Journey to Sophie

In March 2005 we traveled to Hunan, China, to bring Chen Xu Yun into our family. This is our journey to Sophie.


March 28/05 ~ Gotcha Day

It’s 9:30am and we become parents in 1½ hours! Our bus leaves at 10:30am to take us to the Changsha Civil Affairs Office where we are to receive our babies. We didn’t get much sleep last night and got up at 4:30am. When we went for breakfast, we found out that most of the other families had a similar night. Breakfast conversation consisted of "how our lives are about to change". One future father was very brave and had fried chicken feet for breakfast. We have now come back to our room to wait out the final 90 minutes. It still seems very surreal. I sorted out Sophie’s suitcase again, made up her bottle of apple juice and another of formula, and prepared her diaper bag. We feel a bit stir-crazy in our room. What can I do to fill in the time? Re-sort our suitcase. I guess I’m getting the nest ready. The weather is great today, sunny and warm, a great day to become parents. Now Jamie is pacing the floor in the room. It’s almost time to go down to the lobby. Next time I write, we will have Sophie!

Gotcha moment happened at 11:30am!
My daughter is now napping in her crib. I am overwhelmed! She looks like an angel. The ride to the Civil Affairs Office was very emotional. As we arrived we saw nannies arriving with babies. On the 3rd floor we saw a group of Americans ahead of us who had just received their babies. Many in our group began crying, including me. As we entered into the receiving room, I began to sob because it was all so emotional. Family names were called and new parents would step forward to receive their babies as they were brought in one by one. The child’s Chinese name would be spoken, parents' passports checked, and then the announcement, "you may now hold your baby". There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. We were one of the last names called. Sophie was handed to me and she didn’t cry at all, unlike many of the other babies who were wailing. We spent some time holding her until we were told that we had to get back on the bus. The babies were so bundled up and it was such a hot day that we tried to remove Sophie’s coat but she started to cry so we left it on. Jamie held her on the bus and carried her to our room. We took turns holding her and she didn’t mind at all who it was until Jamie went into the washroom and she began to cry. When I left the room she did the same thing. This is a very good beginning sign of bonding. We fed her some rice cereal but she won’t take the bottle. I’m hoping this will change tomorrow as I don’t want her to become dehydrated. By late afternoon we had her laughing with peep-a-boo. She napped from 2:00pm to 3:00pm and then just played with us on the bed. We ordered room service and then I had to go downstairs to do an hour of paperwork while Jamie stayed in the room and put Sophie to bed. By the way, we had our first poopy diaper and it was a whopper! I was sure that Jamie was trying to pass the blame on to the baby for something he did, but sure enough it was Sophie! Like father, like daughter.


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