We have been in China for 8 days already, and this is the first time I've made it to the blog page. In fact, I haven't been on here since June. This week I've been too busy, or exhausted, or overwhelmed to have anything left write. Many times during the last six months, that has been the case as well. Other times I just wasn't sure what to say. It is difficult to know how much to share and how to be true and honest while protecting privacy. I'm still sorting through all of that, but right now, I'm afraid that the precious moments of this crazy time in China will be lost if I don't make some effort to record the days. So the next few blogs will read rather like a journal of things I hope to remember for myself and to share with my children someday. Pictures will be added IF I can figure out how to do that. Visitors are welcome to take a peek at what I record, but please keep in mind that this record is for us and not an attempt to impart anything to you with carefully edited words.
I guess I'll start with today--Day 8-- and go as far as I can before these two little ones wake from their nap. Once they are up it feels like 10 children in here, not two. They want my attention continuously--and compete for it with energy I don't even know how to describe. Their moods swing from giddy laughing to desperate weeping and that back again faster than I can process. Most days, if they have napped, I've collapsed on the bed next to them and slept until they wake.
Today Claire didn't wake us up until 5:30. Somehow waking up 2 1/2 hours later than usual felt like we had really slept in! We did get to bed later than usual last night after spending a delightful time at the Samuel's home. It was so encouraging to talk with all the guests and watch Colton and Claire play with Lilly, Isaac, and Roy. I think the highlight for Kelly was playing drums with Ben.
At 9:30 we were to go to the police station to get a passport picture. We were supposed to do that yesterday but there was some problem with the orphanage director so it was cancelled. Today it got rather tense. We were there for over 2 hours. Our guide and 6 officials were arguing. Then our driver left to supposedly go pick up some paperwork from the orphanage director. I'm not really sure what is going on. The adoption was finalized on Tuesday. We have the paper that says we are Colton's parents, but somehow this director still has a say in getting the passport. After the driver returned with a packet of papers, more arguing ensued. Colton can understand what they are saying, and he was getting quite upset. I was just getting exhausted from holding him, rocking him, and trying to calm him. Finally we were allowed to leave. Our guide says the female officials are causing problems because she is beautiful and thin and often goes to dinner with the male officials so they are jealous of her. I'm not sure what to make of that. She says she must find more documents and get them notarized and return to the police station. In the meantime we are free. (So, I pray and try not to worry since we are supposed to fly out of here tomorrow to go to GZ to complete the immigration portion of this adoption.)
Back at the hotel, we took time to give the kids a snack. I hadn't taken anything for them because we were only supposed to be gone about an hour. After a snack, we bundled up and headed out into the frigid windy weather to find lunch. We found a noodle shop where we ordered two huge bowls of beef and noodles that were delicious. Colton can't hold chopsticks and couldn't use the spoon, so I fed him some, and he stuck his mouth in the bowl and slurped a little. It was messy but it was warm and filling.
Then we ventured into the "mall" -- and outdoor market. It was interesting but a little hard to navigate with a stroller and tired children. (Thanks to the Samuels for loaning us a stroller.--Colton gets tired really fast, and we have quite a long ways to walk to find a restaurant or shop.) After looking around awhile, we opted to go to the department store down the street. We tried on some new shoes for Colton because the velcro fasteners on his are broken--but he just said, "No, I don't like." So, he keeps his broken shoes. Maybe they are a sort of link to his past, and offer some security. Who knows. We then found a shop where we bought an extra suitcase. We got lots of Colton's papers and crafts from ND, as well as a traditional Mongolian outfit with a hat from the orphanage. We also managed to purchase some stuffed camels the other day, so we need a little extra luggage space.
All that adventure wore us out, so we came back for a nap. I'm listening to both kids gargly breathing. They are really stuffy and Kelly is quite sick with an awful cough. Being sick is going to make the rest of this journey difficult. I keep wishing I knew where to get Chinese take-out so we didn't have to go out in the cold in search of dinner. :-)