It has now been 72 hours since Henry joined our family. The first 24 hours is a "trial period". They give us that time to decide if we want to finalize the adoption and to give him the chance to decide if he wants to be adopted. Of course we were fully committed, but our hearts were warmed when we heard him say "Yes, I want this family to adopt me!" We were certainly relieved to hear that, since if he says NO, then that is that and we were not expecting them to ask him that because we thought that was only for children 10 and older.
So, on day 2 with Henry we started the day with a great breakfast buffet at the hotel. Then we headed to the Chinese civil affair office (2 hours of lovely paperwork time), then headed to the Notary office (a 45 minute drive away) to complete another 1.5 hours of paperwork. Then back to hotel for a bit of rest and headed off to the Bund for a nice stroll along the riverwalk. We have seen pictures of the Shanghai skyline, but it is difficult to describe in words the impact of seeing it in person. The diversity and immensity of the architecture here, and especially along the Bund, is awe inspiring. We hit the stroll at the perfect time, just before dusk. As the sun set the skyline of the buildings lit up like Times Square.
It's been fun, and challenging, to see Henry begin to come out of his shell as he ran all over the place. He was completely overstimulated and it got a little crazy. He was climbing on the rails and zig-zagging all over the plce, refusing to listen. We tell him to "be careful" "hold hands" and he KNOWS what we are saying, but at that particular time, refused to listen. We were with another family and that made it a little more stressful as our peceful stroll turned into a chase trhoughout the Bund. Thank goodness they are a patient and understanding family.
After the Bund, we went to a pizza place not far from the hotel. Tom and the owner (from Italy) were speaking Spanish and we ended up with a delicious meal. Henry LOVED pizza. It was obvious that he was overly excited as he started to lick the plate and rattle the glassware with the silverware.....we had to collect all glass and silverware because it was getting out of control with all three of the kids. We went swimming and then off to bed...exhausted.
Today is Wednesday. Feels like Friday. We visited the orpanage. It is huge. We saw only a small part of it. We were brought to the room where the SN babies live. It was very difficult. These kids are getting the best care possible. Noah and Leah were shocked and upset at what they saw. They had never been around kids with severe birth defects and did not know what to think. These children are loved and taken care of....the nannies do what they can. We talked with the kids afterwards and had them write their feelings down. Leah struggled the most I think, because she had created a sort of fantasy of what her life may have been like when she was in an orphanage...her main concern was whether or not the babies had fresh food and if they got hurt would they be helped.
We then went to the room where Henry spent 7 days before we got him. It was a very nice room with 30 beds or so. He was kept with the smaller kids. I think this was to transition him and because the older kids who lived there were very aggressive. Henry got very upset as the older kids ran up and pushed us and yelled as we made our way down the hall. He said "that is naughty. That would not happen in my school." He was apprehensive and was clinging to Tom the entire time (he goes back and forth with me). It was emotional for all of us and I cannot possibly put into words really how we all felt. Henry is bonding well with Tom.
We then went to Nanjing Road where Tom managed to order enough food for 20 people (we gave some away to a homeless man). It was interesting. He then went and bought a bunch of DVDs as the hotel loaned us a free DVD player. He got seasons 1-3 od Modern Family for 30 bucks. Heck yes!!
The kids are passed out and sorry for the long post....I am leaving out a lot bt must add something funny...Tom just got back from a little run to the grocery for water and snacks. He was offered a special massage with very good service....he said no....tee hee. Now for pictures.