Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's Final

The paper chase is finished. After the mountains of paperwork we completed to get local social workers to conclude that we weren't sociopaths. After jumping through the requisite hoops imposed by the US government to allow the child to become a US citizen. After submitting reams of documents to the Chinese authorities to ultimately be matched with our daughter and be invited to travel to China. After all of the verification has been completed...the adoption of Chloe is final, and once we step on US soil again she will be a US citizen. Today all of the families in our travel group loaded up a bus for a 30 minute ride to the US Consulate here in Guangzhou. There was one last verification of our passports and a review of Chloe's documentation, and then all of the parents (of about 30 adoptions in the combined groups) stood, razed our right hands, and took a citizenship oath on behalf of our children. And it was at the same time hilarious and very touching that when Chloe saw everyone raising their right hand for the oath, she did too. Although she was clearly mimicking what she saw us doing, somewhere deep down we believe her little spirit has been prepared for what is in front of here, and it was fitting that she would raise her own little hand to take the citizenship oath. But in the middle of all of this, we had more glimpses into what is going to be the plane ride home from hell. This little girl does not sit still. And if we try to get her to stay in one a seat on the bus, perhaps...she lets out a blood-curdling screen and cries at the top of her lungs until she gets her way. We're not sure whether this was a coping mechanism developed in the orphanage, or if she was spoiled beyond belief while she was in foster care. All we know it that it doesn't bode well for the 23 hours of flights we have in front of us between here and Birmingham. We're learning to tag team with her pretty well, but that only diverts her attention for a few minutes at a time. The ride home is going to be brutal! On a lighter note, we are having so much fun getting to know Chloe's little personality. She appears to be very smart for her age. She wants to dress herself and feed herself. And she already knows who Mama, Daddy and Isabelle are by name...although we're still working on helping her actually say some form of Isabelle. Using pictures and Skype we're working on Kaycie and Ravyn and our extended family. But she seems to pick up on things very quickly. And for a girl who probably never heard a work of English before 10 days ago, she seems to understand some repetitive phrases like "Do you need to go to the potty?" and "Are you hungry?" In both cases she will either nod her head or point. We definitely see progress in a very short time. One last thought. We have become very fond of, and respect immensely, the families we're traveling with. All of the children being adopted in our group have some sort of special need, ranging from a little boy with heart and lung problems to a little girl with vision problems to a little bit older boy who is deaf. And then there are the two 14 year old boys who we are told were given the option of being placed for adoption before reaching the maximum adoptable age of 15. Both of these boys are going to families that seem uniquely suited for them. And as difficult as the transition seems to be for the infants and toddlers, we can only imagine what must be going through the minds of these handsome young men. We pray that all of these kids will adjust to their new situations quickly. Tomorrow is our last full day in Guangzhou. After the oath taking at the consulate earlier today, we will get Chloe's Chinese passport sometime Thursday, and we'll be on a flight for Beijing Friday morning. As much as we appreciate the culture here, there is, of course, no place like home.

1 comment:

  1. Your story is wonderful. I found your blog from your post on the Inner Mongolia Yahoo Group. We are waiting on our son Pan Fei who appears to be only a month younger than your daughter. Maybe they played together. We are on our second adoption as well. Hope all settles down for your family now that you are home.