This photo is of a serious-looking Yun Xi learning the high-five with an American visitor to the orphanage. He was two years old at the time and had such an adorable amount of toddler chub. Seriously, those have got to be the most kissable cheeks I've ever seen.
He's so much more grown-up in the most recent photos I have, the ones I've carried around in my purse for nearly 7 months now. Those pictures will be nine months old by the time we meet him. He'll have grown and changed again. Cholita's referral pictures were taken when she was five months old and she was nearly eleven months old when we finally laid eyes on her in China. When I saw her, I knew those eyes and that mouth, but her hair was longer and crazier, she was thinner, she was tanner, and as weird as it sounds, just the fact that she was a three-dimensional, living, breathing, moving person completely blew me away. It was like those rare occasions when you have a celebrity sighting. That person you've only seen in pictures is now standing in front of you and you recognize them and almost blurt out, "Hey, I know you!", but you realize that you don't really know them and that they definitely don't know you. And they just look different because now they're real, whereas before they were just an image. Right now, I know and love the Yun Xi image. I can't wait to know and love the Yun Xi person.
I digress. On the adoption front, things are clipping along. Our paperwork is at the American Embassy in China waiting on the Article 5--something to do with citizenship. That will be picked up on February 10th and then the only thing we're missing is our Travel Approval! That's running about three weeks right now, so we're expecting to be able to buy plane tickets in the beginning of March. I'm feeling fairly confident now that we'll be able to go over Spring Break. And we're completely crazy and have decided to bring the whole clan.
If I were to buy tickets today, I think we'd leave on Thursday March 24th, get to Kunming on the 25th and have our Gotcha' Day on March 28th. At the end of our week in Kunming, Lyle will fly back home with Bruder and Cholita. Bruder can get back to school and Lyle can deal with one of the little ones on the flight home, saving the other little for me. I'll fly to Guangzhou with Lucy and Rose and Yun Xi and we'll stay there a week, probably coming home on April 8th.
Someone asked me yesterday how long this adoption was taking. By the time we meet Yun Xi, the whole process will have been almost exactly nine months--a reasonable time-frame to expect a baby (or a nearly four year-old). In that light, I'm well into the last trimester. Thankfully nesting is a little easier without the big belly and today Lyle and I are building the Yun Xi bed. Well, he's building, I'm supporting.
We can't wait to get our baby-of-the family home!