On Tuesday morning we met with our co-group for the famous "Red Couch photos" at the White Swam. We are a travel group in and of ourselves, separated from others who were matched when we were because of our status as a "Hague family"--that is, we had to start over with our immigration paperwork after the US signed the Hague treaty on adoption, so we have additional requirements. (And we started over because we used our original, pre-Hauge immigration paperwork for Vietnam.)
But we have been traveling part of the time with another CCAI group of seven families who have all adopted children with special needs. We were with them in Beijing, then they went off to another province to get their children, and we reunited here in Guangzhou. They are all staying at the White Swan, while we are at the Victory (free internet, cheaper, and away from the zoo of the White Swan), but we see them throughout the day and really have connected with several families. While I don't want to put parents of special needs kids on a pedestal, they are a deeper-than-average group of people. And their kids are really adorable.
Each family had their picture taken on this red velvet couch in the lobby, then they tried to get all the babies together. I had to laugh because I think Sophie was the only one NOT crying! Most people dress their kids up in Chinese outfits. I only have one, and it's white for her baptism, so I didn't want to ruin it. She's wearing a cute dress I got at Target for about $2 on clearance. And I'm pretty sure her shoes and tights are hand-me-downs from cousin Clare.
She was kind of cranky before it was our turn on the couch and I worried she would be wiggling because she really wanted to walk. But as soon as we sat down, she was mesmerized by the hoard of cameras (about a dozen people taking pix, like the paparazzi!) and just laughed and clapped and raised her arms. So cute.