Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The Big Day

Originally uploaded by juststeve.
It’s been a busy couple of days. Rhea has been a BIG help. I can’t imagine what I would do without her. Marina loves her sister.

I wanted to write yesterday and try to capture all the moments but there was just too much going on. So by the time 9/10 rolled around I decided that going to sleep was a higher priority than blogging/journaling.

I’ll start at the beginning and see how far I get.

The Big Day - The adoption folks refer to this as gottya day.

We started early waking breakfast at 5:30 and on the bus to the airport at 6:00AM. We drove to GZ airport and then took a 7:50 flight to Nanchang it’s about an hour flight. Nanchang in Jangxi province and is a ‘small” city. I think she said 4 million people.

We arrive and the airport is freezing. It’s this beautiful brand new airport but they don’t heat it. To expensive I guess. The flight was easy. I didn’t go near the food and I did periodically worry the flaps would fall off. Not my normal thing but on China Southern you never know. In all fairness though it was a nice jet and seemed to work fine though only about 12 of all the TV screens dropped which made you wonder what other things didn’t work.

After the flight we were loaded on to a bus, our luggage went into a separate truck, and drove about 40 min to Nanchang. I think they’re expecting the town to grow and growing it is the amount of construction going on in china is staggering. Whole new mini-cities of modern looking skyscraper apartments seem to be shooting up everywhere.

We got the Lakeview hotel, really nice, and checked into our rooms. Our bags arrived about 30 min later. At this point and I was beginning to get nervous. We were supposed to get the babies after lunch. So I puttzed around trying to get stuff ready but not really knowing what to do. It was sort of that pre-excitement crazy when you really wound.

At 2:00 we went down reviewed some forms. Did some signed some things and then waited. A few minutes latter the first group of babies arrived. Before, we met marina I was pulled aside and given some things that we had sent in a car package to the orphanage from italy. Tammy (one of the group organizers – not they’re real name they adopt American names to make it easier for us – gave me the two cameras that we sent presumably with pictures for the foster home (UNBELIEVABLE!) two pictures that we were sent with an album (they said that they were her favorite. Our family group shot with Oliver and one of suz and the girls in Venice) and the little stuffed tiger we had sent for her. I guess that epic of overseas mailing was worth it. I can’t wait to develop those pictures. Tammy says we should do it in GZ.

At this point the babies were out in the hall and then they would call you up and bring your baby into to you. It was wild. You just didn’t know what to expect.

Anyway we were the 5th they called me up and there she was. All the babies from Fengcheng were presented in these really cute but HOT puffy yellow and blue outfits. So they looked so cute but they were just sweating.

When they gave Marina to me she was fairly dazed for a couple of minutes and then I think she realized that I wasn’t just holding her for someone else and she didn’t like it.

For the next hour or so there was quite a lot of crying going on. She was sad. I had expected this especially since we knew she would be in foster care. Typically, a baby in foster care has a harder time initially because they are more bonded with they’re foster mother. So after a bit I realized that I had to get her out of those clothes, so I changed her clothes, She was just so bundled, put on a diaper, she just had a liner in her pants sort of a like a maxi-maxi pad. We were in the room till about 4 then got to go back to our rooms and then come back at 4:30 to do some more documentation. Back in the room things were easier. It was calmer and Marina seemed to have periods where she was less skeptical. When we went back there was a bit more crying and she really just wanted to be with the Chinese women. I wasn’t insulted I figured I’d want to be too. So I let them hold her while I signed things. That was when the beginnings of a break thru with Rhea really happened.

We went back to the room about 5 and played and were to meet the group for dinner at 6. We did much better then. She mostly wanted to be with Rhea and Rhea was amazing with her and loved to take care of her. I’ve been having a hard time getting in even when Marina does want me.

At dinner she just chowed. It’s fairly obvious because of her girth that she’s a gifted eater but she enjoyed eating egg, corn, celery, and other things we did a combination of giving her food on her try and feeing her with the spoon. So far she’s even using the bib that’s a first for a pokorny in our house.

After dinner we came back to the room. Marina seems to hate elevators everytime the elevator door closes she screams. But when you’re on the 14th floor you don’t have a choice. Plus to top it off we’ve got to take 2 elevators to get to our room. One down to the first floor and then another up to the 14th. The Restaurant is on the 2nd. Don’t ask!

In the room we played and she was just showering rhea with attention wanting her to hold her and Rhea was obliging. She was being a great big sister. Having Rhea come along was brilliant. One Rhea and Marina are really bonding and it’s giving Rhea an amazing opportunity to connect with her sister. And two it’s really nice for Marina to have sort of an intermediary for her transition. Rhea’s kind of a playmate/Mother that I certainly can’t be and I’m not sure if suz would be as well. I imagine that if suz was here Marina would be glommed onto her and have even less to do with me. As the girls from the china team pointed out. Most of the people who work in the orphanage are women.

After some playing I popped the girls in the bath Marina was a bit skeptical about it but put up with it and really loved playing with the stacking cups. We’d been so busy with the transitions the paperwork then just crisis management with trying to calm Marina and trying to call suz that I feel like I’d hardly had a chance to see her. So the bath gave me an opportunity to really see her.

Things I noticed. Well she was clean. She’s obviously been well cared for, and well fed! She’s a real pudge. She as a serious pot belly. I think this one put baby Rhea to shame. But it looked to me as though she’s been really well cared for. I’d say she’s one of the 2 or 3 that looks as healthy out of our group of 13. I’m imagining that based on her size and the fact that she can walk, feed herself and is so verbal, GA!, That she was well loved by her foster family. If you go over to the flickr site (clicking on a picture) you can see a picture of the document of questions that our tour operator asked the orphanage director and it has a bit about who her foster family was. It sounds like she was raised by a couple with 2 adult children.

Getting Marina to bed that night was a bit of a challenge. We gave her a bottle. The document had said that she got one 2x a day. Then I carried her, we lie down with her, and nothing seemed to work. Finally at 9ish Rhea was so tired she just got in her bed and went to sleep. Then Marina looked over at her and put her head down and went to sleep. It was amazing.

Ok, I could keep going but it’s day 3 and I’m still on day one. Plus I never told you about some of the wild things we saw in GZ. I promise I won’t post any of the pictures of the skinned roasted dogs…..yet.

I’ll post this and continue on. No proof reading. Sorry folks.

You forget how tiring it is carrying around a 20 lb baby all the time.


Post a Comment

<< Home