We walked to a great restaurant, and had a fabulous Chinese lunch. They like things spicy here, and it's the first time we've had some food that has a kick to it, making Lynné and me very happy. But it was hard to eat knowing we were just an hour or so away from meeting our kids.
After lunch, we returned to the hotel to pick up gifts and our documents so we could head to the adoption office. It was a pretty small office, and only one room had a heater - the others were icy cold. Immediately we saw our little William and couldn't wait to get my arms around him. Not so fast mama, this boy had a male care taker and he wanted nothing to do with me. So we took it slow, with his care taker laughing at how William was avoiding me. Finally we had Chris try, and he had a bit more luck. William wasn't completely happy with Chris but at least he wasn't crying his eyes out. We found out that Ella and Ethan were still delayed on the icy roads and would be awhile before they arrived, so we went thru all the paperwork for the harmonious agreement (the 24 HR period where we took the kids with us before the final adoption) as well as signing all the adoption paperwork. They wouldn't file the adoption paperwork until tomorrow, but went ahead and got it all signed and thumb printed. You have to put your thumbprint in red ink over each of your signatures, and there must be over 20 documents we filled out and signed. Normally Chris would be taking care of all that but because William wanted nothing to do with his mama, I got to fill everything out.
It was somewhere in the midst of all of William's crying that we noticed that Andrew had left. He was sitting out in the very cold hallway, near tears. For some reason William's crying triggered something in him, and he was quite upset. So while Daddy continued to bound with William, I consoled Andrew and reassured him that crying babies are normal, and that we'd be ok. He eventually came back into the room and we got a great picture of the two of them.
We still were waiting for Ella and Ethan, and the other family was waiting for their daughter, Hope, who was coming from the same town. Ella and Ethan arrived next with another little boy who appeared to be about 5 or 6. Suddenly the room was packed and we were being shuffled around working on the paperwork. The family adopting the little boy are from Spain and they arrived as well. So in a room that should fit comfortably about 8 or 9 people, we had our family of 6, plus Lynné, plus the other family and their kids (7 total), plus the Spain family of 3, Vickie, 3 different orphanage directors, 3 different care takers, and about 5 people who worked in the office. It was cold, crowded, and smoky - certainly not the ideal environment to meet your children for the first time. There was alot of paperwork, tears, and confusion, and the other family hadn't even seen their daughter Hope yet. But we were so excited to have our family all together (even if Andrew still wasn't too sure about the crying William.) We did have a chance to ask questions of the caretakers, and it was obvious that each child was well cared for by them. I was surprised at how excited Ella was about coming with us, so I know they have prepared her well for the adoption. But you could tell she was a bit sad and hesitant to get too far away from her caretaker. We got plenty of pictures for her though, and hope she is able to adjust without too much pain ad sadness about leaving.
About the time we finished the paperwork for Ella and Ethan (those 20 documents x 3), little Hope arrived, adding to the masses of people in the room. So we waited for them to finish their paperwork, before we could all load up. Finally back at the hotel, we were able to unwind a bit. I was worried that with all the attention the boys were getting, Ella might be feeling a bit lost, so we took some time to go thru the clothes we had bought for her, and she absolutely loved the Barbie. We decided on room service so we could keep the kids all together and get better acquainted. One thing was for sure, William wanted only to be held by Chris. Anytime Chris needed to pass him off to me, we heard the tears start back up. Luckily Ethan wasn't nearly as particular, so we shuffled kids back and forth, and got along pretty well. Ella was a big help keeping them entertained as well. We struggle with the language with her, but she is a very sweet girl, and very patient with us. Both boys went to sleep very easily after getting their tummies filled with congee, and Ella found a show on tv she liked and fell asleep with her Barbie by her side. A pretty great Gotcha Day I would say!