Monday, August 01, 2005


Thursday morning, July 28 we got the Second Call! Photos of our little girl were ready! And much sought after information. So here goes:

Her Chinese name is Chenxi Chen (Chenxi means “Happy Morning”); she lives in an orphanage in Chenzhou, which is in the Hunan province; she’s healthy; is a moderate sleeper; likes music; and likes to be held.

The biggest, challenging, scary, fun, news is that while we expected that we would bring home a baby girl 12-14 months old, we were surprised and delighted to discover that Chenxi’s birthdate is JANUARY 17, 2005! She is only 6-1/2 months old now, and will be about 8 months old when we pick her up - nearly HALF the age of the baby we thought we’d get -- and we couldn’t be happier!!

On Friday, July 29, we made our way to the US Asian Affairs offices in the Monterey Park neighbourhood of Los Angeles, where we were handed a plain manila envelope with “Brown/Genovese” handwritten on the front. We took our deepest collective breath. Nicki opened the envelope ever-so-slightly to peek inside and then began to laugh with joy and emotion as she took out the photos.

We always said that if we had a biological baby, the one thing we knew for certain is that she would be hairy, because we’re both pretty hairy people. So when we looked at the photos, we knew that she was meant to be ours.

According to Chenxi’s Children Medical Examination Record and the State of Growth of Prospective Adoptive Child (0~1 year) forms (printed in Mandarin by the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, and translated for us at USAA by a lovely girl named Sherry) all her medical tests were negative, including the HIV test. She wakes up at 6.30a, has a nap at 11.30a and goes to bed at 7.00p. (Just like her paternal grandfather) She drinks cow’s milk and formula several times a day (the formula is a combination of rice powder and bean powder), including a feeding at 10.30p. She enjoys steamed eggs at 8.00a and fruit juice and/or mashed fruit at 2.00p. (Who doesn’t?)

Chenxi (pronounced: chen-SEE) is, in fact, a “moderate” sleeper, who can locate the direction of a sound/voice, can visually follow moving toys with her eyes and can “hold blocks on each hand at the same time” (which is a good skill to have with her multi-tasking mother Nicki!). She “follows you with moving head from one side to the other,” and was described as having a personality that is both “active” and “restless.” We decided that when the staff at the Matching Room saw our photos of us running in races, and going to baseball games and black-tie events, they probably thought, here’s a couple that likes to get up early and pack a lot into a day, let’s give them the restless baby that hardly sleeps (which made Nicki very happy). The report said Chenxi likes to be held (which made Mark very happy) and her favourite toys are “colourful, musical” ones.

In ten days we will receive a Developmental Report that may provide information about where she was found; was there a note; how old was she when she was abandoned; etc.

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