Last night we took Qiu Ju to the hotel pool. She'd only been with us for a few hours, but she seemed game, so off we went. It was certainly her first time and at first she looked very tentative. I think her first splash was accidental, but she decided she liked it and after that she really went to town.
When Qiu Ju woke up this morning, she stood in her crib and I saw her little chin start to quiver. As soon as she saw us, she smiled and has been great all day. We gave her a bottle and went downstairs to breakfast. It was fun to see all of the other families and hear how their nights went. We are an extremely fortunate group because everyone is doing well. David said we're too easy!
We all met in the lobby of the 14th floor for the official family adoption photo and to get Jin Qiu Ju's little footprint.
Qiu Ju's seal of approval. With older children, they have to sign their name saying they're happy with their new family and want to be adopted. I hope that if Qiu Ju had a choice in the matter, she'd say yes!
The kids are so in love with this little girl. They have been very helpful and she obviously is eating up all of the attention.
Abby picked out the cozy flannel for this quilt and Adam and Madeline tied it right before we left for our trip. Little Qiu Ju loves it. I don't think she's had many soft things in her life, because she rubs the fabric with her hand and just seems to appreciate it so much. It's going to be hard not to spoil this girl!
Today was the official adoption day. We are now legally Jin Qiu Ju's parents. We all first took the bus to the notary's office for some signatures and then back to the Civil Affairs Office for more signatures and the adoption interview. They asked us, "Are you satisfied with this baby?" We both choked up a little said, "absolutely yes." After the interview, we were able to ask questions of the orphanage director. Lily translated for us. When we walked up, the director, a woman, started to laugh and told Lily, "This one is SO active! She wants to be a big girl, not a baby. Don't feed her many bottles. Just one at night, maybe one more time in the morning. You can't feed her solids fast enough." She also said that QIu Ju understands both Mandarin and Cantonese (bilingual at not even 11 months, yes, we're very proud!) and that she loves to try and sing along with songs from the TV and radio. Just what this family needs, another entertainer!
The big question we wanted to ask was about her foster care situation. The director said that she's only spent a few weeks in foster care and that she was returned to the orphanage the last week before we came "to help her attach to you." She said that there was a big brother in the foster family which helps us understand her attachment to Adam. This family, apparently, is a very experienced foster family who have had 5 different babies with them and already have a new one in residence. This really helped me to feel better. I didn't like the thought of a family grieving over a daughter who'd been with them for months. Although, I'm sure they miss her, she was with them for a short time, and they're accustomed to babies coming and going.
The director then presented us and the Corbetts with beautiful embroidered handbags. Inside was the best gift of all--about 50 pictures! Half of them are general photos of scenes around Guiping, and the other half are just of Qiu Ju. they are all dated and her earliest photo was taken at 2 months. I'm not sure it the director's info about foster care was entirely correct because I saw one picture, obviously in the orphanage, with the date of June 30th and the rest were in a foster home with dates up until just three days before we met. At any rate, we know that she has spent the great majority of her young life in the orphanage. This makes me even more amazed at her great development. I really think she'll be walking before she turns one in September. That's incredible for an orphanage baby. She is such an absolute joy. Tomorrow will be a long and emotional day as we go visit the orphanage. It's a long bus ride and I know there are mixed opinions on if it's healthy to bring them back, but I think someday she'll appreciate seeing pictures of her abandonment site and photos of the nannies who have given her such loving care. Lily did warn us that sometimes the foster family will be there waiting for us and that can be pretty emotional. Again, even if it's difficult, I think we'd like to meet and thank these people had tell them in person that we will love and care for Qiu Ju. I hear Qiu Ju waking up from her nap, so signing off from China!