Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It's Official!

I'm a little late in posting this, but on Monday morning, our little girl became Hallie Elizabeth Godwin for good! Her adoption is complete, and that happened a day earlier than we expected because they brought her to us Sunday afternoon instead of Monday morning, which meant that the mandatory 24-hour (i.e., overnight) probationary period ended on Monday instead of beginning then. It was really good for us to have her just four hours after arriving in Jinan, and I think that it's going to make her transition easier. She was very placid and complacent Sunday. In fact, she slept for about twelve hours that night. On Monday morning, we had to go to Civil Affairs, the police station, and then the notary's office. At the first two stops, both of the caretakers from her orphanage came with us, and the one who seemed more attached to her spent most of the time holding Hallie and taking care of her. It seemed like she needed the time to say goodbye even more than did Hallie. At the notary's office, only the other caretaker came in with us; I don't know where the other girl was. She didn't hold Hallie at all in the office, but that wasn't so strange because she hadn't held her much at all at any of the times that we've seen her. (We learned later that she was only there to take care of the papers from the orphanage. She wasn't actually Hallie's caretaker, at least not to the extent that the other girl was.)
Hallie was really hungry by the time we finished up there (about 11:30), and thankfully we were able to get some clarification on her eating habits. They'd told us Sunday, through John (our coordinator here in Jinan this week), that Hallie liked to eat cheese. We asked him to ask the taller girl what kind of cheese to get, but it turns out that cheese is an inaccurate translation. The only kind of solid food that she eats is crackers/cookies mixed with milk. They left some of that with us when they brought her to the hotel on Sunday, and so Kristie mixed some up in a bowl and fed it to her for her lunch once we got back to the room. For the first time, Hallie really fought back. Even though she liked the taste of the food, she didn't want to do it on our terms. The realization that she is now in our care, not that of her usual caretakers, seemed finally to dawn on her. So, Kristie spent the better part of 20-30 minutes holding her still while feeding her one spoonful at a time. She finally did eat most of the bowl, and then after crying some more, she settled down for a good afternoon nap.
We ventured out that night to find some Western restaurants done Chinese-style. The Pizza Hut that we found looked almost like a half-Pizza Hut, half-bistro restaurant, and let me tell you, it's a good deal nicer than the Pizza Hut/Taco Bell combos that we have back at the States. Dinner there was really good, and we got back to the room exhausted, but very grateful for the fact that Hallie is now officially ours. What a great way to end our first full day in Jinan!
Hallie being held by her caretaker, along with the other worker from the orphanage.

Chinese knot given to us by the woman at Civil Affairs. This knot means "good fortune."
The picture below is of her in the van, as we drove from Civil Affairs, where her adoption became final. Apparently, adoption is tiring not just for the parents, but for the kid, too. :-)

At Pizza Hut

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