Monday, June 02, 2008

Hello Guangzhou!

We made it to Guangzhou safe and sound -- and 45 minutes early! While Scott was trying to get something at the airport shop, they announced boarding -- about 25 minutes early. I love boarding calls on Chinese Airlines: "Flight xyz is now boarding. Please board very quickly now." And let me tell you, people do. We were all boarded so they went ahead and took off.

Addison LOVED the airplane and the flight. We'll see how the longer ones go....

He was so agreeable on the plane and mimicking a lot of what we said, such as "let's go," "airplane," "bye-bye." When we praised him for saying these words / phrases, we said, "good job, baby" to which he replied, "good job, baby." Out of his mouth, it is so sweet." height="320" width="426" style="width:426px;height:320px">" />

It's great to be in Guangzhou again, home to the American consulate and several families adopting from China. The adoption slowdown is very evident, however, as there are maybe 20% the number of families that there were before. Not only that, but I have seen far more boys this time being adopted than girls. In our travel group (group from our agency), there are two girls and the rest are boys. And ALL the kids are OH-SO-AWESOME. I want to scoop them all up!

All of our kids have a special need (beyond the most important need of a family), from non-functioning eye (Addison) to deafness to cleft palate. None of us are doing anything special by bringing home a child with identified special needs, but -- speaking for myself -- I love showing people that kids with special needs are every bit worth the effort, time, money, labor than any other kiddo is. I don't have the right words at this time to explain myself clearly, but I know this: Seeing beyond what seems typical is extremely liberating. Scott and I spent so much time worrying about Kate being "different" that sometimes we missed her gifts, her talents, her beauty. And we still worry about Kate, but it's different. We worry about her happiness and well-being, but not about whether she's like everyone else. This path that Kate started us on, which also led to Addison, has been a far richer experience than anything "typical" might have ever been. We are so very, very blessed.

Some more details about Addison:

  1. The boy is smart! We do something, he does it. His motor skills are SUPERB, his depth perception is fair. However, once he tries something a few times, he's got it.
    He loves, loves, loves his daddy. He'll look at our pictures and point to Scott and say, "Baba!" ("Daddy" in Chinese). We're not there yet with me. We will get there, though.
    His bladder is better than ours -- the boy can "hold it" for hours on end, but when you put him on the pot, he'll go (#1 or #2 - sorry if this is TMI).
  2. He can use chopsticks and forks.
  3. He now loves Tigger, cars, Automan (a MAJOR Chinese cartoon character), and his backpack.
  4. When he doesn't get the answer he wants from Scott, he'll come to me. When I don't give him the answer he wants, he tries to put his back pack on and will say in Chinese, "I want to go home." Nice try, dude. Guilt trips don't work....
  5. He likes peanut butter, but not the crackers. He'll suck the peanut butter off the crackers and dip it back into the peanut butter. Eeeeewwwww.
  6. He hates for his hands to be dirty, or his mouth. He doesn't like to be barefoot. I am confident we will change this, despite his daddy's need for something on his feet at all times.
  7. If he's sitting on the floor eating and drops food, he'll scoot back. He can start a meal in one spot and end about ten feet further, especially if eating something like rice which is easier to spill....
  8. He is S-T-U-B-B-O-R-N. He's mostly compliant, but if you run into certain issues, he WILL. NOT. BEND. Don't ask him to try on new shoes, or brush his teeth with toothpaste, or say "sorry" to the boy he's just hit. That's okay though, his mother is even more stubborn. Bring it on, boy!

An interesting story about today: In Guangzhou, most of the shopkeepers speak at least some English. So do *many* of the restaurant workers, so we figured we'd venture into a Cantonese restaurant. Once we sat down, we noticed there were no other adoptive families there, only Chinese people. We began to ask the waitress about the food - no English. She brought us a menu, which included things like sea worms, intestines and lots of other yummy meats. We eventually pointed to some items and hoped for the best.

The dinner was a "hot pot" style -- a big bowl at the table over a fire in which our different selections are cooked. We had chicken, cucumbers, carrots, cilantro, and pickled bean curd (which Melissa loves). It was okay, but needed more spice. Had we been able to read the menu, we could have done better. And the chicken? Feet and all. Yum.

More later,

The Lucky Ones
Falling in Love with our new son


The Lewises said...

My gosh, this kid is HANDSOME!! Just imagine the portraits with him and Kate. Two gorgeous kids, each with thick, beautiful hair and adorable faces. Welcome to Guangzhou! Don't forget Raymond's place. He's so excited to see adoptive families, especially with SN kids. Can you swim in the White Swan's pool? Are you at the White Swan?


The Lewises said...

Hi Addison! We like your t-shirt! (Emily met Cinderella at Disney last Saturday and she's dropping her glass slippper everywhere we go now.) Let's hope Kate's not so crazy about them, because you'll get sick of kissing your sister's hand every day.

I can't wait to meet you and eat noodles together! I love 'em too, although I can't do the long sucky thing like you do! And don't dads rock? Moms are for torturing. :) See ya soon! Your friend, David Jian Qun

Anonymous said...

I've so much enjoyed your journey through your pictures and writings but I am equally enjoying the prospect that you will soon be home. As a Mom, I am just not all that comfortable to have you two so far away. I'm counting the days until I get to see you and meet my new grandson.

Hugs & Kisses, Mom

Snowflowers Mum said...

I love love love these updates, he sounds like a wonderful little boy!

Barbie said...

I am so happy to see you and Addison together. I have been following your journey but not posting!

Oh boy, does he sound like Ryan in that he knew what he wanted. He still is attached to one pair of shoes and truly only wants them. Change is hard for him but I guess that is quite understandable. Hang in there!! They have had to be so independent and now that is all being taken away.