Today was a fairly quiet day. We needed that.
Breakfast for me was Chinese pea pods and coffee. Gracie ate a variety of vegetable and meat dumplings. Heath didn’t eat. Jack drank soy-milk and ate some noodles, and then wanted my pea pods. The servers got a kick out of him asking for them two at a time, and came by to chat. I asked them what they were saying to him, and they told me that they had asked him if he spoke English. He had replied, “NO!” So they asked if his mama spoke Chinese and he pointed and emphatically said I did. I guess he thinks the minimal words I have learned, along with me nodding often means I speak Chinese. Too cute.
We tried to tour Green Mountain Park today, but Heath was feeling so ill that after the thirty-minute drive and hour into the tour, he needed to go back to the hotel. Our guide stopped at a local pharmacy on the way back and we bought some antibiotics and some mysterious Chinese medicine for his ailment. The pharmacy was interesting. There were old men grinding up unknown leaves into powder, and workers measuring clumps of dried lizards, dried plants, fungi, and things I won’t even try to describe. The smell was very strong and somewhat herbal. We have no idea what Heath is taking with the antibiotic but he is willing to try anything at this point. Before we left the states, our doctor did prescribe a gut antibiotic but unfortunately, the pharmacy did not carry it and had to get some delivered, and it was not delivered prior to us leaving. Bummer. We definitely could have used that one. The other things prescribed we were able to fill but have not needed, thankfully. So we picked up some type of antibiotic along with something they recommended for his stomach. The driver told us later that he has taken it and it worked for him which was good to know.
Once back at the hotel, Gracie, Jack and I walked to the restaurant and let Heath have a quiet hotel room. Jack picked something from a picture off the menu, Gracie ordered some pasta and I had duck. Jack decided he wanted to collect everyone’s knives, from our table and the surrounding. He did not like it when I brought him back to his chair without the knives. We did that a few times before the food arrived. When he ate, he thanked the server and told her it was delicious. She laughed and told me what he had said.
After lunch, we went back to the room and got ready for a nap. Jack did not want to nap. We read a few books, and when it was time to sleep he got angry and threw a bit of a temper tantrum. We comforted him but let him know we were still going to nap. He eventually cried himself to sleep, but he was being cuddled and knew we loved him.
Nap-time ended and we had some cookies and water. Then we dressed for the pool. Gracie, Jack and I left Heath to have more quiet time, and walked to the pool. The pool attendant made us shower, and wear caps, which made Jack very, very angry. He screamed, cried, tried to hit. We got his hat on him and took a very brief shower. He screamed and constantly tried to pull the hat off for about 10 minutes. Quite a few people were watching us, wondering if I was hurting him. He was so loud. I almost gave up and went back to the room, but I knew Gracie really wanted to swim. And I really didn’t want him to learn that if he yells long and loud enough he gets his way. Thankfully, he quieted down eventually and then finally decided he was okay sitting in the kids’ pool with me. We splashed, played, kicked our feet, and later found a cute little 2 year-old who had a ball she shared. She and Jack would take turns holding the ball underwater and let it fly up out of the water. They would laugh and laugh. Her father told me that she said she liked playing with the handsome boy. How sweet! Later, I finally got him to kick his feet and use a floatation ring and he was so proud of himself moving around the water on his own. He also got a kick out of using his newly learned English, calling out,”Hullloooo!” at random people. He also yelled to Gracie often, using the Chinese word for big sister. He was careful to keep track of her when she was swimming in the big pool. When it was time to go, Gracie wanted to get one more swim in, and he turned around and waved, “ Bye Jia Jia” which was another more newly learned word. She scrambled out and followed us and he was happy.
We bought him a ‘love ball’ which is a traditional ball used by the people in this region. It is used to propose marriage in a traditional ceremony. He saw the love ball in the hotel store when we were buying drinks and asked if he could get it. Now he is wearing it around his neck and calls it ‘Love Ball’. Another English word checked off the list. He also knows, ‘Gracie’ but likes calling her ‘Jia Jia’. Other words he has picked up are, ‘potty, car, thank you, hi, ‘and of course, ‘hello’. We have learned a lot of Chinese words from him, and from our guide so communication hasn’t been an issue. We pretty much know what he is telling us most of the time. He makes sure of that.
Tomorrow we leave in the afternoon for the airport, and take a short flight to Guangzhou. This is where we will get his American Visa for his passport, and have a swearing in at the US Embassy, along with a room full of other adoptive parents. We will see the other four families that are in our travel group from FTIA, our agency. We will spend five nights at the Marriott and then take the train to Hong Kong the evening of the 12th. We will then fly out of Hong Kong on the morning of the 13th, travel about 25 hours, and arrive in Johnson City around 9pm the 13th.
It is almost bedtime here, and Jack has been working on his Ramen noodles for about an hour. He has done many other things during this time, such as watch videos on my iphone of Memaw’s birthday, and Tay’s pre-birthday. He LOVES to look at all the pictures and videos on our iphones. This keeps him occupied for a long time. He knows who is in his family, and he is excited to have dogs. That is a good thing since we have so many right now.
Gracie is tired, and laying with her head on my knew as I type. She is belly laughing at Jack. He finished most of his noodles, so he poured orange juice into his glass, poured bottled water into the OJ, then poured that mixture into his noodles. She thinks it is very funny that he is drinking that new concoction now. He says it is delicious.
We think they both are funny. We love her laugh.
I just saw the internet has come back on so I will see if I can post this quickly before it goes out again.