They called us in one by one for an interview with an adoption official. What were our occupations? How many children did we have? (Grayson was there with us.) What were our plans for her education? And the biggest question of all: Did we promise never to abandon her?
After that we went back to the waiting room to be called in for our family picture for the adoption decree, and then we all waited while the decrees were processed. During the process it was expected that we give the official a gift. We gave one medium sized IU t-shirt in gray with red letters. They gave us a gift for her. It appears to be a wooden vase of some sort with Chinese calligraphy all over it. We took some pictures and waited a bit and then boarded our bus for the notary. There we waited and were called one by one to the notary and were asked our occupations and if we promised never to abandon her. When it was over we were handed our official adoption decree which says that we are the legal guardians of Tessa. Catherine announced this to us and our bus went up in cheers. I feel joy all around me from all these new families.
We celebrated this occasion with a trip to Wal-Mart where we bought a few baby things and food. Tessa rode proudly in the front of the cart and stared at everything. Some of the other children fell asleep but not our Tessa. She is clearly an adventure girl, too excited to sleep and big eyes for all that surrounded her. She'll fit right into the fast paced Cornell-McKim clan. One woman came up to us and appeared to admonish me for not dressing her properly. She smiled, but she patted Tessa's bare legs and shook her head no.
We headed back to the hotel for the rest of the day. We all 4 took a nap together on the king sized bed and then went for a swim in a beautiful hotel pool. I think Tessa and Gray and I will have a fun summer at the Bryan Park pool. She loved the water.
One bonus: an American woman came into the pool with two Chinese girls who were 9 years old. They were here on a heritage tour. The girls had been adopted nine years ago from this province. The woman exclaimed over seeing three of us and our babies. We got excited about seeing her grown children. The world feels so small.