Hello again everyone!
Wednesday, September 17
The day started off raining, and stayed rainy, but was a great day anyway! After breakfast we checked out of our hotel, and Chen Chen took us on a rickshaw tour of the Hutong district of Beijing with another Bethany family from New Jersey. It was an incredible experience! (as has everything so far!) We got to visit a kindergarten class and all the kids were so cute! They all were excited to see us, and they sang a song for us. After that, we went to visit a family in their home, to see what a typical home is like in the Hutong district. The family was very gracious, and served all of us tea. One of the daughters was busy painting some beautiful crystal bottles that she sells to the hotels.
Then we went to a bell tower that was used to tell the time in ancient times. In the bell tower we took part in a tea ceremony and all tried two different types of jasmine tea. Unfortunately, we had to really hurry out of there to catch our plane, so we didn't have much time to look around. Chen Chen took us to the Beijing airport just in time to catch our flight to Jiangxi Province, where the twins live, but she said we probably would not get them until tomorrow morning.
After a two-hour flight, we were met in Nanchang by our new guide, Michele. (Very, very sweet!) On the bus to our hotel, she told us the GREAT news that the orphanage director would bring the girls to our room tonight at about 8:00! So, we checked in, and while we were unpacking, Michele called our room to tell us that the girls were actually coming at 6:30-which was in about 45 minutes!!!! We quickly unpacked and then took turns watching out the peep-hole in the door, with MAJOR butterflies in our stomachs! (Michele told us we should wait in our room.) Finally, the bell rang (the hotel rooms have doorbells!), we opened it, and there were standing Anna and Emma!!!!! (with the orphanage director two nannies, and Michele) It was the most unbelievable moment ever! They had little photo name tags, and Anna walked right in and handed hers to Scott. It was like, "Hi, here I am, I'm your daughter!" Emma, on the other hand, started wailing as soon as I picked her up! Well, that got Anna going too, although not quite as bad. So during all the crying, we handed the orphanage director some gifts, he took our picture (including screaming babies!), and they left. Michele said she'd be back in one hour for us to sign some papers. Both girls actually stopped crying pretty quickly after everyone left, but it was very sad, because they just sat on our laps sniffling until Michele came back. She came back, we signed papers, put red thumbprints on our signatures, red footprints of the girls, and she left. The next hour-and-a-half was really amazing! The girls totally calmed down, and both of them started smiling! They both also made really great eye contact for long periods of time, which we didn't expect for quite a long time. We put them into their pajamas, and at about 9:30 they both fell asleep on our chests. We moved them into their cribs, and they slept through the night until 7:30 (Anna) and 8:00 (Emma). They are so cute and sweet!!!!! They're even more amazing than we ever could have imagined!
Thursday, September 18
This morning after breakfast, we met Michele in the lobby at 9:00, and she took us to the government adoption office where we signed all the official paperwork, had more pictures taken, were interviewed, and received their adoption certificates. We also got to ask the orphanage director a lot of questions about the girls' life in the orphanage. The orphanage director is a really nice guy, and he got quite a chuckle out of Scott's attempt at pronouncing the Chinese word for toilet! We also found out that Anna and Emma's Chinese names put together mean "beautiful Jade" Then, we rode over to the notary office where we signed one more paper, and now it's official! They belong to us forever!!!!! This day has been so much fun! The girls are amazing, and they have come so far in less than 24 hours. They are always smiling and laughing already, and they LOVE to be held by all of us. When we set them down they hold their arms up to be picked up. They're constantly chattering in Chinese, and when Michele has been with us she was able to translate a little bit for us. They were saying (in Chinese) things like, "my bottle", and "pick me up". I have no doubt that before these girls were born, God intended for them to be our daughters!
A few minutes ago Michele brought two tailors to our room to measure us all for some silk Chinese outfits to be made. In a few minutes we are going downstairs to have dinner, give the girls baths, and go to bed. I've updated the web site with pictures of the girls! You can go to the site again at www.precario.com/annaemma/china.htm and click on the new link. Sorry to be so long-winded, but this is serving as a journal for us too, so we don't forget anything!
Terri, Scott, Bill, Alex, Katie, Rianne, Anna, and Emma