Well, slowly, but surely I will get things up on the blog. As I've said before, the Internet is sketchy at best. We have to come down to the lobby to get on, and having the time to come down to the lobby is difficult.
So, let me get started. This was the day we had been waiting for.....
We got up early and went to the train station at 5:40 a.m. We left on the 6:00 train. The ride was smooth and there is more room on the train than there is on an airplane. It took about an hour and 15 minutes to get to Shijiazhuang. We were met by the van at the train station and headed to the orphanage. (I forget to mention we are here with one other Lifeline family who has adopted a 3 year old little girl). I don't know what time we got to the orphanage, but I think it was about 8:00. When we walked in, there sat the 3 year old of our traveling companions. It was quite a shock to find her sitting there waiting. Zoe was not there yet. The foster mother lives very close to the orphanage and they called her when we arrived. I began looking out the windows watching for her. It was only a few minutes before she arrived. The foster mother walked in and handed her to me. I turned all of my attention to Zoe. She was dressed in what I thought was 2 thick layers, and it was hard to get a good idea of her size. It wasn't long before Marissa pointed out that the foster mother was over to the side crying. I was trying to hold back my own tears. She was obviously very attached to Zoe and loved her. She came back over in a few minutes and wanted to hold Zoe and kiss her some more, but she handed her back over to me after she said goodbye. After a short time, we loaded in the van and headed off to do ALL the paperwork in one day. The short story is we made multiple stops, each taking long periods of time. It was getting very late once we got back to the hotel.
About Zoe - she is TINY. Her legs and arms are about the size of broom handles. Someone asked me today how old she was, and I said 2. The question came back 2 months? I said, "No, 2 years." The lady was shocked. Imagine being handed a child who is 28 months old, but has the appearance and the development of a 9 month old. If it weren't for the mouth full of teeth she has, we would think they had her age incorrect. Jeff said today it's as if they have her age off by one year. She only takes formula with rice cereal in it. She refuses to take any solid food. She also will not drink anything else. We have tried water on a couple of occasions and she will not take that either. She HATES getting a bath. She screams like a pig when we give her a bath. She has made a little bit of progress in her ability to walk. She can now stand holding on to the bed or the table and she will stand on our legs while we hold her. I tried to get her to put her feet on my feet to try to "walk" with her, and she would have none of that. So, to say we have a long way to go is an understatement. Her eyes are bright and she watches just about everything going on around her, so I know there is a little person in there just waiting to come out. She did not cry when she was handed over to us, nor has she cried except when she is hungry or needs to be changed. For the first couple of days, she was in shut down mode, but she is starting to open up in her own way a little. Today, Kayleigh was playing around on a bar by the bed (the only room in this hotel that will accommodate all of us is the handicapped room), and Zoe would just laugh and laugh at Kayleigh while she played on that bar.
Monday was a long day. We had to go to the civil affairs office, the notary (twice) and the police station. The police station was the only stop that was quick. It is a long day to take care of all the paperwork that must be done. I think normally this happens over a couple of days.
We are adjusting, and I will continue to write about our days as we have Internet access. We go to Guangzhou tomorrow and the hotel Internet there is much better so we should be able to catch up.
Please excuse typing errors or bad grammar. I am typing this as fast as I can to get it posted before I lose the connection. Will try to attach pictures in a separate post.