What we have known in our hearts for 6 months is now acknowledged by the Chinese Government…Shun Xian Sheng is our son! We went to the Notary and Registration offices at the Civil Affairs Bureau today and now our adoption of Daniel Phillip XianSheng is official! (Our adoption will be finalized according to the US Government after we have our Consulate appointment next week.) Noah and Lao Lao stayed behind at the hotel to play during the appointments, and I assumed Elisabeth would want to do that too…but she was mortified at the thought – “I want to go with Daniel!”
It seems like we have already had Daniel for a week or two – instead of just over one day. We’ve already experienced so much with him and seen his precious little personality emerge more and more. He really has just fit right in seamlessly!
He slept like champ last night! (ANOTHER good sleeper, Praise You Lord!) We all went to sleep at 9:30 (those of you who know what a stickler I am for schedules and 8 p.m. bedtime will laugh) because the kids (and us adults) were having so much fun that it was hard to put a stop to it! He slept like a rock, and even though the rest of us were up and about starting at about 6 a.m., we had to work hard at waking him up at about 7:45 a.m.! His schedule that the orphanage gave us says that he normally sleeps from 8:30 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. – with a 3 hour nap from 11:00 a.m. – 2 p.m.
We got to see Daniel’s little friend from the orphanage (Ian slept in the crib next to Daniel) during the appointments this morning. It was so cute to see the boys together! It turns out that us new parents had bought them the exact same sippy cups (just different colors) and the boys were holding them up and touching them together and then trying to trade and share! At one point Ian started crying in the room next to us (turns out he was tired – he fell asleep on his mama’s shoulder within a minute) and Daniel started saying something and pointing out there. I had a feeling it must be Ian, because of Daniel’s reaction, so I sent Elisabeth to peek around the corner of the door and investigate, and it was him – Daniel was concerned about his buddy!
He is such an eater! He ate (and ate and ate) scrambled eggs this morning and LOTS of congee (like grits, but made with rice that has been cooked forever). These are both staples at Chinese orphanages, and he was very excited to see them on our plate! He sat in my lap and I fed him – although he did the directing: he would point to what he wanted next and I would happily oblige! We ate take-out in the room tonight and the kids shared an order of spaghetti (spaghetti noodles with some cheese melted on top) and Daniel ate his own share, PLUS Elisabeth and Noah’s that they didn’t touch too much! AND THEN, I made him some blueberry oatmeal (that we brought from the US) and he got all excited when he saw me getting it ready (because he’d had some the evening before) and he ate all of that too!
Daniel has had heart surgery already and we were thinking he might have a 4-5 inch vertical chest scar (like Noah’s). During that first meeting on Monday, we peeked in his shirt to check it out. No scar! Through the translator, we asked the orphanage staff (the director, a nanny, and another (male) worker/driver – that Daniel loves, by the way) and they had us pull down his shorts and diaper to show us a very tiny (about ¼ inch) scar on his upper right thigh. His heart surgery was done by catheterization! This is a good sign, because it speaks to the severity (lack thereof, actually) of the heart defect. This is going to sound odd, but we don’t know exactly what Daniel’s heart defect was/is. We originally understood that Daniel had a PDA (patent ductus arteriosus), but when we received the full medical reports (about 30 pages, over half of which were entirely in Chinese) they actually mentioned four different defects (patent ductus arteriosis, ventricular septal defect, AV canal duct open, patent foramen ovale). These are all “holes”, but four different types/locations of holes in the heart. We were/are prepared for him to, in fact, have 4 defects, but we knew that particular combination isn’t likely and it is more likely that the different diagnoses are a byproduct of Daniel being seen, over many months, by different doctors at different hospitals. We just knew that Shun Xian Sheng was our son, and that we’d get anything that needs to be seen about, seen about after we get him home. He and Noah have back-to-back appointments with Dr. English, our pediatric cardiologist, on July 20th.
The orphanage staff called Daniel, Shing Zeye (I’ve spelled it phonetically), so we have been calling him that, mixed with Daniel Shing, mixed with plain Daniel.
Daniel LOVES having his diaper changed. Whenever I get a new diaper, I hold it up and he starts smiling and gets ready. BUT, as soon as I get the old diaper off, he hops up and starts dancing around (while belly-laughing) and then it takes both Jas and I to get the new diaper on him! We’ll have to work out a better system, because Jas can’t run home from work every time Daniel needs a new diaper! Several of you have mentioned in your e-mails that Daniel has a mischievous look in his eyes - you've nailed it! When he smiles and laughs he looks and sounds so old and wise...like he knows something that you don't and he's pulling a fast one over on you!
China is 12 time zones (so 12 hours) ahead of the EST, so yes, I’ve been posting these messages in the wee hours here in China (yesterday 2:30, today 3:30). Changing 12 time zones is a killer! I’ve been skipping afternoon naptime so that I’ll be able to sleep at night (Jas and the kids all took a 3.5 hour nap yesterday). I can’t keep my eyes open at 8 or 9 in order to do a post, but then I’m wide awake at 2 or 3 a.m. If our past two experiences hold true, I’ll finally be kind of adjusted to China time in about another week and a half – just in time to fly home and change 12 time zones again, and do the adjustment period all over again! The 30+ hour travel time back and forth, and the resulting jetlag are some of the “birthpains” of adopting from China. After we got home 1.5 years ago with Noah, I said “We might adopt again, but it will NOT be from China!” But like I’ve heard from biological moms, you forget the pain – and want to do it again because of the resulting blessing! Needless to say, TOTALLY worth it!
We SO appreciate your prayers and your e-mails of encouragement (It is a blessing to my heart to read them at 3 in the morning!). Please continue to pray that Daniel’s adjustment will go smoothly. God is good!
The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy. Ps. 126:3
Noah sleeping in what HAD been my bed
Elisabeth checking on her still-sleeping new little brother
Our new little angel
"I get to play with ALL the cars until Daniel wakes up!"
I think he's a morning person
Playing with one of his orphanage worker buddies at our appointments today