Monday, February 27, 2012

A Day to Remember: Gotcha, Henry!

Mon. 02.27.12

First of all, I'm sorry this post is long but there's so much to share!

We woke up around 5am and took our time getting ready and making sure we gathered all our paperwork, gifts and a few baby items (a small toy, Cheerios or other snack in a Snack Trap, a back-up diaper, maybe a sippy cup of juice, a puffer jacket if it's cold, and definitely your best camera). We had brought our stroller down to the lobby at 9:30am but a mom who was adopting again told us we didn't need it since we carry our child down a few steps from the registration office to the bus, so Dave took it back to the room. Our reps advised us to write our children's Chinese names on the gift bags, red envelopes and baby passport fees but not all agencies do this.

One thing we did FORGET to take with us was a set of questions for the orphanage director and assistant. However, since our paper update from yesterday basically provided all the answers we needed, it wasn't necessary for us to ask too many questions. Besides, we could only think of two questions!

Everyone made light conversation as nerves began to set in. Some of us showed someone else from another family how to use each other's cameras and video cameras. I think the first set of children came in around 10am. For our group and another friend from another agency, I took as many photos as I could. We all took photos for each other, actually. Every time the door opened, we all turned our heads. Still no Henry. By 11am or so, all the children arrived except for two families: ours and another family whose daughter was also from the same orphanage. What's ironic is that the orphanage is the closest to the registration office out of all the participating orphanages!

It must have been 11:20 or later when we noticed a small SUV parking up outside the building. Two women walked out and with them were two babies. I started taking pictures although I couldn't see Henry until he turned his face. I gave my camera to a dad and Dave handed over our friend's video camera to another dad. I was so emotional! Henry was perfect and he was just curious looking at us and looking at his new surroundings. Dave said we were given two bags of Henry's things by the orphanage director, which I vaguely remember. I just couldn't stop hugging and kissing and touching Henry's distinguished cheeks! I then remembered I had a husband so I handed Henry over to his new dad. Henry never cried once. He just stared at Dave and gave him a "what's up" nod. :)

Yisha's assistant translated our questions and answers with the orphanage director and assistant, and we handed over our gift bags, red envelopes, and child's passport fee. We also had our "adoption photo" taken as a family, which took no more than a minute.

As soon as we arrived back at the hotel, we stripped Henry down to his last layer and changed his diaper and let him soak in his new room for the next few days. It was cool watching our new son "in person"! He enjoyed his new soft toys but loved to put almost everything in his mouth. Henry had taken a nap for over an hour so I slowly woke him up. He stretched hard but didn't cry. :)

While half of our spouses met up in the meeting room to sign the 24-hour "guardianship agreement" (all adoptive parents are basically given a "test drive" of their new child!), the rest of us spent more time with our little kiddos. Since our Chinese formula -- which came with Henry's stuff -- was written in Chinese, Dave took the bag with him to have Yisha translate for us (she also had formula scoops, which did not come with the formula).

I couldn't wait any longer for Dave to return so I gave Henry some prune baby food. We had noticed that he did not like to be hand-fed directly and would try to take whatever we gave him in his own little fingers. So, while trying to feed him this brown prune stuff, he was blocking me with his wrists like a little kung-fu master! I couldn't stop laughing at him but I managed to give him a taste on his lips and voila, he was sold!

Dave returned with instructions and I made a bottle -- using the Drop-In Liner system, which I absolutely love -- and let it cool down in the ice-bucket of cold water before I left to sign papers (FYI: Chinese babies are not used to drinking cold water or cold formula). Henry didn't cry when I left as he was quite content playing with daddy. The only time he cried was when I changed his diaper for the second time. He cried hard but it lasted about 3 minutes. We decided to go down to the restaurant for dinner at 6pm as we hadn't eaten since breakfast at 7:30am! We were given a high chair and Henry was pretty happy. We realized we made a rookie parent mistake. We didn't bring any toys, bibs, baby spoons, baby wipes, or sippy cup to the restaurant! Dave made a quick dash back to the room and we were fine again :).

After some relaxing play time in the room, we decided to give Henry a bath in his new ducky bath tub. He was already familiar with sitting inside and playing with toys. We were preparing for him to scream down the hotel because we were told in our update that he did not like to take baths. I quickly threw his stacking cups in his slightly-bubble-filled ducky and allowed him to get his feet wet first. I had to act fast as it was quite cold in our bathroom. I sat him down and ran water over his little body with a wash cloth. He was so engrossed with the stacking cups that his bath didn't bother him at all. So happy!!! When I rinsed his hair and the water went over his face a little, he kind of gave short whimpers but he did NOT cry! We just kept talking to him and telling him what a good little boy he was. Oh, how we LOVE this boy!!

We got Henry in his PJs and put him in an American-brand diaper for bed (and use the Chinese brand during the day as I've heard they're not as good). We relaxed on my bed until he fell asleep (btw, we got two large Twin beds and not Queen or King at the Crowne in Zhengzhou). We've had the best day of our lives. Here are some photos! Goodnight!

Hello Henry!
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Henry with daddy & mummy
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Henry looking at daddy suspiciously
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Henry enjoying a bus ride
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Henry checking out the bed
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Taking a nap
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Having a giggle with daddy
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Riding the Ducky bath tub


Steve & Kate said...

Absolutely precious photos!

Ann F said...

Brilliant, just brilliant. The photo with Henry laughing with his daddy is a treasure, you can feel the love. Must admit I have wept reading about this special day for you all.x x x

Team Robichaux said...

Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! So so so happy for you guys!! Crying happy tears over here...

Thank you for sharing!!

Carmel said...

Beautiful!!! I am so happy for your new family. I love the bit about the rookie mistake....hahaha. At least you were close so you could run to your room. Hahaha!!

Nancy said...

His cheeks are so YUMMY!!!!
Oh so very happy for you!

Kam said...

Oh my goodness. He is gorgeous! Sounds like you had a perfect day. I absolutely love the pic oh Henry and his daddy. Priceless. are blessed!!!

hcobb said...

Congratulations!! <3 Ssssoooo so happy for all three of you! xoxo

Kelly said...

Awww, he is so adorable! Congratulations!


d e e said...

What a beautiful family! Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

The photographs say it all you look so happy and Henry is beautiful. We are excited for you xxxx

Lisa said...

How lovely for you all! Aww our little Henry is sooo adorable. He looks a very happy little inquisitive little boy. These photos are great off you all. Really enjoyed reading your first days with Henry. Treasured moment for you both! You will make mistakes not to worry,was funny though when you forgot to bring baby things with you to the restaurant but lucky you didn't have to travel far to fetch your stuff. Aww enjoy every moment with Henry what a cutey. Can't wait for a cuddle xxxxxx

Misty said...

Oh my goodness, girl. I love the way he looks up at you guys. His look is priceless. I have chills like nobody's business. Thank you so much for keeping this blog up! I am so so so happy for your new family. Hugs, Misty

HouseofShaw said...

Lots of tears of joy on this end!!!! What a wonderful day and thanks for sharing with us! Little bundle of gold is too cute, oh those cheeks!!!!

Lynette said...

Henry is so adorable. Happy for you! Congrats on a wonderful Gotcha-Forever-Family-Day.

Tara and Julian said...

Absolutely beautiful! You are so funny with your descriptions of him. I can't wait to see his "distinguished cheeks" too!

Suzie said...

So cute! We brought home our son a year ago from henan, too! Have a fun time together. What great memories you're making! Enjoy the trip!

Suzie said...

We came home a year ago from henan with our son. What a great experience. Enjoy every minute... was such a fun time... Henry (love the name) is adorable!

The Drinkwaters said...

Congratulations! You all look so very happy and enamored with each other.

(Guangxi Mama from RQ)

Anonymous said...

Happy happy happy day!!! At last you are all together how emotional I can't believe it. He is lovely, we love him love him love him already. Photos of you all together are great at last in your arms. We have to also say like the others, photos with Henry and daddy are extra adorable. Big shell xxxxxxxxx

Tony and Sue said...

I laughed and I cried reading this post! Congratulations! Love his smile!