Miss Gioia

Friday, February 1, 2008

It is Official

Now Gioia has officially been adopted into our family. Yesterday, we drove to the Chongqing city center for marriages and adoptions. We took a family picture, signed a paper saying that we would never abandon her, and then put our thumb prints all over the adoption decree. Even little baby G's finger prints were placed near her pictures, perhaps to signify her participation in the process.

The officials were ever so sweet. Everyone wanted to say hello and make sure she was warmly dressed. Gioia seems to elicit great interest wherever she goes. On Wednesday, we went to the grocery store for some vittles. As we walked in, the greeter lady started her typical welcome: Huan Ying Guang Lin. But she only made it halfway through the "Guang" before she stopped and stared at us, open mouthed. There are not many lao wai (foreigners) here in Chongqing. And certainly not many with a baby strapped to their chest.

Once they discover she is Chinese, they are quite taken aback. Most stare and smile. Some come lay their cheeks close to hers. Only a few have made rude comments about foreigners buying babies. Chris says that they are not being rude; they just don't know how to say adoption. But I am not quite so sure about that. It is a good thing my Chinese is not good enough to respond.

We had a little trauma at bathtime yesterday. Other than that, things have been pretty smooth. She is smiling and giggling now, and we are much better at distracting her during diaper changes. She is displaying some institutional behaviors that are interesting. She is an expert self soother, for example. When we toured the orphanage, we saw that every baby was snuggly bundled in a tight pile of blankets in the crib. There seemed to be no (or not much) heat in the nursery, so all babies were tightly wrapped up. As a result (we think), she learned to suck on the softest thing close to her mouth when she was upset. Which probably was the lip of the blanket. Whenever she is fussed, she immediately turns to something soft and sucks (her coat, her hat, a washcloth).

She also rocks herself back and forth sometimes, which to us non-experts (i.e., googlers) seems to be pretty common for institutionalized children. She also sucks down her bottle at the speed of light. And if you let your finger linger in her mouth while giving her some bites of food, she will chomp down hard with her four little teeth. Very hard.

All in all, she has a very sweet disposition. So far, no one can make her laugh like her daddy can. She LOVES his silliness. She also loves to be in the carrier. We can take her anywhere - dinner, Walmart, walking around - and she doesn't make a peep. She just watches the world with her big serious eyes.

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Blogger Amy in Beijing said...

Still so sweet!

February 1, 2008 4:53 PM  
Blogger Johnny said...

She's a beauty! Glad things are progressing well. Been hearing of the bad snowstorms in China.

February 1, 2008 9:37 PM  
Anonymous Shelba said...

I'm blown away by how gorgeous she is! Glad everything is going well and that you're able to get out and about.

February 1, 2008 10:25 PM  
Blogger Sandy Hodgson said...

Wow---you guys are parents!! What a wonderful wild ride it is. I can tell you two are head over heels already. We are soooo happy for you all. Love, Sandy, Biff and Theresa Marie

February 2, 2008 5:42 AM  
Blogger SweDaisy said...

Oh so sweet. She is so beautiful. This is the best time, learning all of her neat quirks an habits. Her personality is shining through. Congratulations to you and your new family.

Take Care,

February 2, 2008 10:03 PM  

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