Well…everyone is fed, bathed and in bed! I had ’em all in bed by 7:30! Can you hear my sigh of relief? No one slept last night. It was very hectic. We were told that our children would be brought to the hotel at 3:30 p.m. and that we would get a call from our guide to let us know when they arrived. We never got the call….all of a sudden we had two nannies, the orphanage director, and our guide in the doorway of our hotel. We left the door open. We found it interesting that on this floor, there are only three families in the 20 or so rooms of the hotel. We figured out why later. Our kids screamed all night and I am sure that if they put anyone else on the floor with us they would have asked to be MOVED! This floor also has a playroom. Anyway, back to Gotcha Day.
So, all of a sudden Meng Xiang arrived and the eight of us are standing in this tiny hallway trying to make sense of what is going on. The nannies are talking to Meng, our guide is talking to the nannies and orphanage director, they are handing me things….giving me instructions…someone else is asking to my passport and travel approval…I am juggling all these items and they give Steven Meng. It was crazy. There was nothing calm about it! Since I was caught unawares, I am not sure if we really got any good pictures. I am waiting on them to download while I type this post.
I walked out to the hall for something or other and there is standing Alex. Wow! So, I go back in the room and get the passports and travel approval for him. Alex came with the clothes on his back and an orange. Nowhere did we see his disposable camera we sent, the toys his clothes, his panda….that was a total waste of money! Meng Xiang came with her clothes, gifts from the nannies, her camera, some photos of her as baby and a note from the birth mother. I was very surprised to get that. I have no idea what it says. I can make out her birthdate. I am going to ask our guide to translate it for me.
Ok…back to Gotcha Day. The lady that brought Alex was one of very many nannies so he was not very attached to her. However, she snuck out without saying anything to him and he was devastated. I felt so bad. Of all things to do…leave while a kid is not watching so he will forever think that everyone in his life is going to abandon him…sigh….it was so sad. All he did was cry and scream and BOY can HE SCREAM! He did not want to have anything to with us. He is very strong and he bit Steven. I couldn’t contain him so I took Meng over from Steven and let him have a crack at Alex. After that, Meng became my shadow. Alex cried and cried and cried…I felt so bad. He did not want to be touched or held. He kept telling us no over and over. He sat by the door in the entryway which is some kind of hard surface, marble or something, anyway…he sat there until midnight. He was so tired. He kept bobbing like a rag doll because he was falling asleep but wouldn’t let himself. We tried 2 two 3 times to put him to bed and he would instantly wake up and start kicking and screaming…poor baby. I felt so bad. I put pillows around him so if he did fall over he would not conk his head. Finally, around midnight, Steven was able to put him into bed without him knowing. But, he woke right up at 4 a.m. and started crying and sat at the very edge of the bed, straight as a board, refusing to have anything to do with us. He sat there bobbing and I thought he was gonna fall off the bed. Finally, around 6, I dressed everyone and went down to breakfast.
We had tons of appointments today. We went to the Civil Affairs Office where they interviewed us and gave us our official registration paperwork. Then we went on to the Police Station to have their Visa photos taken. That took a while because our paperwork had not arrived. Then we went to the Notary who handled the adoption paperwork. We only did Meng’s full paperwork today. Something about Jiujiang SWI, the Notary has to come to the hotel..I have no idea why…at this point I really don’t care. I have signed so many papers…I have no idea what I committed myself to or promised to do…it is all in Chinese. So…I hope it is all right! Meng’s nanny was there and I was so glad. I have video of them interacting, it is so sweet. The pictures of Meng with her panda hat on are the ones taken today. The ones of her in her pink coat were taken last night when they brought her to me.
It was 4 p.m. by the time we got back. The kids were zombies. I am so glad I brought snacks and water. Speaking of snacks and water (I know I am jumping around all over the place…sorry!), I took Lillian Meng to the store this morning, just me and her. It was down the street. All of the older people were practicing their martial arts and dancing in the park. We had to walk straight through to get to the store. EVERYONE was watching us and a few stopped to talk to us. I have no idea what Meng told them but it made them laugh! hehe… She might have said: This funny looking white lady is my new mama! So, we went in to the store and bought some water. I went down the toy aisle and picked out a set of 8 little cars and then I handed her a coloring book…my goodness…you should have seen the look on her face! It was like I gave her gold! She hugged it to her and was smiling away. When we got back to the hotel, I open the pack of cars and gave her some and Alex some. Now, as a side note, whatever you give these kids, they are very territorial about and they will keep them with them at all times. For example, we gave Meng her panda hat, hair clips, vest and jacket last night. This morning she had to wear ALL of it. So, over her jacket went the leopard vest, I had to clip the hair thing onto the ear of the panda hat and she stuffed those 4 cars into her tiny little pocket and kept them with her all day. It was hilarious. I did not realize she had her cars with her until she started pulling them out like a Mary Poppins bag and they just kept coming out of this itty bitty little pocket! lol… Like I said above, when I got out of the shower and came to check on her, she had that vest on over her pajamas and was out cold.
We survived most of the day without too much incident. Alex has cried a lot. 😦 He won’t let me hold him. He calls for Steven and will only let him hold him. Which is good. At least he trusts Steven. The only other person he trusts is his friend Chu Wang. What is neat is that we traveled with another family who adopted two children as well. One little girl who is turning 3 and one little boy from Alex’s orphanage who just turned 5. Chu Wang is the little boy and he is so funny! He is very sanguine and does not meet a stranger. Since Alex knows him, he feels better. We are able to let them play in the play area on this floor of the hotel. I hate to see what happens when we leave to go home. This could be interesting. The couple we are traveling with are so kind and we get along with them so well. They are mennonite and live in Ohio. Just a beautiful couple and the two children they adopted are their only children. You can see the love and joy just shining from their eyes.
Feeding them has been a challenge. They really like the noodles on the breakfast buffet. So, tonight we went across the street to a restaurant that is supposed to be the best in town. Which brings me to this question: What happens when a blonde, red head, two black headed kids and a 6 foot tall American walk into a traditional Chinese restaurant?
I will give you a moment to think…..
Time is up!
Umm…well…we get fifteen waiters (seriously) and a table full of food that we were not sure if we ordered or not. Steven ended up with about three platters because he thought they were trying to tell him that they did not have it. So, he would point out something else…it was really funny to see them coming out with platter upon platter…they were probably thinking that we were fat Americans who eat too much.
We asked for noodles for the kids but ended up with Chow Mein, which was good, because they ate that stuff up! In fact we had to stop them because they were overeating. We were told that they do not know when to stop eating. I find this interesting. But, I could see why, Alex would drop a noodle and it upset him. He would go to great lengths to get it back and put in his bowl or eat it. We had a HUGE bowl of noodles…we could have given him more, but he didn’t understand that. He knows that he gets a limited amount of food and that is it..if no one else takes it from him and he may have also gone hungry so that noodle was very important. So, Steven patiently fished off his chair or shirt and put it back in his bowl. His arm is very stiff and he does not use it except to prop something up on, like a water bottle for instance. I think it is weak and he had not bent his elbow at all. So, I am not sure if he just needs to physical therapy or what. It does not limit him though. OH and HEAVEN FORBID you try to help him or take a cap off for him. NO, NO, NO! He can do it himself! He wants to do everything on his own and he does not want your help. So there you have it. Getting back to the restaurant…the manager came out and met us, the entire chef staff had to come gawk at us. We were the only patrons in the restaurant at 5 pm (I think they eat late here, we are always the only people in a restaurant), so the staff had nothing else to do but come gawk and wait on us. It was so funny. Various ones who knew English would come out and say a few words to practice their English. It was fun. The food was excellent. Even after accidentally ordering all that food our bill was $20! WOW! I brought a to go container of the Chow Mein to heat up for the kids tomorrow. It was really fun trying to explain that we wanted a to go container. I think they brought out no less than three people to try to understand what we wanted. I wish I had a picture of all the people standing two feet away from us watching us while we ate. It was very different.
Meng likes baths. She looked like she was about to cry when I put her in the baby tub. But, after she got in and saw the bubbles, she splashed and played. I washed her up and she loves to mock anything you do, so she grabbed the washcloth and washed herself up the same exact way I did it. Then I washed her hair using the washcloth and cup. After I was finished, she washed her hair the exact same way with the exact same motions, again and again. It was so funny. I laughed at her the first time she snatched the washcloth and started mimicking me, so she kept doing it. She is so joyful and such a sweet girl. She is very obedient and playful too. She likes to pop you on the arm or with a flat hand on your chest to get your attention and to play. She also will cluck, it is so cute, when she is trying to get your attention or if she pauses to think about something. Alex, on the other hand, was not happy about his bath. We did not want to fight with him this morning with only 4 hours of sleep, so we dressed him and decided to do a bath later even though he smelled. But, tonight, I knew he was dead on his feet, so I went ahead and bathed him. His socks stank so bad I wanted to throw them away, but I hated to do that if looked for them or wanted them. So, they are being sent through laundry service. Both are very particular about their socks and their feet being covered. I think that is why Meng put her shoes on and went to bed. When she got out the bath it bothered her that the floor was cold. So, I put some socks on her feet and she put her shoes on over those and climbed into bed. Or, it could be that she is proud of her new pink shoes and wanted to put them on. She is also very quick. She will watch you do something one time and she will do it herself. I have to lock my phone…she probably already knows how to put the password in! There is a picture of her I posted trying to get my Kindle to work like the DVD player. She knows how to start the movie. She kept propping my Kindle up beside the DVD player and pushing the button and then looked at me like…what’s wrong with this thing???
I am sure I have more to tell you and I am sure you have more questions. I just can’t think right now. I am about to go to bed! It is about 9:30 here. Thank you all for your prayers and best wishes. We certainly do feel them and appreciate them. Tomorrow we get to Walmart! I hear that is an interesting experience. I will definitely have to take and post pictures of that! I need to get Alex some clothes. There is no way someone measured him and sent me the correct measurements. He is tiny. He will wear about a 2T. The 3T pants I have are long enough, but HUGE in the waist. I had to cinch them tight to get them to stay up. Poor boy. We will see what we can do about that tomorrow.
Good night all! Sorry this post is so convoluted, has typos, or makes no sense. I just talked about what crossed my mind. Will post again tomorrow.