Monday, September 18, 2006

We Found Zoe!

It has been quite a day. Impossible to describe, really, but I will try, mainly for Zoe's sake. Our wake up call came at 6 a.m., but in our room, everyone was already awake. We got ready quickly, and headed up for breakfast. The dining room was full of adoptive families, buzzing with excitement. We met in the lobby at 7:20 a.m., and headed by bus to the civil affairs office. When we arrived we saw nannies bringing in several babies. Jason was sure he saw Molli in a yellow sweater.

We went up to the 7th floor and stood in a hallway. There were a few nannies with babies, and several people thought that Zoe was one of them. I kept looking at her, but didn't think it was her. They called us into a room that was packed with other adoptive families. In addition to the 10 families in our group, there were at least two other groups of 10 families each -- I believe one was from Spain. There was an official sitting at the front of the room, who kept yelling at his employees, and telling us to sit down and be quiet. After talking to him briefly, Rui stood up, and asked all of her families to move into another room. They put us all in a small room, then asked the "big family" as we are known, to move into yet another room. We weren't in there very long before they brought Molli in, and handed her to Linda. We had a few minutes to look at her and take pictures before they came in with Zoe.

After they handed her to me, she just started crying, and didn't stop. She kept twisting around, and turning her head, I assume looking for her nanny. She was dressed very warmly. A pair of courdoroy pants, with a pair of leggings underneath, a long sleeve shirt, and a heavy jacket, socks and shoes --and it was probably about 70 degrees. Jerry kept trying to get the jacket off her, but that only made her scream louder. Neither of the babies we'd seen earlier were Molli or Zoe.

Zoe's nose was really runny and she definitely had a cough. I noticed her breathing was also raspy.

At some point, we were asked to go back into the first room we were in. There were still a ton of families in there, now all holding screaming babies. I tried to give Zoe a bottle, but she shook her head, so I tried a sippy cup. She seemed to like that. I had to sign one document three times and so did Jerry. I have no idea what it was. Zoe finally calmed down when it got quiet, and Katie gave her some dried apple bites which Linda had.

Finally, the families from the other two groups left, and it was just our group. Rui stood up and translated what the official in charge was telling her. He apologized for the chaos. He said everyone came at once, and the person who normally did this was sick. We all smiled and nodded, then applauded, and that was it, we were done.

We took the babies into the hallway. I brought Zoe to the window, and she seemed to love looking outside, she was really intent on watching everything. Once on the bus we sat in a window seat, and she did the same thing. I noticed she sat up straight and would not relax against me. Someone gave her a cookie, and she definitely liked that.

Rui said that the babies had been awakened at about 4 a.m. and had a 2 hour bus drive to get to us. No wonder they were cranky!

Once up in the room, we sat with her for awhile. Jerry finally got her jacket and courduroy pants off. She was rubbing her eyes, so I laid down with her and she put her left thumb in her mouth, and began playing with my nose with her other fingers! We were all surprised to have another thumbsucker in the family, as her paperwork said she did not suck her thumb or a pacifier. Finally, I put her in her crib, and she fell asleep in an instant.

After her nap, her nose was pretty bad, so I gave her a little cold medicine. Then Zoe drank 6 oz. of formula with rice cereal and a little sugar. I changed her diaper, and she began crawling around the room, exploring. She also pulled up and walked along the sides of things. (Jerry said she took a few steps earlier). Jerry had to gone to fill out some official paperwork, but called after about 45 minutes, asking me to bring Zoe downstairs to get her footprint taken.

After that, I went with Zoe, Doug and Katie to the hotel's little playground on the 6th floor. Jerry joined us when he was through, and we all sat on the ground, rolling a little ball back and forth. This is when Zoe really started to open up. She started laughing, playing and crawling all around. Doug and Katie followed her to make sure she didn't put anything into her mouth.

After that, we went to an early dinner in the hotel's revolving restaurant. Zoe sat in a high chair and ate cheerios, a grits-like food called congee, and french fries. She wouldn't eat the watermelon and just threw it on the floor. She was so happy and funny to be around! She began copying everything we'd do. She laughed a lot, and played peek-a-boo with all of us, she also blew kisses to Marie and gave high fives to everyone. Doug and Katie loved making her laugh and getting her to do silly things. She is wonderful and adjusting amazingly well.

After dinner, we got one of the other mothers, who is also a pediatric nurse, to look at Zoe's skin, because she's got a rash and scratches it a lot. We were concerned it may be scabbies, but Shelly told us it's probably just a rash.

So after a slathering of cortizone cream and lotion, Zoe went to sleep in her crib at about 7:30pm. She and I are very tired, but what a day!