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Adoption Day

Mark & Dani were up , showered, baby fed & we went down to breakfast at 7:00am.(Sophia had gone to bed with no problem & slept all night) We were meeting everyone in the lobby at 8:00am to go back to the Lottery hotel for the official adoption day ceremony. This time they showed us into a room with some toys as each family would be going into another room for their interview & official signing of the documents. We caught a glimpse of the nannies peeking in the door watching the babies play. When it was Mark & Dani's turn we walked by the nannies in the hallway & her little face "lit right up" was very touching & extremely obvious how much they cared!!!! After all the pertinent questions - "do you want to keep this baby?" (like they would say no!!) the papers were "signed" with Sophia's red foot print. We were then moved back into the "gotcha" room for the official ceremony after which the orphanage director answered any questions & posed for pictures with each family. The day before Michael had given back to each family things they had sent in their "care" packages but unfortunately the only thing Mark & Dani got back were the two disposable cameras. Apparently her photo album & toys got "lost"! Next it was back on the bus to go to the Notary office so the papers could be signed in front of her to become official. Again each family went in & were asked basically the questions again & signed all their pages of paperwork. I became the official photographer at that point & took pictures for most of the was another very emotional day for everyone!
We got back to the hotel around 12:30pm& went down to the chinese restaurant for lunch........that way Sophia could have her meat congee. Our waitress was there & helped us order again, She speaks pretty good english & we found out her english name is Giselle. She even brought over forks after watching us(Dani & I that is - Mark was pretty good) struggle with chopsticks. Dani & Sophia went upstairs to take a nap while Mark & I walked all the way around one end of the lake, over the bridge & back. It is so beautiful , well landscaped & lots of "park areas". We got lots of stares but the people that could speak some english would always say hello.
Michael had a doctor in his room from 5:00 - 6:00 pm to check over the babies. Sophia had a very nasty diaper rash that had gotten worse as the day went on. Apparently it was not a diaper rash - it was exzema which is very common to babies in China. It was getting infected so he give her an antibiotic along with two creams - one chinese & one western - that Dani had to mix together to put on it. They know their medicines as within 24 hours it was amazing how much it cleared up.
We went back to the chinese restaurant for dinner & Giselle helped us pick out something good for dinner........5 different dishes & our check was 70 RMB(around $10.00 american!). Once again she brought over the forks! We went for an after dinner stroll across the bridge.........Mark had Sophia in the carrier facing him & she would tip her head all the way back so she could see everything. It is very pretty at night with lights everywhere that reminded me of Vegas.

PS. Looking back on those two days made me realize how lucky I was to be able to watch Mark & Dani get Sophia & become parents for the first time. It was like they had been doing it forever & she is definitely the baby that was meant for them!

PPS. This is for Susan - the pathetic picture is of tiny yellow crocus by my mailbox trying to bloom among the leftover leaves, branches & dirty snow!!! That's as good as it gets around here for "spring" flowers!


  1. Val, I'm so glad you were able to be with Mark & Dani as they received Sophia into their family. What an incredible blessing adoption is!

    I love your account, and am sure that Dani & Mark will appreciate your view of the things that were so momentous while they were in China. I know that you want to remember everything, but the poor, overstimulated brain, coupled with the jet lag, always seems to interfere with that notion!

    So, are you over your jetlag yet?


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