She is officially ours
This time, I thought I would share photos first and get to blogging about our day second. And that's because 4am is about the only time I have to blog. Night time is so rough for our little girl, which makes it rough for mommy. So thanks for your patience as these photos are coming later than I'd like.
I'll start where we left off yesterday. Madeline Bei woke up at 6:45am, which was perfect timing so we could start our day. She whimpered a bit, but that whimpering turned into cryin as soon as I tried to change her very wet pull up. We knew that we couldn't bring her back to the civil affairs office in the same clothes she came to us in. So we would have to attempt a clothing change. She cried really hard but didn't protest. She even helped me by lifting her arms and such. It just broke my heart because I could tell she was complying but didn't want to.
We all got dressed and headed downstairs for breakfast. Although the waitstaff brought us a high chair, she would have nothing to do with it. So instead, I kept her on my lap and fed her. She did just fine like that.
We met our guide, Eric, in the lobby at 9am and headed back out to the civil affairs office to finalize our adoption. We knew that heading back there was going to be difficult because Madeline would see Mr. Yang and Mr. Ma again. And it sure was. As soon as we walked in, she caught a glimpse of Mr. Yang and errupted into tears. Mr. Yang reached for her, so I handed her over to him. She calmed down a litle bit. Then he decided it was best for me to hold her and try to stay hidden. She was crying so hard that the officials decided to let us go first, to get it over with. With eyes in the back of my head, I could see all the frowns on the other adoptive families' faces as they heard our daughter wailing. She cried hysterical the entire time, as Patrick answered our questions during the interview. We had to remove her right shoe to get a footprint, and I thought that was going to be the end of it. I just held her as the officials and Eric worked to make the documents official. When we were finished, I walked back to the waiting area and could see Mr. Yang peeking out behind the front door. He certainly didn't want her to see him. But we wondered how long he was going to stay outside and wait to catch one last glimpse of her.
While I continued to hold her while standing (she won't allow me to sit), Caleb played with the Drewes kiddos. I know I said it earlier, but I'll say it again. I am so thankful they are with us on this leg of our the trip. They have been so great playing with Caleb and keeping him away as Madeline cries her eyes out.
She eventually settled down, and yes, let me sit once she stopped crying. I gave her my iphone so she could listen to some songs and look at the pictures. Then we had another little "I guess these folks aren't so bad, and I might let them into my world" moment. She started pointing to each of us on the photos and repeating our names. When I pointed to Caleb playing in the play area, she motioned to go over. So we cautiously did just that. She watched her brother play and just relaxed. She finally let her guard down. She just loves her stickers and her bracelet and had fun playing with them on my lap, as the others played around her. We even got some smiles.
When it was time to head back to the hotel, I was relieved that Mr. Yang was no longer waiting outside the door. As much as I would've liked to talk to him one more time, it would've been to painful for Madeline. And we just got her relaxed. So I was relieved. Once in the van, I thought we could try to get a laugh out of her. I pulled up her shirt a bit around her tummy and told Caleb to try to tickle her. And that was when we got her first laugh. Caleb was so thrilled to win the contest I created yesterday when I challenged us all to be the first to make her laugh.
Once we got back to the hotel, Patrick set out to get lunch for us, as I watched the kids. We all played with the bubbles, which Madeline really enjoyed. She even decided it was safe enough to take off her shoes. Yes, she took them off all by herself. Baba came back with McDonald's and congee. Madeline ate her congee and even tried some burger meat and, like her cousin Leah, fries.
I got Patrick to blow up the beach ball and asked Caleb to roll it to Madeline. Boy, did she light up. She laughed a lot and really enjoyed it. She also kept enticing me to tickle her. So I naturally obliged. It's with moments like these that she sees we're okay, which makes Caleb's little ears happy. She has even let me out of her sight while in the room. So once in a while I can go to the bathroom without a meltdown. She's also allowed a few pull up changes without crying or whimpering. In fact, she's even give me her "signal" to poo poo which is "Pa pa" as she taps her hiney. (Patty, I was surprised to hear that this was different. But it works!)
At one point, I wanted to take a shower. So we were going to let her stay right there in the bathroom with me. But as soon as I turned the water on, she began to cry. She eventually fell asleep on my lap while we were playing on the bed around 5pm. So I moved her over and finally took my shower. Caleb also fell asleep on the bed watching TV, as Patrick once again headed out for food. When Madeline woke up, she was whimpering but settle down once I held her. Patrick had returned with some noodles for her. As she sat on my lap, he thought he would try to feed her. Twice she turned her head away. So I went back to feeding her. She ate a fair amount. But she is clearly not overeating.
After she finished eating, we played a little bit. And then I thought I would try to rock her to sleep in bed, instead of the chair. No such luck, she cried hysterical if I wasn't standing up holding her. I can't even prop my foot up on a chair or something. It's like a switch. My poor arms couldn't take it anymore. And although she already indicated she didn't want to go in the carrier, I determined I had nothing to lose at this point. So I put her in it, and she didn't cry! Score one for mommy! I was so relieved. So I rocked her in the carrier. But the one I was really rocking to sleep was ME because I had been up since 3am. I told Patrick I was falling asleep as I rocked her, so I tried to lay down with her. More tears and crying came. She didn't resist me as she laid on my chest, but she never stopped crying. Caleb eventually woke up. And Patrick decided he wanted to be playmate #1 and put her on the floor next to him. He gave her a bottle of orange juice, and she finally stopped crying. They played with her Mickey Mouse phone, and she smiled for him. She even took her shoes off!!!! Eventually she had a poop in her pull up. But as soon as Patrick tried to change her, she started crying again. So I hopped down out of bed to do it. She stopped crying, which relieved Caleb. I put her on the bed between my legs, and this time she didn't cry. She eventually fell asleep sitting up, again. So I waited to lay her next to me with my arm under her. I was eventually able to pull my arm out from underneath her without incident.
And so it goes. We love this little girl so much. And despite the tears shed, we know she made some progress. There are moments when she settles down and realizes we're okay. And she has fun with us. But then she remembers this is her new reality that she never asked for and longs for her past. Please continue to pray that she thinks Daddy is okay and that she'll let me console her while sitting down. Today, we're heading out to the provincial museum. It rained a bit yesterday. So with rain in today's forecast, this is what our guide, Eric, suggested we do. We're looking forward to another exciting day with our two precious children.