Sunday, December 28, 2008

Adoption Day!!!

Hello everyone! How sweet it has been to see Garrett awake and in Van's arms at last! We videoconferenced tonight (It is early morning for them on the 29th.) and Van had Garrett in his lap laughing and smiling. He says Garrett is having a much better day today after getting some sleep. Although in watching Garrett on video camera, I can tell that the poor thing is still so exhausted and lacking the right amount of sleep after being up so late for Gotcha Day. He looks like he will be taking a very long nap today. I bet he will sleep through the adoption paperwork just like Gracie did when we legally adopted her in China. I wanted to reach through the camera and just grab him. He is absolutely precious, beyond words precious! Garrett slept soundly throughout the night (seven hours of sleep), and even cuddled up to Van this morning. Van says he is cuddly and has rested his head on his shoulder. He thinks that Garrett is gaining trust in him, and is coming out of his shell. He also said that Garrett is trying to talk to Van and to signal what he wants from him. Garrett loves the pockets in his pants. Guess he is not used to that. He is fascinated by them. Garrett loves his new toy, a ball. He has been kicking it and rolling it back and forth with his Daddy.

Van says the following: The manager in charge of the food in the hotel is American and is from NY. Hohhot is really beautiful at night. All of the buildings are lit up. The area is larger than he expected. And he has a McDonalds and a KFC right outside of the hotel. YUM. He won't be hungry! So far, Van has eaten fruit, fruit juices, bacon, a boiled egg, and good old fried rice. He has not had any milk products due to the problems China has recently faced. He says that the people there have told him that they do not have that issue in Inner Mongolia and that the milk is good. I am sure it is, but Van is just trying to follow some safety precautions since he is alone with Garrett right now.

Again about Garrett, Van says he does not have a cold. He does drool a little and has a rough spot under his nose. Van says it is probably both dry skin and also a plastic surgery issue that can be fixed later. He says it is a little dark in color. He is just precious!!! And Garrett drinks from a bottle as well as cups and straws. Van didn't take any bottles but they gave him one. Garrett was drinking out of it while we were videoconferencing. I cannot wait to get my hands on him. Gracie thinks he is cute too and was talking to him and saying that she loves him. It is so sweet knowing that these two will finally be together soon. Garrett seems to be a bit pigeon toed (how do you spell that?). Van also says he already has pictures of Garrett smiling and that he has a big smile. He cannot tell whether Garrett is completely on target developmentally for his age. But we will know soon enough. All we know is that we love him already, and we cannot wait to get him home.

Van is going to email me in a little while. And hopefully by then, the paperwork will be complete. At that point, Garrett will be our son legally. Happy Adoption Day, Garrett! We love you!!! Van writes about his experience that day...
Well, I got a very healthy 4 hours of sleep to start the day! It helped, but I was fighting dry sinuses and a bit of an upset stomach from the travels. Before I got up, a few times between 3-5 a.m. in the morning, Garrett would wake up a bit upset, but then I cradled him in my arm and he slept very quietly after that. I had to take a shower at night time after he went to bed, which was helpful. Just meant I had to wet my hair every morning after waking up with "bed-head". I quickly started preparing as much as possible before Garrett woke up. Remember, he "normally" wakes up at 5 a.m. every morning. Also, since he only poops once a day after breakfast, I had more than enough diapers at 37 to last until we got home. I pulled out the information needed for the adoption and put everything else important back in the safe. I laid out Garrett's clothes for the morning and started calculating what I needed to do that day. I pulled out the blue pants with yellow stripes, a t-shirt, a red new thermal style shirt, and the red sweater we brought. He ended up wearing his split under-pants. The Chinese are big about layering the clothes and I wasn't about to offend anyone! LOL. I hear Garrett waking up and slowly turn on some of the surrounding lights. I notice he talks a little in his sleep, but not in the way Gracie does. It's still dark here until aft 7 a.m. He wakes up and looks at me, I give him a hug. He is not crying at all. I give him the water bottle that his foster family had provided. He took it and drank some. I slowly get him up and checked his diaper. It was still dry, so I was thinking I am lucky! He looked fine. We spent some time getting him up and then slowly getting him dressed for the day. He loved his clothes! Garrett had a completely different look on his face and was smiling a lot. I also noticed while changing his clothes that he is a "thick" boy especially in the legs and in the behind. His feet seem pretty big and thick as well. After dressing, it was off to breakfast. We were the first ones in the Champs Elysees buffet which is perfect for someone trying to figure out what his new son would eat. I knew fruits and cake were some of his favorites, and of course rice or congee! We sat down at regular tables, I decided he didn't need a baby chair (no boosters here). We walked around, he was holding my hand and looking up at me always with a sort of smile and a lot of trust in his eyes. We slowly picked out a plate of food for him (congee, watermelon, apple, mandarin orange, cantaloupe, and maybe bacon). I also got him apple juice. I then went back form my plate with him walking beside me. Breakfast is the most important meal each day the last time we traveled to China, so I was pretty hungry. We then met Hilary (I'm going to write all there names down). She helped a lot and got me some espresso (not as strong as European thankfully). We ate and Garrett was looking around at the staff. He drinks well from a straw and wants to hold everything. Since I didn't want a lot of juice stains, I held everything except for a tiny glass of water that he would drink. He also can eat rice pretty well by himself, but I didn't want too much of a mess after denying the baby chair (I thought the baby chair might offend him). He ate a little, not too much compared to future meals. I exchanged some cash when passing the front desk. That's where I met Daniel, the manager of the various restaurants in the hotel. He is from Poughkeepsie NY, and was very nice. Now it was time to get ready for the adoption paperwork.I got back to the room, Garrett holding my hand all the way. He is a tad pigeon-toed or I'm walking too fast. He looks at me a lot while walking, so he may be tripping trying to do too much. He walks better over time, and I walk slower. We got back to the room, where after spending about 5 minutes getting some things ready, he poops before getting a chance to get him on the pot (the small poop pot they gave me). Well, that was the once for the day, no biggy. I notice his Mongolian spots. He has a large one on the left hip. He also has a large one cover the shoulder blades down to his tail bone. He changes easily, not a big deal after all. We get the paperwork, and I get the 7 gifts I think we need for the various officials. I'm to meet everyone at 9 a.m.The meeting takes place in the top 2 stories of this building. It is a very nice hotel even to American Standards. We were the first to arrive and we were in a large multi-conference room with about 10 tables with chairs or couches surrounding each, while a large buffet was also available if meals were to be served. The orphanage director, I do not remember her full name, but she is the one wearing a yellow top and blue jeans in the picture, and was also with me the night before with Garrett. Sandra follows shortly afterwards and we begin the paperwork. I signed several documents, sealing each one with a red thumbprint over my signatures, about 15 documents in all. Next, two ladies come in afterwards that turn out to be Government notaries. I had to fill out about 5 pages about our family, sign and then the paperwork was done. Wow, in a little less than 12 hours in China, I had met Garrett, and finished 1/2 of the paperwork for the trip. I gave traditional gifts to the orphanage director and for the staff at Bautou SWI. I was then given some very nice gifts from the orphanage: A very nice framed certificate thanking us for the contribution for Baotou SWI, a jade necklace with a dog on it(Garrett was born in the year of the dog), and a traditional Mongolian red wall decoration. I then asked about the trip on Wednesday, and I was told due to time that we might only go to China Care and not the orphanage. I was hoping this would change. I ran downstairs to my room and made sure the lollipops and stickers my wife had packed for the orphanage kids would make it to them. The rest of the day was mainly spent getting to know Garrett, eating, and a lot of sleeping. He loved playing with the collapsable ball Madeline had packed. He could throw it and kick it pretty well. I think the one thing that I was impressed with is how he trusted me and looked at me while walking. It's funny how one days rest and a little of play time starts the bonding process of parent and adoptive son. He has the most trusting innocent eyes. He smiles a lot, but speeks very few words. Now at lunch and dinner he loves looking out the window and will get very excited. It really puts smiles on the Champs Elysees staff. I forgot some of the staff's names, but Revian comes to mind. They are extremely smitten with Garrett and a few patrons also inquire. That's where a translated paragraph in Chinese about my trip came in handy, done by our good friend Epin and her sister! I feel like we have many friends and Garrett has many admires, even the male staff is playing with Garrett. He just has a "I'm happy" look on him. After lunch, we both took a good nap. I think we slept from 1 to 5:30. We then get up, play a little and go back down for dinner. Again, treated extremely well. Garrett loves meat, rice, and fruits. He loves the marinated steaks they cook plus duck breast finely cut into medallions. He can eat rice with a spoon, I get a coffee spoon to make it easier on him. He then takes 10 minutes looking at the cars out the window. He also loves watching people! All the female staff come over and inquire and play with him. I'm having to rough out life at this point with New Zealand lamb chops, duck breast, marinated steak, Tsing Tao beer (I deserved 1), fresh fruit and nice dessert. I had to try a lot of desserts to see what Garrett liked, but I did not want to waste them and properly ate what he didn't. That night, we played some more, and he pooped some more, at least 4 times that day. All of a sudden, my diapers calculations were off, he needed more diapers! I'm just looking forward to catch the signal of when he needs to go so he can use the pot, and not the diaper! He falls asleep after some playing, blue winky (a stuffed blue lamb) in tow. He drops in about 3 minutes with your arm around him.
Oh, Van also says that Garrett is a hit with the ladies, a real charmer. I will post pictures when I receive them.

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