Legally speaking, today was a big day for us in China. We completed the adoption registration process, as well as obtaining the necessary notarizations. So, long story short, Guo Yu Hui is now completely, fully, legally our son and will now run under the name of Mack Andrew Nicholson. So, we are very excited but also wondering "Why do we have to stay?". The answer to that question is pretty simple. We now have someone we have to legally get into the United States and that is basically what we take care of over the next week and a half. If he was not so physically big, I would consider a small dose of benadryl and a large carry-on, but that sounds probably falls under the category of "it seemed like a good idea at the time". So, we follow the process and wait a few more days.
It continues to rain here in Zhengzhou and we have not seen the sun in several days. As a result, we have not seen much of the city, except for a few sweaty, humid bus trips to government offices. Imagine a bus, windows fogged by the sweat of about twenty emotionally drained adults and about a dozen emotionally drained children. Most of the time most of the people handle things fine, although there are moments when the way your spouse even breathes that causes tempers to flare. There are not enough wet wipes in the world to make me feel clean and decent in such an environment. I would rather have just left Bandana's and climbed into the rafters at a Cardinals game in 100 degree heat.
Seriously, we left the hotel at 9:00a.m. to go complete the adoption registration. This was the same office where most of us received our child. They had a nice little ceremony with local officials giving each family the adoption registration and certificate. For the record, I did not cry, although one little boy asked "So, how the allergies holding up?" From there, we went to the notary official's office, which took an extra 30 minutes longer to get to because of road closures. Did I mention the bus was hot, sweaty, and that the windows were fogged over with the condensation of human breath? We scaled six floors to the notary office, almost as high as the Great Wall, and croweded around a table for the last signings of several legal documents. A final picture of each family with the local notary, and all was completed. From there, it was back to the hotel. Missy laid Mack down for a nice long nap, while I went to grab two pizzas to go. The pizzas were excellent. Missy then laid down for a nap, while I went to ride a bike in the hotel fitness room. After naptime, the entire adoption group then loaded another sweat-filled, human breath laboratory and went to the Lotus Centers. It is nearly equivalent to a three story Wal-Mart. Some of you have seen the "open" pants children wear here when they are potty training. Suffice it to say that there is apparently no shame in potty training in public on the floors of the Lotus Centers. Not one child, but many. Again, there are not enough wet wipes to get me comfortable with this particular cultural difference. After we returned to the hotel, we joined another family (from California) and went to eat noodles. They are a great family and we have enjoyed spending time with them. We concluded the evening with a ping pong tournament, with the loser (that would be me), buying ice cream for the bunch. Back to our room to give Mack a bath and the evening is now over.
Tomorrow we are heading 2 hours (by bus) to Shaolin Temple--home of kung fu training. I plan to come home with dragons scarred into my wrists from having picked up flaming hot vats of oil. It should be sweet. Except, it could be 2 hours of sweat filled bus ecstasy. Remind me tomorrow, "It seemed like a good idea at the time".