Violet officially became part of the family yesterday as we finalized her adoption at the Civil Affairs office.
The Civil Affairs process was relatively simple. We had several important documents to sign along with the director of the orphanage. Not only did we have to sign our names, but we had to put our fingerprint on the signature as well. I’m sure there are many reasons for our thumbprints, but I love that our fingerprints – something that remains constant and unchanging – bind these legal documents. We will unconditionally love our little Violet forever.
We have a few days left in Lanzhou before heading down to Guangzhou. We had a free morning this morning, so our guide Ellena brought us to a beautiful and active city park and a zoo. This was Violet’s first real adventure.
In almost any picture you see of Violet she will be holding one of two things. A pink towel or a leaf. If not both. Luckily, Nicole and I found a supermarket that sold pink towels that very closely resemble “the original”. This helps to keep things somewhat sanitary as she plays this game where she throws the towel on the ground as we’re walking to see if we notice it. Then she does a little whimper as if to say, “Hey – my towel!” and as we pick it up and give it to her, she grabs it, holds it close and giggles. And she does the same with leaves. However, leaves are easier to come by and not have to worry about a towel that has grazed almost every street in Lanzhou.
She loves nature and being outside. The park and the zoo were perfect for her. The park was called Five Springs Park, aptly named for the five springs within the grounds. The park was more than 600 years old and was full of older people doing Tai Chi, dancing, Shuttlecock (Hackey-Sack), and badminton. Ellena mentioned that a lot of the older, retired people come to this park in the morning to get out and exercise before going home to cook dinners for their grandkids. At the zoo, she saw some animals, water features, birds, and best of all – trees. Today was the first real day she came to me and had me hold her for a bit, which was especially sweet. We walked around the zoo looking at the animals, me trying to make her laugh by imitating the animal sounds, and us probably getting more stares than the animals we were all there to see.
Walking out of the park, there was a calligrapher who was writing traditional Chinese characters with a water brush. Ellena asked if he would spell out Qing YiYe, which is Violet’s Chinese name. He did it graciously, and we snapped a few pictures.
When Violet gets a little tired, she still only wants her ma-ma. She absolutely adores Nicole and it is so sweet to see their bond. She got a little tired after the zoo, and it was nearing lunchtime, so we stopped in a restaurant for Beef Noodles and picked up our Civil Affairs documents.
Nicole and I are tired, but now having Violet and trying to keep to her schedule while in China, we are following the orders the doctors gave Nicole when we had Brody. Rest while the baby rests. So, we are also enjoying nap time.
We also got to FaceTime with Brody and Joia, who were so precious to their reaction to Violet. Joia and Brody both said in the sweetest of voices, “Hi sweet girl! I love you!” We cannot WAIT to get home to be with them again and introduce them to their little sister. We miss them terribly and know that the homecoming will be rewarding when we’re all together again.
Enjoy some pictures below: