We woke up at 3 am and counted down the minutes before breakfast at 6:30. I was so consumed with caring for Josiah (see end of post) that I didn't have time to worry and fret over our meeting Autumn. That was good because in the past, when waiting for the boys, I felt really nauseous for about 5 hours before our meeting.
We met our second guide, Jeanne, downstairs in the lobby at 10 am and drove to the Civil Affairs office. There is one other family here with us. I've been communicating with Kristin for the past months via email and we finally met in person as we were leaving to meet our children. They have four kids and are adopting two on this trip, one little boy, age 7, and a little girl, under two, next week. When we arrived at the office, Autumn was not yet there, but the other couple's son was. He sang them songs that he had learned in English just for them. It was so precious. Steve teared up.
About 5 minutes later, Autumn arrived in a minivan, after a 2.5 hour drive from her orphanage. They led her in as I was snapping pictures. She had an expression on her face like she was trying to take everything in and figure it out. She has had that same expression ever since. She is so precious.
We immediately took her to the potty - they use the split pants, so I had no idea what to do. The nanny had to coach me. She had three layers of pants on, only the inner-most set was split. Then we went back and showed her all the toys we brought her. She was most interested in the bracelet and Josiah's cars. She sat on Steve's lap while I did paperwork and asked the nanny and orphanage director a lot of questions. They said she is vey active, talkative, and likes to be #1. We laughed and told Sheehan he was going to have a little competition.
Steve tried handing her to me, but she didn't want to move from her comfortable spot. After about 45 minutes, the orphanage workers waved good-bye to Autumn, after explaining that she would be spending the night with Mama and Baba. She waved good-bye and seemed content - she probably didn't understand.
About 30 minutes later, we took her back to the hotel. She stood around like she was taking it all in. I think she was stunned, because she, very slowly, walked around or stood, and was like a dead weight when lifted.
I went out to exchange money and get food and fed her some noodles when I got back in. She has a big appetite. (By the way, 2T seems to fit her, but the 18 months pants we brought are too small - she's sleeping in them though).
When she was sitting on my lap, she began to make these soft panting noises, like she was trying to hold back tears. She doesn't know how to feed herself or drink from a sippy cup - she's been drinking from a small bowl - but that's too messy for me, so we're working on the cup. While trying the bowl, we spilled water all over her, soaking her to her socks. She let the water soak in and then began to let out a soft, slow cry with big, huge tears. We changed her and put a pull-up on her. She calmed down.
Throughout the rest of the day, she panted and then would stop and get an expression on her face as if the realization, "I'm stuck in this room with these foreigners," came over her, and she would begin to weep, like she was trying to hold it back and be brave, but she just couldn't do it anymore. I just held her or stroked her back while laying on the bed. All this going on while I am sick. I have a horrible sore throat - when I swallow it feels like I'm trying to swallow a croquet ball covered in spikes. And I'm congested. We just laid in bed.
At one point, we showed her an animal book. We said the names of the animals in Chinese and she would repeat us in a whisper. It's hard to tell if she's had enough to eat or drink or is done going potty because she doesn't answer us when we ask. She either repeats us or just looks at us in this sad pitiful way.
In the evening, everyone fell asleep except Autumn. I was dozing next to her on the bed. She played with her toys and looked at her books for about two hours. She began yawning and I gently laid her down and she fell asleep within 2 minutes.
She just woke and is examining her Baby Faces book (this book was a big hit with Josiah when we adopted him and Autumn seems to like it too). She does a "surprised" face when she sees the surprised baby and whispers about the other babies in the book.
We go to the civil affairs office again at 8:30 this morning to officially adopt her. Not sure how things will go upon leaving the hotel room and then seeing the orphanage workers again. We'll keep you posted.
As far as Josiah goes, I've been in contact with the agency doctor who is arriving this afternoon (Tuesday). Josiah is in a lot of pain with the rash - scratching to the point of bleeding. We're giving him Benadryl, orally, and that seems to be helping. The doctor confirmed that they should have done a throat culture to confirm/deny scarlet fever. She's going to look at him this afternoon. Steve and Sheehan are still healthy. Autumn has a little cough and runny nose, but the boys came to us like that too. So, no surprise. Will post pics after breakfast.