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 13, 2012

Looking Back - Plus Two (July 13)

Two years ago today, we had made it through the first night with a baby in the room and found it easier than feared -- but our 7:00am wake-up call still felt brutally early. We had to be on our bus by 10:00 in order to finalize all the adoption paperwork and figured that three hours would give us plenty of time to get up, get organized, have breakfast, etc.

Wow, talk about a learning experience...!

My original post about the 13th talks about what the morning was like, but suffice it to say we didn't make the same mistake again... although it wasn't the last time during the trip that we had to inhale our breakfasts! We went back to where we'd first met the Pipsqueak for another meeting with the SWI reps, then to a different building where (after a long, hot wait) AJ got to swear to the magistrate in person that she would guarantee room, board, education, health care, etc. for her daughter. We returned to the hotel for lunch, after which the other families tried out the pool but AJ & I just sort of crashed. I had to laugh at how my sister kept one hand on the Pipsqueak at all times, even when both were fast asleep -- but the laughter stopped as soon as my niece woke up. All of a sudden, the quiet baby was a wailing banshee, producing sound at a volume that belied her tiny size (not for the last time, it turned out).

We figured out how to keep the Pipsqueak quiet, and she eventually dozed off just in time for us to hit the road again -- to go shopping at Wal-Mart. (I still shake my head at the fact that we went halfway around the world to a communist country to go shopping at Wal-Mart!) There were some vehicular misadventures along the way, but we all reached our destination kinda-sorta in good shape, bought strollers et al., then had a good dinner at a nearby restaurant. Upon returning to the hotel we had to re-pack everything in preparation for a bus trip to Guilin the next morning, so it was a relatively early night.

One year ago today, we had begun some of the final shopping craziness in preparation for the big double naming/birthday party. I don't think any of the New York cousins had arrived yet, so it was essentially a "normal" day for the family. (The Pipsqueak, of course, was asking if we could have another party, since she had already helped her Grandpa eat his birthday donuts at a "party" the previous evening.)

Today has been another normal day for all of us. The Pipsqueak went to daycare, AJ and I went to work, and Mom & Dad went to Costco to get things (for their own birthday parties!) for Saturday. There's going to be a formerly unplanned visit to the vet in the morning, and the timing of the day seems to have changed when I wasn't looking... in short, pretty much the usual. :-)

Tomorrow I'll be giving back the Pipsqueak her crown... we'll see how it works out!

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