Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Gotcha Day (and then some)

What a whirlwind it's been over the last couple of days.  In fact, after reading over our past two blog entries, we've realized we forgot one quick story from Lou...

Okay, back a few days to our last leg of travel.  We were in Shanghai exhausted and had just cleared customs and were ready for the last (2-hour) leg of our trip to Guangzhou.  After clearing customs, we had to back through security...my bag is flagged.  Okay, no big deal, I open the bag and (are you kidding me?) they find a pocket knife that I had totally forgotten about (as did US security a day earlier). They grab the knife, my ticket to Guangzhou, and my passport.  With their limited English, I am scolded with "No Knife!".  I am speechless and thinking what a smooth move on my part - will this cause delays and will we miss our flight? They go their computer terminal and scan my passport...yikes, it didn't look good.  They return and hand me back my belongings (less the knife), and add one more "No knife!" for good measure, and then we are waved through security.  What just happened?  Ah, we're too tired to do much more than continue to our gate and breathe a sigh of relief.  

Okay, on to the good stuff - Gotcha Day!

We look at the schedule and realize that our Gotcha time (our appointment at the Civil Affairs Office) is not until 2:00 in the afternoon.  That makes for a really long morning, especially since it started at 4 am...no biggie, we will eat breakfast, get our paper work and gifts in order, and put together all the necessary things for Gotcha. Okay, that takes us to 10:00 maybe. So we sat up in our room playing games on the computer, solving puzzles and checking the clock like every five minutes. 2:00 could not arrive soon enough.

Upon arrival at the Civil Affairs Office we are ushered up the elevator and brought to a waiting area with all the other waiting families. There must have been twenty other families there as well so the room felt 100 degrees inside. We were instructed to wait there until each of us are called forward to receive our child. We are one of the first families called and as we are walking toward the room, we see him running out of the room to greet us. He immediately ran up to us and hugged me first then Lou. Oh I love this kid! As we settled back in the waiting area, he proudly showed us the pictures he had drawn (he is quite the artist)  and the toys and candies he brought. He is amazing! We watch as he shares his candies with everyone and tries to console the crying babies sitting near us. At one point he decides that Baba's (Daddy) camera looks pretty cool and motions to us that he would like to take a picture. We of course, put the camera strap around his neck and proceed to try and help him take a picture. He motions to us that he does not need our help. He's got it figured out already. He starts touring the room and taking pictures of everyone and everything he sees. He sets his toys up and takes pictures of them. We have another family photographer!

Once all of the formalities are taken care of, we are brought back to the hotel. Lou takes Daniel upstairs to our room while I finish up some more paper work with our guide in a separate conference room. I am gone for maybe an hour. Upon return to the room, I ask Lou how Daniel is doing. You never know how things can be once it hits them. They may or may not have expectations of what a family is and living at the hotel isn't real life. (No, our home does not look like this gold and marble palace we are staying at right now)  Lou replies that he is all boy, through and through. In this hour that I was gone, he had turned every switch in the room off and on, opened everything to investigate what was inside all those drawers and closets; disabled Lou's phone, shown Lou things on his computer he never knew before, and dialed the emergency number on the  bathroom phone. Twice. Ya, he is a little busy to say the least. I am hopeful that maybe this is temporary and due to nerves and once home some of this energy will dissipate. It is common to see the kids act different than who they are. So maybe he won't always behave like he is on crack, running from one activity to the next every two minutes. We will see! Either way, we love him to pieces and he is doing amazing.

We all slept well last night and were ready for our first full day with our new son. After breakfast, we took some bread out to feed the fish. The giant koi were practically jumping out of the water to eat the bread Daniel was tossing them. At one point though, he starts throwing the bread way far out beyond the crowd. I realize he is trying to feed the fish on the margins. The guys who were too slow or small to be in the mix with the big dudes. He then motions us to walk around and feed the fish in the other smaller ponds. I can't help but be touched that he was concerned for the little guys too. It really shows what a tender heart he has.

Later that morning we return to the Civil Affairs office to finalize the adoption. I worried that he wouldn't understand why we were returning and feared he may assume we were taking him back. I asked our guide to please explain to him what we are doing so he wouldn't be worried or anxious. He nodded his head that he understood and thankfully there were no tears or issues. All went as it should and he is ours! He is officially Daniel Xin Chong Rakoczy but he has yet to respond to his new American name. He goes by Chong Chong, so right now that is mostly what we call him. I have been trying to slip Daniel in and call him Daniel Chong Chong. I'm sure eventually he will accept his name but for now this works.

We are praising God for allowing us to be Daniel's parents. We pray we can be the parents he needs to grow up and be a Godly man. Please pray for our kiddos at home. We have skyped them a couple of times but the girlies are really missing us.

Here are some pictures:

Hugging the Mama

Hugging the Baba

With two of the orphanage workers

One of the many pics Daniel took

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