Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Welcome Peng

Our connectivity to update this blog is limited so here are some basics--maybe some photos soon. (the last 2 posts were added after this one, so scroll down to catch up)

Earlier today we pretty much stayed at or near the Hotel. Sarah got her hair cut by a very nice lady in the hotel salon (who seemed VERY worried that she was going to mess it up. She go the end of her long hair in the back trimmed and got a tapered bangs look to her one side in the front. The piece they cut off to make the bangs was about a foot long. Sarah looks about 2 years older now—kind of scary to think about!

Well just about 3 hours ago we went to some Province Minister of such-and-such Affairs Office (I'm pretty sure that is what it said above the door) and picked up Peng. He is great—such a cute kid. He is about 2" shorter than Sarah and probably wears a 5/6 right now. He is obviously a bit scared, but has been well prepared, knew who we were and understood he was going with us. We could tell that they coached him a lot to smile when we got there and we were encouraged that one of the the two sets of photos that we had sent (thanks Lance!) was with him. The orphanage director and two nannies came with him and we got a chance to ask as many questions as we wanted (through the translator). Peng has been out of his foster family for since March, just staying at the orphanage. The foster family that he was with for the previous two years lives very near the orphanage and his foster father actually works at the orphanage. His foster sister is 16 years old and that is the onl!
y foster family that he has been with since he arrived at about one-and-a-half years old. They brought photos of the foster family for us and pictures of Lian Yun Peng (yes, he goes by his WHOLE name in school) from different times in his recent life. The director was not like we expected, totally laid back. He said we could come visit and see the orphanage and meet the foster family and see where he went to school. It was obvious the nannies and the director were crazy about him and knew him very well. They say he is "active." Well, we know what that means now thanks to Zion, but we haven't seen any evidence yet. They also said he is good at school. We asked how many friends he has and he said "35" - every kid in his class. At the orphanage it seems he was called by a nickname, Xiao Hei, which is pronounced something like Shou Hay, and it means dark skin. This led to an animated discussion among us and the caretakers about Zion after YunPeng said he was darker than Sara!
h. I think they are very close in color, actually.

From the office we came back to the hotel and filled out more paperwork for tomorrow. Legally we are just fostering him tonight and will adopt him formally tomorrow. From that point on, all of the paperwork is getting his Chinese passport and US entrance visa. Here is the blog update. I guess China will not let people maintain blogs so we have to post this through a remote connection that is very slow. It is not fancy and does not have pictures yet but here is what is going on today.

From the hotel, we dropped off some laundry at a cleaners down the street (have you every had your dirty underwear counted on the side of a busy street?). Next stop was KFC for some ice cream—it was a pretty big hit. Sarah was somewhat bummed that he doesn't want to hold her hand but overall is doing very well in the early stages of her second excursion into big sisterhood.

We have met a few other kids from his same orphanage here at the hotel who are all in the 4 year to 10 year old range. One family is from Iowa, one from Virginia and I can't remember where the other one is from.

They seem to be doing well and were playing together in the hall. This evening has been spent in the room and Peng seems to be loosening up some. He played with a little calculator a lot, read some Chinese books, played with an draw/erase toy, listened to some music on a little mp3 player and watched a bit of cartoons on TV. He started moving around more freely and just seemed to be more comfortable. Good signs so far as he has just fallen asleep.