Live...laugh...love Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Monday, March 31, 2008

DAY 6: MEET TOÑITO!










Click for Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur Forecast
Wow. Today was full of excitement, emotions and paperwork!
For the first time, Vivi slept through the entire night (yay!) and we all woke up around 5am. The breakfast buffet opened up at 7am, so we had two hours to take showers, get ready, and pack, re-pack, and pack again the backpack with our passports, toys, snacks and camera/ videocamera. My stomach was flip-flopping and I couldn't imagine how the first meeting would be!! We thoroughly convinced ourselves that Toñito would be screaming and crying and terrified of us the entire day, until he was exhausted. However quite the opposite happened!!:)

Our busy day started when we boarded the bus and rode to the adoption center (?), which is basically a sterile office building the different children welfare institutes (CWI is how the Chinese government refers to orphanages) use to present the children who are to be adopted, to their parents. The 4 adoptive families could not all fit into an elevator, so 3 families went up and we waited with our coordinator for the second one to come. We were told that we would be waiting in a room and they would call our names one by one and present us with our children-- however we are learning that chaos and surprises are the standard and the unexpected is what is anticipated!

Needless to say, we entered into a room of little kids running around from toy-filled backpack to sugar-filled snacks, Chinese being translated by our national guide Elsie, our local guide Wendy, the orphanage representative, and another woman who was filling out papers, and smiling parents trying to engage their kids while proudly flashing cameras. We saw Toñito right away- he first got some candy and was hugging Dianna (Gillian's mom). We called him over, but obviously still cannot pronounce his name exactly, because he kept bouncing around looking for toys. His nickname is "Zhu-zhu," which sounds like either Tsu-tsu or Jew-Jew depending on the Chinese accent, and we just keep alternating and throwing in Toñito every now and then.

We took out his little matchbox cars, which were a huge hit, and Vivi gave him a sucker (the first of a LOT of sugary snacks today), and we just sat on the ground playing with him. Someone translated to him that we were his mama and baba (daddy) and literally within the first half an hour he was calling Toño "baba" and grabbing his hand to show him things!!! This little boy is VERY smiley and friendly. He giggles and smiles with everyone and has such an easy-going temperament. Soon after we met him, he slipped on one of his cars and hit his chin on the table corner and either bit his lip or tongue, which started to bleed. He cried and reached up for Toño to comfort him!! It was adorable (well, not my poor baby's lip!). He calmed down right away, and then just moved from toy to toy and candy bar to chocolate bar. All of the different families had brought snacks to "melt the ice" and he just charmed his way through oreos, kit-kats, cheese crackers, etc. Vivi was a doll- we had prepared her that he would be really sad and scared today, and that we needed to be very nice and share, etc to make him feel comfortable. When he fell, she gave him a big kiss, and continued to share things with him the whole day! I'm sure the honeymoon will end at some point, but today she was an amazing "little" (by 3 months) sister.

He had to go to the bathroom twice, and both times he said baba and then the word for potty (which I forgot now, but sounds like niao?).We played for a while- maybe an hour?- until we were told to board the bus and go to get their passport pictures taken. He loved the bus and was very curious about everything from looking out the window at the tall buildings to playing with his new balloon that Drew's grandparents gave all the kids.

We went to various different offices to fill in forms for the kids' passports as well as the adoption. In each room the kids became more and more active, playing with beach balls, coloring in books, running around the tables, and then having periods of looking bewildered and overwhelmed. There are 4 kids who came along to China to meet their new siblings, and then 4 kids being adopted and joining their new families- so that is 8 kids in various moods and levels of sleep. There were some meltdowns, but for the most part everyone did a great job today for being so scared and having gone through such a dramatic change in environment and losing everything they know and everyone they love.
Tonito's spoonfuls at lunch of curry chicken and rice assuaged our fears of a picky eater- he even ate some strawberry-applesauce for dessert!
After lunch we had more papers to sign, and a couple of more offices to visit. You could tell he was overwhelmed and just trying to be a good boy- but at the same time he was charming everyone, he was also scared. His helium balloon perked up his mood as well as his coloring pages and pen to "write."
We finally made our way to sign all of the papers, bring all of the gifts to the right people, and avoid a tantrum. Once we got back to the hotel we went to one of the hotel restaurants where he ate fried rice, a dumpling and some steamed veggies. He also tried and loved Vivi's black beans and rice! We played playdough, cars, and colored until it was time for a bath. Tonio gave him a bath, which he loved, and then we put on his warm, clean pajamas. I can't believe how good he is! Tonito is a beautiful little boy, with an adorable smile, who has been through the trauma of saying good-bye to his foster mom 3 1/2 years (who really is the only mom he has known)and through it all he is playing nicely and calling us both mama and baba. We are the luckiest parents in the world!!! This truly was a match made in heaven and we are SO thrilled to be the mommy and papi to our sweet and compassionate Vivi, our curious and charming Tonito, and our precious little baby Maya.
As I write this, Tonito is finally settling down. We put him to bed and in less than 2 minutes he was out like a light. However he cried in his sleep several times now- my heart breaks because I know how scared he must be! He is trying to hold it all in, poor baby. I better go and get some rest:). Tomorrow we wake up a family of 5!!!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

We have been checking your blog since early this morning! We finally received the update at 10:00 am our time. We kept wondering how your first day with your new son would be. We are thrilled for all of you and hope he continues to adapt. He's such a cute little boy and it looks like Vivi is enjoying playing with him. I like how he already is calling you mami and papi and he goes to Tonio when he was hurt. I can't describe how I feel, but I had a hard time reading your blog because of tears in my eyes. Please give him a great big kiss and hug from us! We can't wait to meet him. He is truly a blessing from heaven. Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

I had such a hard time reading your commentary on the blog this morning because my eyes would not stop tearing up, and my heart was doing flip flops in my chest. As excited as I am, I know it must be nothing compared to how the two of you must be feeling. Tonito is such a wonderful boy and he is very lucky to be joining such a loving family. there may yet be some trying times for all of you, but I'm sure you will weather them. I hope you feel the warmth of my love today as you begin your new life with your son. Can't wait to see you back here. love, dadxxoo

Christi said...

I was waiting all morning to read your blog! I checked it first thing in my pajamas, in Vivi's room where I'm sleeping, and knew that you hadn't written because of all the excitement. I could only imagine what you all were going through. I was in a meeting just now and Dad called me to say the pictures were up-- what a beautiful family!!!!!!!! I am trying not to make my tears of happiness too noticable as I sit in my cubicle reading your blog, but really I want to show everyone in the world how lucky we are to have Tonito in our family. Thank you for sending us the update! Congratulations!!!! I can't wait to read more. Lots of love to all of you! Tía Didi

Christi said...

I was waiting all morning to read your blog! I checked it first thing in my pajamas, in Vivi's room where I'm sleeping, and knew that you hadn't written because of all the excitement. I could only imagine what you all were going through. I was in a meeting just now and Dad called me to say the pictures were up-- what a beautiful family!!!!!!!! I am trying not to make my tears of happiness too noticable as I sit in my cubicle reading your blog, but really I want to show everyone in the world how lucky we are to have Tonito in our family. Thank you for sending us the update! Congratulations!!!! I can't wait to read more. Lots of love to all of you! Tía Didi

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Christi is such a proud aunt that she has shared this wonderful news and addition with us! What a blessing and a joy to have such a beautiful family!

God's grace and peace to you!

-Pellagia-
from Opportunity International

deanna willett said...

We were so excited to read your story. What a darling little boy and what a big girl Vivi is. Congratulations on such a wonderful day that has been a long time in coming. You are a beautiful family.

Anonymous said...

Becky! He is so adorable and I am so excited to meet him! I can't wait until you come home so I can officially meet my nephew. :D
Love, Emily

Anonymous said...

Hello Morales Family!
The Hildreth's are so excited for all of you. We have been reading your blogs daily and could not wait to read today's update. Tonito is so cute and your stories are melting our hearts. Ewan keeps asking to play at Vivi's house today; I wonder how long it will take for it to become Tonito and Vivi's house.

Anonymous said...

Becky,

You all look so happy and your son is beautiful! I showed my daughter the pictures and she laughs and points and says "Jo Jo"...I told her he has a mama and a daddy and a family now just like her. I am so happy also that you have Wendy for your guide, tell her the Goalen's say hello. Have you been approved to go to the orphange? Be blessed and sleep when you can!

Vickie

mario.morales said...

!!! F E L I C I D A D E S !!! Me da muchisimo gusto que todo su esfuerzo haya sido premiado. Se ve que Toñito es un niño muy risueño y amoroso y estará muy orgulloso de sus padres. Siento que vivieron un cumulo de emociones. Con la que se sacaron tambien el premio mayor es con mi querida y bellisima ahijada Vivi, es un angel porque se ve que compartio sus cosas y ha dado de su parte para convivir con su nuevo hermanito Toñito. Me da gusto que Dios les haya brindado la oportunidad de estar con el y todos juntos ser una nueva familia. Les mando abrazos y bendiciones. Le mando besos telepaticos a mi otra querida y bellisima sobrina super Maya. Suerte en su regreso a casa.

mario.morales said...

!!! F E L I C I D A D E S !!! Me da muchisimo gusto que todo su esfuerzo haya sido premiado. Se ve que Toñito es un niño muy risueño y amoroso y estará muy orgulloso de sus padres. Siento que vivieron un cumulo de emociones. Con la que se sacaron tambien el premio mayor es con mi querida y bellisima ahijada Vivi, es un angel porque se ve que compartio sus cosas y ha dado de su parte para convivir con su nuevo hermanito Toñito. Me da gusto que Dios les haya brindado la oportunidad de estar con el y todos juntos ser una nueva familia. Les mando abrazos y bendiciones. Le mando besos telepaticos a mi otra querida y bellisima sobrina super Maya. Suerte en su regreso a casa.

Colleen said...

Tim & I are reading the blog and we are so amazed and happy. We don't even know what to say. We can't wait for you to come home so we can meet Tonito!

Annie said...

Precious! We are so happy to hear things are going well. What beautiful pictures. I love the mountain view! We are counting down the days till you are ALL home! Tianita y Familia

Kathryn & Kevin said...

Boy, did you have a great gotcha day with him. I hope everything continues toi go well and I look forward to reading your very detailed posts.