Day two of Zhengzhou took us to the Registrar's office, then on to the Notary. The night before we prepared our papers for the registrar, giving our life story and why we want to adopt, personal stats, favorite color, all the pertinents, and in duplicate mind you...with signatures and red thumb prints as authentication...actually a cool concept. Anyway, on the 11th we took the bus back to the registrar's office, paid the fee, and shortly thereafter received a Certificate of Adoption for both children. This one piece of paper in a nice red case means....two beautiful children are OFFICIALLY Smith's! The notary required a new set of papers, of which our guide Yisha told us exactly what to write, another fee in duplicate, and ta da! Notarized that they are ours! We get those forms back in two days, then travel on to Guangzhou for our Consulate appointment. There we get medical clearances and visas.
So what is it like with two new babies who think we look alien, you might ask? It is amazing. Babies, no matter what language, speak the same language. Feed me, milk, change my diaper, love me. Check, got that.
Orphans, however, have a bit different language. Adaline has no concept of Mama, or Baba. She knows the words, but meaning is as foreign as my pale face. Comforting her the first night was a real challenge. Day two she awoke playful and happy, full of life and SMILES! Oh how we love that smile. We received very few pictures of her in this process, but none had a smile. We melt with her smile. She is mischievous, but sweet at the same time. Very independent. I guess it is a survival quality, but it is spunky. She will fit in nicely at Bigger Dirt. Night two, we of course were nervous, unsure how she would respond. She began to cry a bit, but allowed Melissa to hold her and rock her. She very soon laid her beautiful head on Mom's shoulder, and night-night. We both cried, it was glorious. We pray continually that she will accept us as a safe haven and understand what love is, but this step melted our hearts. She awoke once during the night, so she got to sleep with Mom, which was incredible. I awoke today with the sound of Mom showering, and shortly she and a little beauty came walking through the hotel room in single file, Adaline following Mom wherever she went. Thank you Jesus!
My Wen. He was raised in a foster home. He knows what a Mama is. He was very heart-broken after we received him, though he was easily consoled. He loves to be held. That works for us. He rocked to sleep the first night, and awoke late. He didn't smile much the first day. But he sure accepted milk that first morning. Mom took a trip to the Lotus center, which is similar to Wal-Mart, and left the babies with Allison and me for a couple of hours. Adaline played and ate every M&M she could find. Wen began mostly in my lap, but warmed up nicely to Play-Doh. He then played with cups, play-doh, ate chips, dumped every crumb out on the floor and stomped on them...very typical 19 month old boy. And smiles. He tried to hide them, and I don't know that I caught any on camera, but we saw them. And angels sang.
Bedtime, he likes to snuggle. He snuggled with Mom, fell asleep very quickly, but too awoke during the night, so I was blessed to snuggle with two boys. Wen is like Corbin, he wants to be close. I loved it. As I write, he and Corbin are snuggled up in the bed, still asleep. They can stay there all day if they want. I love it.
Mom and Adaline, and Melissa Smith #1 are headed to visit the orphanage at Luoyang. There will be pictures, and I will let her tell you about that. For us, it is laziness city.
Keep us in your prayers. The Smith family is now 7 strong. We miss our William terribly, but know that this is but a short season that we have been thus called.
Praise be to the Lord God Almighty, Who was, and is, and is to come. We love you Father and thank you for these blessings.