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Chinese dinner, school's out

We got invited over to dinner last week at my friend's house, and she invited a few others over too.  She went to a lot of work to put out this authentic Chinese feast.  Left to right, Demi, Lindesey's husband, Lindesey (host), my new daughter, Xu Jiemei, Zoey, and Fong Jiemei.
There was so much color and variety, and our friend, Lindesey, went out of her way to make sure there were no heads on the fish, just for me.  We enjoyed the evening and were grateful for all that she put into this for us.
 Hannah had a fun time playing with Demi's daughter, Zoey.
The next morning, we had to meet with a local court appointed social worker to make sure we are fit to be parents in order to adopt our girl, who is now living with us permanently.  We met with our translator friend, Abish, at the Hsinchu County Children Care and Counseling Community Support Center.
As we were looking for the room where we were to have our meeting, Abish squealed with excitement and surprise when she saw this sign hanging on the wall.  It was a good sign.
We had a good interview with the social worker and she seemed satisfied with our answers.  Abish said they typically meet with people on multiple occasions, but she got the impression that this would be our only time to meet.  Our court date is set for July 11, where we hope to finalize the adoption. The court requested a copy of the law in our home state.  We tracked the Texas Family Code down in an 8-page document, most of which wouldn't apply to us.  Then I had to have it translated into Chinese to present, and that alone cost $250 US for 12 pages of legal jargon.  I'll be happy to share it with anyone who might need it in the future for free!  I'm guessing there won't be too many takers.
I fell in love with the individually painted paper lanterns hanging in the community center, each one artistically embellished by a different child.
Christopher was in choir this year and performed at the Hsinchu American School graduation.  The choir members range from 4th to 8th grade students. 
There were four seniors who graduated, but only three of them attended.  Max, who was supposed to give the graduation speech, conveniently had to work and only told the principal the day before.  Here's Christopher napping to celebrate the end of 7th grade, and no more HAS.  He is very eager to return to GMS.
My little fishy, bless her heart, seems to have never had the opportunity to swim.  I don't think she's ever had a swimsuit either, she loves bath time and thinks she's really swimming. She wants to wear her swimsuit (and goggles) every time she gets in the tub and insists that I watch her "swim." She'll excitedly say, "Look, Mommy.  I swim!"  A couple of other things she seems to have been deprived from for well being include teeth brushing and having her temperature taken.  She hardly knew what to do with a toothbrush when she first started coming to our house.  Her teeth bleed quite a bit each time she brushes them and I hope that her gums get well soon.  Kelly had a fever the last couple of days and she was intrigued by the thermometer and I had to show her how it works.  What a concept.
Hannah adores her big brother and he's been such a huge help for me with translating and communicating with her.  I've been using Google Translate a lot, but have no idea how well it does with some things I try to say or understand. Even though Christopher has attended an English speaking school, he took a Chinese class and gets to practice with all of his church friends and has done an outstanding job picking up the language here.  If he can pick up that much Chinese in ten months going to an English speaking school, I know that Hannah will do well learning English quickly when we move back to the States in August.
She saw a brand new set of scriptures (triple combination) on Kelly's bookshelf in Chinese that he had bought a few months ago, but never opened.  She asked him if she could have it and he, of course, said yes. She was so happy and immediately wrote all of her names in it, English and Chinese, and is eager to take it to church next week.
She loves to have our undivided attention and sings and dances for us.  She was so cute with a little song she had made up that says, "I love you, Lindsey.  I love you, Daddy.  I love you, Mommy.  I love you Christopher.  I love you, family. I love you, family.  I love you, family."  She's asked us several times to show her pictures of her new bedroom in Texas, which is also Lindsey's.  She wants us to add "Hannah" to the bedroom wall since she sees her big sister's name on it.  In addition, she keeps looking on my blog labels for her name, then today I realized she was hoping to see her name listed.  So all posts now that have her in it, have been labeled under "my daughter Hannah."  She has looked at each one several times and I am sure she will look at them all again on many more occasions.


Julie said…
Oh my goodness, I'm trying not to cry after reading the words to Hannah's song! She looks like a super happy kid. I am excited for you guys and glad that the process is nearing an end. Has her birth father said a final goodbye to her? He must have a big heart to be able to share her with you and give his daughter a great opportunity for a better life. We will keep him and her in our prayers.
Robert Choate said…
This post makes me so happy. Prayers shall continue that all will go well and on time with the finalization.
Crys+Alan said…
Yeah! This makes me so happy. I have noticed a change in her countenance since she started to live with you. She seems so much happier. I think it will take no time at all for her to gain the confidence and self-esteem that comes from having a real family who gives her all the love and attention she requires. She fits in your family and it is beautiful. I am so glad we could be here to see it!
Kellie said…
Kelly... this is so amazing. I am excited to hear the entire story of how Hannah came to be part of your family. She is beautiful and I am so happy for you all. We'll have to have Hannah and Katelin (who just turned 6) have a little play date when you get home. Hope all goes well as you prepare for the finalization of the adoption.
Amanda said…
Hannah is one special girl! I loved reading your post, it made me so happy that you are adopting her! I hope all of the finalization process goes well, good luck!!
Dianne said…
Darling post Kelly, and best wishes in finalizing your adoption. It's no easy feat.
It's so exciting to see all the firsts with older adoptions. They are so innocent and happy over things we may take for granted. I heart the swimming pics & story. You can see how happy she is in your family!
Congratulations on Christopher for finishing 7th grade, he's close to Trevor's age.
And what a yummy looking feast, especially without the heads :)
Bobbi said…
I love to see Hannah's happy smile. What a blessing for her and all of you to have found each other. Good luck on the 11th.
Katie said…
Tell Christopher that Alex and Ian are really looking forward to having him back at GMS! They are wondering how he got his GMS football shirt he was wearing in the picture and have been talking about having him on the football team and in the band. Can't wait to meet his new sister, too! What an exciting time for your family.
~ Tina said…
love the swimming part and pics!

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