We had an official adoption ceremony at the adoption office. They presented each family with a certificate and took photos. It was very short and simple.
We also visited Silas' finding spot.
An underground tunnel in a very busy area. We have learned a lot about what may have happened to Silas as an infant. It is likely he was born in a hospital and they would have sent his mother and him home, even though his spine was exposed, because his family couldn't afford to pay for the surgery. Their only option was to leave him in a tunnel, hoping that he would be found by some nice people who would keep and care for him. The families here don't really know about the orphanages and that children are sent there, they don't expect them to be adopted out to a family, but hope that whoever finds them will care for and love them. Our guide thinks his birth family likely lived in the countryside.
We then visited Changsha Social Welfare Institute No. 1.
They have approximately 500 children in their care, mostly special needs children. It was very clean and modern. But heartbreaking to see. 10% of these children will be adopted out. At this orphanage, when children reach the age of 14, they are unadoptable, but can often get a job within the orphanage or as caregivers. They often get married and have families of their own. Silas had visited this building often with his foster family, he ran in and knew exactly where the little red bikes were.
I remember visiting an orphanage like this (on a much smaller scale) when I was in about grade 3, in Alberta, and I believe that is what first planted the adoption seed in my heart.
There are a few things we will have to change when Silas gets home...
1. He bows at alters.
2. He walks and salutes like he is in the Red Army.
3. He makes a gun out of everything he sees.
4. When angry his makes and fist and threatens to hit.
5. In most photos he poses doing the sign of victory.
He will do whatever Micah does. So we are encouraging Micah to help with saying prayers at dinner and bedtime, with showing me affection, so Silas will -- sometimes this works, sometimes not. He is not showing a lot of affection right now. He is very attached to Micah, and we are working now on him obeying me when it comes time to hold hands, etc. But time will help with these things... right now we want him to feel secure, loved and safe. He sometimes sucks his fingers for comfort and when falling asleep. He loves to cuddle the doggie I brought for him and he doesn't like to sleep with me, but I am going to try to do the co-sleeping thing for awhile. We are definitely going to have to do a lockdown once home!