After the hectic pace we've been on since first arriving in China, it was so good to finally have a free day to relax and explore on our own time. Matt woke up around 5:30 needing a diaper change, and he was WIDE awake afterwards. So finally around 7 he and I went down to breakfast while the others slept. After breakfast we headed back to the room to find the boys all awake. Matt began imitating them and soon the game was on to see what all they could get him to do. Watching them all play together was so heart warming! He really blossomed, and began to chatter away, crawl around, and even stood and tottered around. He is incredibly curious, and Oh. my. Goodness. Did he start getting into things! We are really going to have our hands full trying to keep him out of things!
We met up at 11 with Rachael and Adam, the sister and son of one of the other adoptive families. We walked down the block to the park, and spent the next several hours playing, walking, climbing, riding rides, and chasing pigeons. On the other side of the park was a mcdonalds, so we had lunch there, before heading back through the park for more fun.
The kids got mobbed to take pictures after we entered the park! Andy was too shy, but the other boys all wee really good sports about it!
When we got back to the hotel, we took the opportunity to try to get some school work dome with the kids. It's really the first opportunity we've had to do any, so we spent about an hour on it before heading out to meet Kim and Mike at the swimming pool. They had the kids pool closed, but the boys enjoyed swimming in the big pool, and matte njoyed running back and forth on the spongy walkway around the pool. After Kim and Mike came down, he had the brilliant idea to go put the little kids in the empty kids pool with some stray ping pong balls (there are ping pong tables on one side of the pool, and always ping pong balls in the pool, and the floor surrounding it.) they had so much fun running around in it, chasing the balls we would bounce for them!
Finally, we were all getting tired and hungry, so we ran upstairs to change and then headed next door to the noodle place. We got some corn and pumpkin soup for Matt, Nathan ordered dumplings, Greg got chicken satay, I had tomato and egg soup, and Alex ordered a dish that had fried rice with a fried egg on top. Andy refused all food, so the rest of us enjoyed our dinner before heading back to the hotel for bed. Matt had been trying to nod off during dinner, and in the short time it took to walk from the holiday inn express to the crowne plaza, he fell into a deep, deep sleep. We got him changed and put in bed, and he never even cracked an eye open!
Around 1:30 we met the "mad" Matt that the orphanage had described. He woke up with a fury, and we could not feed or change him fast enough! We listened to him scream and cry for the next hour, as nothing we did could soothe him. Finally he gave it up, and went back to sleep, and we fell back into bed exhausted both physically and mentally. It's good for him to get that out, even if it's hard for us to manage, because he will see that no matter what he does, we will still be her, still love him, and still care for him, so we are building the trust with him, that we need.
Knowing that doesn't make it any easier though. Hearing him scream and cry, and throw his bottle, and kick his feet, and try to bang his head is just heartbreaking. Knowing that he is grieving and that there is nothing I can do for him, is so incredibly hard. I just long for him to see how much love we have for him, and I know that he is beginning to, but we are still so new to him, and he still has a long way to go before he can truly understand and accept us.
Today we were able to go to LuoHe, linyang county, to see Annabella's finding place. Not being able to go last year, has weighed heavily on me, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to go there this time. I think it's important to share with Matt and Annabella everything we can about their past. They will never know if they have biological brothers or sisters, or what their parents looked like, what their name was at birth, or why they we given up. Even their birthdates are just estimates. So what I can do for them, is to gather every shred of what we can about their early childhood, so that one day, we can say with confidence that we did everything we could to give them as much history as we could.
Annabella was found at the gates of the women's and children's hospital. Here are the pictures of where our baby girl was left.
Tomorrow we leave ZhengZhou behind, and head to GuangZhou. Our time here this year has actually been pretty enjoyable. Being able to get out and see and do more, has made this time easier, but I'm still looking forward to moving on. Please pray for us to have a safe flight, and that we will all receive our passports for our children. Without them, we will be unable to make our consulate appointments on Monday, and have been told that our next opportunity will be December 4 to visit the consulate to get Matt's visa, which means we will be delayed an entire week. We are confidant that won't happen, but as we learned last time, you just never know for sure! Well, I'll wrap it up for now. Our next post should be from GuangZhou!