It’s Official!
This guy.

This guy.

Yesterday was SO much better than Day 1, so thank you to those of you who prayed. Carrigan seems to have mellowed out some from his crazed state yesterday. He is comfortable as long as he has something in his hands (usually something in each hand- Charlotte was the same way in this respect) he can carry along with him. He is still a handful, but more of his personality is coming out, and he is just adorable! He has such a cheerful disposition and he is quite a charmer! He is definitely from “fun country”, which will be such a nice fit for our family now that Gaige, a “fun country” resident, is not living with us. We so miss that element to our family that always brought a laugh and lightened the mood to any stressful situation. Each family member is so unique and special and we are thankful the Lord has hand-picked this little guy for our family, and us for him. I wish I could describe with words the cute expressions he makes, how his big eyes looking at you can make even a stern-faced man turn and smile back, and how truly hilarious this child is with some of his mannerisms and charisma. He is such a delight! He is a happy-go-lucky and we’ve hardly heard a whimper except for a couple of times we tried to put him in the stroller, put him in the backpack, going up or down stairs (he wants to be carried then- his coordination is not good and he is very stiff-legged on the stairs. It seems they are a new experience for him) and first getting into bed. He’s fine once we put tons and tons of toys in the crib with him- it is so different (and so much better!) so far than bedtime with Charlotte when we first got her. Sleep has been a breeze, though we know going home will be a whole new transition for him, so we aren’t counting our chickens yet.

A mode of transportation he gladly accepts.

A mode of transportation he gladly accepts.

Yesterday morning was filled with trips to the Civil Affairs Office and the Notary to officially complete the adoption. China has now declared him our son!

It's official!  Staged photo and everything!

It’s official! Staged photo and everything!

We were dropped off at a Pizza Hut (nothing like what you envision a Pizza Hut in America) and our guide came in to “help” (it actually made things more difficult, but she is sweet and trying to help) us order and give us some translations to help us communicate with Ya Ning. Her English is fairly good, but there are some definite awkward times where we say something to her, she smiles and nods and it’s clear she has no clue what we are saying. Some of her answers about things we ask aren’t really what we were asking and communication has been a little frustrating and difficult. So, having her translate our requests to someone else and going three ways to order was way more difficult than if we would have just pointed to some pictures on the menu. Then, she started writing down some translations for us for words like “pee”, “poo”, “yes”, “no”, “come”, “sit down” (we needed that immediately in the restaurant) in Chinese characters. Um, that’s not going to help us much. Things like that have just been a bit confusing, to say the least. She wanted us to write the English translation while she said the word, she then told us, because as we figured out, there just isn’t a good way to write it down- so much of the language is the rise and fall of your voice, which doesn’t translate on paper, and some of the letter sounds just don’t compare. We’re going to mostly have to stick with pointing and sign language. We’ve got “no no” down, and smiles and giggles are universal.

After lunch we hopped back on the Big Bus Tour to go on a different line than the day before. We had a 24 hour ticket, so we had about an hour and a half before it expired. It’s been really fun to see the streets of Shanghai from the top of the open double decker bus. We haven’t done any shopping here- the stores are the biggest, most high-end we have ever seen. Right next to the Maserati dealership, we have a 4 story Gucci and Armani stores. As we passed a store filled with revolving racks of shiny high heels in the window, Carrigan turned to tap me and show me: “Mama!” (pointing excitedly). Yes, he was really pointing at the shoes for me. Definitely going to be a Daddy’s boy!

Charlotte knows fashion, too.

Charlotte knows fashion, too.

We also found out yesterday that the fact that he calls us Mama and Baba is nothing special, which was disappointing. The children call all the caregivers that, our guide said. To him, we are the next round of caretakers in a much cooler and more fun orphanage. In time, he’ll see it differently, but for now he has no concept at all that we are his forever family. All he knows, is he is having a good ol’ time.

Bubbles!

After the tour (we did not make it off the bus to tour the Temple, as we had planned- partly because we realized that if we got off, we could not get back on because our ticket would have expired, and also because we didn’t realize we were at the correct stop because Carrigan kept pulling the headphones for the audio tour out of the jack. I only heard about half of the tour) we headed back to the hotel to have dinner in the executive lounge again. We descended on the calm and quiet atmosphere and discovered here that Carrigan LOVES chicken wings. I lost count after 6, but he ate well over a dozen. He let me pull the meat off the bones and feed it to him, then he proceeded to suck all the skin off the bones and devour anything edible that was left. I was concerned he would eat the entire thing, bone and all, but he seemed to figure it out pretty quickly. We also discovered something that will keep his attention for over 5 minutes without him wandering off to the next thing- stickers!!!

Stickers and coloring books?  I've got this.

Stickers and coloring books? I’ve got this.

We are getting ready to leave now for the orphanage. Please pray this is healing for him, and not a setback. We don’t know what to expect since we didn’t get to go to Charlotte’s orphanage last time. And, even if we did, Charlotte and Carrigan’s reactions early on in the bonding process have been completely opposite. There is no comparison!