Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gotcha Day 2005. The day we get to see and hold our daughter

Gotcha Day is the special day where the parents are united with the child they have been waiting for. It is sort of like a birthday.  Some families celebrate it.  It gives a solid date to go by.  Birthdays are not always accurate.  When children are abandoned, the orphanages have to estimate the day of birth.  That is unless the parent leaves a note stating that information.

Once we flew into Jaingxi, we were brought to our hotel to check in.  Then we were advised to meet in the lobby to be brought to the office of the Social Welfare building.  This is where the children were being brought to.  The trip for the children was 2 hours away in a more rural part of Jaingxi.  We were in the city.

Before going to China, we looked up other Gotcha Days on the Internet.  It was a festive day where parents were brought into a room.  One by one workers would bring in each child as they called the parents name and they were joyfully united.  It warmed the heart with the upcoming anticipation of what we were preparing for.

In the lobby, the nervous parents gathered.  We got on our bus ready to take the trek to the office.  Everyone was nervous.  I know we were wondering how our daughter would accept us.  Outside the bus, it was foggy with a chill in the air.

At our destination, we shuffled out of the bus into the building.  Our guide went ahead to see where we were to go.  Coming back from the office, she corralled us towards a big meeting room.  The room was similar to the one's we saw on the Internet.  Inside the building was another group.  This was strange.  Were we going to be doing a joint Gotcha Day?  I don't think anyone cared.

Our guide saw the other group and went back to the main office.  Next thing we know, the children were coming out of the room and we were shuffled into a small hallway.  A man passed by holding a baby that looked similar to our child.  We smiled at the man and asked, "is this Wen Hua?"  He looked at us and smiled, but did not say a word as he went to the other end of the hall.

Next thing you know, they start calling out parents names.  At this point, we were all crowded in a small hallway.  The babies were scared and crying.  Our names were called.  I grabbed the camera and Angie went up to receive our daughter.  Then, the crying began.  We walked off to the side to look at our daughter.

As we started to remove some of her clothes, we discovered that her diaper was not really on her.  She had gone to the bathroom.  The smell of urine was strong.  We changed her diaper and got her situated.  She was still whimpering.  Then they informed us that the children had not eaten.  My wife mixed up the formula and gave it to our daughter.  She took one sip, pushed it away and started crying.

We got our guides attention.  She felt the bottle and said that it was not hot enough.  We had felt it was warm and did not want to burn her mouth.  She liked her formula near scalding.  After warming it up, she drank it quickly.  Then, she was content.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Wait Continues: PA

Our homestudy was finally approved.  A couple of things needed to be clarified, but it was no problem.  Now it is on to the next step.  We did receive our PA for a child.  She is 18 months and blind.  PA stands for pre-approval in adoption speak.  We have been given a deadline to get our dossier to China.  If we do not get it there in time, the child will be open for adoption.  We plan to get our stuff done as quick as possible.

The paperwork was received on Friday and was out to Texas the next day.  Next up is fingerprinting to verify we have a clean criminal background.  Then, I think some certifications are done and applying to bring an orphan to America.  Once these things are done, it is prepared and sent to China for review.  Hopefully, the process will be expedited, since she is a special needs child.

Once again, it is back to waiting.  .  .

Friday, October 24, 2014

Tengwang Pavilion. Only tourist spot in Jiangxi?

In Jiangxi, one of the few things that we got to visit was the Tengwang Pavilion.  It is a multi story pavilion near the Gan River.  Upon arriving, we took a group shot in front of the pavilion.  Then we proceeded to go into the pavilion.  We took an elevator to the top floor, I believe.  Seeing that this supposed to be an ancient building, it was probably added in the many reconstructions done.  On the top floor, there is an area where a musical show is being performed.

Walking around, we saw the decorations and artistry of the building.  Walking to the sides, you have an area to look over the city and river.  We did get to see a car accident.  It looked like a person on a bike was hit by a car.  I'm surprised we did not see more accidents.  You can also look down on the garden that is to the left of the building.

We took the stairs to each level and explored.  There were a lot of historical artifacts, pictures and crafts.  They also had a gift shop.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Beijing Zoo. An old style zoo in a big city, with pictures

I had previously started talking about the Beijing Zoo in the Pandas Part 1 post.  During our two week stay in Beijing, we got to visit a lot of the tourist spots in Beijing.  Besides the pandas, the zoo has many other animals.

This zoo is huge.  I don't even know if we walked the whole thing.  We got to see lots of what it had to offer.  It is an old style zoo.  There are cages, open areas, netting for birds.  The open areas had animals like a giraffe, donkey, etc.  In these areas, you could get close to the animals.  There were some open areas that you could not get to the animal.  Those housed bears, lions and tigers.  The monkeys were in cages.  Some birds and hawks were in an open netting.   I did see an elephant in a small concrete enclosure.

The zoo was kept in good condition.  Some animals did not look happy, but what animals in captivity would be.  People would yell and poke at them to get them to move.  Most were hot and tired.  They just looked at the people, hoping they would move on.  

The children loved it.  They ran around and looked at all the animals.  Kayla took pictures with her fans.  The girls posed with people and with concrete animals.

The zoo did have a gift shop.  We were talked into buying stuffed pandas and soda.   We did not eat at the park.  We went to a restaurant after our visit.