My niece joined the family on July 12th, 2010. This special young lady's mother is my younger sister, which in classic Chinese culture makes me her Jiu Jiu (舅舅) -- thus the title of this blog. Here I intend to semi-regularly post reflections, thoughts, stories, and assorted whathaveyous pertaining to our trip to China, adoption in general, and (mostly) watching my niece grow up. Since the web is a very public place, I will attempt to maintain my family's privacy while telling the story... but I invite you to follow the blog and come along for the adventure!

Friday, July 22, 2011

One Year Ago Today (July 21, 2010/2011)

I'm amazed at how difficult it's turned out to be to be able to post consistently on a daily basis... but I'm tryin', I'm tryin'...! Maybe I need a 27-hour clock...?

One year ago today... We had a slow morning (the Pipsqueak hadn't slept too well, so neither did Mommy or JiuJiu) but were in pretty good shape when all three families visited the Guangdong Folk Arts Museum. It's an amazing building, with a roof positively covered in old, intricate, colorful soapstone and ceramic sculptures... and a different gift shop for every section of the museum! Aside from it (again) being horrendously hot & humid, the museum was an amazing place to see, and we brought home a few pieces of art to help remember the day.  What followed was one of the scarier bus rides we'd had in Guangzhou, getting to our lunchtime restaurant at just about the time our nerves were ready to give out. Lunch was good -- the Pipsqueak paid much more attention to AJ's food than to her own bowl of congee -- and we returned to the road refreshed & ready for our CA (Consulate Appointment). The traffic had other ideas, and by the time we got back to the White Swan we had only a few minutes before running back downstairs to join the mob heading out on the two huge hotel-provided tour buses.

There were no cameras allowed inside the consulate, but I can still clearly see the room where we waited until all the final paperwork was completed. The Consular Officer said the oath was actually "anti-climactic" because it wasn't actually the citizenship oath, but there were a lot of people in that room (AJ included, and almost yours truly) who couldn't make it all the way through without crying from the sheer volume of emotion: the adoptions were over, done with, complete, unbreakable -- Miri was officially a member of our our family and there was no longer anything anyone could do to change that. 

The traffic again almost derailed our plans, but we made it back to the White Swan in time to change & get to one of the city docks for a nighttime buffet boat ride up & down the Pearl River. I missed the magic show down in the dining room/lounge, but was compensated by the incredible neon, video, and lighting effects along the river, some of which turned entire buildings into giant video screens. As I noted in the original post, by the time we returned to the White Swan, the feeling of the trip had changed; we were left with only one more day in-country, and it was time to go home. Still, it was a good feeling to go to sleep knowing that what had begun as an adoption trip was now a family trip.

Meanwhile, back in the present (2011)... Work today was insane (at one point I was waiting for return phone calls from two nurses, two hospitals, an admissions coordinator, my HR Manager, and our Scheduling Manager while helping swap a patient from an old bed into a new specialty bed... and somewhere in there was trying to finish a document that will be a full week late tomorrow)... but I still got a Pipsqueak Report from the folks, and I'm looking forward to playing with her a little this weekend.

(The Pipsqueak has discovered piggyback rides... anybody know a good chiropractor? <g>)

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