Friday, December 19, 2008

AAHHH ... the White Swan

We are here! We got into our room about 11:30 last night and crashed. Yesterday, Steed took us to a Lanzhou pizza place for lunch and then we went to a park so the boys could run off some energy. Our flight was to leave at 7:45, so by the time we were approaching the airport we had worked up an appetite and were tired. We got stuck in a little traffic on the way there and had the opportunity to witness local Muslims getting out of their cars with their mats so that they could pray. By the time we arrived at the airport, we were running just a little bit late, so Steed dropped us off and left to park the car. As we made our way into the surprisingly crowded airport, we noticed that the majority of people were Muslims, evident to us by the white caps that they wear. As we waited for Steed, the crowd began to grow to about 50 people. Being an American surrounded by so many Muslims in a foreign country in a post 9/11 world was, I'll honestly admit, a little disconcerting. Sam was somewhat overwhelmed for a bit, but took it in stride and waved and greeted some of the children who peered around their mothers. Boy, we were glad to see Steed come through the doors. Without us saying anything, he assured us that they were just curious about us and understood that there was a difference in their dislike for our president and their feelings about us. We decided NOT to announce that we had voted for Bush. ;0)

We were unsure how Jack would react to the plane ride. He had become attached to Steed and was sad to leave him. Jack had also shown us that he has, let's just call it, a mischievous side. We had no idea what to expect. Jack, apparently, LOVES airplanes. He was excited beyond words. He kept doing the Home Alone face and saying the Chinese word for airplane (sounds like fee-jee) and doing the sign for it. Of course, we got food, too, which made the trip totally awesome for Jack. He even gave me a thumbs up. I, however, picked the wrong meal. It was sushi, some green gelatinous square, and for a snack - preserved olives. For those of you who know me, I'm not an adventurous eater (primarily due to getting sick last time I was in China) and have to be careful because of my wheat allergy. Danny picked the same meal. Thank goodness for protein bars!!!

Needless to say, we were happy to see the breakfast buffet at the White Swan this a.m.! We met with our guide to go for Jack's medical exam. The facility hadn't changed much - sterile, with a few toys; crowded with adoptive families and their children. Jack was petrified. After the more personal exam, they decided that because he is 5, he needed a vision exam. The two ladies in charge of this procedure, clearly tried to comfort Jack, but he was still upset from what he had just been through. Plus, the exam was to be given in the waiting area. So, it was very chaotic. I assured our guide that our family has an eye doctor that we use that we would take him to. I was told that it was O.K. and that it would just be reported that Jack was uncooperative. A positive note - Jack kept crying for me and had a death grip around my neck afterwards. We are trying to encourage some bonding with Dan, so Baba carried him out of the building. Thank goodness Jack is affectionate and likes to cuddle! Bonding with Dan has been a little slow, primarily, I think, because we have had male guides who are Chinese. How can you compete with that? Having been through this before we know -it will come.

Jack, it appears, has an Italian accent! Eat is "Eatsa." Thank you is "Sanka you." Don't touch (believe me - we need this one!) is "No toucha." Cute.

Well, we're off for a day of shopping! We miss you, girls!

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