It’s official, we are the parents to the cutest little boy you have ever seen!!! It’s been quite a crazy 2 days. Nevermind we traveled half way around the world to add a member to our family, but all that we have done so far is unbelievable.
I can summarize this morning is one word, CHAOTIC! Wow. Today we had to take our little one’s to the civil affairs office. Or, as the English translation written on the wall said, the civil affires office J. It was there that we signed a bunch of papers, which was all in addition to the stack we signed yesterday. I think I signed my name 6 times today and maybe 2 times yesterday. Kevin signed at least twice that many. We had to answer a few questions about why we wanted to adopt and swear that we would never abandon Xander. I’m going to try and explain a little bit of the scene, bear with me. We walked into the government office, and it kinda looked like a concession stand. The orphanage director of the Fujian province was there, staff from each of the 4 orphanages was there and the lady who runs the show (don’t know her official title, but she was the one who made everything official and told me where to sign!). It was hot, as many buildings here do not have AC. There were some tables in the “waiting area” and as we walked in we sat down and before we knew it the orphanage staff was taking pictures of us with Xander, people were dragging us to the table to sign papers, we were given gifts from the director, then we were told we would each be taken into the office for an interview.
I truly believe that the people from Xander’s orphanage cared deeply about him. We had a tough time yesterday when he was given to us, and today was hard too. They wanted to hold him, so we obliged. I must say it was hard, because I knew he would only get upset again when they handed him back to me. He did really well, but to say that it was loud, chaotic and uncomfortable would be an understatement. I just wanted to run to a corner and protect my little guy, but I couldn’t do it. The staff from Xander’s orphanage was very sweet to us and him. They gave him a necklace that symbolizes longevity, and he has not taken it off. He loves it, and we’ll let him wear it as long as he wants to. They took many pictures of our new family and we happy to pose with us so we could have some. They gave us a photo album with pictures of Xander which included information about the orphanage, people’s names and addresses. They requested that we send a family photo to them after he had his surgery so they could see him again. I thought that was very sweet and will certainly fulfill that request. After a few more goodbyes, we were off to sign just one more set of papers, which made it official. So, on June 28, 2010 the McNeelys became a family of 4!!!
We then visited a Wal-Mart!!! Um, I’ll touch on this another day, it was 3 stories high! We got back to our room and ate a light lunch because we are looking forward to an early dinner of Shanghaiese food. I’m excited and nervous, I’m kinda chicken when it comes to eating food in foreign countries. Our guide is taking us so I’m going to assume she knows it’s safe for American bellies.
We brought out the bubbles again after lunch and captured some great smiles from Xander. He just loves the bubbles and the way his sister reacts to them! Macey and Xander get along SO well. We are praising God today especially for that reason. Those of you who have seen Macey around other little kids, especially those she does not know, know she can be a little toot. Not always very friendly. Well, she loves her brother. She gets excited to see him and just wants him to notice every little thing she does. They actually shared toys today, it was a wonderful thing to see. I’m so proud of my big girl, she has been such a trooper and is absolutely amazing. Not every 21 month old can travel half way around the world, add a brother and still be all smiles!!!
We are looking forward to a low key day tomorrow including a trip to Panda World. On Wednesday we have been given permission to visit Xander’s orphanage. Please start praying about that now, I know it will be hard on him again, but I think we will regret it if we do not go. There will be a lot of emotion from us, and him, that day.