Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 2: It's Official!

Our first afternoon and evening went very smooth with Jack.  He played with toys in the room, we ordered room service for dinner, which proved be a bit tricky, because only a few staff members at the hotel speak English - I've learned now that we should say "English?" before rattling off our order. Then we usually wait several minutes for them to find someone who can help us.  The hotel staff has been extremely helpful and kind, even if they don't understand us.  We have many curious glances but no one has been hostile.  I imagine they just wish they could ask us what our story is.  And I wish I could tell them, "Hi!  Yep.  He's pretty awesome.  I know he's the cutest boy you've ever seen.  Uh huh - he's ours and God has been directing this story from day one."  But for now, we just smile and nod and say "Ni Hao" like 50 thousand times a day and "Shei Shei" another hundred thousand.
We had ordered a rollaway crib for Jack for bedtime.  He had not taken baths before so I knew we may have a sponge bath ahead but I thought I'd give a regular bath a shot first.  He watched me fill the tub with a curious look on his face.  I took off his clothes and slowly lowered him into the bath.  For the first few minutes he just stared at the water, holding his arms out so they wouldn't touch the surface.  But as I poured warm water down his back, he relaxed and began to enjoy it.  I brought a few bath toys with me and those are a big hit.  We were told that he bathes twice a day and I thought that was a little excessive.... until we spent our first full day out around town on Monday.
Hotter than Hades! is how Dustin put it.  Not only is it about 100 degrees out by noon, but the humidity is in the 90 percent and above range - I have never felt anything like it.  Ten minutes outside and your back becomes drenched with sweat.  I am sooo glad I cut my hair this spring because our heads drip after 30 minutes.
Monday morning we were picked up by our guide and driver to run to several appointments around the capital.  We stopped first at our interview at the civil affairs office, which is where our adoption of Jack would be finalized.  Our guide, Ring, has been super efficient and very kind.  Driving around the city is similar to our experience in Ethiopia - cars, mopeds, people everywhere - but the driving is more agressive here.  Good thing we had a driver who doesn't take no for an answer!  He ruled the road and we got through all of our appointments in 2 hours (record tiime, Ring said!)  Can I just say that our little man is the most amazing traveler EVER!  He sat in my lap in the van (no car seats here) and munched on his cheerios or looked out the window, so content and happy.  Ring said that when we pulled in to the civil affairs parking lot he said, "We're here!".  He is such a smart boy.  I wish we knew everything he is saying.  I think he is talking a lot we just have no clue what he is trying to communicate.  I'm amazed at how patient he is with us.  He hasn't grown frustrated with the communication barrier at all, so far.
Once our appointments were over, Ring drove us to a restaurant nearby our hotel so that we could eat lunch.  Outside of the hotel there are very few people who speak English.  This restaurant was no exception.  Ring could not stay with us to eat so she came in and ordered for us and then left - she has been very helpful.  She also drew us a map of how to get to the big supermarket and a few other restaurants close by, incase we want to venture out over the next few days on foot.  By the time we got back to our hotel roo after lunch, we were a sweaty mess and all needed a shower and a change of clothes.  We were still feeling the jet lag so after freshening up, we all laid down for a nap.  We woke up 3 1/2 hours later!  I can't believe Jack slept that long but I think his body, mind, and heart all are dealig with so much change that it is a coping mechanism - a way to process all that is shifting.  We went to the hotel's western restaurant for dinner.  It has a massive buffet and we opted for that.  I don't think we will do the dinner buffet here again... there just weren't enough things that we understood how to eat them to make the cost worth it.  The buffet was gorgeous though.  It seems to be the restaurant that people of affluence in this part of town come to eat at.  I just wish I could go up to someone and ask what we were looking at.  Half of the buffet items were just gorgeous to look at but I had no clue how to eat them.  We spent the evening playing back at the hotel room until bed time.  Our hotel room is much like any western hotel room with a bed, chair, desk, side table, nightstands and TV.  There is plenty of room in the center of the room for Jack to play on the floor.
Bedtime has been our most challenging part of the day so far  - it is just so different from what he has ever known.  When it is time to go to bed, we take off his shoes (he looooves to wear shoes) and that just doesn't go over very well.  Both nights Dustin has turned off the lights and sat with Jack on the floor at the bottom of the bed until Jack feels comfortable without shoes on.  Then eventually Dustin coaxes him onto his lap and scratches his back for a few minutes.  Once Jack is relaxed I can scoop i up and put him in bed between us.  This seems to be working so far-  we just have to take things slow and allow him to feel control over his situation.  The things we take for granted are brand new to him - things that seem routine to us are new experiences for him and he is handling it all like such a champ!  I think we are finally feeling adjusted to the time change so hoping for a full nights rest tonight.  Tomorrow is a "free day" with nothing on the schedule so we hope to get a little shopping done.

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