Sunday, June 23, 2013

Last Few Days

Today we had our U.S. Consulate appointment to get Christoper's visa for entry into the U.S.  It was pretty uneventful, and no cameras or other electronics were allowed so I have no pictures to share.  During Ellie's U.S. Consulate visit, Michelle Kwan was there (no idea why) and she helped swear us in.  We have to repeat an oath that everything in our adoption paperwork is true, to the best of our knowledge, yada yada yada… So, this visit was certainly less exciting, although I was not about to pass out from a fever as I was last time, so I was happy.

Yesterday, my guide took me and two other families to the Guangzhou Safari Zoo.  It was nice to do something with other families for once.  The only other thing I have done with others so far it to go out to dinner with two other families (not working with my agency). That was also super fun.  I love meeting other people who just 'get' the impulse to adopt and who have gone through similar experiences.

All three of the babies, including Christopher, are 14 months old.

The zoo was fun for me, but not so much for Christopher.  He loves to be crawling and rolling around in the hotel room, not confined in a baby carrier or stroller.

It was also extremely humid.  I mean, worse than it ever gets in New Jersey in the summer, and that's humid.  Like walking in a sauna.

After being kept inside of his orphanage for his entire life, I think Christopher thinks that everything is exciting and new.  He did not seem to think that giraffes or zebras were any more interesting than cars and buses.

But, I loved seeing the koalas.

And the pandas.  I have never seen pandas before.

Here is a red panda.

Christopher is like, "whatever."

I also loved the tigers.  They are so beautiful.

Look how close we got.  There was a glass wall between us, don't worry.

And the newborn tigers.  Oh my.

Once again, Christopher couldn't care less.  I hope he is this nonchalant about Stella, our dog.  Both Nicholas and Ellie did not like Stella at first.  Nicholas has graduated to "merely tolerant" of dogs, and Ellie LOVES dogs now.  So, we'll see.

Here is Richard, our guide.

 Christopher has started to become a little more demanding, as he realizes that his needs will be met.  It is so sad, but kids who are in orphan care, with many more kids than caregivers, learn to not even cry for help or comfort because it is so often ignored.  There is even a really good memoir by a volunteer at a Chinese orphanage called Silent Tears, referring to the way many orphans cry -- without sound. 

Well, Christopher has learned to be vocal.  And to complain.  I am trying to remember that this is a good thing!  He is beginning to trust me and I am able to strengthen that trust every single time I respond to him.  But, when he cried for an hour today as I tried to get him to take a nap -- and I tried rocking him, lying next to him, putting him in his crib alone, feeding him, changing his diaper, everything! -- I started to worry a little about how this "easy baby" is going to become more demanding.  And, with 4 others at home, this might get tricky.  

By the way, Christopher just wanted to play.  This kid loves to play!  Right now he is crawling around and pushing an empty cylindrical Gerber Puffs container.

Tomorrow, I should (cross fingers) get Christopher's visa and we will leave the mainland for Hong Kong.  This trip has gone so quickly!  But, I am also missing my other kids a lot and am starting to get antsy to get home.

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