Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pool Time and Orphanage Visit

It is very common that the children coming from institutions are unaccustomed to taking baths. I had tried to get Daniel in the tub the first night we had him and he made it very clear that he wanted nothing to do with that tub. He has no problem taking a shower though so he isn't afraid of water. China in the summer is always blazing hot so we decided we should try the pool. So yesterday we took him down to the pool and to our surprise he loved it! Down at the kiddie pool several other American adoptive families were splashing and playing in the water with their children. Daniel had a beach ball but noticed several of the children had swim goggles. He kept asking us for a pair so we told him we would buy them the next day. He and another seven year old boy had a very animated conversation that I wish we understood. Instead I was left to fill in an imaginary conversation that probably went something like, " Hey, I think I got defective parents. They don't understand a word I say." The other boy would respond, " yeah, join the club, mine are broken too. I've been trying to teach them Chinese all day, but they are clueless." Hopefully they don't truly think we are awful, but I know there have been several occasions that Daniel has been frustrated with us not understanding him.

Today was another long and emotional day. We drove down to Maoming where his orphanage is located. I was worried he would be confused about the visit so I asked our guide to reassure him we were only going to visit and say goodbye to his friends and teachers. He nodded that he understood but I could see his body language was screaming I am nervous and anxious. Once we arrived, he proudly ran around showing us where to go next. We met several of the orphanage workers, saw children receiving physical therapy, and saw the baby room. He then took us to his classroom. It was bright and cheery with artwork and pictures of the children. We were disappointed to hear that his foster mother would not be there. I had hoped to meet and thank the woman that had poured her love on our boy for the last six years. After visiting with the other children and workers, his foster mother and one of his foster sisters came in! We embraced and I thanked her for loving and caring for Daniel all these years and she thanked us for adopting him and giving him a family. It was a teary moment for sure. I am so grateful we were able to meet her.

After we left the orphanage, Daniel was very quiet and expressionless. I wish I knew what was going on in his head. In the van, he curled up next to me, laying his head on my lap and fell asleep. Once he woke, he was back to his enthusiastic and animated self. He asked to go swimming when we got back to the hotel; he ate all the yummy snacks in our back pack; and started playing cute teasing games with both Lou and I. He is going to be okay.

We were no sooner in the hotel room when he asked to go swim. We ate a quick dinner of noodles and headed to the pool. He is a smart cookie and asked of course where his swim goggles were. He was relentless, chanting goggles in Chinese over and over. We would try to change the subject but no matter what we said, he continued to chant goggles. Our day started at 5:30 this morning and it was now 7:30 pm. We had no time today to pick up goggles but he did not care. We had said yesterday that we would get the goggles and he wanted to know where they are. Ugh! Sorry kid. Yep, we're defective and you're stuck with us. Hopefully we won't let you down too often.

Swimming with Mama

Maoming Social Welfare Institute
Foster mother and sister
With some of the orphanage workers
Some of his classmates

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