Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Zoo, Civil Affairs Bureau & Dinner


Sorry for the delay in posting, but I am having difficulties with my laptop.

Tuesday began with breakfast downstairs. We were also able to skype Neil and the other kids prior to our day officially beginning.

Following talking with Daddy and the kids, we all took off in 3 large busses with our group. The Chongqing Zoo is great, and the kids had a blast.

Gladys and Mia (from Miami!)


After the Zoo and a nearby museum we headed over to the Civil Affairs Bureau which has moved to a new and beautiful building. We spent about an hour in the attached square, and upon seeing a ton of Chinese girls with their Western parents, we began to draw quite the crowd. Then, one of the locals ZOOMED in on Aimee. Charlene (Kim's friend who like her lives in Shanghai and speaks Mandarin), explained that while all of the girls were adopted from the Fuling SWI, Aimee was infact the biological daughter of Kim and that Aimee's dad is Chinese. Well oh-my-gosh, that was like setting a match to the forest! This info spread like fire throughout the mob crowd and we suddenly found ourselves surrounded by of hundreds of people! Being with Aimee from that point forward was like being with a rock star! Aimee is so cute, bless her heart...she just stayed close to her mom and ignored her newfound admirers! It was impossible to get a photo of this event because the people were so close to us that had be tried you would have seen a blur.

Charlene spots these adorable babies and is in LOVE! Let me add that while Charlene has two daughters from China, she is now about 18 months into the weight for #3 and the locals had better keep their kiddos held tight! LOL

Kim and Charlene discuss Charlene's get-away plan!

Rock Star Aimee with Livie & Rachael

CAB Official welcoming us before the video

Our group (there are three groups)

Mom & Livie after having reviewed her files

Once we were brought into the Civil Affairs Building we were shown a video (approx. 15 min) of adoption in Chongqing. I will be posting the video to Youtube once I get home. Each family was also given a beautiful hand-painted Banyan Leaf as a gift from the Chongqing Civil Affairs Bureau. Following the video a representative from the CAB told us that we would be going to another room where we would be shown our childrens' files. The guidelines for our viewing the files were:

We would be allowed 10 minutes to review our child's file.

No copies or photos may be made/taken.

We were to review our child's file ONLY.

Livie's file was #27. Her file contained all of the info we had received upon her adoption, plus:

A document showing when she had officially been declared an abandoned child. This did not occur until she was over a year old and was likely done in order that her file could be sent to the CCAA for adoption.

Footprints taken when she was approximately 6 days old. The were blue and tiny!

The original baby photo (also taken when she was approximately 6 days old) which was used in her Finding Ad.

Her finding add info, stating that her finding ad ran in the Chongqing Newspaper for approximately 3 months continuously.

A copy of Director Yang's (Fuling's Director) official work ID card.

Kim was taking notes while I asked a representative from BLAS to translate what some of the documents said. When we were almost finished an official from the CAB saw that Kim was taking notes and told the BLAS rep to tell Kim to stop writing and that we were only allowed to take with us that information which we could remember. When the BLAS rep told Kim and I this Kim said loudly and with disgust, "That is OUTRAGIOUS!" The BLAS rep agreed and told Kim, "Yes, keep writing."

Although most every document was not new to me, and there was no *telling* information, it was still a very emotional time to be standing in the CAB telling your daughter - in simple terms for an almost 5 year old - exactly what these boring pieces of paper were, and why they were so important and special.


After the CAB we drove to a scenic area on the banks of the Yangtze River. It was a new and state-of-the-art shopping/dining center and was absolutely gorgeous. We walked around a bit and then enjoyed dinner in one of the restaurants. I also bought a travel mug from Starbucks (yes, they are everywhere!) that says 'Chongqing'.

That is all from our jam-packed and busy day! More to come as our adventure continues!



Waiting for Mia Hope! said...

This is so exciting that you are in Chongqing!!!!!! Just this morning hubby and I were wishing we were going back to Chongqing to pick up Mia Hope. We LOVED Chongqing!!! Will you be meeting Marie? Oh we miss her! to read more...

Tammie said...

Wow! I can't imagine being able to read Erin's file. How lucky that you had this chance. And smart of Kim to step up to the plate to jot down everything.

Vivian M said...

Wow, how emotionazl this must be to relive moments and get a glimpse of Livie's history. Thank goodness for Kim, lol!