Adoption, FPD, FPD in China

Making It Official.

FullPlateDad returned to the Provincial Office today following his “harmonious period” with Mighty (which was actually very harmonious considering what Mighty has been through) and signed the paperwork that made Mighty officially a member of the FullPlateFamily.  

Prior to taking the “Adoption Oath,” FPD was chatting with Mighty in Mandarin.  The official was so impressed that she asked FPD if he wanted to take the oath in Mandarin. 

I think this look says it all.  

He’s good, but he’s not THAT good.

So, he took the oath in English.  

And then it was official, even though we’ve known it in our hearts all along.  

On the home front we’ve had some rough waters.  The honeymoon of FPD’s departure is ending and the tough transition is beginning for those who don’t transition well.  

My back hurts from standing, bending and just ‘being mom.’  If I’m going to be real here, I’ll be honest.  It’s tough.  

I did have time to celebrate a little today, by sitting down to finish this.  

This canvas has been hanging in our room for quite awhile, just waiting for a certain date to be added.  It looks good now.  

Even. Balanced. And…complete.

who feels like the end is just the beginning.  

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Adoption, AJ, Ally, Brady, Cam, FPD, FPD in China, FPM, Jax, Juliana, Tess

And then they were 9.

FPD has Mighty!!!  Yesterday was a long one for all of us.  FPD got up early and went for a run, enjoying the sights of the West Lake in Hangzhou.  

FPD reports that it’s gorgeous and that he can’t wait to explore the sights with Mighty.  

He ran back to the hotel to shower and get ready.  

As he was doing this, I was texting him over and over, probably fueling his anxiety.  I kept pestering him with questions like ‘Did you pack the treats I sent to give him?’ or ‘Do you have the adoption paperwork?’  Duh.  Yes.  And yes.  It’s so hard to be a world away when you’re a total control freak.  

FPD got to the Provisional Affairs Office and another family was meeting their child.  Since the officials take children from all over the province to this city for their first meeting with their parents, not all the kids were from Mighty’s orphanage.  Mighty’s orphanage staff was late.  So FPD waited.  And I texted.  Annoying the crap out of him, I’m sure.  All the sudden my cell phone chimed and this popped up.  

Then there was radio silence.  

His cell reception is spotty at best in China.  No more texting.  Y’all, I nearly died.  In the middle of the night, I was able to get the rest of the scoop via email though.  

The orphanage staff had prepared him SO well for the transition.  They had told him it would be scary, but that everyone loved him. He came with a toy robot that the Orphanage Director had given him to help make him “feel happy.”  He also had a brand new SpongeBob backpack strapped to his back.  In it was a photo album FULL of baby pictures of him.  Memories from his life in China that he can hold onto whenever he is homesick.  


Mighty did really well getting his fingerprints done.  
He liked the toys that FPD brought.  He put up with getting his picture taken with the Orphanage Director.  He even smiled.

Then he began to explore a little.  And, he liked the backpacks of the other boys who were meeting their parents.  In fact, he liked some of the other toys SO much that he tried to put them in his own backpack.  He did NOT appreciate it when FPD guided him gently to give the ill-gotten toy phone back to the distraught child he had just taken it from.  

We got this.  

The Stink Eye.  He’ll fit in REALLY well around here if he’s already got that down.  

Then it was time to leave the office.  Then there were tears.  Heart wrenching, soul ripping tears.  FPD picked him up and told him there would be lunch.  

And, there it was, and just like that, he was happy again.  It comes in waves with preschoolers.  We get that.  

He ate the whole lunch.  He is in no way malnourished.  His favorite food…”meat.”  But, he eats veggies very well too.  All of them.  Then he ate FPD’s fried rice.  

FPD let him.  Because while there will be portion control initiated slowly over the next few months, a full belly is important right now.  Mighty even referred to himself as a “piggie.”  That made FPD laugh.  

Then it was off to get passport photos and “family” photos done.  

I love this photo.  I knew it would be a stark contrast in size.  This proves it.  They’re quite the sight, the new baba and his tiny son.  

On the home front this morning, eight children were bribed into getting ready for school quickly by being told they could see a video of their new brother if they were super speedy.  

Y’all, I’ve never seen them get ready so fast.  With hat and gloves on, they gathered around the laptop to hear their new little brother for the first time.

And then, just like that… there were 9.

who can’t wait for FPD and his new Tiny Chinese to hit U.S. Soil. 
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Adoption, FPD in China

Made it to Hangzhou.

FullPlateDad (FPD) made it to Mighty’s home city!!!  He’ll be with him in just 12 short hours.  9 am his time, which is tonight at 7pm my time, he’ll take custody of Mighty for what is known as the ‘harmonious period.’  Could that possibly sound more Chinese?!?  

FPD will get the scoop on Mighty’s likes and dislikes via some questions I typed out.  He’ll ask the nanny about his health, he’ll sign some papers, and then he’ll take one probably very freaked out preschooler back to his hotel.  I know some parents-to-be count how many more ‘sleeps’ a child will have in their orphanage, as if this transition is somehow miraculous.  This will probably be one of the most traumatic events Mighty has had to live through in his short life.  

In 12 hours we’ll rip him away from everything he’s ever known.  While we understand how important family is, he hasn’t a clue.  

We’re praying for our little boy’s heart.  

FPD and Mighty will get to know the lay of the land in Hangzhou as the rest of the week goes by, but for now, this is the view of the city from FPD’s hotel room window.  

I remember looking out the hotel room window the night before I took custody of Dolly and thinking what an amazing thing it was that after all this work, after a year of worrying, hoping and praying, we were finally so close to being together.  So close.  

As soon as we have settled tonight, I’ll post an update of what the transition was like.  I will say that if Mighty is horrifically upset, I won’t be posting pics of it.  The purpose of this blog is to be as real as possible, to give people an idea of what it’s really like to adopt.  I have to balance that with the privacy of my children.  

Mighty will have just become one of those children.  

I have to think that, as an adult, he might feel bad about one of the worst days of his life being splashed all over the internet.  Dolly cried, but only for a moment.  She was a baby.  Mighty is possibly as old as 4.  I anticipate this transition to be quite a bit different.  I will post a pic as soon as he seems ready.  In the interim, I’ll post pics of FPD.  I’ll give you his memories of the transition as well, because those are ours, and we want to remember every second of the joy that is bringing Mighty into our family.    

who has been a mom of 9 in her heart for many, many months, but who is about to make it official.  

You can also follow FPM on Instagram for REAL TIME updates!

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Adoption, Ally, FPD in China, Tess

Oh yes he did…in Shanghai, just like he said he would.

Anyone who has met FPD knows he’s a runner.  In fact, sometimes he’s a runner to the point where there is contention about the running.  When you have 8, almost 9, kids it’s hard for one person to have a hobby that occupies quite that much time.  

He’s found the balance though.  He gets up early and runs.  He does  fewer races then he used to and only on days that don’t take away from the kids’ activities.  

He told me he was going for a run in Shanghai, where his plane landed in China, before he makes his way to the neighboring city where he will meet Mighty.  

I laughed y’all.  His experience in China is apparently not what mine was, because THIS was in my email this morning.  

He didn’t just “go for a run.”  He entered a race.  

I laughed, but I am in no way surprised.  FPD has run a race in China.  Scratch one off the bucket list.  

He spent the next few hours touring the city.  

Where he apparently…became Chinese?  

I know he saw Gucun Forest Park and Wu Garden.  I received pictures of FPD… some koi…and a dinosaur?  

I’m sure his guide LOVED this action.  

Who knows?  
On the home front…

We’re okay.  There are no pictures because I spent all day in my cubicle.  Yeah, there’s bitterness there.  FPD needs to experience China, but does he have to have so much FUN doing it?  

I’m kidding…kind of.  The kids have been an amazing help.  Although their internal clocks are messed up from daylight savings time and our new schedule of rising slightly earlier to make it to school on time.  So, it’s Saturday morning at 6:03 am and I hear ‘movement’ downstairs.  Ugh.  

The medical student who nannied for me was amazing.  She only had Dolly for most of the day, but Dolly’s meds were given on time and Dolly talked all about her adventures.  “I pway babies.”  “I cook my titchen.”  She reveled in having a play date with a 20-something who ONLY played with her.  Love it.  Then, said wonder nanny, drove our 12 passenger van to both the elementary and middle schools and picked up all seven other children with no issue.  I got home and my house was clean and Giggles had started cooking dinner.  

So, while there are no race medals to hang around my neck on any kind of official capacity, I’m declaring myself a winner and eating Halloween candy for breakfast.  

who ISN’T kidding this time, at all.   

 Do you want to see FPD’s adventures in China in REAL TIME?  Follow us on Instagram!!!

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