Elisabeth - Day 8

We have had Elisabeth for one week! On the one hand, it is hard to believe it has already been that long. On the other hand, it seems like we have had her for so much longer than that – like she has
always been a part of our lives. We just praise the Lord for the huge changes we have already seen in Elisabeth – and we pray that His will be done as the three of us continue to make this transition.

According to the U.S. Government, Elisabeth is officially ours now! It was official with the Chinese govt. last Tuesday, but it was not official with the U.S. until our appointment today at the U.S. Consulate General here in Guangzhou. After ALL of the paperwork that we've done, an official just asked all of us adoptive parents to hold up our right hands and swear that all the information that we'd given on our forms was correct. (The room held perhaps 50 families, all adopting Chinese children - only 2 of which were boys.)

So, between officially becoming our daughter, take her first dip in a swimming pool, and taking an evening cruise on the Pearl River, Elisabeth had a big day!

Elisabeth continues (praise the Lord!) to be a great sleeper – usually sleeping about 10 or so hours a night. The first few nights she cried out quite a bit during her sleep, but she no longer does that. And, the last few days, instead of crying hard for 10 seconds and then falling fast asleep, she instead babbles and plays happily for a while before finally nodding off (sometimes 30 minutes to an HOUR later). We don't know if she is just caught up on her sleep, or if this is a sign of her becoming comfortable with us – but it appears to be a good thing. The orphanage told us that she takes a morning and an afternoon nap. We haven't been able to accomplish that everyday (with all of the various appointments), so it will be interesting to see what kind of schedule we settle into when we get back home.

She is still a Mama's girl right now. Whenever Elisabeth can see Mama (or even hear her!) she has to be with her. If Daddy tries to hold her with Mama around, Elisabeth fusses quite a bit (pitches quite a fit, to be more exact). BUT, if Mama is not within sight (or earshot) Elisabeth has a great time with Daddy, playing and giggling. She has also become quite fond of kissing, and she loves kissing both Mama and Daddy, and both grandmothers (she still won't let them hold her, though). "Kissing" to Elisabeth means that she leans towards your mouth with her mouth open – Granny Linda described it as "kissing air".

Tomorrow will be our last day here in China! We're excited to get home, but at the same time, it is sad to leave here. The last week has been so great, like a honeymoon for the three of us. We just get to spend all our time together (Daddy doesn't have to go to work!) and have fun and learn new things about each other.

We will leave the White Swan at 6 a.m. (yikes!) on Wednesday morning, fly to Hong Kong, then San Francisco, then Chicago, and then home. We're still scheduled to get home at 10:55 p.m., and
we're excited to see those of you who have e-mailed us that you're going to be there!

Elisabeth checking out her new bathing suit in the mirror

First dip in a pool!

Eating cheerios and playing with stacking cups

"Hey!"  (this is how Elisabeth waves)

Waiting for the Pearl River Cruise

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