Day 9 – The “Park”

First off, last night we slept well. We all went to bed early (Samuel is full tilt and Jess and I are finding ourselves worn out each day). This morning we got up, spent time on FaceTime with the kids (FaceTime works way better than Skype, in case you were wondering), and then headed down to breakfast.

As usual, Samuel ate well, and as usual, every time I got up from the table to get more food he yelled for me “baba! baba!” and I would just turn around and wave. Since we are getting more and more at home here Jess and I ate a better meal than most mornings, then we headed back to the room to get ready to go to the park.

When you hear that we were going to the largest park in Samuel’s province it probably stirs in you thoughts of open fields, killer swing sets, bridges over little creeks and whatnot. That was the image running through my head too, but like most of my exceptions in China, I was very, very mistaken. When the Chinese say park, it seems that they mean a combination of Six Flags and Callaway Gardens.

The place was huge, with lots of roller coasters and other crazy looking rides that I didn’t care to try. Side note here, I like rides, but (and I say this with caution) the craftsmanship in China is not quite like in the States, and the quality control is lacking a bit as well. So the thought of riding a Chinese roller coaster makes me a little nervous. Anyway, we enjoyed seeing all of the rides and made our way through the park.

As we were walking through one part here were some men doing a “yo yo” which was basically just a small cylinder that you make spin really fast with a string. I think they call it a diablo in the States, but I’m not sure. Anyway, some men were doing it and I gave it a try. It was pretty fun, so we got one to take home for Ethan and kept on walking.

Finally we came to the kids area of the “park”. There were lots of small kiddy rides like at Disney and Six Flags. Samuel was serious about riding the Merry-go-Round, so we bought tickets and he and Jess hopped on. He seemed pretty nervous about it, no big smiles, but he seemed to do ok. Then he saw a ride that was some trucks going around a track, and he had to right that. So… more tickets and this time I rode with him. Cramming into that tiny car was amusing and I think the locals had fun watching me try. Samuel had a blast pretending to drive the car as it went around the track, I’m telling you, he is all boy. Then once we got off he saw an elephant right (like dumbo at Disney World) and just had to ride it. Since it was obvious he wasn’t letting up about it (he’s a persisent little fellow) he and Jess rode that too, but it was pretty fast and I don’t think he liked it very much.

Then we made our way out of the “park” and headed back to the hotel. We ventured back out of the hotel later for some food at the same place we have been frequenting and had a nice meal. Then we came back and entertained ourselves some more in the hotel room.

All in all Samuel is doing really well. He loves his mommy and enjoys playing with me a lot. He is super expressive and fun loving when we are in the hotel room. When we leave the hotel room he gets nervous and more serious, which is one of the reasons we are staying in the room more than going out. Also, when someone speaks to him in Mandarin he seems to withdraw some. Its interesting and encouraging that is is already bonding so well with Jess and I, and we are so thankful. It is so obvious that he was so loved and cared for his whole life.

Tomorrow we will get Samuel’s passport and will finally check out of this hotel and head to Guangzhou to do some tests, paperwork and have our US Consulate appointment around the middle of next week. We are really excited to head to Guangzhou, there will be many adopting families there that we will be able to connect with and there are some more “American” restaurants too. Plus a change of scenery will be nice. We will be there for a little over a week and then we will finally be headed home!

More updates will be coming soon, stay tuned!

Adam