Adoption Finalization

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Emma Claire continues to live up to her nanny's description--a easy-going, mild-mannered child. 

She was happy all yesterday, did very well at dinner and went to bed easily and slept through the night, she woke up happy this morning had a bottle and some congee at breakfast. 

We returned to the Civil Affairs office today to finalize the adoption in China. Emma Claire is officially ours.
Posing for a photo at the Heilongjiang Provincial Civil Affairs Office where the Chinese part of the adoption takes place.

The process took longer than expected, some 2 hours, because there was a couple of mistakes on two of the documents. Matt was listed as the orphanage and the orphanage was listed as the adoptive father. Slight problem. And the other mistake was the Orphanage address was wrong on a document from the CCCWA that oversees all China adoptions. We had to wait for the problems to be fixed. 

Emma Claire slept through the official part of the finalization. She woke up prematurely from her nap when we had to put her foot in the red ink pad and stamp it on the adoption paperwork. 

While we waited, we spoke with the Heilongjiang Province Adoption Director and her assistant as well as Emma Claire's orphanage director. Everyone is very friendly here and they seem to truly care about the children. Both the province director and the orphanage director gave me their email addresses and asked that I send them photos of Emma Claire as she grows. They also asked that we bring her back to Harbin and Suihua when she is older so that she can see the province and where she was born. 
Emma Claire with Susan, Heilongjiang Civil Affairs Director. Emma Claire is trying to take over.

I also learned that the orphanage director is the one who gave Emma Claire her Chinese name. He is a huge fan of the Chinese Olympic swimmer, Ye ShiWen, and she is named after her. He was very pleased to learn that Chloe is a competitive swimmer and that Emma Claire could have the opportunity to swim too. 

After the finalization, we returned to the hotel and played with Emma Claire. She cannot sit up on her own and lacks the upper body strength to fully crawl. She army crawls now. We got on the floor with her and played with the stacking cups while trying to help build some core strength. She appeared to be in a happy mood, so we decided to head to Wal-Mart across the street from our hotel to grab some food items and buy some baby socks. Emma Claire is petite. Much smaller than she looks in her referral photos and wears a size 9 months in clothing, but her feet are tiny, about size 3-6 months in sock sizing. The 6-12 months socks I brought literally fell off her feet.
Tummy time.


Emma Claire is such a happy baby.


While we were shopping in Wal-Mart, Emma Claire just looked at me, rubbed her eyes and fell fast asleep in my arms in a matter of seconds. No fussing, no whining, she was out like a light. 

In a province that does very few adoptions and sees very few westerners, we garnered a LOT of attention with Emma Claire. I was given a copy of our Chinese adoption decree this morning and told by the province director to carry it with me when we are out as I may be asked by concerned people why I have a Chinese infant. Most people just stare, one elderly woman followed us around the prepared food section "watching" us, some come up to look at Emma Claire and will ask and point to me, "Ma Ma?". 

Tonight we went to eat Russian food (Not our favorite meal since we've been here. The foods been great otherwise) and walk the main street where there are numerous concerts, usually an advertising ploy for insurance, cell phones or music lessons. It's a great atmosphere and there are street vendors, beer gardens and street food. Despite all of the other attractions that draw locals and summer time tourists, me carrying Emma Claire seemed to draw the biggest crowd. I believe I am in half of the Harbin vacationers photos. 
Our traditional Russian meal--dry bread and breaded shrimp in a tomato sauce. The Snow Beer was the best part.

We stopped to listen to some music and a crowd gathered around us and began asking Sophie questions about Emma Claire and me. The main line of questioning was why Emma Claire wasn't in split pants but a diaper. Apparently elderly Chinese women believe western style disposable diapers are too tight around baby. 
An outdoor concert on the pedestrian street.


Emma Claire at dinner.


The cutest baby in Harbin.


At night before I put Emma Claire to bed, I've been able to FaceTime with Matt, Chloe and Oliver. It's been really nice to see their faces and hear about what they've been up to. They also enjoy being able to see their baby sister. 

Since the paperwork is complete and we are just waiting for it to be filed and for Emma Claire's Chinese passport to be issued, we are touring the remaining days here in Harbin, 


1 comment

ann chaloux said...

She is precious! Congratulations!