Day 7: Adoption Day

Tuesday morning, Ryan and I woke up and were quiet as mice, so as not to wake up our sweet son. I started reading through everyone's comments on Facebook that were left while we were sleeping (I love all of them!) when all of the sudden, I heard Ryan say, "Good morning, YiMing. Ni'hao." I whispered, "Why are you waking him up??" Ryan said, "He is wide awake sitting up in the crib." Poor little guy...didn't mutter a single sound. Makes momma's heart break in two. Orphanages can be very quiet places. Kids are taken out of their cribs when it is the scheduled time to do so...not when a little one wakes up. There is no sense in crying or shouting for someone because you will be picked up when it is time. So sad and yet, I understand why that is the norm. I'm just used to little boys yelling, "Mommy, I'm done! Mommy, I wake up!"

We had some quiet time in our big king-sized bed with his favorite toys from the night before. This bed is so comfy and has a big down comforter. We just sat and looked at each other and slowly woke up. Ryan gave Tuck his morning bottle, and he again chugged it down. I wonder what he thinks of us feeding him. I would guess he drank a bottle by himself at the orphanage just for simplicity sake and the fact that he is 2 years old, but who knows! He doesn't seem to mind us feeding him. This picture doesn't show it, but Tuck was making some really great eye contact with his baba during this feeding.

After finishing his bottle, we FaceTimed with Noah and Liam for the first time! As soon as we connected, Noah and Liam were saying, "Hi Tucker! I love you, Tucker! Hi YiMing (EE-ming)!" It was PRECIOUS! Tuck's face lit right up immediately, showing us how much he recognized them. We got him the photo album we sent, and he started pointing to Noah and saying Ga-ga (big brother) and then pointed at Liam saying, "Di-di (little brother)." Tuck is probably 4 inches shorter and 8 pounds lighter than Liam, but technically, he is 8 days older, making him the middle child. :) Noah and Liam were excited to show Tucker the castle they were playing with that morning, and Tucker was excited to see everything. We saw more smiles during that conversation than we had seen the previous day. 

We got ready and went down for our first breakfast together as a family. Tucker especially like the hard boiled eggs! He tried some congee but really just wanted those eggs. He had a few bites of other things, too. He seems to be very hungry when it is time to eat, gobbles up food, and then slows down pretty quickly. 

After breakfast we went over to the Starlight Mall across the street. There is a kid's store called KIdsWant here, and downstairs they have a little kid's play area. We thought it only cost 15 RMB, but it was actually 50 RMB. Oops! Oh well, we had a good time. Tucker was clinging to me at first, so I took him down a slide. He wasn't too excited about it. We tried this little carousel-type thing, but again, he wasn't interested. He had his eyes set on one thing: balloons! They had this little area surrounded by a type of fencing all around us and had fans in the corners that blew around the balloons inside. They were all different colors and shapes, and Tucker loved it! I sat inside with him and took lots of picture. I wasn't feeling the greatest at this point. I just felt kind of over-heated like I needed fresh air. I actually had to leave and go back to the hotel because I wasn't sure if I was going to be sick or what. Ryan and Tuck played a bit longer, but Ryan said our little guy just wasn't as interested without me there. He seemed to want to leave to find me. 

Meanwhile, I was laying on our bed at the hotel. I never got sick...never really felt sick to my stomach. I felt a little dehydrated if anything and drank a big bottle of water. I am used to drinking lots of water and milk at home, and here, I seem to only have juice and soda options at restaurants. Ryan brought Subway sandwiches back to the room again, and Tuck had leftover noodles. 

We got dressed and met our guide, Michael, and the other two families in the lobby. It was time to go back to the Civil Affairs building where we had met Tuck. We had been granted 24 hours custody for what they call the "Harmonious Period" in order to make sure parents want to follow through with the adoption. Our 24 hour period was over, and we couldn't wait to finalize our adoption. 

Thankfully, the Civil Affairs building wasn't nearly as hot as the day before. We were quickly ushered into a room to have our family picture taken.

Each family took a turn getting pictures taken. We then waited a few minutes before going into a separate room where the ceremony would take place. The Parsons Family went first, and we were sure to take lots of pictures and video for them. Their son James was officially their son!! I cried seeing this official ceremony take place. Then it was our family's turn. They called us up, asking for Yu Yi Ming. We took our places behind the podium. The sweetest woman stood in front of us...

With apparently goofy, giddy grins on our faces, we answered her questions. Were we happy and satisfied wtih this child? Absolutely! Do you love this child? Yes, we do very much. Then she asked, "Do you promise to always take care of him and never abuse or abandon him?" This is when my chin began to quiver and tears filled my eyes. 

Ryan and I said, "Yes, we promise." Oh how I loved this boy so much! God had brought us together, and I was holding my son in my arms. I would cherish him all the days of my life, and this ceremony was making everything official. It was actually happening! After taking our oath, it was time to for the next step. The lady needed our fingerprints on our paperwork to make things official. Somehow, as if almost supernaturally because she was speaking English to us, Tuck stuck out his first finger of his left hand as if to say, "I'm ready! Let's get this show on the road!!" You can see me below laughing because it wasn't his turn, and no one had even asked him to do that. It was like he was saying, "Ok! Where do I sign??" Hahaha! Still cracks me up. 

First, it was my turn. I dipped my right thumb into the red ink pad and made my thumbprint over my signature. 

Next it was Ryan's turn...

Then, the time had come for Tucker to make his fingerprint, too, to give his final stamp of approval. 

Look at that smile!!! My goodness this boy is precious! And with that, it was official. Yu Yi Ming was officially our son, Tucker YiMing Abell. Again, I got choked up. All of the paperwork, the home visits, the waiting, the phone calls, the email, the care packages, the fundraisers, the tshirts, the longing and praying and suffering and growing...they all led to this moment (big exhale)...

Three different families all brought together by these cherished Chongqing boys. What a special bond we will share always. 

We gave the official a small gift and ordered a special album of Chongqing and our ceremony that day. We gave a second small gift to the police officer who would be obtaining Tuck's passport for us so that we could leave Chongqing at the end fo the week. Then, we left Civil Affairs and walked into the cool air and rain. Tuck became so animated and was talking super fast in Mandarin. He wanted to show me the cars and go outside. He held my hand and walked me down some steps and wanted to go further. I scooped him up and we made our way down to this big fountain area. Ryan snapped a quick picture. This was such a special moment. To be in my son's birth city, holding him in the cool air and rain...it was just unbelievable. After the ceremony in the van, Ryan and I kissed. Tucker watched us curiously so we kissed again. This time, Tucker leaned over to me and gave me a sweet kiss on the lips. 

My first kiss. Be still my heart...

On the way back to the hotel, we dropped off the Yost family at the train station. They live here in China  in the Sechuan province and were taking the train back home that night. We are excited to stay in touch with them through Facebook! The Parsons and our family rode back the rest of the way. Michael showed us the pharmacy to get a couple things, and then we came back to the room. We played for a bit and then left again to grab some dinner. We went to a restaurant and ordered some seafood congee, wonton soup, and a club sandwich. Tucker was OUT OF CONTROL! HAHA! I was glad to have seen a family with small children at Papa Johns a few nights before because they were super rowdy and loud and no one seemed to mind. So, when Tucker was acting crazy in his high chair, no one seemed to mind. He was way over stimulated and had missed his nap the previous two days. So, we gobbled up our dinner - I ate LONG noodles in broth from the wonton soup WITH CHOPSTICKS (Tuck ate the wontons). I was super proud of myself! We had the sweetest server that night. There is obviously a HUGE language barrier here, but a smile and some gestures and good manners go a long way. :)

We came back to the room, changed Tuck into pajamas, and gave him his bottle. He seemed to be getting very sleepy but did not fall asleep in my arms this time. I sang to him again, the same song as the night before, and then I put him in his crib. We had the lights off and a sound machine going. Tuck was a bit restless, and I wasn't surprised. We probably did way too much that day. He never made a peep in his crib, but he was standing and looking around for awhile. My momma heart just breaks when I think about him alone in his crib at the orphanage the past year and a half. :( I just laid next to him in my bed, never wanting to be out of his sight. I never want him to feel alone...ever. I laid him back down in his crib, tucked his stuffed puppy that Liam and Noah made for him at Build-a-Bear under his arm, covered him up, and stroked his face. I laid back down where he could see me and held his little hand between the crib bars. Within seconds, he fell asleep without making a sound. 

While I was blogging last night, Tuck started to whimper and then full out cried. :( I scooped him up, but he was shaking and sweaty, clearly just had a night terror. These are very common in children who are adopted, especially when overstimulated during the day and when low on sleep. I felt terrible and vowed that the next day we would take it very easy. I just kept saying, "Mama loves you. Baba loves you. We're right here. It's ok." Ryan turned on the light, and that seemed to help. He calmed down and let me put him back in his crib. He fell right back to sleep. A couple hours later, he had another night terror, though this one was worse. I scooped him up again, and he was clinging to me - legs around my body and arms around my neck - for dear life. I again assured him that it was ok and that his mama and baba loved him. Ryan turned on the light, and slowly the shaking stopped. My poor sweet boy. 

Adoption is beautiful, but like I said, it is not without suffering and tragedy. This little boy has lost so much and is experiencing something very traumatic right now. We are prepared to do whatever it takes to help him continue to feel loved, safe, and comforted. We love him unconditionally and are more than happy to hold him, to kiss him, and to shower him with affection until the nightmares subside. Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of adoption. Thank you for holding us when we are scared and loving us through our fears. Thank you for this little boy and the parents who gave him life. We will cherish him always. 

1 comment:

Abby Butts said...

I have been following your blog and adoption story and I am so happy for you, Ryan, and your sons! Tucker is lucky to have you both for parents and I will keep you all in my prayers. Enjoy the rest of your stay in China and have a safe trip home!

Abby (Rardin) Butts

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