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Oh, Hello

It’s been a challenge finding time to post updates since yesterday. Turns out parenting is sort of a time-consuming activity. And once again I’m barely staying awake in spite of the fact that it’s only 8:30 at night. I blame it on the girl, who is very energetic. Also on the massive cold I seem to be getting.

Anyway, here’s as much update as I can muster. Yesterday afternoon we headed across town to the adoption agency, where we would meet the caretakers from the orphanage. And oh, also, our daughter.

The way our guide explained it, I was under the impression that we’d start in the waiting area, move into an office, and then they would bring Eleanor to us. However, as we were sitting, I noticed a woman walk in with a small girl. A very cute, small girl. Our cute, small girl!

The next few moments are kind of a haze. But I do remember this: Eleanor did so very not want to leave her caretaker. As soon as we picked her up she pretty much lost her s…tuff. Of course, that kind of sucked…but it was also a very good sign. It tells us that a.) she’s able to attach to adults, which not all orphans do; and b.) they’re taking good enough care of her that she really preferred the company of her nanny.

So for the next half hour or so, while we processed some paperwork, she would basically freak every time she saw or heard her nanny. However, once we left, she started to quiet down. And then Kim had the very mom-psychic idea to shove a Cheerio in her face. From then she was ours.

She zoned out on the ride back to the hotel, then was clearly overwhelmed (though not crying much) when we got here. For a couple hours she wouldn’t let us do anything but feed her. I mean, we could pick her up and hold her, but she was just clearly not at all interested and would start fussing immediately, and pushing away. And man, she is both strong and limber. She pushes away hard.

But then, like a light switch, all of a sudden she was digging our company. She was actually reaching up to be held, and clinging tightly when she was. She almost fell asleep doing this:


And then she crashed at her normal bedtime (8-8:30). In the morning she woke early (5:00ish) and fussed, but completely accepted our comfort. And pretty much all day today she’s just gotten more and more comfortable with us. We even went out into the mall next door to pick up some things. She was a champ.

(This is probably getting incredibly boring for those of you who aren’t parents. But hey, this is my blog. I can be That Guy here if I wanna. Deal.)

This afternoon we also went back to the adoption center to sign the last papers. They had a little ceremony for us transferring guardianship of Eleanor. It was kind of cute. They gave us a gift of beautiful chopsticks, which we’ll probably hold to give to L for a significant birthday or event. And they took an official family photo for the file. I think we’ll get a copy.

Afterward is when we went to the mall. I feel like I’m forgetting something. Oh, we took her to breakfast this morning, which she dug a lot. And dinner tonight, which she did not. I think she slept shorter last night than she’s used to, so she was crashing out on us at dinner. We kept it relatively low-key for the other diners but left a disaster for the cleaning staff. Sorry, folks. (What I did learn at dinner: my daughter seriously digs tiramisu.)

But wow, is everyone here so friendly. This morning, they just comped our breakfast because the staff was so enamored of Eleanor. At dinner, one of the hostesses held her for a bit and just fawned over her. And this was after we’d already destroyed our table.

It’s not just the baby, though that certainly helps. Everywhere we’re going, people want to try out their English on us. I keep trying to explain to people that a.) their English is great, and b.) we really should be speaking their language. But that’s a hard concept to communicate simply. I wish we’d taken some basic classes before coming. My handful of phrases don’t help much with the (few) folks who speak no English whatsoever.

For lunch today I pantomimed a chicken.

That’s as good a note to end on as any, I guess. But I’ll leave you with what you’ve probably been coming here for anyway: more pictures!








1: meg on August 7, 2012 at 9:22 am

OMG! the picture of Eleanor in the hat is soooo adorable. I love her smile. I love her other looks as well – especially the ‘uhhh i’m confused?’ look.
I’m so happy it’s going so well and that she’s accepted you guys. Tiramisu would do it for me too i guess.
looking forward to hearing more!!


2: Catie on August 7, 2012 at 9:41 am

Okay…tears welling up as I read this on the train. She is so gorgeous and looks so comfortable with her parents! I can’t wait to snuggle with her!!! Love you guys!


3: Matt on August 7, 2012 at 9:45 am

I am enjoying these posts and pics a great deal. Like, a LOT. As an aside, how cool would it be if you kept this up for years and years?


4: Joey McGlone on August 7, 2012 at 10:09 am

This post rocks, she is ridiculously cute. You guys must be on cloud 9! Too amazing.


5: Kathy McCullough on August 7, 2012 at 11:46 am

She is so beautiful! I am so happy for you.
Kathy McCullough


6: Celeste on August 7, 2012 at 11:47 am

(crying at work) Is it possible she’s just getting cuter?! She is beyond perfect and I’m so glad you guys are having such a good experience in China. You all look beautiful together!


7: Caroline on August 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Love, love, love! I am SO happy to hear how well she’s adjusting, and SO excited that you all are finally a family…together!


8: Skinger’a on August 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm

You guys are so cute! We are so excited you have little Eleanore!


9: Palmo on August 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Not boring! Not boring AT ALL to those of us sans bebes. i love it. But, man, your head looks freakin’ huge in that pic! An entire baby can sleep ON YOUR HEAD! You look adorable in that pic, though. Seriously. You look just as cute, if not cuter, than she does. Omg. I can’t stand it anymore! I want to see you guys in person.


10: Jules on August 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm

…is it possible to die from cuteness overload? Because I’m certainly well on the way! Ellie (how many nicknames can you make out of Eleanor? let’s find out!) is so lucky to have you guys, you all look so happy and the rest of us are so happy for you! Hope the rest of your vacation is going well and I can’t wait to see your little family all together at last! =)


11: Cathy Madl on August 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all of this! How precious the pictures are, too! Hang on, Kim & Joe – you are in for the greatest ride of your life! Today is Mawmaw’s birthday, and now, a new memory added to this day – your sweet Eleanor. Love you guys!! Aunt Cathy


12: Jane on August 7, 2012 at 10:32 pm

I will wake up happy and clapping in the morning,
thinking of you, Eleanor.
Tell your Daddy that instructions are for wusses!


13: Other Uncle Matt on August 8, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Turns out parenting is sort of a time-consuming activity.



14: Adrienne Kruzer on August 12, 2012 at 12:00 am

I’m holding back tears and laughing at the same time! Finally catching up on all these blogs. Awesome pick with Kim and L and her bottle. The lighting is spectacular.