Monday, July 21, 2008

Paperwork, Paperwork and More Paperwork

As the title implies, today was full of paperwork. We had our medical exams and visa photos in the morning and then filled out our visa paperwork in the afternoon.

We met in the hotel lobby at 9:10 and then were on our way to the visa photos.

Grace was first of the Jiangxi babies to get her photo taken. She's sitting like a big girl.

Norah was next and she wanted no part of this mess! It took several tries and they finally got a shot they were happy with.

In the process, I was taking pictures while they were taking pictures and I don't think they appreciated it. (Perhaps they thought I was going to sell the families these photos instead and skip them?) In any case, by the time it was our turn they were firmly saying "no" to the photo taking.

So this is what we got of Ryan's turn. Let me just report that while he didn't necessarily like sitting there getting his photo taken, he wasn't crying either. Yet.

Then we were off to the physical exams.

Those of you who have been here, done that does this look familiar??

We entered the waiting area in the back and waited for the examiners to arrive. In the meantime we answered questions on the front of the form.

Penny and Norah waiting for the examination to begin. When they did, mass chaos ensued. There are 3 stations for you to attend. One is temperature, height and weight. The other was titled "ENT" and the third was a physical exam.

Ryan weighed 11.1 kilogram which is about 24 and a half pounds. No wonder his 2T shorts are falling off of him! This is 2 pounds less than they told me he weighed in June. Of course, I took off his shoes before they weighed him although it wasn't required. He is also 33 inches tall and didn't have a fever. He hated getting weighed and measured and let everyone else know too!

Next was the ENT which was a total joke. His special need is cleft lip/cleft palate and this was marked on his form. We sat down and they stuck a tongue depressor in his mouth and he refused to open his mouth. She lifted his lip and saw his gum line but I really don't think she saw his palate at all. His ear check was her turning his head from one side to another and looking at his ears. Next station.

The physical exam involved listening to his heart and lungs and examining his groin region. I really got paranoid that perhaps he might have an undescended testicle because she spent quite a bit of time examining this but she wrote down some information and then we were done. What she wrote was in Chinese so I have no idea what she wrote down.

{Does anyone know if this qualifies as a minor thing that you are approved for without a homestudy addendum in case that is what she wrote down???}

We were then finished for the morning but needed to meet back up at 3:00 to fill out all of our paperwork for our visa application.

This took a while because there were multiple forms to fill out, many of which seemed to have us state the same thing. We then needed to put our documents in order which included the child's passport, our adoption certificate, homestudy updates and addendums (I had 2) and of course, $400.

Our group in Grace's room at the White Swan filling out the paperwork.

Finally we were done with paperwork and all we have to do is wait for our visas. I know China is different than Vietnam but after my nightmare last fall I'll be glad to have that visa in my hands. Alas, it won't be here until Friday.

But of course the day was not all work and no play. I decided to take the advice of several of you, because you only had my best interest in mind, and I stopped at one of my favorite places.

While this wasn't my first trip to Starbucks on Shamian Island, it was my first photo there. I'm next to the Sit and Stand stroller that gets MEGA attention here. All three babies are inside. As I mentioned yesterday (I think it was yesterday...) we get lots of attention because of the stroller and the 3 Asian children in it. Tonight we passed a family and the father had seen us earlier in the day and announced "Oh look! There's the 3 pack!"

After Starbucks it was off to do more shopping and then a visit to the White Swan hotel lobby.

Yes, this waterfall in inside the hotel. It actually is quite impressive. You know who else was impressed?

Ryan!!! He LOVES water features! Twice yesterday he saw fountains and both times he saw them he got very excited and shouted "Yeah!!!" This feature was almost too much for him. It had a waterfall and---

Fish! He and Julia are waving to the fish. Most of the time in public he either wants me to hold him or be in the stroller but here he was running around all on his own and loving every minute of it.

We had lunch at Lucy's again and this time Emma had a different lunch partner.

Norah was a big girl and sat in high chair for the fist time. Emma was her role model. LOL

So we know that Ryan gets totally excited about fish and water but I haven't told you about the other thing here that also gets him excited.

This is the view outside our bedroom window. What is that you ask? Its an aviary. Its full of birds but the one that gets Ryan totally excited is...

The peacocks! And yes, that was plural. So far we have seen 3 peacocks inside there. Why in the world do they have an aviary with peacocks and multiple other bird species? I have no idea but I keep meaning to check to see if there is a restaurant on the first floor of the building. You think I'm kidding don't you? Don't forget I'm in China where menus have items such as Boneless Chicken Feet.

And finally, I will finish with another first for Ryan, although I'm sure they are just the first of many. Tonight we were walking and we made our way to the Deli Shop by the White Swan which sold ice cream. The girls wanted strawberry ice cream and Mom and I wanted chocolate. I had no idea what kind Ryan might like so I had Jenna give him a bite of hers and he turned his head. When I got mine I put it in front of his mouth to give him a bit and he took it out of my hands and started eating it and refused to give it back. We had a winner! We then headed back to the Victory.

Ryan and Jenna eating their ice cream. It was hot and Ryan is an inexperienced ice cream cone licker so you can imagine the results.

My poor little baby didn't get a nap today. I had hoped he would get one while I was doing paperwork but Mom was afraid to upset him by putting him down. So on our way back to the hotel he started falling asleep! We finally had to pry his empty cone out of his hand.

I would have just put the poor child to bed but he was a mess so it was a quick bath for him, which of course revived him and he was the energizer bunny for about and hour and a half more.


Donna said...

I am love, love, loving following along with you! The pics of Ryan eating ice cream (and after) are so funny. Aren't these new experiences for him so fun to watch? Only a few more days and you'll be headed back home!

mom to Lena and Macey

Sherri said...

What a great day - Starbucks and ice cream, and oh, the paperwork! I am so glad to see Ryan looking like a typical little boy waving to fish, checking out the water and all! (Did he want to jump in?)Bless his heart. And what sweeties your girls are to him. I love Jenna's little smiles for the camera, too! And wow, Emma as the role model- too cute! Thanks so much for sharing!!