Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Free day adventures

Tuesday in China (my birthday!) Was a free day for us. Our guide offered to take us to People's Park, which is "close" to our hotel but felt like a very long walk for us, especially for Jeremy who was carrying Joey the whole time.

The park is absolutely beautiful, very quiet and serene in the midst of a busy city. There were ponds and walkways and carnival rides and groups of people singing. It really felt like we were immersed in their culture, really special.

We did these little motorized boat rides on the water which Ben said was his favorite part of China. :) He also got in this huge inflatable on the water and ran/rolled/played in it for the longest time. He came out soaked in sweat, it was a good way for him to blow off some of his energy.

 As we were preparing for this trip, we weren't sure how to prepare for Joey's mobility. Should we bring a wheelchair or stroller? We knew that things are not wheelchair/stroller friendly here at all, so we weren't sure what to do.  Then a dear friend offered for us to being her carrier which is designed for older kiddos, so we could carry him on our backs.  We Weren't sure if joey would go for that, but turns out he loves it and it has already been a huge blessing! Walking in these crowds is hard for him and hard for us to keep track of him, so this is the perfect way for us to get around with him. It's also great for bonding. Not so great for Baba's back and hips, but Jeremy is such a trooper.

We are very much in display here. We haven't see any other Americans here and only a few other white people. And the fact that we have a little chinese boy with us who has special needs, well we get lots of stares! One man couldn't get over us in the park. He took pictures of us and tried to talk to us and kept touching Joey and even pulled Joey to him and asked us to use his camera to take a pic of the two of them. We did but I didn't let go of Joey for one second. It's not very common for kids to be adoptrd from here, so we are an unusual sight.

On our way back we stopped at a supermarket to get some more food for the room. We are struggling a little with the food here, the local food is good but just not a comfort to us. We got some chips and oreos and m&ms and Gatorade and had a little mini American feast when we got back to the hotel. :) Joey doesn't discriminate when it comes to food. He obviously loves the local food (especially noodles) but also chows down on the American food as well. He kept throwing things in our cart at the store, we finally had to cut him off!

We just hung out in the room for most of the afternoon. Ben did some homework and Joey and Jeremy bonded over Legos and Search and Finds and throwing cards from a deck at each other. His attention span is very short and we are already running out of things to entertain him with! It was definitely a daddy day, thank goodness for my wonderful husband.

We decided to go check our the hotel pool and once we saw it, the boys wanted to swim. So we went back to our room and changed , including into swim caps which are required here. Went back down to pool only to have mass confusion ensue. No one spoke English and they were not letting us get in and we had no idea why. It was painful and the boys were disappointed. We couldn't get ahold of our guide so we finally gave up. Poor Joey was so confused. Later our guide called and talked to them for us and they didn't think Jeremy's swim trunks were for swimming. Ha. I'm not sure if we'll try swimming here again or not!

Then we tried to order room service...and another hour long fiasco ensued. Literally no one understands us here! After multiple phone calls, 2 workers coming to our room and lots of gesturing and pointing, we got one bowl of noodles that Joey inhaled, and the rest of us made do with peanut butter sandwiches.

Even a day of rest is exhausting! It's all good though. We're trying to be present in the moment, these are Joey's last days in the city of his birth. But we'll definitely be relieved to get to Guangzhou on Friday as it's much more westernized and we'll be with other Americans!

We'd love continued prayers for stamina and good health and smooth paperwork. Also, please pray for Joey and his safety...we're finding him to be very unstable and wobbly. He over estimates what he can do on his feet and has fallen hard three times so far. He can't catch himself because of his arm limitations and we're afraid he's going to really get hurt.

Thank you!! It's Wednesday morning here now( and I was up at 4:30am thanks yet again to jet lag) and we're hoping to visit the orphanage today. It'll be another big day I'm sure, especially for joey.

We're so thankful that so far we've had good internet connection here in our room so we've been able to WeChat with our kids at home every day. They are doing great! Tuesday was Maggie's first day back to preschool! We were sad to miss it but she's back with the same teacher, same school and she loves it so that helps. It is her first time going to school in the afternoon and she fell asleep on the bus on the way home! Sweet girl.

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