Today we were blessed to meet the newest addition to our family, Madeleine CaiQun Ballou.
We arrived at the Civil Affairs Office a little after 10:00 this morning. Our group contains 8 families adopting children from 6 orphanages, and 3 of the children had already arrived before we did, but little CaiQun was not among them. We snapped photos and videos of other families meeting their children, and every few minutes the door would open and another child would come in, and we’d take some more photos. Matt and I looked at each other at one point and realized that only we and one other couple had not met our children yet. Just then, we saw a van pull up outside, and 2 adults got out, carrying a little girl who looked an awfully lot like the photos we had seen of our daughter!
When they walked in, we asked, “Dang Cai Qun?” They nodded and pointed to us as her mama and baba and quickly handed her to me. Her nanny had brought some snacks for her and handed some to me so that I could offer them to her.
Miranda was at first not particularly impressed, running over to me telling me to, “Put that person down!” but once my mom explained to her that “that person” was CaiQun, she was a lot more amenable 🙂
We remained at the Civil Affairs Office until all of the children had arrived and had been united with their families and we had completed today’s necessary paperwork – primarily a 24-hour guardianship agreement, as we do not officially finalize our adoption of CaiQun until tomorrow.
Then we headed back to our hotel.
Once in our hotel room, we had some snacks and changed CaiQun’s diaper…at which point we discovered that she had soaked through her clothes, so we had to change her whole outfit 🙁 Matt gave her a bottle, and she fell asleep in his arms…and that was the beginning of the formation of a sweet daddy-daughter bond 🙂
She has been smitten with him ever since. Try to transfer her to Mommy so that Daddy can run to the bank to exchange money? No, thanks. Let Mommy give you the bottle she just made? No, she would prefer Daddy. So, this afternoon, I went to the bank and finished some adoption paperwork for tomorrow’s appointments while Matt spent time with CaiQun, and my mom attempted (unsuccessfully) to get Miranda to nap. Running errands was not exactly what I envisioned for my first day with our girl, but if she is happy to be with Matt, I can certainly serve in that way!
We played a bit this afternoon…
…and then we’ve all been pretty exhausted, so we just ate at our hotel’s Italian restaurant for dinner. Little CaiQun had a blast playing with stacking cups and a spoon and some green peppers from Matt’s pizza.
Matt even managed to get some great belly laughs from her when he tickled her 🙂
Talk about adorable!
After dinner we got both girls ready for bed, and they are sleeping peacefully beside one another in bed right now!
Miranda has really been great with little CaiQun. She’s offered to share food with her, has been willing to share toys, and is quick to point out to us, “I’m being so helpful!” or “I’m being kind to Madeleine CaiQun!” We’re thankful that she is responding so happily to having her new little sister with us. And really, CaiQun is responding with a pretty laid back demeanor to being with us, as well. She points to direct us toward what she’d like, and while we’ve had some bouts of tears – totally understandable – she’s also been generally pleasant and happy. We pray that God will continue to knit her little heart into our family. And as for Matt and me…it’s hard to come up with anything to say that doesn’t sound trite. We’re so glad she’s here with us. We are so grateful that God has taken her out of an orphanage and placed her into our family. We hope and pray that we can love and serve her well. We’re thankful for all that God is doing and has done in and through and around us. Little CaiQun is such a blessing – her smile is beautiful, and seeing it for the first time made me tear up. Her voice – which we heard increasingly more as the day went on – is absolutely adorable, so sweet. I could listen to her talk all day long. I’m confident that we are going to be blessed tremendously by her addition to our family, and I pray we will be a blessing to her.
Tomorrow will be a long day for all of us – finalizing CaiQun’s adoption in the morning (more paperwork), back to the hotel for a quick lunch (probably only time for snacks in the room), and then making the 2.5 hour drive to CaiQun’s city to apply for her passport and hopefully visit her orphanage, and then driving the 2.5 hours back here. We’re already exhausted, and I’m sure tomorrow is going to be draining, both physically and emotionally, but these things are necessary and good. And then the next few days will be much more low-key. Please continue to pray for little Madeleine CaiQun’s adjustment to our family and for our adjustment to and care for her, and please pray for us as we go about doing all that we need to do tomorrow.