Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Happy 4th Birthday, Jenna!! Jamie looked up how to say “happy birthday” in Chinese and it sounds something like “shen ri cuai luh.” He said it to her and she smiled and hugged him. Then the gals that work in the lounge said it at breakfast…it sounded a bit different! Another family that we met from NC had their 11 year old say it, too, and she smiled again. I think she got the point! When we got back to our room, we made her wait in the living room while we gathered a bunch of balloons from our bedroom that we blew up last night. She kept peeking in the bedroom, and giggling. We came out, sang “happy birthday” and threw the balloons up in the air. She was so excited! She opened a few little gifts…a little bracelet and necklace, clothes for her puppy, and a new Bible. She put the jewelry back into the bag and has been carrying it around all morning, until it ended up on her puppy. Note to self: no expensive jewels until we know she’s wearing them, and not her animals!
We had to wait around this morning while Cordelia checked on Jenna’s visa, just in case the US office needed more info and she had to get a hold of us stat. But, by 11AM, we knew all was in order and we were free to leave the room. The sun was finally starting to peek out, so we walked around Orchid Park. Very pretty with lots of ponds, banana trees, bamboo, tea rooms, etc., but no orchids. I guess it’s not the right time of year.
We grabbed a quick lunch, changed Jenna into her red dress and new red squeaky shoes, and took a taxi to the White Swan hotel. We took pictures on the red couch and in front of the big waterfall. Next, we were off to the US Consulate office for the swearing in ceremony. There must have been 30 or 40 families there with their new children…all ages of boys and girls. It was very moving with all of us standing and taking the oath for our children. There were definitely tears here and there. The consulate director was very nice and chatted with us all before we took the oath. She said that in the past three years, adoptions have changed, and more and more children with special needs are being adopted. In 2008, @46% were special needs. In 2009, @56%, and in 2010, @66%. , especially knowing how bleak the future here is for orphans, let alone those who have special needs. She also announced that three children had January birthdays. She announced them one by one, each family standing. Lastly, she announced Jenna Miller’s 4th birthday is today! So, we stood and waved and everyone clapped.
After signing THE FINAL PAPER, we three families (from our agency) went to the Cow & Bridge Thai restaurant for dinner. Cordelia was so sweet and brought a beautiful birthday cake for Jenna. After dinner, the restaurant dimmed the lights, and we all sang “Happy Birthday” to her. She just beamed! Then she spit on…er…blew out her candles and we all enjoyed the cake…not too sweet, and had fruit inside. Very yummy!
The night was not complete without a stop at Starbucks, and sitting outside to chat with our friends. We plotted out our day tomorrow, filled with last minute shopping and foot massages!