Today is a day all over China that many, many families were meeting their adoptive children for the first time. All of the families from our agency left Beijing yesterday and flew to the capital of their province. We are in Guangzhou because Anne is from Lianjiang, which is in Guangdong. I won’t detail it here, but I was amazed yesterday by our lovely travel guide Lily. She took a huge busload of families to the airport with tons of luggage and children, then checked them all in for their flights and sent them off across the country AND it worked. She was amazing and we needed her.
Even though we already have Anne, we still needed to go to the Civil Affairs office to make it legal. We met our staff person from our agency at 2 and she took us and two other families to the office. Downstairs in the office, we met three workers from Anne’s orphanage. We actually had to give Anne to them. They took her upstairs, where we joined many other families waiting to meet their children. The plan was for them to complete some paperwork, and then do the official hand off to us (really hand back). Well, in the last day Anne has decided that she really likes me – which is wonderful! So, poor Anne was sobbing when I handed her off and we saw her screaming in the other room the whole time. We felt bad for her, but it was amazing to me that she already trusts me.
Before we went, I told my kids that we were going to have a wonderful opportunity – to be a part of something so special. We could watch others, because it wasn’t really our day with Anne. We saw so many families waiting and then meeting their child. Things have changed in China in that the need is for older children or children with special needs to be adopted. Dave and I were particularly affected by a family adopting a 6 year old boy with downs syndrome. We actually met the dad in the elevator of our hotel and he told us he came on his own because his wife stayed home with his three kids and they were adopting a 6 year old boy. I told him how hard it must be to be alone and he said that this was going to be some good father/son bonding time. We did not realize then that his new son had downs. It was the most beautiful thing. He was so gentle with this boy. He didn’t touch him at first, but just played a soft whistle toy. Then, we saw them later with the boy on his lap eating a snack and drinking from a water bottle. He was prepared. 🙂 Later, Dave saw them out of our hotel window playing with a kick ball, and then they both left with their backpacks on. This was so beautiful! Adoption is a picture of how God adopts us as his children. This was made so clear today.