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Each part of our trip serves a purpose. We needed to enter China through a major city, Beijing. That gateway allowed us to settle into a crazy, new timezone and it allowed us to see a part of the World that we never would have imagined getting to explore. Central China, Zhengzhou, birthed our babe. We also went through the necessary steps to retrieve his passport there. The boxes we check in southern China, Guangzhou, will allow us to get his visa to bring him home. Today we traveled for his medical checkup.

Little bud loves looking out the window while we are on the bus. He will point and pat me trying to show me things and talk about things. He also loves The Itsy Bitsy Spider. He will focus and listen to me sing that entire song, sometimes multiple times in a row, watch all of the motions with intent, and then clap when I am finished.
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The kids enjoyed themselves while we waited! I wish I could share about all of the kids. They are all so precious, and I am so attached to each one of their stories. Traveling with this group of parents has been so special. Our lives just changed in a major way, and the roads that brought us to this place seem so similar. We have grown to love being with them, and though the time that we’ve logged together is short, the connection is strong. IMG_4730The clinic that we waited at had a special place for our group of adoptive families to wait. Everyone who applies for a visa has to come through this clinic, and we were a very large, noisy addition to the already full waiting room. This medical part of the process is very much just a formality as the check-up is very quick and not extremely thorough. There were three parts: height/weight/temp, ENT, and a general checkup.
IMG_4732Little J was not at all happy about what ensued. It hurt our hearts to see him scared, and frankly, quite mad about being poked and prodded. Always a fighter.
IMG_4734 But, we are his people now! We get to protect him, love him, comfort him. And, it is so beautiful to see him begin to realize that. It’s just the first of so many opportunities we will have to show him what family’s all about. IMG_4737 Also, crackers help most things with this little guy. IMG_4742 We tried out the little playground outside of our hotel this afternoon. It was smokin’ hot. I don’t even know how to describe the instant sweat situation you find yourself in when you walk out the door. The humidity here is unconscionable. IMG_4753 The slides were a hit, and we got to meet up with Sami, her husband, and her TWO sweet kiddos that they just adopted. I met Sami back in Chicago at the CAFO Orphan Summit in May. We just so happened to also be in China at the same time. Talk about a SMALL world. IMG_4756This sweet bud would never hit ALL of the other kids on the playground. We’re gonna stick with that story for now since no one is here to verify…
IMG_4757 The view from the lounge where we have been eating dinner each night is pretty amazing. I was a little disappointed that it was not as clear tonight, the one evening I brought my camera! It still gives you an idea…IMG_4760 I’ll try again tomorrow.IMG_4761Bedtime with this little guy is so sweet. He is the most calm and very interactive with us. We’ve been singing the same songs we sing with our kids back home, and I’m excited for us all to be together for bedtime. IMG_4769 - Version 2 He has not been interested in this little lovie at all. When he’s not sure about a toy, he will hand it back to us and mumble, indicating that he wants us to take it away. But, tonight, he was into this little lion guy. He touched the lion’s nose, and then his nose, and then mama’s nose. He found the lion’s eyes, his eyes, and daddy’s eyes. This little guy is so smart. He learns very quickly. Sure enough, he fell asleep loving his little friend. Every once in awhile, on his way out, he would pop open his eyes and locate the lion’s nose. So precious. IMG_4772 - Version 2My favorite part of today was when I finally looked up how to say the word “hug” in Mandarin. I’ve been trying to get J to run to me from far away all week and give me a hug. I would crouch, open my arms wide and call him to run over. Then, I would have to run to him and scoop him up for some love.

But, today, literally, all it took was me issuing the invitation in Mandarin ONE TIME, and he instantly ran into my arms. Then, just like a child would, I repeated that scenario one thousand times over, and he obliged. I am so excited for us to understand each other more!

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