Sunday, March 21, 2010

adoption day 2 cont.

Here I am again, writing in the middle of the night. Actually, it’s only midnight, but since we went to bed by 8pm, it seems like the middle of the night. I’ve never been one to sleep straight through the night, and I do want to make certain I document as much as possible of this trip so that the children have a record of it later. I already wrote about the Museum of Natural History, but I didn’t tell about the trip getting to the museum. Cheng’s parents had hired a driver and a car several times over the last several days, but with the addition of Xiao and John, we had too many people to fit in one car. Xiao found a way to get to the museum by subway and then bus. Off we went. The weather was absolutely terrible! Honestly, it was like walking in a desert sand-storm. The wind was blowing, and there was a layer of dirt in the air that is hard to describe. Many people had masks over their nose and mouth, and it wasn’t to protect against the flu. There was sand in the air everywhere! As we went down the escalator to the subway, Connor leaned against the railing, completely blackening his jacket with a layer of redish soot. He was so dirty that Cheng’s mom stopped to try to wipe him off. We reached Tiananmen Square by subway (I took a few photos) and then hopped on a bus. The busses and subways were jam packed, just like New York City, although cleaner than I had envisioned. I previously worried about people smoking virtually everywhere, and so far this is not the case. No one on the subway or bus was smoking, luckily. We arrived at the museum and Cheng’s father bought our admission tickets. That is another thing I should mention. I feel terribly guilty about Cheng’s father paying for virtually everything for us. We have yet to spend a dime on food, transportation or admission tickets to anything. They are so very grateful that we are hosting Cheng that they insist on treating us like visiting royalty. They are also enamored with Connor and Ben. John, as I mentioned, is shyer, and they are giving him time to choose to be their friend. Cheng’s parents are just fantastic people, and we are so happy to have had the chance to spend a few days with them. At the museum, we walked around for less than two hours and we were ready to leave. Our feet hurt and we wanted to just sit down and relax. Cheng’s dad called for a car to come pick us (the Peters’ family and Xiao) and they must have taken a taxi back to their hotel. I was relieved that we didn’t need to spend another hour on the return trip, but again I felt guilty for the expense. When we arrived at the hotel, Ben immediately went to the toy cupboard. He has established a place and order for the toys, and he sorts and plays with them constantly. After a half an hour of relaxing, the boys wanted to go to the pool.What cuties they are in the pool. John is athletic, and he is already picking up how to swim. The the US, and the information we received from WACAP, was to treat the children for skin conditions (scabies) and lice the first day. We have not had to do any of that. Both boys have been swimming each day, and we can see that their skin looks healthy, as does their hair. Although we might regret it later, we decided not to subject them to any unnecessary treatment or tests. Scabies leave a rash and itch, and lice shows symptoms also. Our boys appear healthy and happy, although Ben is quite thin.After swimming, Xiao decided to play ping-pong with Connor and John. David and I stayed in the hotelroom with Ben for awhile. Cheng’s parents arrived at our hotel at 3:30p, and Cheng’s dad and David went to join the boys in the ping-pong room. Cheng’s mom and I stayed in the room with Ben for awhile. Cheng’s mom showed Ben a map of the United States and pointed out where he was going to live. He answered, “I already know that.” Eventually, Ben headed towards the door. When Cheng’s mom asked him where he was going, he announced that he was going to go to the ping-pong room. I told him to wait a minute; I needed to find my shoes. Well, he must have thought I told him something else because he came back into the room and picked up all the toys and put them away in what is now the toy cabinet. I must say, I was impressed. So we headed down to the ping-pong room. Ben knew exactly what floor it was on (he pushed the right button anyway) and then proceeded to lead us through three halls and several turns to find the ping-pong room. At one point I told him it was the wrong way, and we needed to go the other way, and a woman who works at the hotel told me that Ben is going the right way; I had the wrong way. You have to realize, we only saw the ping-pong room once before, and this hotel has several buildings all connected by hallways. When we got to the ping-pong room (a big dance studio actually), David and John were playing furiously. They played for about 30 minutes more, while Ben ran around the room with Connor throwing balls and playing. Then Cheng’s mom played with John for awhile. She is quite young at heart and very playful,although she is around my age. John was smiling the whole time, enjoying whipping everyone at ping-pong. I can’t wait until we get him home and the four big boys (Cheng, Austin, John and Connor) play partners. I’ll bet that they spend hours playing ping-pong, now that we have even teams. Xiao left to meet his parents at the subway station. It was 4:30p, and all 10 of us were set to have dinner together. We walked across the street to an Italian restaurant. Yes, Italian. We are a little tired of Chinese food already. The kids had a pizza, and the adults ate delicious pasta, and the meal passed very quickly. After dinner, we came back to our room for tea. I uploaded the photos from the day onto Cheng’s dad’s flashdrive, and we visited for awhile. By 7p we were visibly tired. Xiao decided that he would stay with us another night (or maybe the rest of the week even) and so he left with his parents to go buy some clothes at a nearby Wal-Mart. The boys climbed into bed at 7p, and John pulled out a book from his backpack. Hooray! He likes to read before bed! Wonderful! I turned off the TV and told Connor he could read too. They were asleep by 8pm, and David and I were in bed by 8:15pm. Now, it’s almost 1am, and I suppose I should try to go back to sleep. Xiao called our guide, George, and told him we needed to have the van and driver for tomorrow. We are going to go visit the Summer Palace, which is an outdoor park/palace. Xiao’s parents are returning home, and Cheng’s parents are going to accompany us again. They are returning home to Lanzhou on Monday.

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