Thursday, October 20, 2016

Two months home

Two months seems like a flash, but China seems like an eternity ago.  I don't know if it would be possible for Ivan to be doing any better....as I type this he's crying...so there's room for improvement at this moment...

As I'd mentioned in a previous blog, Ivan has been favoring Lindsey, which is a good thing.  He is saying some words like Dada and Mama, Thank you, and more.  He sings songs to us like Jesus loves you, We will rock you, and the ABCs.  Though you have to pick up the tune, because the words aren't discernible.  He can also count to 10, but it's the same word for 1-6, then 7 is a two syllable mumble, 8 & 9 are the same word as 1-6, but 10 is an excited squeal!

He loves having visitors and being around other people.  Lindsey and Ivan have gotten out and about more in the last month.  We've been to church as a family 3 times now and he's done awesome every time.  We do need to work on being quiet though...2 out of 3 services were good.

An update from previous blogs on Ivan's car sickness.  After the second car seat cleanup session, we decided to place his seat in the middle of the back seat and we also tried little wristbands (called Seabands) which have a hard dot in one spot which is supposed to push a pressure point in the wrist to ease nausea.  One or both of them was successful.  Ivan hasn't vomited in the car since and he wants to put the wristbands on whenever he gets in his seat now.  He's likes routines.

Last weekend Lindsey had her 10 year college reunion in Indiana, which many of her close friends would be attending.  We struggled with the decision of whether or not Ivan was ready for a road trip and sleeping in a different crib/home.  He wasn't phased one bit.  Played with his cousins and slept nearly as good as he did at home.  Whenever we have fear of exposing Ivan to something new, we try it and he does exceptionally well.  He's amazing!

Since harvest has been in full swing for the last month, I haven't been able to see Ivan as much as I'd like.  Maybe a couple hours a day at the most, unless Lin and Ivan come by for a farm visit, which they've been doing.  There have been a few times where Lin has left Ivan with me on the farm for a few hours if she has some errands or an appointment she needs to go to.  It leaves Ivan in tears every time, which I struggle to understand why.  We're always happy at home together, but anytime Lindsey leaves, the world is ending.  Mentally, I know he is heavily attached to Lindsey, she has been meeting nearly all of his needs since we arrived home, but he sees me at home, I prepare some of his meals and bath him, change clothes, diapers, play, etc.  Emotionally though it can be hurtful at times.  I realize he is doing nothing intentional and we do have a lot of fun together most of the time.  As I was sitting in church a few weeks ago, my mind drifted slightly away from the sermon...true confessions...I was thinking about how I wanted Ivan to desire to be with me and not be afraid of me or at least minimize the fear of being without Lindsey every moment.  Time is what we need together, I realize this, it's just a bad time of the year for that to happen consistently.  My mind then began to parallel those thoughts with God.  He is a good Father.  He loves his sons and daughters.  But so many of us don't seek Him or want to be with Him.  I actually think I've caught a glimpse of some of the sadness God might feel because we, as His children, don't seek Him or acknowledge Him as we should.  Me included.  He desires to be in our lives, just as I desire to be in Ivan's, but neither He nor I can force our children to desire our presence or involvement in their lives.  Thankfully in my case, this is just a season, but in God's case, it can be eternity.

Some highlights from the past two months:
Helping on the Farm
Testing moisture of the corn

 Unloading the semi

Dinner in the field

First solo semi ride with Daddy

Visits with grandparents, cousins, and family



Family weiner roast

Celebrating Daddy's birthday

Ivan's first haircut

A customer-in-training at HyVee

Time at Taylor with friends

 Ivan and Mommy being showered by some of Mommy's nearest and dearest from college

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The slow rise

Week 2 is in the bag.  Ivan continues to dazzle us with his sweet smile and giggle.  Tough days are even fewer this week than last, and I think his sleep is about where it should be.  One noticeable change has been Ivan's deepening connection with Lindsey.  Which means daddy, who once was preferred, now gets the cold shoulder.  This is how it's supposed to be though, right?  Lindsey has been with him daily for a couple weeks now as I've returned to the farm.  I've noticed, this week especially, that if Daddy leaves the room, or goes outside, or drives away...no big.  Ivan just waves...and says, don't let the door hit you on the way out... j/k.  But when Mommy walks into the next room, still within eyesight, you'd think the boys beloved toy or pet was just destroyed right in front of him.  That may have been stretched, but not much.  This is actually a very good sign.  It shows that our little guy's attachment is growing and his connection with us is deepening.  For this we are very happy.  Something we've prayed for for months.

Some sweet moments from this week included a gift of a teddy bear from Lindsey's friend Kristie.  Ivan saw the bear and instantly wanted to hold him.  Shortly after was naptime and Ivan wanted to take Bear to bed with him.  As Lindsey laid Ivan down, Ivan laid Bear down next to him and pulled the sheet up that would typically cover Ivan, onto Bear.  Then as Lindsey rubbed Ivan's back, Ivan rubbed Bear's back to help Bear fall asleep.  Too stinkin sweet!

Some highlights from the week also included visits from the grandparents.  Ivan has been doing pretty well adjusting to our home and the routine we've put in place for him, but we've intentionally not had many visitors yet, to help facilitate Ivan's adjustment to us and home.  We would like to thank everyone for being so patient and respecting our wishes in this, but we thought Ivan has been doing so well, it's time for Grandma and Grandpa and Nana and Papa to make visit!  In doing so we've decided Ivan may have a pretty social side also.  He beamed when they came over and he had a great time!  He was loving the attention and new faces, though he'd seen them before, he was thrilled to have new company.

Ivan also took his first tractor ride this week...figured why wait?  I'd say there were mixed reviews.  Mainly because Mommy was not a co-pilot on this ride.  We worked through the tears and decided in the end that maybe it wasn't so bad.  Daddy will be persistent.

One undelightful event was Ivan's second car ride, while awake.  Lindsey was taking me to pick up a piece of machinery about 30 minutes from home.  I was playing with Ivan and he was giggling and laughing.  Seemingly having a ball, just before he unloaded lunch all down his front.  So two car rides this week and two removals of the carseat to clean the vomit probably means this little guy gets carsick. Not the best news when you live 15 minutes from the nearest town.  We're going to try a few things to see if we can improve his endurance, but truthfully, he's probably not ridden in cars more than 2-3 times in his life before meeting us, so it could just take some time.











Monday, August 29, 2016

Week One in Review

Our first week at home has been all about one thing - adjustment.  Adjusting our sleep cycles, adjusting our lifestyles, helping Ivan adjust to his new home, and working to develop a strong attachment and connection with Ivan (the latter three are still very much ongoing).  When I think about the week in its entirety, overall the week went better than I probably expected.  Of course our first few days home started with the misery of overcoming jet lag. At one point Ivan had been up from 12:30AM to 12:30PM without any sleep, just in an effort to get his sleep on track. However, with keeping to a schedule and the help of a little Benadryl (We were desperate!!), Ivan's sleep has pretty much come onto US Central Time. 

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were awesome days. At one point I was feeling pretty excited about how fast Ivan seemed to be adjusting emotionally. I should have known better! Friday and Saturday reassured us that he is still very much in the midst of emotionally processing and adjusting.  Plus he's two. And life is tough when you're two. Ryan and I must also remember that our own processing of this change is definitely affecting him as well. Staying at home during the day with Ivan has raised various feelings for me - gratitude, joy, frustration, fear, to name a few.  Thankfully, the joy and gratitude outweigh my moments of frustration. 

Here are some glimpses into our past week:

Ivan enjoying a ride in the bike cart

Ivan mowing with Daddy

Ivan playing at a nearby secluded church playground



Ivan's first pancake breakfast

Ivan getting ready for a walk with Mommy

We have learned...You can take the boy out of the noodle-loving country, but you can't take the noodle-love out of the boy!
video

And yet another...
video


And then there are the chickens.  He loves them. They are his first feathered friends
Sadly, his affection is not reciprocated. I'm sure with time they'll come around, Ivan.

Come back, Guys!!
video

On Sunday, Ryan and I decided we needed some spiritual and social input. We took turns going to different services while Ivan made the car-trip to Quincy and back, but didn't leave the car. Unfortunately, this may have contributed to the following events:
As Ivan and I arrived at church, he was starting to fuss a little and spit up just a bit. We cleaned it right up and Ryan and I switched places. However, Ivan became quite fussy as they were en route. Not once, not twice, but THREE times he threw up. Ryan pulled over and did a preliminary job of cleaning Ivan. They proceeded home, striped down, and left the carseat in the car for Mommy! ;) The least I could do. Poor Ryan can only take so much vomit. Here's what Ivan thought of the whole deal. 

Thankfully things turned up and he was squeaky clean by today.


video

We are knee-deep into week two at home, and we would appreciate continued prayers for Ivan's emotional adjustment, our emotional adjustment, security in attachment, and God's presence in the midst.  We love you! Soli Deo Gloria!




Sunday, August 21, 2016

Nocturnal...

We have arrived at home!  A list of a few things we've done in the last 24 hours would be sleep, ride a train, eat, play, and cry.  All these things are pretty normal in the home of a two year old, we've just decided to do them at unconventional times of the day and night.  As Lindsey said a couple days ago, we arrived in Chicago a day earlier than we'd expected...pretty sure that was my fault, got confused on the international date line + flight times... oh well.  So we spent our first night as three Americans in Chi-town.  Ivan went to sleep around 8pm...parents felt pretty good about that...we get a wake up call from the crib at 2:00am...Jenga!!  So the new family of three is playing with hot wheels and mega blocks until about about 4am when we put him back in the crib...because we wanted to be up by 6am to make our train.  That resulted in a child crying in his crib until mom or dad brought him into bed with them.  Fyi, it's virtually impossible to sleep with a 2 year in bed with you.  He's moving all the time, rotating, pushing, whipping, squirming...and thankfully sleeping too, somehow.

So the adults are up at 6, bags get packed, again, boy gets put in the carrier, we're headed out the door.  We meet up with my parents and Lindsey's parents to all ride the train home together.  At Union Station, I was able to reward my body with some extremely delicious hot cakes from the internationally renowned golden arches.  Once on the train, Ivan did great.  Of course, he was the star of the trip.  Our parents were great, it was so nice of them to come up and spend time with us before we cocoon into our home together.


When we arrived in Macomb, we were blessed to see many familiar faces!  We are so thankful for you guys!  We hope to see everybody again soon.


Then it was time for our first ride in Mommy's car and a car seat...  Things went surprisingly well.  We made it 20 minutes in good spirits, then a touch of fuss, and then lights out.


Once home we unloaded the car, put the boy down for a nap and started unloading the bags.  One bag had an oatmeal explosion.  Oatmeal in the clothes, in the toys, and in Lindsey's blow dryer.  Around 2 we woke Ivan up, who wasn't too keen on that decision, but eventually came around.  We played the rest of the afternoon inside and out.  He walked in grass, for I assume the first time, and we walked down the driveway along the first cornfield he's seen up close. 


The evening consisted of noodles, bath, and book reading.  We laid him down around 7pm, thinking, we're good, we're kicking this time change thing in the pants.  We'll have him on the right schedule in no time...   Well, no time became 1:30am and he was awake and chipper.  I finally decided I'd get up with him for a little play time.
A happy carpet mower at 2am.

Lindsey got up a short while later and we folded laundry, played with blocks, and do what normal toddlers do at 2pm, not 2am.  So around 4ish am we decided to try bed again.  That was a failure initially.  He whimpered and cried off and on until 5, then we decided to pull him into bed with us...you think we'd learn.  It worked.  Daddy was asleep, Mommy was asleep, and Ivan was asleep.  Asleep so well in fact, that we woke up at 2pm.  No kidding.  I can honestly say I don't know if I've ever slept until 2pm in my life.  But I did some thinking, since waking up Friday morning...which would have been 6pm Thursday evening in the US, Lindsey and I have gotten maybe 6 hours of sleep.  Still, no excuse, and this totally blew our sleep schedule plan up for Ivan.  But we'll get on the right track.  Learned lesson...we'll set alarm clocks for awhile now.  Lindsey did ask about that last night...I said no, there's no way we'll sleep late... :)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Surprise! Unexpected pitstop in Chicago

About five hours from the end of our flight from Beijing (or seven hours into it), Ryan and I started to do some math in our heads. The estimated length of our flight was not adding up to the time difference we had planned. From our itinerary we had planned to leave Hong Kong and fly to Beijing for a brief layover, then fly to Chicago. According to our original planning, we would arrive at 1:20PM on Saturday. But during the flight the math wasn't adding up. We soon realized we would be arriving on FRIDAY not Saturday! Whoops! We're not sure how the original error was made, but here we are...in Chicago...on FRIDAY! Thankfully our parents were already here in order to greet us tomorrow, and just advanced their plans to get to the airport this afternoon. 

Our first flight was alright. Ivan was a bit cranky from being woken up at 5:00AM to go to the airport. However, he rebounded beautifully during our layover and we were hopeful the flight from Beijing to Chicago would go well. My, my, were we wrong. Ivan did not like being restrained in his own seat and he let everyone know. He cried and screamed. Screamed and cried. At one point I asked Ryan if the fight was going better than how he thought it would or not. His response was "Worse".  Ivan was able to be rocked to sleep when the cabin lights dimmed and remained asleep until we landed. 

Starting the flight

Ending the flight

Once we made it through customs and immigration, we were greeted by our parents!! What a happy sight! We made it!  *Sigh of relief*

So our adjusted plan is to spend the night here in Chicago and take the Amktrak train home tomorrow, Saturday morning, and arrive at Macomb at 10:58AM.  We are looking forward to getting settled in at home! And not lugging around all of our baggage will be nice too! ;)


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Last pit stop...

Hello faithful followers,
Lin, Ivan, and I have made it to our cubicle in Hong Kong for the night.  Last night our boy slept a solid 12 hours again.  Love it!  We had breakfast, packed up our final items, and headed for the train station that would take us to Hong Kong.  Ivan did very well for the first 5 minutes of the ride, then decided he needed to be out of the carrier strapping him and Lindsey together and if he couldn't get out, then he'd be sure and let everyone in the car know of his displeasure and misery.  All was well.  Upon arriving at the station, a gentleman with a dolly promptly asked if we'd like his help with our bags.  He had no official markings of any kind and his cart was pretty wispy for the luggage we had, but I said sure, throw em on!  He did however help us find our way through the station and upon arrival at our gate and unloading the bags let me know he charged 100Y for his services.  6 minutes of minor work.  Keep in mind the 20 min cab ride across town just cost 60Y.  I held up a 20 and said I'm feeling generous today.  You would of thought I insulted his mother.  At any rate, after much chatter, 90% from him, and me still offering the 20, we settled on 25 just to get him to leave.  A short while later we boarded the train and made the 2 hour trip to Hong Kong.  We left at noon, which is about when Ivan takes his nap, and he was still wide awake at 2:45.  He had a great time playing (mostly with Lin) on the train.  He did fall asleep in the taxi to the hotel, but only slept 30-40 min.  He woke up in our room a short while later and never looked back.  There weren't many options for food near the hotel, as in none, so Lin and Ivan had noodles and I had a sandwich from 7/11.

I have to say, I think Ivan has really been coming around the last couple days.  For the first week or so, he would always want to be held when in our hotel room.  But if we were in the airport or in a store, he was happy to get down and run around.  Seemed reverse of what you'd expect.  But the last few days he's been roaming around our rooms and content to sit by himself.  When we're in public, he's happy to run a few feet away from Lin or I, but then turn around and run back to us.  We feel and hope that these are positive signs of a growing connection and dependence.  We're very thankful parents.


So tomorrow morning we'll be up by 5 to head for a 7:40 flight to Beijing, then on home to O'hare.  I fully expect some meltdowns on the plane, we'll attempt to battle them with snacks.  If anyone would like to greet us upon arrival, we'll be arriving at O'hare at 1:20.  We'll also be riding the train down to Macomb and will arrive there around 9pm something if that's of interest.


Thank you for your prayers!  We ask that you continue to pray for us as we travel home.  That we could be a blessing to those we encounter along the way and that Gods light would shine through us.

Sorry , no pics this time... :(. But stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A case of the giggles...

Today our boy shined.  There was nothing particularly special about today. In fact, it was quite uneventful. But for precisely this reason, he was free to be himself. With almost nowhere to be, nothing we had to, no set agenda, all three of us meandered through today, being sure to keep the cornerstones of nap, meal, and bath times in place. And it was delightful to see his little spirit shine. Smiles and laughter were bountiful. 

This morning we took our time cuddling with Ivan in bed, eating cheerios, and Face-timing family. At breakfast we met another adoptive family, far more seasoned than us with eight children (most adopted) already at home. Then we played in our room before taking a stroll around the island and playing on a playground. Ivan loved running around and playing around the other children.  There were many groups of adults dancing, practicing Tai Chi, and singing around the island park.  







After lunch and a long nap, we headed out to what's commonly known as the Pearl Market to pick up a small item for me. We had been there previously with our group and guide, but I had decided later what I really wanted - a small pearl charm to add to a necklace my parents gave me right before our trip here. 

Upon returning to our hotel, Ivan continued to savor just playing with us in the room. At 4:30PM we met our guide who had Ivan's visa and passport along with some immigration paperwork ready for us.  We can officially head home!!

On the small walk back to our hotel from meeting our guide, we noticed Ryan was being not-so-secretly included in the selfie of a girl walking just ahead of us. Ryan noticed too, and as she was taking the shot he gave a big wink! ;) The girl was caught and just started laughing. We offered to get her picture with Ryan (who as carrying Ivan) and she and two friends excitedly accepted! 



It was more noodles for dinner, playing, then bath time. Before bed Ryan kept throwing Ivan in the air. Sweet boy can't get enough of it. And I think Ivan liked it too! ;) Here's a peak -

video

Tomorrow morning we pack up and start the slow journey home, via Hong Kong. We are excited to get home and settle Ivan in. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Consulate Appointment and a Break-through

This morning was our consulate appointment. This allows Ivan to get a visa for his Chinese passport to come to the U.S. Eventually this process will result in Ivan receiving a social security card as well.  Unfortunately, no cameras or electronics were allowed in the consulate, so we don't have any pictures of the experience. However, we did have the opportunity to talk to many other adoptive families as well as get to know an American couple who are in Guangzhou doing ministry and teaching English. They were at the office filing some paperwork (non-adoption related) and we hit it off! We found out they were being considered to foster two special needs children that were in one of our agency's partnership orphanages! Small world!! Our meeting felt providential. 

On the drive home (aka our hotel room), Ivan fell asleep and was out for a solid two hours. When he awoke he was a little fussy because he didn't get a full lunch in prior to his nap. Once his belly was full, he was jovial once again. In fact, he helped me have a break-through of my own...

In my entire life, I cannot recall eating a Cheerio. Ever. My parents may dispute this statement, as they may remember events which occurred prior to my conscious memory. However, to my knowledge I have never had one donut of rolled oats. In fact, many may be surprised to find out that I have had a (nearly) lifelong aversion to Cheerios.  They smell weird. I don't even really like touching them. I know...very strange. This really is my only aversion in life...but when it comes to cereals, I'm a little quirky anyway.  I don't like most cereals and I NEVER have milk mixed with cereal.  Perish the thought!  

But today Ivan gave me a bit of my own medicine. We had one session of Exposure Therapy. Yes, I was faced with my greatest fear...having to not only touch but EAT a Cheerio. And friends, I can say with a glad heart, that I overcame that fear with the help of my two-year-old son.  When your precious, smiling, dimple-clad boy offers you a Cheerio, you just can't turn him down. And here is the proof...please forgive the weird cameral angles as Ryan was covertly trying to video this interaction. 

video

As you may have noticed, he also learned to high-five today, which he does with vigor! :)

The rest of the afternoon was laid-back playing in our room and in the hotel's playroom.  It was nice to see that during a less hectic afternoon with less stimulation, Ivan seemed to thrive. 

Both Ryan and I are feeling the pull of home more strongly these days. We have one more full day here in Guangzhou before we pack up and head to Hong Kong on Thursday. Early Friday morning we fly out and head home!  I can honestly say, however, that I will miss China. Not so much the difficulty finding food we want to eat, or all the honking, or all the stares (this could be a blog post all its own!). But it's been absolutely wonderful to spend so much time with Ryan...seeing him all day for over two weeks straight has never happened before in the course of our relationship.  And this is where we met our first baby.  Besides that, the people here are beautiful and industrious, and I find the culture very intriguing. China will always hold a special place in my heart. 


Monday, August 15, 2016

The Ebb and Flow

The absence of yesterday's post was primarily due to the exhaustion both Ryan and I felt. Yesterday (Sunday) pretty well wiped us out. We had a nice time with our Madison group (two other families plus us).  We did a little sightseeing and shopping in the morning.  Visited a pearl wholesale market along with some outdoor venders.  Fun fact, supposedly 90% of the worlds pearls originate in China.  You can verify that on your own.  In the open market we saw some pretty interesting items for sale.  Live scorpions, turtles of all sizes, shark/fish/sting ray things, dogs, cats, birds, plus the hundreds of vendors selling spices and odd soup ingredients.  
turtles

tiny scorpions

Sting ray type things

Ivan was having a great time.  He was running around with the other kids in the group and walking along the sidewalk having a blast.  But this new momma and daddy overlooked the need to make sure Ivan didn't get super hungry. So at a little after noon, with only a light breakfast in his tummy and his nap time already past, and just as our group was in the cutest little store, Ivan began having a serious meltdown.  When I say meltdown, I mean nuclear.  I'm sure the many Chinese families we passed seriously questioned our treatment of the child.  By the grace of God, the area we were visiting in Guangzhou was two blocks from our hotel, so Ryan and I split off from the group and headed for our room.  We eventually recovered, fed our boy, had a nap, and regrouped.  We tried a small outing that afternoon back to the same shop two blocks away and Ivan again started to meltdown. We returned to our room and he was very content just playing with mommy and daddy. We decided we would try to run out to get dinner. Alas, we looked at several different restaurants before finding one that seemed like it would have food we could eat and by then it started raining.  Ivan was doing well, we put in our order, the food came out and shortly thereafter meltdown #3 began.  Thankfully, he and I stepped out of the restaurant for a few minutes and regrouped.  It turned out to not be too bad.  Ivan has taught us to be prepared with food and drink at any moment.


Monday brought about a fun plan to go see a Safari Park (zoo) in Guangzhou.  Sure seemed like a great idea... Ryan, Ivan, and I had a good morning, had breakfast and spent a short time in the playroom in our hotel.  The driver picked us up and as we headed out, there was a fight going on in the street, police were involved, people were shouting, some were being restrained, very scenic.  So we pressed on.  We picked up the other two families we'd been with the day before and headed to the zoo.  It was a choppy ride.  Our driver seemed extra vigilant in the stopping fast and accelerating fast department, even if we were only moving one car length in stop and go traffic, which was most of the time.  Didn't help anybody with motion sickness.  Alas, we arrived.  We all agreed we needed to reconvene at 2:30 because naps were already being surpassed.  As we were buying tickets, Ryan had Ivan in the carrier and he began getting fussy again.  We started walking and it was escalating...becoming very reminiscent of the previous day.  Ryan made it to a quieter spot and was able to calm him down some and he soon fell asleep.  Which kind of stunk, because we went to the park so he could see some animals.  
But Ryan and I pressed on.  We can prove to Ivan in later years that he was there, even though he didn't see most of the animals.  There was a trolley ride that would take you around a different area of the zoo to show you many of the big animals.  Ryan and I decided to do that, but on the way, it started to rain.  It was starting to feel like a big failure of a zoo trip.  We paused for 10 minutes or so then pressed on to the trolley.






Once boarded on the trolley, Ivan began to wake up, and we were ready with snacks!  He was the Cheerio king and could care less about the lions, tigers, giraffes, hippos, geese, wolves, etc...  just cheerios, hardboiled egg, and a milk box.  But he was having a good time with us, regardless of his interest in the animals.  The trolley ride redeemed the zoo for Ryan and I.

We reunited with the group and headed back to our hotels.  Ivan and I stayed in the room while Ryan ran some errands.  He picked up a pizza for us and I made noodles for Ivan, who absolutely devoured them.  It was really funny to see how excited he was for each bite!


All in all, I think we are getting a taste of the ebb and flow that most parents experience. Some days are great! Some days aren't. But we are extremely grateful for each moment and day with precious Ivan. I try to remind myself that even the crying and meltdowns are a blessing...it's in the meeting of his needs in these moments that he learns he can truly rely on us and trust us.  This also parallels so much of our relationship with Christ. It's during the challenging, boat's-a-rockin', at-the-end-of-my-wits  times that we relinquish control of our lives and experience actual reliance on Christ. Which is a beautiful place to be. 

PS This post was written on Monday night but wasn't able to be posted until this (Tuesday) morning. This morning is our consulate appointment!  

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Guangzhou

We arrived in Guangzhou last night (Friday) around 9:30PM. Our guide, Richard, met us at the airport and drove us to our hotel, The Victory, on Shaiman Island in Guangzhou. First order of business was putting Ivan down for bed. He was tired and went down quickly. Unfortunately, our room was a frigid 20 degrees Celsius...that's 68 degrees fahrenheit...and Ivan woke up frozen. He spent the remainder of the night keeping us toasty in bed.

This morning (Saturday) we met our guide and another family to go complete Ivan's medical exam and complete paperwork for our consulate appointment.  Ivan really had no taste for the doctor nor the TB blood test. To do the paperwork we went to the other family's hotel suite and they generously shared their milk boxes (like a juice box) and snacks with Ivan. In the midst of his water and juice boycott we discovered he LOVES milk! Great! By the time we put him down tonight he had five of them! 

This afternoon while Ivan napped we enjoyed Subway subs on our room's balcony. Then we headed out to a mall our guide had told us had good restaurants. We eventually found it, via an outdoor market selling dried snakes, starfish, and sea horses.  We picked up more milk boxes at the grocery store and then had dinner.  We chose dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Funny enough, they gave us plastic gloves as an accompaniment to our meal.  Ivan became enthralled by the plastic glove and we are pretty sure he may have a future as a lunch lady..err man. ;) The day ended in the best way possible - Ryan joined Ivan in the tub and Ivan developed a love (rather than his former hatred) for bath time! It really was a precious thing to watch Ivan splash and play with the toys instead of sob. 

All in all, today was a pretty simple day, but probably one of Ivan's best so far. He definitely has a preference for Ryan at this point, but that makes this Momma's heart happy! We have also noticed he is slightly less clingy, and is more willing to walk short distances from us, then quickly return back to us. This is a hopeful sign from an attachment standpoint. He also had a couple instances of being overwhelmed/overly tired and melting to the ground.  We know that developing a secure attachment is a marathon, and we aren't yet to the first mile marker.  

Enjoying the play area at the airport in Nanjing 

Both my boys sporting their Case IH shirts at the airport

At the medical exam 

My future lunch gentleman ;)

We finally learned to enjoy bath time! 

Just Ivan and Daddy