Adopting Again The Trip

Monday, March 8, 2004
Civil Affairs Office
This morning, Mark woke up about 5:00am. Tamlyn was already stirring in her crib and Mark wanted to be up and ready before she started crying. He quickly took a shower, got dressed, and readied Tamlyn's bottle before she woke up. This was also a good time to turn on the computer, download the pictures from our camera, and send a few of them off to our daughter Stephanie who was staying with some friends of ours. It was a tough choice not to bring her to China with us, but we didn't feel that we could give Tamlyn, and her, the attention they both need. Needless to say, we missed Stephanie dearly.

It's 7:00am now and everybody is up and getting ready for the day. Tamlyn woke up at 5:30am and immediately started crying and coughing. The crying stopped as soon as Mark put her on his lap as he worked on the computer, but the coughing continued on for a little while longer.

Breakfast at the Huatian
Breakfast at the Huatian was great. It was a large buffet with several items to choose from, excluding bananas. Conveniently, we were given a room in the back where our babies would be less annoying to the business patrons and where we could be a bit freer to make a mess. Unfortunately, the parents spent most of their time tending to their new babies instead of eating for themselves. During breakfast we had a chance to meet several other adopting families who came from all over the world (Australia, Norway, and Spain, to name a few). Although we didn't speak the same language, we felt we had a certain bond.

After breakfast, we all piled into the bus and journeyed to the Civil Affairs office to sign papers and make everything official with the Chinese government. Civil Affairs was located on the 5th floor of a dark office building, but the office itself was bright and modern.

Signing Papers at Civil Affairs
Exiting the elevator, we all filed into the spacious square room with a conference table gracing one side, chairs along another, and a desk for the Official in the far corner. The room was beautifully decorated with paintings, photographs, and foliage. Each family was processed one by one, taking about 15 minutes each. Our processing included a few questions by the Official ("What do you do?", "Why do you want to adopt", "Are you happy with your baby", etc.), the taking of Tamlyn's footprint, and the signing of various papers. We also were photographed for the first time, as a family, for Tamlyn's adoption certificate. Now, in the eyes of the Chinese government, Tamlyn is officially a member of our family.

A Street Vendor Selling Rabbits

We arrived back at the hotel with a few a few hours to kill, so we decided to go adventuring outside.

Afterwards, we headed down to the hotel's Hunan style restaurant for a group dinner. Mr. Smile ordered for us, and once again, the food was extraordinary. The babies enjoyed the steamed eggs and the adults enjoyed the french fries.