Monday here, was Gotcha Day or Family Day as some like to call it.
We got up and had breakfast and then went to the bank to exchange our US currency for Chinese yuan. It was much less stressful than last time I did it…I think because I knew what to expect.
After that we came back to the room to put our money in the safe and we decided to take advantage of the last time we had without John Preston to stock up on some grocery items and snacks. I wasn’t sure how he would do in that big grocery store. I’m glad now that I did that! Ha! He is handful in public. We got Daddy’s favorite snack to take home to him and Roo some flavored Oreos. We stocked up on noodles in a cup to eat in the room if we need to.
We came back to the room and rested and I caught up on Facebook messages and posts. It was nice to just check out for a while! Thanks FB friends for being a nice distraction.
We met our guide in the lobby at 2pm and went with another Madison family…the Ford family…they adopted “Kira” on RR!!!!!! Oh how I love that girl!!!! So thankful she has a PRECIOUS family to love her now! It is nice to meet a family and feel like they instantly get you, you know? That happens with adoptive families and DS families. I love that. And I love this family. “Kira” is so loved!!!
We drove the few minutes to the civil affairs office and completed some paperwork. John Preston was already there in the kids’ playroom and we could see them peeking through the door. John Preston kept waving and being silly. He didn’t have any idea who we were but he was excited to see us.
He is a handful! Very spunky. Just like I remembered him from meeting him before. He definitely is enjoying pushing the boundaries and seeing how much he can get away with. Adoption is beautiful but it is also hard. The idea of adopting an eight year old definitely has unique challenges that did not apply with our adoption of MinLan. It is HUGELY different. With MinLan, I carried her in a sling the entire time in China and when she was overwhelmed and upset, she just shut down and slept. It made taking care of her surprisingly easy. John Preston can open the door and leave the room, he can push back when we want to hold his hand and take him somewhere, he can run away in public places. He is very much like a three year old in his response to being told “no”. If MinLan or Neely tells me no and pitches a fit, I can scoop them up and deal with the situation. I can leave if I need to, I can take them to a quiet place and talk to them about their behavior. With John Preston, we just have to survive. We have to get through all these appointments and get home. It is hard to try and be the super nice new mommy when you really want to crack down and start to get the behavior under control. That is not the place we can begin from. We have to build trust. Start to show him love and affection and build a relationship. All that needs to come first and for a seasoned momma it is hard. I mean HARD. I want to snap my fingers and expect everyone to fall in line. Pray for this momma to have patience and remember that all these things can be addressed later. For now the most important thing is to love him.
As soon as we got back to the hotel and he saw the bathtub he immediately wanted to jump in. We managed to put him off for a few hours but once he got in, it was a huge comedy of errors. So thankful that I survived that first bath. It was rough.
He was excited to get into his pajamas and we spent the night in, ordered room service and just tried to get to know him. He touched EVERYTHING in the room a thousand times I think…the lights…water faucets…toilet water…you name it. I can’t even begin to imagine how BIG this world is to him. He is not from a rural area but def not a big city either like Guangzhou.
He is not affectionate really. He has moments but definitely is not a big hugger or kisser. The times I have given him a hug, he doesn’t seem to know what to do back. He doesn’t act as though he doesn’t want the hug, just like he is unsure off how to respond.
He has picked up signing quickly and has even used many signs at the right time in the right context. Some time with our Signing Time videos and he will be off and running!
He lets you know when he has to go potty which was a huge concern for me. Toddler accidents are one thing but eight year old accidents out and about in a foreign country are another matter. He insists on washing his hands WELL after going potty but definitely has to work on his aim. I have not missed potty training little boys. 😉
We ordered room service in for dinner. I thought Ethan was going to lose his mind at John Preston’s style of eating but they will both adjust. John Preston ate well without overeating.
We all got in our pajamas and attempted to turn the lights off and settle in. John Preston kept turning on all the lights and had no intention of going to bed. Once we all got into bed, he took turns rotating between sleeping with all three of us and he finally fell asleep around eight or so. I could barely keep my eyes open. I am praying that tonight he is tired and falls asleep quickly. These days of appointments are not very active days so he has a lot of energy. On the days that we go to the zoo and other outings, that should help him tire more easily.
Here’s my Facebook update at bedtime:
Hey friends! It is 8:12pm here in Guangzhou. What a great day! Momma is exhausted but the best kind of exhausted. This is the latest I have kept my eyes open and it is under protest. Ha! I am def hitting a wall. We got back to our hotel and have just spent the rest of the day trying to get to know him. He is spunky! And def has his own little way of doing things and he wants you to do them that way too. I can see the orderly life on an institution instilled in him. He might be able to teach Ethan and Roo a few things about picking up their toys. He puts away everything just as it was after he is finished with it. He had a quick bath but no soap or shampoo. He was not interested. Hoping if he sees Ethan get one tomorrow, he might have more interest. We ordered noodles for room service to keep things calm tonight. He did great with his chopsticks and even got onto Ethan when he stopped eating before his plate was clean. After John Preston finished his plate he finished Ethan’s too. 😉
Pray for us now as we try to go to sleep. Ethan and I are each in separate beds and Ellie is on the couch. John Preston was roaming from bed to bed but now he has my iPad and has settled in next to Ellie. He is def wide awake. I seriously don’t think I can keep my eyes open five more minutes. He is playing on the iPad but showing no signs of going to sleep. We moved the chair in front of the door to help with his attempts to open the door. Def don’t want that in the middle of the night. Pray for us as we figure this out. Pray for some good sleep for us. We have to be up and at ’em bright and early tomorrow to go finalize his adoption. God is so good. Please keep praying!
Thanks so much for those of you following our journey and continuing to pray for us. We still need your prayers now more than ever. The work is just beginning.
Monday here, was Gotcha Day or Family Day as some like to call it.