This is a long update! We have been very busy the last few days and our internet has been a little spotty. Thanks for joining us on this journey!
Thursday May 30th
We started our day with a trip to Beiling Park. It was really nice to just walk in the sun and enjoy the water, trees, and flowers. We also toured a cemetery of sorts toward the back of the park as well. I think it was fun for JB to have some stroller time that morning. Based on what we learned yesterday, we decided to skip the Provincial Museum in favor of lunch and nap time. Unfortunately, that meant missing out on learning more about JB’s province and history.
JB didn’t eat very well throughout the day, skipped his nap, and ended up just crashing around 6:30pm. He woke up twice for diaper changes and once to drink more water, but otherwise he slept well throughout the night. Andy and I took advantage of his sleepiness to pack all of our bags for our trip to Guangzhou in the morning.
Friday May 31st
It was difficult to get JB to wake up in the morning. He was still pretty sleepy and irritable around 8am. He still seemed to be fighting a bug of some sort so we opted to give him some Motrin. Andy held and walked him for about 90 minutes while I finished packing. We had to leave for the airport by 11:30am and we were just praying that JB would be well and content for the flight. After that snuggle time with Daddy, JB seemed back to his cheerful self. We loaded up the van and headed to the airport. We bought a car seat specifically for the plane ride and used it in the van as well. JB seemed to enjoy the seat and remained content for about 40 minutes of the 50 minute drive. Victory!
We put JB in the stroller and he LOVED walking around the airport. He spent the time looking around and smiling. One shop had a dancing/spinning robot playing “Gangnam Style” and he especially enjoyed watching that. He was in such a great mood prior to the flight, so we were hopeful things would stay that way for most for the 4 hour flight we were about to take.
The staff at the gate let us board first. Initially, JB was pretty mad when I put him in the car seat so Andy just stood and held him until the last possible second (The plane was already taxiing down the runway and moments away from take off). JB had fallen asleep in Andy’s arms and stayed asleep in the carseat for the next two hours. He had about 45 minutes of fussy time when we had to just pace the aisle of the plane, but otherwise he was content. THANK YOU for your prayers for us!!
We arrived in Guangzhou and quickly realized that we were “not in Kansas anymore”. The air was hot, sticky, and very tropical compared to the cool, comfortable weather we had in Shenyang. We were met by our guide and checked into our hotel. We settled in, found some dinner (thanks McDonalds!), gave JB a bath, and figured he looked about ready for bed around 9:30pm. We were so wrong. The kid caught his second wind and happily played with his toys until midnight! Apparently it was party time!
Saturday June 1st
JB slept well throughout the night. He briefly cried out once, but was quickly comforted back to sleep. He woke up cheerful at 7am and we went to the hotel breakfast around 8am. It was great to see the other families from our group with their new children. It was also incredibly reassuring to hear that they have also experienced irritability, tantrums, and refusals to eat. I realized at that point that in many ways we had been somewhat isolated in our adoption experience as we were the only adoptive family in our hotel in Shenyang. Since every adoptive family must come through Guangzhou there are MANY families going through this transition just like we are. While I sincerely hope that each family can transition smoothly, there is something very comforting about going through that transition with others.
We left our hotel at 9am to go to JB’s doctor appointment. Every child that is being adopted must go through a check-up and tuberculosis test. Based on our experiences with teethbrushing and eye medicine-applying, I had a feeling JB was not going to enjoy the morning, but that he would also recover quickly. The first step was to do some paperwork, which Andy completed. Then JB went to a series of four rooms – Height and Weight, Ear/Nose/Throat, Heart/Lung/Reflexes (?), and then the Blood draw for the TB test. They did not let parents into the room for the blood draw. We had to stand outside and just listen to JB cry, which was really hard to do. He did recover quickly, but it still would have been nice to be able to at least be with him during that time.
This doctor appointment trip was another time where I felt comforted being surrounded by other adoptive families, other kids who didn’t like being poked, and just generally other happy and tired parents. Again, I wish the best for all of us, but am glad that while we are away from our friends and family at home that we can till be near people who understand what we are going through.
We also received some general confirmation about JB’s condition. It was not at all a surprise to us to find that JB has many needs and delays. However, it does seem to be a surprise to others, as JB’s condition does not match the medical records we received when we got his referral. One of the doctors said to Andy that JB will need life-long care and asked us questions if we understood what that meant. We affirmed that we do and that we still firmly believe we are this precious boy’s parents. Our homestudy was written broadly enough to include really ANY condition JB could have, so hopefully we will not run into difficulty in our consulate appointment on Tuesday.
From the encounter with the doctor I was reminded that we will probably go through some grieving about what JB can and can’t do. At this point, we are assuming intelligence, and believe that JB has great potential to grow and learn with the help of resources and intervention in the midst of being in a forever family. We also are trying to be realistic in that JB’s gains may be slow, or may never come. But for now we hold on to the hope that God will continue to do great things in his and our lives regardless of what JB’s developmental growth looks like.
Following the appointments, our guide took all of us to the grocery store. This was a huge blessing! We were able to pick up water, diapers, and some foods for simple meals and snacks. We came back to our room, had lunch and have spent the afternoon just playing. While Andy was out doing some more adoption paperwork, I introduced JB to the iPad. He watched and smiled at Fireworks, and even figured out that if he touched a big green button on the screen that music and fun visual pictures would play. Smart boy!
After a walk with Daddy and more play time on the floor, I found both of my men passed out like this:
It has continued to be a sweet time of being knitted together as a family of three. We love getting to know JB and finding ways to get those sweet smiles and giggles out of him. We are excited for JB to get to know you too. We are excited to just be home and find a regular routine.
Thank you for your prayers and support. Please continue to pray:
- For our remaining three flights Wednesday night and Thursday (3 hours, 13 hours, and 3 hours). JB likes to be out and about, and air travel is not very conducive to that.
- For our consulate appointment. Since JB’s condition does not exactly match the records we have, there could be some trouble. However, our homestudy should cover us. Pray this appointment goes smoothly.
- For future doctor appointments in the states. JB recovers quickly from any kind of invasive procedure, but it would be great to help him cope with these things while they are happening.
- For our continued health and safety.
- That we can trust God in everything.