Aelex’s Adoption Diary
Monday February 24, 2003
WE! ARE! FAM-I-LY!*
*Sung to the tune of “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge, 1979, Cotillion Records.
Editors Note: Due to the highly emotional nature of today’s posting, the part of narrator — usually played by Mark the Cynic — will instead be performed by the much more sensitive, and the infinitely better looking, Dorothy. Mark and his smart-ass comments should return tomorrow. In the meantime, break out the hankies and read on…
It is 7: 18 A.M. on Monday morning and the housekeeping team is in our room setting up the crib for our soon-to-arrive daughter, Aelex. Her estimated time of arrival is 9 A.M. We have been up since 5 and the anxiety is building very quickly. We went to breakfast at 6:30 and spoke with some people who got their daughters yesterday, all around thirteen months old. One of the little ones looked so scared and frightened, I got very emotional looking at her, my husband was left sitting with a weeping wife at the table. I am typing to keep my mind occupied, Mark is walking around the room flipping open his pocket watch every few minutes. He could not eat at breakfast and cannot concentrate on TV. The emotions are something that cannot be explained, butterflies, nausea, excitement, nervousness all at the same time.
It is now 9: 30 A.M. and we are still awaiting the arrival of our little one. I have never seen Mark so anxious since I met him, he has worn out the carpet in the room. I now understand how fathers feel when they are awaiting the arrival of their new born. The phone just rang and Dr. Hong is on his way up with Aelex.
Monday 12:20, Aelex Ling Zhi is laying fast asleep on her dad’s chest and I am hoping he does not start snoring and wake her up. As you can tell I stopped typing very quickly when I found out she was on her way up to our room. At first I opened the door to wait for her to get off the elevator, however, it took a few minutes for them to get to us (which seemed like hours), Mark made me shut the door and come inside. We later found out they were delivering another little one before us and one after us. (I just have to interrupt my story for a moment, for everyone who knows Mark knows how much and how hard he can snore, well picture this, he is lifting the roof off the room with his snores, the baby is still out cold laying on his chest. I guess she will fit right in with him. ) Meanwhile, when Dr. Hong, rang the bell (at 9:45 ) both Mark and I almost jumped out of our skin. When Mark opened the door in walked two ladies (the babies’ caretakers) holding two beautiful babies. Dr. Hong asked “ can you tell us which one is your daughter?” It took me a couple of seconds but there was no mistaking Yang Ling Zhi. She came into my arms with ease and studied my face for what seemed like forever, then it was daddy’s turn to hold her and she took a liking to him at once. Dr. Hong and the caregivers went to bring the other couple their bundle of joy and we got to be alone with our new arrival. Mark set the timer on the camera and our first family photo was put into history. Aelex looked at us with wonder in her eyes that seemed to say “what is going on here?” She did not cry, nor did she smile, but very quickly the stackable cups we brought for her were a hit. Within a few minutes we introduced her to the best baby finger food in the world; “Cheerios”. She played for a while and very quickly got into every thing in the room. Dr. Hong came back with the caregivers and we signed some papers and got a few questions answered, how she likes her bottle, what she likes to be called, and so on. We will get a lot of our questions answered later when we meet him in the lobby at 1:50 P.M. to do some paperwork.
Monday 1:50 P.M. we met with Dr. Hong and two other families in the lobby and were taken to get a family photo taken for our paperwork. Next we got on a bus (which was a surprise to us) for what we thought was a trip to do some paperwork, only to find out when we got there that this was Adoption Day! Although we were very prepared with our paperwork, the clothes we carried half way around the world for this special occasion were left in our suitcases. However, appropriately dressed or not, we were very happy to go through this formality. After the adoption was completed we went back to the hotel with a brighter smile on our faces than ever. We planned to dress up and go out to dinner, however we never made it that far. In the afternoon we took Aelex to buy a stroller and some shoes. We found out it is not so easy to get shoes for our big, wide footed girl. The natives stared at us wherever we went. We believe it was because we were to westerners with a Chinese baby.
Back at the hotel with a new stroller and our shoeless daughter, we enjoyed hours of playing and enjoying the laughter and giggles from her. We believe (as most parents do) that we have the smartest little one in the world. Our plan to dress-up and go out to dinner turned into going down to the lobby grabbing a quick bite and back to our room. I think the excitement of the day exhausted all three of us and our room quiet with lights out by 9 P.M.