I wanted to start this entry with a dedication to a sweet sweet woman
who went out of her way to make some of the most significant difference in our transition process. Meet
Ms. "Shadow". She spoke to our boy at many meals and was the reason he ate "anything" at all for the first several meals. She would gently encourage him to try just a little food and wiped his tears and made him "want" to come to eat with us. He would look for her at each meal. She came to work almost TWO hours early our last day there (before 6:30 a.m.) so she could say good bye to him. She gave us her email address and we gave her ours. We will never forget all Shadow did for us and how much she went out of her way to be such a huge blessing to us as she could comfort him in his language and tell us what he was saying while at mealtimes.
Yesterday we flew from Hohhot to Beijing to Guangzhou---spending about 4 hours on airplanes. This was Lucas's first walk down an airport ramp....notice the bag he "had" to drag because BaBa (daddy) had a bag too.
And after all that excitement:
the boy CANNOT stay awake in an aircraft. It was like he was completely drugged. 15 minutes into the flight he got a dazed look in his face
and virtually passed out-----slept the whole flight time and even through the landing. But, he had to hold onto his camera.
A few sweet highlights from yesterday (not including Shadow above) were:
1. our guide left us with a special gift from Inner Mongolia--a horn of some animal made into a drinking device along with a special fabric cloth that represents health and long life and happiness
2. A sweet older lady sat in the seat next to me on the plane and asked questions about Lucas and talked to him during the flight. I have little cards I give to people who are curious about us--and she was so good with talking with him on the plane, etc.
3. On our 2nd flight yesterday another lady sat next to us and she spoke English. We talked about our adoption, etc. and she said "thank you" for giiving him a home. But, she also asked "why not a girl?"
and on to the rest....
Guangzhou Day 1---(today--April 2, 2011)
We are back with our group from our Adoption agency again. We started with all of them in Beijing, then we all split up and went different directions, and ended up back together last night. There are over 20 of us in the group and it’s fun to chat with everyone and see all the adorable children. Most of them are special needs such as unrepaired cleft lip/palate, limb issues, cranial facial things, one has a supposed visual impairment of some type but she appears perfectly normal, it’s so bizarre how they classify the kids.
This morning we had our medical appointment, which is like herding cattle (except they are children) through a series of exams from eyes, hearing, physical, etc. and a TB test. Fortunately they offer Vaccine waivers now, which we got before we left the states so if he needed any shots, he doesn’t have to get them here (there was one sweet couple with the most adorable little 10 month old baby girl who was made to be given SIX shots--all at once because they didn’t bring the waiver with them--it was so sad). Peter also sat through about a 2 hour meeting with the group about paperwork this afternoon.
We also did some shopping at a department store with groceries. A tad bizarre, but entertaining. And Lucas picked out some food for us to buy. Just sayin' cookies, candy and soda seem to be top priorites for him. And then we wonder why he's bouncing off the walls.
Speaking of Lucas and food, he has been eating like a PIG today!
For breakfast he ate about 5 pieces of Japanese FISH and some noodles along with orange juice. Yes I said fish for breakfast! (I almost puked sitting next to him -- I barely eat any breakfast, and I only "stomach" fish if I have to..heebi geebies sitting next to broiled fish and smelling it at breakfast)
Then for lunch he had almost all of a 1/2 ham and cheese sub from Subway (ok the sign says "Subway" but the reality is, they have less than 1/2 the ingredients and we cannot eat anything that could have been washed in local water (no lettuce, no tomatoes, etc so it was a mayonaise laden ham and cheese). Then during the afternoon he had 2 ice cream bars. And for dinner we went to a Japanese restaurant in the hotel and he ate TWELVE!!!!! Dumplings and then ate some of my noodles and some of Isaac’s fried rice and a scoop of ice cream.
He’s been repeating more phrases and words as we ask him to. Today Isaac said “Where’s my hat?” and he repeated it. Ok he "tried" to repeat it, but what he heard us say when we said "where" must have sounded funny because he just could not form that word....=) It was very funny. He also is understanding things a little more as we ask him to do things or NOT do things. He has had a few stubborn moments and we’ve had a few times when we’ve needed to "redirect" him. He got mad at me today because he got something in his mind about wanting to either ride a bike, or drive a toy car (like he did in the park in Hohhot I think). I obviously don’t have either to give him right now so he started to cry, but it was more of a complaint or pout than the other type of wailing and crying from a few days ago. He also got over it alone and in a short time. He does think he is pretty funny though and has done some “spitting” cuz he thinks it’s funny and a few times he’s come up from behind and hit us as he runs into us. He’s definitely testing boundaries. He doesn’t always “like” to be told “no” but he does respond and change his behavior, so that has been a good sign.
Today I took him on a walk around the "block" of our hotel....now, let me just say, if a street turns to the right and then you walk for a while and it turns to the right again, you would expect that it would eventually turn again and create a "block" or at least circle in a reasonable distance. After walking with him for over an HOUR!!!!! while carrying him at least 1/2 that time, I eventually saw the glorious sign "Marriott"....It is WARM in Guangzhou---around 80 today. So this journey was definitely a workout. I just love to watch his reaction to the world around him. He stopped for about 20 minutes and watched a guy repairing some stairs. At first he stayed a distance away. Then he moved to the other side, then a little closer so he was about 4 feet from where the guy was working so he could see better. It was so sweet. He was fascintated by the whole process.
Being here has really opened my eyes to a few things.
We have heard about how the girls are abandoned because there is more of a desire for boys in China and with the one child policy more people choose boys. I think this must be true in the rural areas in particular. But in all the large cities we have been in, I would say I have seen an even spread between boys and girls --babies to school age. I asked about that and the reason given is, the "rich" can afford to have more children, or people are not choosing only boys. We also see a lot of older people (grandparent age) with young kids. This is because both parents are working so the grandparents basically are raising the "babies".
Some may ask---so if they want the boys, then why is Lucas available??? Here is another observation. I have not seen one person with a "flaw" since we got here. Not a crutch, not a wheelchair, nothing. I do not know "why" our boy was given up on a street at 5 days old and picked up by a stranger and taken to an orphanage other than because of his little legs. Most people cannot afford the kind of care and surgery he may require. I cannot say it was hard for them, I cannot say it was easy for them. I just simply do not know their heart in the matter and I cannot paint that picture with out a brush or paint. All I know, is God's design for families is far more complicated than I can pretend to understand.
We have spent most of our time in large cities- We didn't really get a chance to get into the coutryside. But in varying degrees it really doesn't seem different in some ways. I know there are things that are blatantly different from the freedoms of America. But on the outside, it appears people can move freely about and also there is a lot of commercialism. What we don't see on the outside is another level of control I'm sure, but it's just a bit bizarre to me how similar it "appears"--different in language and "look" of the people's of course, but cars, buses, roadways, grocery stores (with strange food), restaurants, etc.
One obvious difference is the freedom they DON't have in television programming or internet access. The only reason I'm able to Blog is because we bought a VPN--a sort of tunnel through the network here to blog.
Overall, the people are just people. Although they do have a staring problem...just sayin'. blondish hair and blue eyes can practically cause a motorcycle crash. I had a guy stare at me while driving by the other day and I thought he was going to smash right into a bus.
I've rambled long enough and I'm about to crash here.
Thanks for patiently reading.
Thank you Jesus for your Love today and everyday and for Your abundant blessings EVERY day!