Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Monday: Family Day

October 17th will now be known as our Family Day, a day we'll celebrate each year, while also remembering Madeleine's birth parents.  We know very little about the day Madeleine was found, but we honestly believe that she was a very loved little girl and that her birth parents only wanted the best life for her.

On Monday, we traveled about an hour away from our hotel - still in the same city - to Madeleine's orphanage.  We're thankful we had the opportunity to visit her orphanage, meet her caretakers, and see where she slept.  It was a bright, cheery place, but still home to about 600 children.  The officials gave us a CD with Madeleine's photos on it and a beaded apple as a gift.  They also provided us with their contact information and asked us to send pictures and updates, which we thought was wonderful.

While we may have left with a favorable opinion of her orphanage, we can't state this enough -- it's not a replacement for the love of a family and it is not okay that so many children do not know the love of parents.  (In other words, why are more people not taking action??)

After whipping through some paperwork (literally...our guide was super efficient, which I appreciate), they brought Madeleine out.  She didn't greet us with open arms, but allowed us to take her without protest.  We then got a brief tour of her orphanage and then were on our way.

Normally, you pick up your child on Monday and then have a 24 hour waiting period, after which you head to the officials' offices to complete the paperwork.  Our province does it a little differently in that we headed straight to the next office building, and after maybe five minutes of signing some more papers, placing our red thumbprint over our signatures, and making a few copies, a lady walked out of her office, handed me a set of papers, congratulated us on the adoption becoming official, and told us to have a happy life.

We stopped at another office to get our papers notarized and after another five minutes, we were done.  The only thing we have left to wait on is Madeleine's passport, which we should have in hand Thursday or Friday morning at the latest.

We got back to our hotel...again, thank goodness for such a nice hotel...got Madeleine stripped of all of her clothes (2 layers of pants and 2 layers of long sleeves plus heavy socks) and found out she must have hated socks all along.  She's barely let us cover up her feet and tolerates socks at best.  Definitely my girl.  She took to the bath right away and at least that first night, slept really, really well.

More later...

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