Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Yay!! We're Officially Mother and Daughter!!

**You may notice that these posts are being back dated. I've asked M3 to post them for particular dates to help me out with timeframes later on.**

This morning dawned bright and sunny. We only had the sheers closed in the room so as I sat at the computer capturing as many details as I could from yesterday. As light slowly filled the room my daughter's sweet sleeping face was gently illuminated. Finally around 7:20 she opened her eyes ready to greet the day having slept right through from 10:00 last night! Unfortunately, I was not the person she thought she was going to see when she woke up and it broke my heart to see the initial fear in her eyes as she tried desperately to remember where she was and who she was with. The fear and tears that followed lasted for only seconds and as I reached into her crib to lift her out she greeted me with one of her amazingly beautiful gummy grins!!! Oh does my sweetness know how to smile!!

I attempted to feed her a bottle with little success. She took about 2 oz. but that was all. Not sure if it's the consistency, flavour or temp that is throwing her off but we're trying and hopefully I'll learn how she likes it soon! At breakfast she ate a little congee and another oz. from her bottle so I wasn't too concerned even though I wished she was eating better.

At 9:30 all the families met in the lobby. My parents and Norma were going out to check out some local shopping as Hannah I and ventured out with the rest of the group. We went back to the Civil Affairs Office where each family had a variety of appts. to finalize our adoptions. They consider the first 24 hours a 'harmonization' period and the adoption is not finalized until all of the paperwork is completed with the officials the day after the adoption takes place.
The first stop was with an official who had me put my right thumb print on my signature of an official document and then took Hannah's little right foot and covered it with red ink also and stamped it oon her adoption finalization paperwork. So cute to see her little footprint there and they gave me a copy too...cool!! One of the funny things is that before leaving the hotel I had thought about the 'clothing police' (aka....little Chinese grandmas) who will reprimand you if you don't have your baby dressed warmly enough. She may do it in Chinese but trust me...there's no question what she's saying! :o) Knowing this and that it was a cool day with a predicted high of only 14o I'd put tights on Hannah. Suddenly as our turn was coming about I realized that they were going to take her footprint so I quickly began to take her tights off. You guessed it....as I sit there with my baby on my lap, changing her out of her tights, Sarah calls me so I go into the first official's office with her little snaps all undone. oops! Thankfully the family in front of me were still busy with the official so I was able to get her snapped up and ready to meet her people!! As the official hands me back her footprint page and my Passport she says, 'Congratulations! You're a Mom!!' I couldn't help the tears that immediately filled my eyes!!

We had an official family picture taken of the two of us and also met with a Notary Public where I shared why I wanted to adopt my precious Hannah, what my future plans were for her and also had to promise that I would never abandon her. As I answered that one I couldn't help but hold her closer, and with tear filled eyes, nod my head in affirmation that I would never, ever, ever leave or abandon my sweet baby girl. At this point the notary public stands and with a big grin, shakes my hand and says, 'Congratulations! You are officially the mother of Yong Xiao Fen!' She is my daughter......FOREVER!!!!!!

Because of the nature of the paperwork we were doing, the Director of Hannah's orphanage and the Asst. Director was also there. Hannah lit up when she saw this beautiful woman (Director) and when she took Xiao Fen in her arms she laughed and smiled at her too! They played together for a bit then we posed for some pictures. I expressed my thankfulness to them over and over again for taking such amazing care of Xiao Fen! I will be eternally grateful for the love and care that Xiao Fen received at the DaoXian SWI in Hunan province! I was also thrilled that these people were there because I had really hoped to visit her orphanage but this is not possible due to H1N1. I wanted her to have an opportunity to see them and be held by them. I've read that it's healthy for the babies making the transition as by now she and I have spent time together and we're getting to know one another. Then, to go back to the people she knows and loves and be happy with them and then have them place her in my arms, her little world kinda says, 'Hmmmm....I trust this lady and now she's handing me back to this new lady so she must be ok.' Hannah enjoyed her visit with the Director but came willingly back into my arms and greeted me with a huge gummy smile when our quick visit was over. Sadly some of the older babies are having a much harder time of it. One in particular walks the halls calling out constantly for her nanny and crying huge alligator tears. It breaks my heart every time I hear her and I pray that soon she will cry out for her mommy and daddy and that her precious little heart will begin to heal.

We boarded the bus just before noon and headed back to the hotel for some time of relaxing and hanging out together. There is a beautiful soft duvet in the cupboard so we spread that out on the floor and it becomes our play area. Hannah can sit a little but not much and will kinda flop her nose to her toes if not supported properly. We keep pillows behind her for support but she still managed a face plant once before I could get to her when she flopped. Oops!

One of the gentlemen in our group (James) is an awesome photographer and offered to take family pics in the lobby. I don't have the ones he took yet but this one Norma got of Hannah and I is beautiful!

Hannah loves her carriers and I carry her everywhere we go but I wanted a stroller for meal times when I've finished feeding her and want to try and get a couple of bites into myself. (Have to say I'm guessing this 'Baby Diet' will be great for the waistline! Don't care if I eat....it's all about Xiao Fen!!) Mom, Dad, Norma, Hannah and I, with the help of our guide Sarah writing down the address for us, loaded into a taxi and off we went. Upon arrival we eventually found Wal-Mart and enjoyed some cultural shopping. Don't remember chicken feet in our deli or 'Duck in a Bag' in the fresh meat area!! Will have to look for those when I get home...NOT!! I found a stroller for Hannah as well as more formula and a couple of other things I wanted/needed.

We went outside and tried to flag down a taxi. We were at a taxi stand where you could push a light that literally waved a hand but nope, they all just kept speeding by even though many were empty. it felt like we were on The Amazing Race. We decided to be brave and cross the crazy-busy street so that we were at least going in the same direction as the hotel. Crossing the street in China is not for the faint of heart! When someone asked what my best suggestion was I said it was to bury ourselves in the middle of the throng on Chinese people crossing the street...and don't check signs or lights or you'll get behind and you don't want that to happen. So far this approach has worked really well and it sure does make for some fun cultural experiences!

Once we crossed the street Norma was able to flag down a taxi for us within mere minutes. yay Norma! We made our way back to the hotel, enjoyed dinner in the restaurant on the 1st floor and then it was Hannah's bedtime. A bath, fresh diaper and clean jammies.

WAIT!!! I almost forgot the IMPORTANT announcement! At 5:45 pm Tuesday....yes, I took note of the time!....Hannah had her first official poopy diaper! WHEEE!!!! For anyone who has travelled the long road of International Adoption you know the excitement of this first diaper as it means her plumbing is working properly. Yay Hannah!! Guess we won't be needing those prunes I brought after all.

So there we are. End of Tuesday, November 3rd. Offical Adoption finalization day!!!! Hannah Catherine XiaoFen is my daughter FOREVER!!! Thank you Lord!! You have been faithful always and today I thank you and praise you for the most amazing gift that is, my XiaoFen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Reading this brought tears to my eyes and a huge smile to my face! Congratulations Mommy!!!

    It is official but it was always official in your heart and mind.

    Thanks for the heads up! I am eager to commit all these handy hints to memory.

  2. Just glorious! So very happy for you!

  3. Reading your post & looking at your picture brought tears to my eyes...for a couple reasons. 1)It's been a long road for you & I'm so happy Hannah is officially your daughter...and 2)6 1/2 months ago we were in that exact room with those exact workers stamping our thumbs & Kalia's foot, and having our own interview with the gentleman. Such a happy time!

    Congrats & can't wait to read more about your wonderful journey.

  4. I'm so happy for you and Hannah! May you have a long, happy life together.

  5. Congrats on all of the offical stuff! I love the pictures, Hannah is beautiful & looks so happy :-)

  6. Oh I love reading about your experiences... I am so happy that all is going so amazingly well!!!! Enjoy!

  7. Oh my! This was a three tissue read for sure.

    Wonderful pics of the happy family.

  8. Hannah smiled a lot in the photos :)

  9. CONGRATULATIONS on becoming a forever family!!!!

  10. First poopies, duck in a bag, and other exotica...

    Here in Ottawa, we celebrated the opening of T&T, that frabjous Asian supermarket.

    As I waited eagerly in line at the take-out counter I laughed out-loud to see that among their menu offerings such as fried pork dumplings, elaborate BBQ'ed tidbits, noodle dishes, and Dim Sum delights, was congee. Imagine, *congee, to go*. An easy dish to make, there are 5 T&T's not far from you in TO where you could buy this classic Chinese Pablum for those times you don't feel like stirring for 6hrs. sideways smiley face

    My own Asian beauty ate congee the first day home then moved on to what she thought of as tastier Western food.

    Carol in Ottawa

  11. Happy Mothers Day Catherine. So very happy for you and Hannah....

  12. Hannah is just gorgeous. She just looks so dainty and petite! You really have the most beautiful daughter, I can say that because I have two sons, hah!

  13. Congratulations, your daughter is so beautiful. Yes we were in the same adoption room and hotel 1 1/2 yrs ago.

    Have you tried different tops for the bottle (maybe brown or white tops) or else making the hole bigger? If you got the bottle that she used in the orphanage, check and see what size the hole is ... maybe this will help.

  14. It sounds like everything is going amazingly well! So happy for you! Hannah is absolutely adorable, and you are just glowing in every picture! We trust you will continue to enjoy your time in China - praying for continued good health for all of you.
    Hugs and kisses to your precious daughter!

  15. I just can't stop crying!!! You story has brought back so many memories for me and LiLi's adoption. You will remember these days always and get chills each time you look at pictures.

    I also laughed so hard when you talked about crossing the streets in China. It is just CRAZY there!!
    At one point, I was having a terrible time crossing the road I followed a DOG! Yep, some little tiny dog had already crossed 4 lines (from the other side) with great success and was about to cross the other 4, so I just followed the dog. Just remember, once you start to cross, DON'T STOP! Just keep walking. Funny, I really don't remember seeing any accidents with anyone the entire time there.

  16. So awesome! I smiled reading the entire post. So exciting.

  17. Congratulations Catherine (and Hannah) What a beautiful forever family. You know the angels are smiling down on you as you celebrate with love and joy in your heart. Praying for continued bonding, beautiful days and plenty of health and rest and you continue through China before heading home.

    Blessing Friend

  18. What an amazing day! Hannah already looks so comfortable in your arms. Hugs to you both.

  19. This is the day we've all been praying about! Seeing you both together is as natural as anything!

  20. Congratulations! You are now a family of two!!


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