Well, here we are on Monday night, and the newest addition to the Onken household is sound asleep in his crib. Now, I can take some time to tell the world about it.
This afternoon around 2:00 we headed to the Guangdong Civil Affairs Department. It was just us and the Newell's, the other Bethany family who received their daughter in another part of China. Our guide, Jack, took us in a small van to the building and walked us through the whole process...all the paperwork, introducing us to our children, meeting the nannies, helping with the fees and donations. I was also able to interview one of Aidan's nannies and get her answers on tape, with Jack translating of course.
When Aidan was placed in my arms, he cried for a very short time. His brow was furrowed for the rest of the afternoon, looking around at all these strange faces, wondering what was going on. When we got back to the hotel, we and the Newell's met with Jack in my room to fill out some more paperwork in preparation for tomorrow's meetings. After that, I finally had the chance to video call Julie on Skype to introduce her to our new son. Even the in-laws got dragged out of bed (they're staying with Julie over the weekend) to join in the fun...although seeing my father-in-law in his skivvies was a bit much. If I remember correctly, it was a bit before 2 am back in the states, but we didn't want to wait until morning.
After that, we introduced the Newell's and their beautiful new daughter Leah to Lucy's Cafe. Both Aidan and Leah scarfed down bowls of chicken congee. Leah was able to feed herself. She's a bit older than Aidan. Apparently, Aidan was still being fed by his caretakers back at the orphanage, so I spoon fed him. But after seeing Leah so adept with the spoon, he decided to try it. Needless to say, his technique needs some work. The spoon usually got tilted well before the congee made it into his mouth. We also gave him some of our fish (both Jan and I had fish and chips)...and Julie will be happy to see that Aidan has already been introduced to the joy of french fries, although I'm not so sure that he was completely thrilled with them, like our daughter.
We headed back to our respective rooms after a stop at 7-11 across from the White Swan for some more bottled water. The rest of the evening was spent playing and bonding with Aidan. He is a playful little guy, with a little impish, mischievous spirit about him. Already he likes to throw every toy he gets his hands on. It also didn't take him long to start grinning and giggling with us (that came a few days after Gotcha Day with Lily). He has the cutest little breathy laugh, probably due to the cleft palate issues. He doesn't say any recognizable words, just a few sounds that may be Chinese words for all I know, but I can't understand them.
A couple of months ago Julie sent a care package to Aidan (via Ann at Red Thread China) which included family pictures in a little photo album. We were given all that back. When we opened it up to look at it with Aidan, he pointed with recognition at Julie, and grunted and looked at me. He also looked at my picture and looked right back at me. I get the feeling that his nannies were prepping him along the way and telling him that these people were his new "baba" (Chinese for daddy) and "mama" (Chinese for, well, that's a little obvious, don't you think?). And Aidan's first real sounds he made with us was when Julie's image came up on the Skype video call we made. He pointed right at Julie and made some sort of sound. I really believe he recognized her face. We'll see if all that preparation time pays dividends in the end with the transition when we get home. It sure did with Lily.
After giving Aidan a bottle (which he still used at the orphanage...our opinion is we'd like to get him off of that soon, but we're not going to rush it...good bonding time), I put his jammies on him and we played for a bit more and finally put him down around 9 pm. He stood there in the crib just looking at me. I decided to purposefully lay him down. He didn't protest. He knew it was bedtime. I went over to start typing this post, and after about 5 minutes, I heard some whimpering. I thought to myself, "Okay, here it comes." But the waterworks never started. Maybe that will come later. I went over and comforted him a bit, he quieted down, and a few minutes later his eyes were shut.
So now it's time for me to hit the hay after an exhilarating and exhausting day. And we still have over a week to go. Enjoy the pictures below of our first day with Aidan.At the Guangdong Civil Affairs Office, moments after Aidan was placed in my arms.
He was scared, but seemed to trust me a bit, as he leaned his head onto my shoulder.
Here he is back in the hotel room, with some new clothes and pants falling down. He's a scrawny little guy. Not much of a bum to hold up his trousers.
I think this kid is "toadally cute," don't you?
No Onken child goes without getting introduced right away to French Fries.
First bottle on baba's lap.