The day after "Gotcha Day" (the day our adopted children are placed in our arms) was Adoption Day! We had already signed the papers to adopt our precious girl the day before, but it is not official until 24 hours has passed. Our group loaded back onto the bus and headed back to the Registration Office. It was pretty unofficial - as far as an adoption finalizations go. We stood in a half circle around the registration officer, waited for her to call our child's name, and then she shook our hand and presented us with our Adoption Certificate. Once everyone had theirs, we had our pictures taken.
Faith was now officially a Serna!
On a side note, we ended up not having to pay the adoption registration fee! They were in the process of changing the fee and weren't sure what to charge us, so they decided just not to take our money! Whoo-hoo!! A sweet little blessing!
After the finalization, we all went back to the bus and took a short drive to a notary office. We sat around a huge table and waited for our form to be notarized. The kids were totally bored - and a bunch of them decided that the best time to make a dirty diaper was while we were all squeezed into this tiny office like room (without air-conditioning). I think the notary was happy when we left!
After the notary we loaded the bus and headed back to our hotel to grab a quick bite to eat, make a copy of our passports on China sized paper and then head to Faith's birth city of Zhoukou to get her passport. It was a 3 hour drive there. When we finally arrived, we were ushered to the front of the passport line. The orphanage officer, Wang Xu was there waiting for us. They took a quick picture of Faith and we were done! Wang Xu had brought a few baby pictures of Faith with him and he let us take them with us! Byron chatted with him a minute via our CCAI representative, and then we left.
Unfortunately, we didn't get to see anymore of Faith's hometown. Her orphanage does not allow outside visitors and her finding place was not near the office, so we didn't have time to go to that and still get back at a decent hour. It was a crazy ride home - closer to 4 hours because of traffic - but Faith was a trooper! She played peek-a-boo, ate snacks and slept a little and snuggled a lot. It was a very long day, and we all went to bed as soon as we returned to the hotel!