resolve as we work on forming a secure attachment.

Breakfast time cutie.

We spent a good part of the day driving around Shanghai getting things done to complete Hallie's adoption.  We only had to go three places, but traffic here is so bad, it takes forever to get anywhere.  

Our first stop was a photo studio where we had to get a photo taken for Hallie's adoption certificate.  This advertisement on the wall...  We decided it was a picture of the "Chubby Baby" Kaitlyn likes to sleep talk about.  Yikes!

When we were out and about, Hallie got very quiet again.  I wonder what's going on in her mind.  I'm sure she's confused about where we are going and what we are doing.  There is so much for her to process.

Our next stop was this office where the adoption was made final.

"Miss Manners" liked to wipe her face with a tissue in between sips of water. 

Hallie is officially an Andersen!

Back in the van again... off to get our adoption paperwork notarized.  By this point, I was exhausted and car sick, so I assume Hallie was too.

Hallie had her first Happy Meal.  She was not impressed and I'm okay with that since, once we're home, McDonalds will not be on the menu.

After a late lunch, we went back to the hotel room for a nap and ended up sleeping through dinner.  I think we all needed the extra rest, but now we're worried about whether or not we'll be able to sleep through the night.  Hopefully we won't regret that nap!

 Good Night from Shanghai!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Day 3: We Have Hallie!

This morning I woke up an hour before our alarm went off and could not go back to sleep so I made everyone get up to start getting ready for the day.  The butterflies really started to kick in at breakfast.  Well, just for me.  Ryan was cool.  We quickly ate, went back to our room to gather everything we needed, then met our guide in the lobby at 9am. 

 There was a van ready to drive us to the office where we would meet Hallie.

 We're there!  Walking into the office...

They took us into a room to sign paperwork before meeting Hallie, the thing is, she was just in the room next door and Ryan was smart enough to peek in that door while we were walking by.  It killed me that he got to see her and I couldn't until after we signed all of the paperwork!

After signing all of the necessary paperwork for the day, they took Ryan to another room to pay our orphanage "donation".  We took a picture because this he is the tallest stack of money we've ever had in our possession.  We were able to wire our donation for Jordan's adoption, but Hallie's had to be in cash.  It is such a relief to not have to carry that much cash anymore.

Waiting for Ryan to get back...

and waiting... (I am so nervous!)

 and waiting... (view out the window)

and more waiting.  It felt like forever!

Then Ryan came back and they bought Hallie right in!

Meeting Baba.

Sharing her Pocky Sticks with me.

Looking through the photo album her orphanage made for her.

Hallie was wearing lipstick and had a Bindi on her forehead.  When I asked what the mark was for, the social worker told me, "Beauty".

Looking through the photo album we sent her from home.  She (and our guide) really liked Maddie's picture.

Trying out her new music player.

They train them young... she already knows to hold up "peace fingers" for pictures.

This sweet girl did great!!  She was shy and a bit nervous at first and reached for the social worker to take her back a few times, but the overall transition went far smoother than I expected it would.

Four of us went in, five of us came out!

Hallie loves looking through the photo album we sent her.  She'll go page by page pointing at our pictures then pointing at us.

Hallie is amazing!  She is smart, silly and sassy.  Once she started to warm up, we discovered what a little chatterbox she is.  And she is such a tease!

Going to the store to get Hallie some Chinese snacks.

This girl knows her mind.  She let us know exactly what she wanted.

I'm getting my first snuggle, and yes, I am totally eating it up!

Baba is helping Hallie eat her snack...

Here it comes...

Yum... wait for it...

Bam!  Look at that smile.  I have no idea where the stone faced girl from our pictures went, this girl is nothing but smiles and giggles.

Our, ever so polite, Hallie likes to wipe her face with a napkin in between every bite of food.

She eats like a champ.  (as of now... I'm crossing my fingers it'll stay that way)

I'm kind of smitten.

This girl loves books!

She likes to share her snacks...

...by the handful.

Baba is helping her put an earbud in to listen to some Chinese Children's music with Enoch.

She was totally singing along!

We got a nice surprise when we found out Hallie has already been potty trained for daytime, Yay!

 Crazy bed head before she even went to bed.  And Baba is totally smitten too.

Seriously, can you believe these smiles?  I was in complete disbelief all day.  Is this really the same girl??

Hallie did not want to take off her shoes, which is totally common.  Right before bed, she was finally okay with me taking them off.

 The word of the day is Wow!  Just Wow!