Today was adoption finalization day.
We got an early start so we could spend as long as Vivienne wanted working over the breakfast buffet, since she, thus far, has proven herself to be one who enjoys putting away the grub. I didn’t have to wake her, by the time I was done showering and getting ready, she and Asher were stirring.
Last night at bedtime, Vivi showed an obvious distaste for the crib. I laid her on my chest to go to sleep and she was crashed after only 10 minutes. I’m sure it helped that it was after 10:00 before I tried to get her to sleep. But even then, I could barely tell she was tired. Thankfully, I had her sleeping schedule to refer to, so I knew she was up way past her normal bedtime.
This morning she needed some space. I can only imagine how she must have felt upon waking and seeing me there. Yikes. So I let her wake up a bit more and waited until the last minute to get her ready. She was still standoffish at the buffet, but managed to put away some eggs, a bit of congee, some bread and warm milk. This girl seriously loves to eat. And after dealing with two boys who were (and still are) incredibly hard to feed, this is a quality I welcome with open arms.
After breakfast we met our guide to head back to Civil Affairs to meet for the adoption finalization. Everything went smoothly and now, as far as China is concerned, she’s our girl forever! Of course, we’ve felt this way for almost a year. So it was a sweet moment to hear our guide announce it was official.
A quick trip to the local supermarket to load up on supplies and we were headed back to the hotel. Vivi had warmed up considerably during the course of the morning and had fallen asleep on me on the way to the grocery. She woke in a great mood and, once we got back to our room, was the smiling and silly girl we saw last night.
A lunch of rolls, sausage and milk followed, all while she was on the run playing with her ‘toys’ from yesterday. The stacking cups, stirrers from the mini bar and her Hello Kitty toothbrush make for lots to do, evidently. Then as nap time approached, she started seeing just how silly she could be, and still get away with it. Throwing cups and some sly efforts to hit mama didn’t go over so well. Thankfully, she seemed to understand when I told her no, and no standoff was necessary. I certainly want her to like me more before I have to put my foot down 😉
After a bottle and some Baby Einstein, I laid down with her, turned the lights down and rubbed her belly, and off she drifted. While she napped, I started to organize the chaos that has become our hotel room. Finally, after three hours, I woke her because I really do want her to sleep tonight. She might have slept 8 1/2 hours without waking last night, but I sure didn’t.
Asher and I were set to the local park, but Vivi wasn’t ready to go anywhere. We’ve decided things with Vivi right now are a bit like “50 First Dates”: every time Vivi falls asleep and wakes up again, she acts as if has no idea who we are. The lip comes out, the avoidance tactics begin. And we have to convince her, all over again, that we’re really okay. But we’re happy to oblige 🙂
Vivi loved getting outside and watching all the activity at the park. She even walked a good distance around the lake, holding one of our hands. She’s quite unsteady on her feet, and has no apparent fear of plummeting face first down a set of stairs or headfirst into a body of water. Her most favorite part of the afternoon was having us pick flowers for her and then proceeding to pluck off every petal. She is certainly hard to resist, especially when she’s smiling.
After the park we came back to the room Vivi enjoyed some tub time. Shortly after getting clean and ready for bed, the big meltdown came. She stood at the door to the room and cried. I’m guessing she wanted out instead of in. I’d scoop her up and pat her back, but soon something else would send her off again, to the door, where she’d cry again.
She’s finally asleep and we’re hoping for a better day tomorrow. Or the five hour bus ride to Guilin is going to rival our flight from Newark to Beijing on the fun meter 😉
P.S. Thank you guys so much for checking in on my sweet Asher! He is all better, recovered completely as soon as our plane took off from Beijing. He’s enjoying everything about this trip, especially his new little sister. He gets the biggest laughs out of her!
She is so beautiful! Praying for smooth days for you and your little one!
the ups and downs of new beginnings. her smile is priceless and i'm amazed how early you're seeing those! glad to hear she's such a great eater!! bonus :O) our girl was just an amazing sleeper. 11-12 hours a night since we met her!!
We took our 10yr old with us the first trip to China and she LOVED it. I would love to hear how Asher is enjoying the trip…maybe he could write an entry one day.
How precious is your girl????? Her smile lights up MY room, I can't imagine how it brightens your world.
Miss Ashley says
Goodness gracious, she has the most beautiful eyes when she smiles. Praying for a good bus ride.
loved the 50 First Dates analogy! Oh, I can remember going through that every time our Maddy woke up! Hee hee…. stuff you forget until you see someone else experience it!
Your baby girl looks like she's got an adventurous spirit and a happy soul!
Our blog: Double Happiness!
Oh boy! Sounds like you are all getting to know each other! We are thinking about you and praying for you all.
What a sweet smile! Glad to read that she is sleeping well. Hopefully you will too!
Praying that the rest of your trip goes smooth as silk!
Great job mom and Asher! The "getting to know you" phase will be over soon! I remember how wonderful and oh, so tiring it was.
LOVING the posts! I am wildly obsessed with checking for updates on Miss Vivi. Hugs to you~
Ambiance in the Attic says
Oh! She is so beautiful! I'm happy everything is going so well!
Just love this update with pictures of your beautiful girl. It makes me so sad to think of the heartache our babies must go through initially to be in their forever families. So happy she has her mommy to lovingly help her through and show her love and limits.
Sounds like things are moving along nicely! But oh, those grieving moments are hard to watch, aren't they?!
And I'm lovin' the updates!! You are such a good blogger to let us take a peek into what's happenin' with your sweet baby girl.
Mike and Barb says
What a precious smile!! Praying for your sweet little girl. And you and your super-son – what a trooper!
Many, many congratulations – and prayers for an uneventful bus ride! How wonderful for Asher to be experiencing all of this. He and Vivienne will have a special bond for certain.
As always (now I'm reading your blog every several months rather than all the time like I used to), it's great to hear about the new addition to your family in Viv. Congratulations! I'm so happy for all of you! I recently got married and we are currently having some difficulty having bio children. It may take some time. I'm hopeful that my husband will be open to adoption in addition but we shall see. Time has a way of changing peoples' thoughts on an issue. Well, congrats again on #9 and thanks for continuing to share your journeys with us.
Hope everything is still going well – she's such a sweetie!
So enjoying your updates! My prayers are with you all and for Vivi's heart to feel peace, that wonderful peace only God can supply!
I think Little Miss Vivi looks a little like Jude. Am I seeing things?? Must be the killer smile!!!
Karrie in IN
The Gang's Momma! says
Those pictures are amazing. What a beautiful little girl. I'm so happy for you all – and I love reading about how well she eats. When we left for Xian, we were all prepared to have a really fussy eater, having been warned by tons of friends about the avoidance stuff coming out in food issues. Nope. Our girl packs it in. Did from day one. In fact, she got comments from the hotel staff every time we came in for breakfast about the quantities she could eat. The manager told us that his staff was quite charmed by it 🙂
Praying for continued bonding and attachment. I'm wearing my Such Things shirt today and thinking of you while I go about my day and pray!
Oh what a beautiful smile! Let's hope for more smiles & less tears. I loved that walk around the lake when we there – I can just picture you there!
The Ferrill's says
She is DEFINITELY hard to resist! She is Vivi…her own little self!
I'm so glad to hear Asher is doing well and loving China! He seems like such a happy boy; I bet he keeps you grinning too!
We'll be praying for a smooth ride tomorrow…peace for little Vivi's heart, wisdom for you EACH MOMENT, more bowlfuls of grace and mercy!
Sounds like everything is really going well, Stefanie! I'm so very happy for you all and I'm praising the Lord because I know it's ALL HIM!
Joe and Jane says
Glad things are going well. So did she shove the flower petals in her mouth after she pulled them off? That's what Jia used to do. 😉
Happy that Asher is doing better too!
HAPPY ADOPTION DAY!!! Yay, it's official! Vivi is adorable and I love the beautiful pics. Glad Asher is feeling better too.
I am falling in love with her as well!!! 🙂 She is so stinkin' cute!!!
I can't wait to meet you guys later this week!!!!
We will be on that plane early Friday morning!!!!
I am literally running around like a little kid!!!! I'm skipping, too!
Oh, I am so happy for you all!!!!
your pics are awesome! and the video is so precious! thank you for sharing her with us!!!
I love these photos….. She is so darn CUTE!!! And, she looks like a little spark plug too!!! She just has that irrisistable twinkle in her beautiful eyes!! It is clear she will keep you and Asher on your toes during this trip. I will start praying for your flight home now! 🙂
Can't wait to see more of your fabulous photos soon!
Oh my, she is even more beautiful today (is that possible?)!! What a smile! What a blessing to be spending this time with Asher and your new baby girl!
Oh, Stefanie!!!! She is just stunning!!!! Love,Love,Love the flower!!! We will continue praying for you all! We received our TA last night! Hoping to leave next Thursday!
Stephanie, We will be in GZ on the 15th as well finalizing our adoption of Lin Xiao Qing. Hope to see you at the medical exam or the swearing in. Lily ANderson follows your blog and told me. Pam in Henan
Something about her little face reminds me of Sophie. I don't know what it is but every time I look at her smile I can see Sophie or at least itty bitty Sophie I met in Guilin.
So glad Asher is feeling better. No fun being sick in China!
You're taking the bus to Guilin? That will be interesting! Can't wait to hear about the sights you see and the people you meet along the way.
Football & Fried Rice says
So glad to hear that Asher to holding up like a trooper! And getting those belly laughs we all covet so much. Hearing about Vivi's transition breaks.my.heart. I am glad that she is grieving and even more glad that she is eating right through it. (a girl after my own heart!!)
Did you even imagine that she'd be so beautiful?!?! I kept thinking that as we held our miracle for the first time – no picture could have matched how gorgeous Mya was in person! vivi is THAT gorgeous 🙂
Hugs to you & prayers for tomorrow.
sweet momma luv u says
She is just stinkin cute and so adorable!! I will continue to pray that she will adjust to you and the meltdowns will be less. Glad to here she likes to eat.
Wow…she is breathtaking! What an incredibly beautiful, expressive little face. Great photos! Glad things are going well!
what an absolute cutie!!!
Thanks for being a big help to your mom Asher! Vivi is a lucky girl to have you for her big brother!! Have fun in China! Love the pictures!
Oh my, what a precious treasure from God! She is beautiful and seems to be adjusting well! We're praying for you and love seeing the pics and videos!
I hope you get the chance to see Janie and An Orphan's Wish. Give her a hug from the Wheeler family!
WOW! 35 comments! i can't think of anything to add Stef except Wo Ah Nee Baby Vivi! YeYe
Love today's photos! Saying a prayer that tomorrow is even a little easier. =)
I love all the details! What a day you had with that darling. The flower, the smile, everything about her looks wonderful! It sounded like she was imitating your word flower on the video..could it be? Asher sounds like the perfect big brother.
Amy D. says
oh she is so beautiful!! What an amazing face–you are so incredibly blessed–as is she!!
many more blessings–and peace for both of your hearts!!
Happy Adoption Day!! She could not be any cuter!!
I'm so happy to hear that Asher hasn't had any more problems since the plane ride. I'd love to see pictures of him with his new sister.
I totally love that she fell asleep on your chest. What a wonderful feeling for you, I'm sure.
I can't wait to hear what tomorrow brings! Hopefully lots of smiles and big hugs.
Sally- That Girl! says
Karen and I emailed today saying that we think she is one of the prettiest little things we have ever laid our eyes on!!!
Sorry about the grieving, but as you know part of the process and a welcomed one in such an odd way!!!
David and Sarah says
She is absolutely beautiful!!
Mom 2 six says
Simply stunning and inspirational !
Congratulations!! Vivi is so beautiful and has such a spark in her already.
Vivi is just gorgeous!!! So glad things are going so well, Stefanie!! So glad Asher is feeling better! That must have been very scary for both of you!
3 Peanuts says
Sounds like a very good day Stef. Vivi sounds like she is adjusting as well as could possibly be expected. COvering you with prayer on this sdie of the world.
Stef, she is gorgeous and I am so happy for you guys! I will continue to pray for her sweet heart. Even though we know the grieving is good & necessary, it still breaks our hearts!! Hugs girl and congratulations!!
Beautiful? Nope, that doesn't cut it for me. I am just in awe. Honestly, I didn't think she would be walking as well as she is, Stef. I know you said she's unsteady, but heck..so is my 2 year old (and this 42 year old has her moments too!)….I am absolutely amazed when I see these photos and the videos of how well Vivi is doing.
I can't wait until she is home in the arms of your beautiful family…just can't wait.
I'm available to come to you in Newark if you have any kind of layover on your way home and you'd like company…I'm very close and oh how I would love to give all 3 of you a hug en route to your forever family.
I'll email you.
Big, giant hugs…..
Ohhhh…love the photos! Vivi is gorgeous. Great analogy with the first date thing. Hopefully soon, she will be ready for a second date. 🙂
Wife of the Pres. says
Ohhh … standing at the door. :((((
I would love to hear Asher firsthand as well!
She is just GORGEOUS Stef.
BTW, my girl can out eat her brothers just about any day!!!
So thankful to God your trip is going relatively well. All things considered. How is Chris managing at home???
Wow…love those photos! So much life in that sweet face!! 🙂 It's so good to read your updates and see how things are going. Vivi is really doing quite well, despite the 'wake-up' times. You are doing an amazing job though…and I would LOVE to see some Asher photos on here with his new sister, too! 😉 Praying that the bus ride is uneventful and peaceful!
She's beautiful Stefanie…I can see how it would be hard not to let her wrap you around her little finger!! 😉
My goodness, those pictures! Looks like a snapshot sunday! You really have got it going on, girl! It sounds like she is doing everything you would expect her to be doing. I love her already! A perfect fit for your family 🙂
I'm in Thailand now & can finally leave comments! Been following this journey and praying for you a lot. Hope the trip to Guilin went well…give our kiddos a big hug for me!
You give such wonderful updates. Her pictures are beautiful.
Nicole A. says
Stunning baby girl! Happy that most things are going well and especially that you are officially her family!!
All the best,
Nicole A. in OH
Stefanie, Vivi is just beautiful. What a magnificent masterpiece God has entrusted you with! Love it!