It's Official! As of 10:00am this morning June 8th (this would be 9pm June 7th in the States) Vivian is our daughter! We are so thrilled--it's hard to write down to capture the emotions.
Yesterday afternoon our guide Vicky picked us up at the Dolton Hotel where we are staying and we drove to the Civil Affairs Office about 15 minutes away. There is a large waiting room where we waited maybe 5 minutes before Vivian's caregiver and the orphanage director walked in carrying Vivian (Hua Hua is her nickname). Just a little angel--breathtaking to see Vivian!! And to top it off, she was dressed so very adorably!! I did not expect that at all. They showed us how she likes to clap and how she can stand with support under her arms. Then they check our passports and her photo on the TA--travel authorization and then we were allowed to hold her. They handed Vivian to Ken which was a good thing because I so wanted to show happy expressions for this moment. I held Vivian a few minutes later which kept me from brimming over with tears. However, I was teary-eyed when they surprised me with a small photo album of photos of Vivian. I mean, can you imagine, photos for a gift for Keri?
After visiting a little bit and getting instructions on what and when her next meals were, we left and went to a little baby shop for a second baby bottle and to the supermarket. The two supermarkets we've been inside have escalators. And this store in Changsha had two very long ramps so you could push your grocery cart from one floor to another! Anyway, we needed Chinese baby formula and water. We constantly buy and budget our water. We need enough to last us during our stays but can't go through airport security with it. So each city we start over again with a new stockpile. And now there is Vivian to account for too!
Vivian has been a very happy girl. She did not cry when first given to us and has not done so yet. She has turned her mouth into a frown different times when unsure about something, and I know a couple Mandarin phrases for reassurance which helped her.
Now we are just hanging out in our hotel room being a family. It is storming and raining outside currently. I think the rain may be helping me because the secondhand cigarette smoke and pollution is really aggravating my throat and sinuses.
It's so hard to describe everything here. The two comments we've heard most are: "Wow, you guys packed light!" and regarding Vivian, many people have said, "She is very beautiful."
She was very loved at her orphange. There are 300 children in her orphanage and there were 7 girls in the room with Vivian. Each child has their own crib.
Last night in bed my conversation with God was bursting with gratitude and wonderment for giving us such a beautiful baby and walking alongside us through this process. We can't wait to get home to Iowa for Jaret and Isaac and everyone else to meet Vivian!
Tomorrow we have more touring if the weather is good. A park and an embroidery factory. We are the only family with our guide here, so it is fun. Blessings to you all back home and we appreciate your continued prayers for us!