Sunday, October 22, 2006

Chinese couch, American arm

Finally, we get to the tidbits. I guess we’ll be talking about China and Guatemala for a little while, at least until we make a decision. The next couple of steps for us include filling out a preliminary application, and attending an all day education class in early December. We won’t need to pick a country program to pursue until after that class as we begin the formal process.

One of the interesting things about both China & Guatemala that I’ve mentioned before is the streamlined process. Both countries have particular hotels that cater to adopting parents.

In China, you stay in the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou. I get the impression that literally all of the bookings at the White Swan come from Americans and Europeans adopting Chinese babies. The actually present each family with several gifts, one of which is a Caucasian Barbie Doll with an Oriental baby. I’m still hunting down a picture of this.

One of the main traditions at this hotel is the red couch picture. Basically, all of the new parents gather up the little ones, plop them on the couch, and the flash bulbs go off. In some ways, this is kinda neat, but I can’t help but think about the fact that it’s red. It’s almost like giving the kids one last fling with communist propaganda before they escape to the free world. I realize that seems kinda cynical, but I guess that’s my nature. In reality, the couch is probably red because it matches the rest of the hotel’s décor, or because they owner found a good deal on red furniture or some other innocent reason like that.

I poked around on the interweb looking for more info. Didn’t take long to find some pictures of the red couch. In the process, I discovered dozens of other blogs posted by adopting parents. So much for having an original idea. It’s amazing to think the when I was in college; my roommate and I were one of only a few people in our dorm who had figured out how to get online. It was pretty much message boards, news groups, and e-mail back in 1992. 14 years later it’s just second nature to just hop on the web if you need some info. Now, if I could just get my parents off of AOL and onto DSL the technology infiltration would be complete.

Here’s a pic of the red couch. I literally stole this from someone's web page – I don’t know any of these kids, but I figure it’s anonymous enough that there’s no harm.

Notice pair of kids on either end seem fine, perhaps a smidge worried. The third baby from the left just isn’t having fun at all yet, having probably bonded with new parent's by this point, he (I think) does not want to end up back in a room full of other babies. Hopefully the 23-hour plane ride home to the USA will be a little more fun! Even funnier is the look the crybaby is getting from the next kid.

What really cracks me up is the arm. The things new Dads will do for what they think will be the perfect shot. Little did he know that his arm would be forever immortalized on my blog. I suppose they never thought to just stuff a pillow or a balled up jacket behind her. Makes me feel better though – apparently you don’t have to be a member of Mensa to navigate the adoption process.


At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I certainly don't claim to know why that particular couch is red however I do know that red and black are considered "lucky" colors. HTH

At 6:19 PM, Blogger GDS said...

That seems like the logical explination I would expect.


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