Our second day with Darcy

(recap of Sunday, February 21)

**If you missed the sisters post, please scroll down and check it out. I promise the pictures will make it worth your time!**

Word to the wise, if you plan to navigate the adoption of a two year old with just your spouse while bringing along your two three year olds, be sure to consider adding EXTRA time into your experience at the breakfast buffet. I'm just sayin'...

Beyond being a smidge late to meet our guide, Savor, in the hotel lobby, our day started well. I was smart enough to lay out every one's outfits (well, not Ian's) the night before, so getting three preschoolers dressed quickly wasn't too bad. Doing that left enough time to play for a few minutes before heading to breakfast.

Caleb is totally digging having two sisters to "take down." He'd better watch out though, because I see a glimmer in his younger ~ and NOT smaller ~ sister's eye that could spell trouble for my little man.

We're still working on the buffet navigation, but I'm sure that we'll have it down to a science by the time we leave China!

The first business order for the day was to return to the Civil Affairs office to receive Darcy's red book. My heart broke a bit for her as we entered the same office we had been in the previous morning when we met her. I honestly think she was afraid that things were going to change for her again. Ian and I both picked her up and held her and that seemed to relax her a little. Then we asked Savor to explain to her (Darcy understands, but doesn't speak, Mandarin) that she was staying with us, we were only there for some business. After that she was all smiles and played around with her siblings while we waited. We were actually read a formal statement about how Darcy's adoption was official and recognized as final on the 21st of February in the People's Republic of China. The Guangdong and Hubei provinces did not give a formal speech like that and it was touching to me. I wish we had known that the official was going to read it and we would have videoed. That of course gave reason for another family photo...

Note that Ian is holding Darcy. It was almost the end of our time in China before Caleb would let Ian touch him. She is so brave!

From there it was on to the police station to apply for Darcy's passport. My little sweetie took a DARLING passport photo! Everything seemed to go smoothly until Savor was paying for the process. Apparently it was during that conversation that she learned that Darcy's passport wouldn't be back by Wednesday when we are supposed to fly to Guangzhou. Apparently the CNY holiday combined with us applying on a Sunday threw things off by a day. She had about a 30 minute conversation with several different officials before she had hope that we'd be able to expedite the process even more. (We learned today that she is going directly to the Zhejiang Provincial Governmental Offices on our behalf tomorrow to secure the passport so that we don't have to fly on an emergency exception with just Darcy's adoption decree).

After the police station it was back to the hotel and judging by Caleb's energy level, finding a place for the kids to RUN was top priority. Savor suggested that we head toward the West Lake to let them stretch their legs on the boardwalk. It was a lovely day and we did just that. Though I will say that Ian and I dubbed ourselves "the walking freak show" during the four block walk there. (On Kylie's trip we got a few glances, but we were with 10 other families most of the time and didn't really notice. On Caleb's trip we got a lot of second glances and even had our picture taken a few times. This time we get downright stares...)

Don't ask why I didn't take really any pictures at the lake (well, I did take a few, but with three kids, at least one child had their eyes closed in each one), but I did get some cute shots of the three as individuals.
My beautiful oldest.

My adorable middle child. (Cindy, you especially will appreciate that his fingers are in his mouth to savor the flavoring of the chips we snacked on during the walk).

My precious youngest

We strolled along with the kids running ahead of us, enjoying the sunshine and some fresh air. Ian and I commented in amazement that Darcy already seemed to understand that we belonged together as she would only get a few steps ahead before turning to "check in" with us. We ended up attracting quite a crowd in one of the garden areas, the first to strike up a conversation with us was a man I would guess to be around 70 who wanted to practice his English. He was very kind and of course was curious about our beautiful children, but it was in a manner that was polite and non-threatening. Before long though there were about 20 people of all ages trying to talk to us at once and Caleb began ducking his head and whimpering. I apologized to the group and told them that crowds make our son anxious, scooped him out of the stroller, and we went on our merry way. (He kept saying, "nervous" as we walked away, but in a few minutes was asking to get down so that he could run again. I included this for any traveling back with previously adopted young children to have you be mindful that sometimes they can't quite process all that is going on and you may want to keep an eye on your already adopted kids just as much as the newly adopted ones when in public).

Of course I guess with a stroller like this...
Note that Darcy is messing with Caleb's head. For all the times he has messed with Kylie simply to be annoying, I couldn't help but choke back a giggle at his response to her!
 ...that I do understand why we get some double takes.

For lunch we decided to take a break from the Chinese fare that we've been enjoying since Wednesday and treat Kylie and Caleb to the familiarity of McDonald's. (C.C., I'll have to say I thought of you as I enjoyed my Filet-o-Fish...). The fries were extra tasty! Then it was back to the room for nap time.

Strangely enough, I failed to take anymore pictures yesterday, but the afternoon was pretty much a repeat of the day before. We simply stayed in and played together as a family. Ian invented a sort of basket ball game with the laundry hamper for the towels and the new bouncy balls that I brought for the kids, the dress up clothes were brought back out, and stickers were stuck on people, walls,and furniture. By dinner time Ian and I could hardly keep our eyes open, so we decided to go with what was familiar, the place our food came from for the previous two nights. For the most part we had good luck ordering, except that we managed to order the stupid tripe ~ AGAIN! We've decided "three tripes and you're out..."

We came back to our room, bathed the kids (I somehow managed to keep myself awake by pulling out clothes for everyone for the next day), and all five of us were asleep by 8:30 pm. I slept soundly until nearly 5 and now feel like a new woman!

A few more things about Darcy that we're learning:

She knows how to wash her own hair, she can completely brush her teeth and even knows to swish water around and spit it out afterward. She cleans up when she is done playing, putting dress up clothes back in the Ziplock bag and then putting the bag back in the drawer. If she sees us getting our shoes, she goes over to the shoe line-up, gets her own, and puts the on by herself (little Sketchers that have velcro). She peels her own fruit, and attempts to comb her own hair. I'm even learning her language for when she needs to potty. She is one amazing little cookie!


Anonymous said...

Awe!!! She sounds like she was taught well!
I love the picture of them on the stroller. They are so cute. they look like perfect siblings! Also the picture of Caleb tackling the girls made me snort a little. :)
Aunt Cici

Heather said...

Love it ... love every bit of it and that last picture in the stroller is priceless. :)

Okay off to read again the next one, yeah!

C.C. said...

What a wonderful day!! Darcy looks like she is doing so well. I know there is probably much more grief to come, but it looks like her foster family was very selfless in preparing her for her forever family.

Glad you enjoyed a filet'o'fish for me!!

Cindy M said...

She IS one amazing little girl! What a gift, eh? I am so thankful for your blog posts. Thank you for sacrificing your nap times and sleep time to do them. I know it's mostly for your memories, but I love knowing what's going on with all of you and seeing your photos!

Cindy M said...

p.s. Please tell Caleb that I want a full report on all the Chinese chips he's sampling. Man, that kid is cute!

Nancy said...

Darcy's hair looks cute pulled back with the little clippy! Thanks for posting so much, I am really enjoying it! I know your children will cherish this blog!

Amy Murphy said...

I'm loving reading your blog and praying for you. It's so exciting, and it makes me long to be in Hangzhou again! I'd better not tell my husband that reading your blog is making me want to go back to China, or he'll not let me read it anymore. ha, ha! Thanks for posting!

Lisa said...

I suppose you have been in bloggyland long enough to know this but you are blessing my socks off. It is such a joy to watch your family grow and see God at work in your lives. To read of how He is active in the lives of your children is just awesome from this side of the world! Thank you for writing when you are most likely exhausted. And thank you for letting us have a peek at the miracle you are living! the expression on Caleb's face in the stroller picture. And I can't wait for the expressions on the faces of strangers when you start taking pictures of them as they stare at your "walking freak show." you crack me up!