We woke this morning rested and ready to go, had a FaceTime call with the kiddos at home, and headed down to breakfast. At breakfast the drastic difference in our new location really showed. There were American families here, lots of them! We are finally in a hotel with other families that are adopting that we can talk to and share our experiences with! After being in Taiyuan as the only American family and being all alone all week, this was a really nice change. We have already talked to and really connected with many families here and I have no doubt we will walk away from this week with many life long friends.
We ate breakfast, which was good, and got ready to meet our group. Last week Jess and I went everywhere in a small van with Jess, Samuel, me, our driver and our guide, but today we got on a charter bus that was packed with families and kids, it was great!
We headed to the clinic where they check out the kids medically for the US side of things. This was not the fun part of the day. Most of the medical stations that we had to go to weren’t bad, but the one that both Jess and I were dreading was the station where they would have to take Samuel’s blood. It’s not so much that we mind them taking blood, it’s that in order to do it, they took Samuel by himself into a room with nurses to take his blood. However, as much as we were dreading the moment when they would take him out of Jess’s arms and into that room, the time came and went and he did really well.
After all of the testing was done we just had to sit and wait for all of the other families to get through with testing so we had a good chance to talk to and get to know several families. After heading back and arriving at the hotel we headed off with three other families to get some lunch. Or guide had mentioned a place down the street that was “Chinese fast food” that had good noodles, so we headed there. It was hard to know what to order there, so we went with what we thought was a familiar dish, beef noodles, and waited for lunch to arrive. Then lunch did arrive, and it was not what we expected. I’m pretty sure that what came out were Ramon noodles with sub par “beef”. We avoided the meat, ate the noodles, and made plans to never return to that place to eat.
Then we headed back to the hotel, got our shopping bags (to carry groceries back to the hotel in) and headed with one of our new friends to the grocery store. The store was big, and with our new friend’s help (he has already been here a week) we managed to get some essentials and get back out the door quickly.
On getting back to the hotel Samuel was pretty tired and crashed right on Jess’s shoulder. This was normal and not a big deal, but unfortunately in this case it meant that I had to step up and head to a meeting with our guides to get paperwork ready for our consulate appointment. Please note, I don’t know the details for this adoption, or this trip, or for many things for that matter, so having to figure out the papers and stuff was a bit out of my wheel house, but I managed. I went to the meeting with a huge stack of papers and left me meeting an hour and a half later, bleary eyed and hoping I did it all right.
When I got back to the hotel room Jess and Samuel were ready to get out and do something, so we took Samuel’s first trip to the pool. He loved it. He was a little nervous and wanted us to hold onto him the whole time (we were in a kiddy pool), but he still loved it and I look forward to taking him back.
After the pool we were hungry. We didn’t want to go to Pizza Hut again, and we didn’t want to eat the instant noodles we got at the grocery store (since that is basically what we had for lunch) and we didn’t want to spend much money. So, we did the unthinkable. We walked across the street and went to McDonald’s. I believe this was my first trip to McDonald’s in about 10 years, and even now as I sit and type this feeling not so well I remember why. Anyway, McDonald’s was good in two ways, first it was cheap, and second it filled us up (I still feel full, not necessarily in a good way though). Whether or not we go back there will be a question and time and desperation.
So we came back to me room feeling decent and got on FaceTime with the kids at home again. Samuel really loves talking to them. They play peekaboo with him and he loves it, I can’t wait for him to meet him in person!
And now it’s time for bed. Jess and Samuel already crashed and I’ve been catching up on blog posts on the iPad because I can’t seem to find a plug that will fit my laptop cord. This is the reason there are no photos yet, but rest assured I’m working on it.
Anyway, I’m tired. More tomorrow. Goodnight from Guangzhou.