Today the Little Emperor dressed up in an outfit fit for his status for his red couch photo:
Just about every child adopted from China has been photographed on the famous red couch at the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou, where we're staying.
Yesterday was our day. Not long ago, red couch photos of individual adoption groups included dozens of children. Now, adoptions from China have dwindled significantly because of new restrictions, longer waits, and China's new emphasis on adopting out healthy children domestically and special needs children internationally. Our agency now does about eight adoptions of healthy kids a month, compared with 60 special needs adoptions.
Our adoption group has three kids, but for the photo we teamed up with the other Holt families here in the hotel. Two of them we met at our orientation in Beijing so long ago, and another we met at dinner the other night, so we were among friends.
Predictably, none of the kids cooperated, lots of them cried, one of them tumbled head first off the couch (the one non special-needs kid in the group, mind you) and none of them knew where to look with all the parents calling and all the camera flashes popping. It was utter chaos, but also lots of fun. Afterwards, we all went for tea at the White Swan and had a serious sugar fest.
These are the kids from our adoption group: 17-month-old Quinn, 25-month-old Anna and 6-year-old Malia (plus Malia's big sister, 8-year-old Ari):
And here is our entire Red Couch group:
Here is our entire group, plus the fabulous Leah:
And all the Holt families: