Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Adoption - It's Official

Next morning it was an early get up as we were headed to the Notary Office to sign off on the adoption of Maya but the first thing I was greeted to in the morning was our daughter's smiling face. I think she couldn't quite believe she was with us and neither did we. Really I thought someone should pinch me. She went to brush her teeth and I caught these images of her in the door back-light by the sun. Yes, she was really here with us and from now on we're not letting her out of our sight.

I got my fist kisses this morning, be still my heart. She seems very affectionate but at times pulls away just a bit I'm sure in protection of herself. After all she doesn't really now us yet. Sure she's seen our pictures but to her we are still strangers, just someone else she has to be with. Still I try to hug her and kiss her or just stroke her back whenever I can, trying not to overwhelm her because really I just want to squeeze her to bits but I do get close to her even if I know she may pull away. There are moments though when we can be freely affectionate and so this morning just before we went to sign to make the adoption official I got sweet kisses from Maya. Then she let me style her hair and she did mine, adding a pink bow as the finishing touch and I wore it all day.

I wrote in my journal while she colored then she too wrote something for me in Chinese but I don't know what it is. Hopefully one day when she can translate it for me in English I will know. She picked a sweet white dress (which I already had in mind when I bought it) for adoption day, wearing also the red necklace I got her that remind me of the Red Thread legend that says that we were always destined to meet.

At 9:30 we arrived at the Notary Office where we waited along with the other families in our group to be called for an interview and to sign the adoption papers. I was always nervous about this interview but it actually was a few questions such as basically are we satisfied with Maya and are we going through with the adoption, of course, yes, do we promise never to abandon her, yes, will we proved all that's needed for her future, yes, yes and more yeses and at last we signed the papers and Maya officially became our daughter Maya Lanlan Josephine V.  She has been practising the full name ever since and can say it pretty good. I could cry again and pinch myself again but she's very intuitive and will ask right away what's wrong and I don't want her to think anything is wrong because it's all right. We officially just became parents again and we have a beautiful family of three daughters and a son. Pinch me.

Just worth a mention that I forgot to pack more than one pair of shorts for Charlie and the heat is on, wonderful.  We went to the Walmart here as we all seem to do a daily stop at it but no sizes were made for a healthy North American male. On we go to some boutiques, at first nada then one managed to find something close to what he needed, sure a simple pair of shorts cost eighty dollars but what other choice did we have, not much.

I'm trying to get  more photos of myself bonding with Maya as usually I take the opportunity when she is with her Daddy and I so love seeing them together. Nothing makes a woman's heart grow fonder than when she sees her man close to their child. That was always like that for me at least and the rest of our children. Charlie was always very hands on with the care of our kids and very involved in every diaper, school meeting, first boyfriends or girlfriends issues etc etc and is one of many reasons why after 31 years we are still together. And after those 31 years he blesses me with another child as beautiful inside and out as the rest of our children. What else could a woman want???

Here we are imitating poses.

Soon it was time for yet another appointment to fill out the Citizenship papers with our agency.  More paperwork is to be added to this before we can make Maya a Canadian citizen.  The trail of paperwork is never ending and when we get back there is still a lot more to do.  Here I am with Yulin from our agency FOI and our China host and translator Mary. Both ladies work very hard.

Let me tell you Maya has a funny side, a sassy side and a very caring and tender side, at least these are some of the sides she's let us see so far. The life she's led have made many tracks on her heart and though I can see many positive ones I can't imagine she is that perfect. No child is that perfect. On this second night we were about to see what other tracks life has made in her heart.

The first day that Maya came to us and we returned to the hotel she saw the tub and immediately wanted a bath. I don't blame her; a nice tub, a nice view, all the little bottles of shampoo and conditioner, not that she knew what conditioner was, soft towels you could want. This photo is on the second day. We got her goggles in case we get to the pool at the hotel and she wanted them for the bath and had the best time swimming in the tub. 

For lunch we went to the Chinese restaurant where the menu was in display cases in another room. We walked in and had no idea what was going. Where is the restaurant?? Where are the waiters etc? Well, you look at the display cases which contained large photos of the meals, chose the meals and then go to the restaurant and wait for your meal to arrive. We had fish and shrimp which was delicious. Here Maya is teaching her Daddy to use the chopsticks but it only went so far before the fork was picked up and good meal was gone. Maya had two bowls of rice, we had to order an additional one for her, she ate fish and shrimp and whatever sides there were.  Good I thought she won't be hungry for a while. We need to get some nutritious food into this girl as she looks a little thin.

This is a cartoon Maya was watching, just thought I'd keep a little memento of it here.

Traffic in China means everyone goes every which way they want. I don't know how no one is killed or maybe sometimes they are but there were so many close calls while riding the bus I can't even count. The mopeds especially are everywhere crossing the road in opposite directions all the time and many women wear masks and what looks like fashionable masks, designer maybe.

We looked through the menu but Maya wanted the buffet again because it gives her free reign on all the food she can see rather than read the menu not that she can't read, she reads very well but she seemed very impatient with the menu. Now remember she had a good lunch, she had a good dinner too. She ate so much and when she said she can't eat anymore one moment in the next moment she went to get more and ate more so much so that we had to stop her but she didn't want to be stopped and just seemed very giddy, laughing and and a bit rebellious. Our first test I thought. I often hear of this in adoption first the food, kids will eat a lot of food in fear it will be gone or it won't be there the next day. Also they will test the parents to see if they will return the child. It could also mean it was setting in for Maya that life as she knew it, good or bad, has just changed big time and even though it was for the better she doesn't know that yet and she doesn't know if it will last. Sure we seem like nice people and we shower her with affection, food and material things but she probably thinks it's only temporary and it's only a matter of time before it's all gone. We did have to stop her from eating even though she didn't like it and she had to hear no a few times because her table manners are sorely lacking. I know it's part Chinese culture and part Maya has taught herself to survive any way she can. I don't fault her for any of it but we will work on it until she feels secure the food and her parents will never be gone again.

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