Day 5 was scheduled "Gotcha Day!" There were 2 other families with WACAP also going and the lobby meet time was 2:00. Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister went down early for their first breakfast buffett at the Garden Hotel. What a spread! There was a great mix of Asian and Western foods. They even had bacon cooked very crisp (just the way Forever Mama likes) and uh...limp which is apparently the way China likes it? (uh...no, thanks!) There was an omelet station and noodle soup section, as well as congee and porridge, fruit selections, waffles (but you have to ask for maple syrup!), and the hot section with breakfast meats, steamed buns, rice dishes, and a daily vegetable. The beverage selection had several juices- apple, orange, watermelon, tomato- and milk and soy milk. Yogurt was also available. On this day, the duo tried several different dishes, but more or less just picked at the food. Both were nervous and excited for the afternoon event. After another currency exchange it was back to the room to pack up the 3 gift bags to take and Little B's backpack full of activities and treats.
Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister tried to relax, but the excitement and nervousness kept building as the meeting time grew closer. The pair headed down to the lobby around 1:45 and met Lori Saylor and her friend Sonia Martin who were there to pick up Lori's son Mycah and also Charlie and Toni Jones who were there to pick up their son Jeremy. All found it interesting that the group were all picking up "older" kids (in China that is over 3) Mycah was 4 and Jeremy was 13 ( he would age out in November, so seeing this one was really awesome!) and of course Little B was 6. The group introduced themselves to each other and met up with Elsie, our guide. They all went out front and loaded onto the van (note- Forever Big Sister was NOT thrilled to be getting into another van! This ride however was not a white knuckle, we're going to die trip!) Off to the Civil Affairs Ofice the group went. There were smiles in abundance, but the excitement was also tinged with nervousness as they all were finally going to meet the child whose picture they had been yearning over for so long! The van dropped the group off and they set off toward the elevators.
Up they went and out they stepped into THE room that had been pictured in so many blogs. There was the colorful curtain that closed off the playroom. Behind that curtain, in that playroom, Little B, Mycah, Jeremy and over 20 other children waited! ( Forever Mama cannot remember if she was told 23, 25 or 26 children were meeting their Forever Families that day!) It was very hard to not rush that curtain and grab Little B (Lori and Sonia had an even harder time as they caught a glimpse of Mycah behind the curtain!) But, first things first, the paperwork for temporary custody during the "Harmonious Period" had to be signed (China requires a 24 hour "Harmonious Period" before the finalization of the adoption) So sign they did!
And then the wait began. They bring the children out 1 at a time. The first of the WACAP group was Jeremy. Forever Mama had tears in her eyes as she watched this precious first meeting. The smiles on all of their faces told the whole story and of joy!
Next from this group was Mycah. The babies crying distracted him and his caregiver as Lori waved to get her attention. Then they were introduced. Sweet, quiet but with a small twitch of a smile. No tears from him. He was ready to quietly and timidly get on with the show.
That just left Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister waiting. Nervousness and emotions were building and Forever Mama just hoped that she would not burst into tears and scare Little B. And then... there he was. He was headed right toward Forever Mama. Wow it was really happening! Little B and Forever Mama were just feet apart. With a slight grin, Little B came right over to Forever Mama and leaned into her as Forever Mama greeted him quietly and introduced him to Forever Big Sister. No tears for him either, he was ready to go! Interestingly enough Little B's friend from his orphanage, who was in Little B's birthday celebration pictures, was also being picked up that day (although he tried to follow Little B first and join the happy group <3 )
With the initial papers signed, Little B was now Bobby Guanxiong Baird. Orphan no more. He now had a Mommy and a big sister named Taylor. Awaiting him at home were 3 cats(Lilo, Angel, and Maddie),a dog(Mickey) and Lao Ye (also known as Papa)
He enjoyed the Mickey Mouse magic coloring book, sticking stickers on the paper and the spinning light toy.
He did stop long enough to look up for a first ever family of 3 picture!
Then the time came for pictures in front of the sign. The new family of 3 was first followed by the 2 boys from Bao'an and then the 2 new families with the boys from Bao'an.
Then the WACAP new families had their turn.
It was then time to head back to the van for the ride back to the Garden Hotel.
Back up to room 1110 where Bobby found the lego and workbooks and immediately sat down to work. He allowed his big sister to sit with him and share the lego, but did not speak much. He was able to put together one of the lego sets following the pictures in the direction booklet independently. Mommy and Bobby quickly established that "Niao niao" meant pee pee and "La ba ba" meant poo poo. A big thanks to Kenlyn who sold the Simple Language for Adoptive Parents-Mandarin when fundraising for her adoption of Xavier and Evan! Soon it was time to head back down to the lobby. A group was going to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. The guest list included the Snell's, the Jones' and the Baird's. Good food and good company made for a great first meal experience for the new family of 3! Mommy was a bit worried that Bobby would pop from eating so much! Most likely this meal had more food than he had ever seen before! With full bellies, the group made their way back to the Garden Hotel and headed back to their rooms. After a bit more lego time, Bobby had his first bath. His squeals of delight most likely were heard in the lobby!
Mommy and big sister had moved the nightstand between the 2 beds and then pushed the beds together with one side up against the wall/window. So when bedtime came all 3 were in the "same" bed( the beds are a little wider than a twin, but smaller than an american full, so this was the only way to try sleeping the first night.) As you can see Bobby took up most of the room and had his big sister smooshed against the wall!(the lump with a little bun of brown hair sticking out of the covers is big sister Taylor!)
Up next...It is officially official!!