I'm sorry that I haven't updated the blog since Monday, it's been tough to keep up with blogging and Facebooking and parenting. This adoption is so different from Margaret's. Maggie was so young and had no idea what was going on, she grieved hard for a few days, but then was better and we moved on. Not that it was easy, it was still hard and it took months to really settle her in, but it was a simpler process. Ella is a tougher nut to crack. She likes us (most of the time) and I think she knows that this is the best for her but she is old enough to realize everything she is losing too. She would prefer to turn on soap operas and lose herself in the TV or a game on the tablet. We have been letting her have the time to do that, I understand her need to disconnect, but I also feel she needs to be brought back into the fold. We have set limits on TV time and screen time, but they are still on them a lot. It is so stinking hot here, we don't go out much past 10 a.m. or so and we are running out of things to do in the room. Yesterday was 99 and windy, today will be 95 and windy, repeat repeat repeat.
So - let's start back where we left off. Tuesday morning we woke up around 4:30 and Ding came into our room not much after. She sat on the end of our bed, but wouldn't come closer. We hung out for a bit until Margaret woke up and they played and watched TV, I helped Ella and Margaret pick out their clothes and get dressed and then we all went to breakfast. I helped Ella get all her food and got her situated at the table. We've been trying to get her to stop being so independent and to say "mama help" when she needs my help. It's been slow, she just really wants to do things for herself and sometimes I'm not her favorite person, but we are going to keep on trying. I feed her, I dress her, I bathe her (whether she wants me to or not).
We met our guide down in the lobby at 9:00 and headed back to Civil Affairs to officially adopt Ella. The girls were doing well there, Ella was smiling as our guide put her hand print put on the adoption docs.
Margaret and Ella were playing with the other girls being adopted that day. One little cutie is also from Xiaoxian, but had been in care up by Beijing, the other girl was from Bengbu.
We visited the registrar down the hall and he asked us questions like "how long have you been married?", "do you have biological children?" and "why do you want to adopt a child from China?". That one was easy - I told him Anhui girls are the best, but Xiaoxian girls are even better. He asked us if we promised to always care for her and to never abandon her, and we of course said, "Yes! We promise!" We went back into the conference room and waited to meet with the notary. Ding was called over by the SWI Director and he said something to her that made her cry. She just stood there with big silent tears rolling down her face. I have no idea what he said, it could have been as innocuous as "you'll never see us again". We may never know. All I know is that my heart broke in two for our sweet girl right then and there. I pulled her to me and put her on my lap, wiped her tears and just poured as much love as I could onto her. She was stiff and still crying silently. It was so
|She is officially ours!|
After we got back to the room, I was not feeling well at all so I had to lay down. Traveling to China with a gluten intolerance is a risk (heck eating anywhere outside of my house is a risk) and I must have eaten something I shouldn't have at breakfast. I was having only neuro problems from the gluten (bad mood, fatigue, dizziness, restless leg syndrome) and Ella bore the brunt of me not feeling well. She had grabbed my camera without asking (we're still working on this) and I took it from her and told her no. She then grabbed Bryan's camera instead and I yelled at her. She started crying again and I felt so bad for her. It was such an emotional day and I was not being the parent she needed. I apologized to her, but the damage was done, she did not like me for a long time after that. I went into the girl's room to sleep and Bryan hung out with the girls in our room for the rest of the afternoon. They played Twister and games on the tablets and watched Chinese soap operas. Bryan snapped this photo of Ella while I was sleeping, she liked him that day.
We hung out in the room the rest of the day and ordered in room service. I had a Kind bar and some fruit for dinner, the girls shared a bowl of spaghetti. We watched TV and put the girls to bed at 8:00.
Adoption - the hardest best thing we've ever done.
p.s. Margaret and I have been role-playing how to ask for things. She will point to the camera and say "mama please?" and I will say "OK" and give it to her. We then have Ding do it. This is helping.