This afternoon, we went to the Civil Affairs office to meet Jillian. While in transit, Elsie, our guide, told us that we would choose Jillian’s legal name today. This caught us by surprise, as we thought this official step would happen tomorrow as we finalize the adoption. We had a quick discussion about this but couldn’t really arrive at any conclusion.
We traveled with one other couple from the Seattle, adopting their first child. The office has moved since our time here with Melody so we didn’t have the familiarity that we expected and there were a lot of families there today, because for the last month it’s been rather impractical to adopt because of the big trade shows and the holidays that pretty much shut things down. So things were kind of hectic.
We walked in and immediately were handed papers to sign. Very official ones that undoubtedly committed us to certain things but that we didn’t have a chance to read. One of the first documents asked us for our adopted daughter’s name. There was some quick back and forth and then I wrote it down: Jillian Renee Muntz.
A few minutes later, we realized that we were being told “Shen JiYing is here!” and we turned around to see Jillian walking toward us with a big grin on her face. We have some video of these first moments meeting her but no photos, so I clipped a picture from the video to post here.
Believe it or not, as this tiny little Chinese girl approached us, we heard her say, “How are you?”
At first, to be honest, we were a little concerned about her capabilities. Her cerebral palsy seemed a little more severe than we had hoped and it was hard to assess her intellectual acumen. And I’ll repeat, she is tiny! Jeannette even wondered aloud if she might not be ready for school yet. Less than two hours later, she wondered aloud if Jillian might be ready for a regular public school. The truth is somewhere in between, probably.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
We met the Shenzhen SWI orphanage director and she was very friendly and spoke decent English. We didn’t even need our guide to help us with our initial questions. She told us that Jillian doesn’t like spicy foods but does enjoy chicken and fish. I asked if she thought it would be a good or bad idea for us to visit the orphanage, and she seemed to think it was fine and invited us to come.
As we were riding the elevator down at the end of our appointment, I thought the woman talking to our guide looked familiar. In fact, I knew I recognized her: It was the orphanage director from the Maonan SWI, Melody’s orphanage! We said hi and were able to get a few photos of her with MelodyJoy.
There is much more I could say but I’m literally nodding off as I type. I hope I haven’t left too many words out or spelled too many wrong in my fatigued state. It’s about 8:45 and I think I need to call it a night. I will post more info and pictures tomorrow. Some very cute and amazing stuff that encourages us to think this will be hard but will work out fine. Good night!
Note from Phil: This is posted a few hours after Dad (Palmer) intended, since he sent it about 5AM my time this morning. This is all very exciting!