The Touring Day and Medical Exam

Have to get caught up here, or you all will never know what’s going on! Today was our big GZ tour; the same tour we did last year. Somehow, this year, it did not seem nearly so long or arduous as last year, even though we had to ride herd on a rampaging 3-year old boy! Speaking of which, Joe and Will got along much better today. Joe is easing up on him a bit, and Will is responding well. He’s still thinking Ayi Nicki is the best thing he’s got going, but he tolerated mama and baba better today. Almost no crying jags. He’s really done well in that regard. A few very small episodes of crying, but nothing we couldn’t stop easily. In fact, he and baba were bonding in the bathroom tonight, singing loudly, “We are men of Coleman-esque stature,” referring to some Syracuse basketball player from about 298 years ago when Joe was in grad school in Rochester, NY. Baba even consented to clean out Will’s ears, although it was “not a very manly thing to do.” I’m not sure whether it was the cleaning itself, or the being cleaned that was not manly.

Soooo, back to the tour…

We went with a bus load of CCAI families, many of them with very young NSN babies. (That’s non-special needs, for those of you not in the acronym game.) We began with the Temple of the 6 Banyan Trees, a very old Buddhist temple built about 1500 years ago (yeah, I’m just making that up – there was something today about 1500 years, but I’m not sure what! Please do not take my words as any sort of accurate representation of Chinese history. Just in case you hadn’t already figured that out.)

11-5-07-1.jpg 11-5-07-2.jpg 11-5-07-3.jpg This was some kind of outdoor brazier with octagonal holes on each side.  You are supposed to throw a coin through the correct hole, and then you will have good fortune.  It took me several tries, but I finally got it, and then I did the required dance about the big urn touching all the dragons’ heads.  Perhaps it was longevity, not good fortune.  I suppose it doesn’t work if you don’t actually know what you’re trying to achieve, huh?

11-5-07-4.jpg Some of the children from our group getting blesssed by a monk.

11-5-07-5.jpg One of the monks stopped to chat for a moment to thank us for taking care of the Chinese orphans.

11-5-07-6.jpg Anna and Jason.  Can 2 year olds have crushes?  She’s so silly.  She talks and talks about Jason, wondering where he is, but when he shows up, she won’t talk to him at all.  It was hard to get her to pose for this picture, but she did it.  Sure enough, as soon as he walked away, it was “where’s Jason?!”

Then we moved on to the Chen Family Museum.  We got off the bus in a little different place this year, and walked past a beautiful floral dragon sculpture.

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This museum is where we took the famous “tree” picture of Anna, which some of you may remember.   I love this picture, and I use it as a family photo all the time.  anna-10.JPG We thought it would be really fun to recreate that photo a year later.  Here’s how the attempts went:

11-5-07-8.jpg 11-5-07-9.jpg 11-5-07-10.jpg 11-5-07-11.jpg

I never even made it into the pictures, Anna was so distraught at the idea of sitting in that tree.  Oh, the horror.

11-5-07-12.jpg 11-5-07-13.jpg You all may remember the beautiful embroidery at the Chen museum.  The displays this year were a little different, but still very impressive.

11-5-07-14.jpg I still do not quite comprehend how the Chinese government could have see our photos, allowed us to be matched with this little beauty, and then let us leave the country with her.  What were they thinking!

11-5-07-15.jpg My two brilliant children trying to make the stone lion eat their flyers.  Yeah, they’re pretty, but…

11-5-07-16.jpg I spoke too soon.  They aren’t pretty all the time.

Next, it was on to the provincial, government-sponsored local arts and crafts store.  I picked up a few knick knacks this year, but restrained myself a bit better than last year.  We got back to the hotel, and had just enough time to run over to the Deli for a bit of lunch before Will’s medical exam for his visa.  Right before we left, Jason told us that there was a problem with both Will’s and Isabella’s paperwork that was done in province.  Something about the names being listed in the wrong order on the adoption decree.  We had gone round and round about this in Ningxia, and they insisted they had done it correctly.  Well, USCIS has different ideas about correct, I guess.  Turns out the woman in charge of the adoption unit at the consulate ultimately said it was OK, but not without implying she was really letting something slide, this time.  We’d better get it right next time!  Whooo, I’m scared…

On to Will’s medical exam 11-5-07-18.jpg

11-5-07-17.jpg Waiting with our group.  Will was very well-behaved over all.  We managed to sneak out while Anna was watching the Backyardigans with Auntie Nicki, so she didn’t have to come to this. 

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Neither Will nor Joe cried much during the exam, although Will did take some offense to the procedure to determine that he was not cryptorchid.  Joe thought that was understandable.  I thought that “men of Coleman-esque stature” ought to be able to handle that without crying.   I can’t imagine what would happen if a speculum appeared. 

After we got back from the exam, Joe was feigning a headache, so we tried to get everyone to take a nap, but Anna had fallen asleep during the tour and napped for about an hour, so she was having none of that.  Will only naps when all other stimulation has ceased for at least an hour, and since Anna was still bouncing around, there was no napping for anyone.  So, Auntie Nicki and I decided to take the kids out for a run around the little riverside park by Lucy’s.

11-5-07-22.jpg Nicki demonstrating hopscotch faster than the speed of light!

11-5-07-23.jpg 11-5-07-24.jpg The two biggest imps in China!

After all of this, we went over with a large group of CCAI families for a dinner at the Cow and Bridge Thai restaurant.  I was tired of taking pictures at this point, so I don’t have any to share.  The kids were tired and didn’t eat well, and Anna melted down a time or two.  We got them back to the room and bathed and they were both asleep within a few minutes, giving me all this time to blog before I drop dead for the night.  I think that already happened but my fingers just don’t know it yet!

Tomorrow morning is our consulate appointment, which we do not actually go to.  Jason will go and just call us if there’s a problem.  In the afternoon, we have our trip to the pearl market.  I don’t REALLY need any more pearls…..

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