Monday, December 3, 2007

Adoption Day, Phase I

Quite a day so far here. We started with breakfast down in the hotel restaurant, and we have simply never had anything like it. From salted duck eggs to congee (rice porridge) with various additions to Korean pickles to chicken eggs hard-boiled in tea, it was all new and all delicious. Except for the duck eggs, which Xiao-Ling and I found too salty for our palates.

On the other hand, Jacquie loved them, calling them "the goat cheese of the egg world" and asking if we could get a duck when we get home.

From there, it was to the Hainan Ministry to begin the process of formally adopting our little girl. We had to sign a lot of papers, including one promising we would not abandon her after the adoption - it's sad that such a thing would be needed but it has apparently happened. We also had to send one back because the address was formatted incorrectly. We worked with a notary and several representatives from Xiao-Ling's former orphanage in Sanya, the same place we will visit later this week.

Before we went to a photo shop in town for a family portrait that will be included with the formal adoption papers, Jacquie and I were thumb-printed in bright red ink. Xiao-Ling, who has very tiny thumbs, had her whole hand printed.

We also learned of our daughter's origins. She was abandoned by her birth parents when she was about ten months old, with only a note giving her date and time of birth (December 27, 2002, between 9AM and 11AM) and a 20 yuan note (worth about $2.50). She was found by a man who wanted her for his own but could not take care of her due to his modest means and her health problems. And so she was taken to the orphanage in Sanya, and from there she went to Los Angeles on a Heal the Children visa to get medical treatment. That's when we learned about her and, well, the rest is history.

En route to the photo shop, the orphanage representatives passed around rice crackers to celebrate, and Jacquie and I regaled everyone with a rousing chorus of "Siman Tov u Mazel Tov."

Tomorrow morning, we're going back to the Ministry office to finalize the adoption, so she will forever be our daughter legally.

1 comment:

susmom said...

Woo hoo......we're almost there!! I can't wait to take Mai-mai shopping for an Aunt Karen spoiling day. when you get home we have to figure out what size she is in so I can start the spoiling (great sales going on here)!! I read Harry's e-mail and your should save all the e-mails and your journals...they should be published they are all so beautiful. Not much longer and you will all be home. Have a wonderful first night of Chanukah with your daughter!!! Love and miss you!! Karen