Saturday, December 17, 2011

Guangzhou- First plane ride & first melt down

We finally left Wuhan for the bustling city of Guangzhou. For those new to the adoption scene, this is the only place in China where the US Consulate will process a Visa for the adopted child. (Not that there aren't other US Consulates throughout the country). 

So, after stopping by the Civil Affairs office in Wuhan to get Cameron's passport, we were off to the airport for his first plane ride.
Cameron watching out the window waiting for our plane to arrive.

Brothers hanging out in the airport

No window seat, but he still had a pretty good view.

On the shuttle bus that took us to baggage claim

From the airport we went straight to our hotel:
The Holiday Inn, Shifu

It was beautifully decorated for Christmas
(I will take some photos of the restaurant tomorrow morning if I remember my camera.)

Of course, this computer junkie has to get the laptop setup before almost everything else. Also, it was getting late and I knew that Tom would expect me to check in soon and I didn't want him to worry.  As I was working on that task, the boys were playing and running around the room behind me laughing--- until. they. weren't.

Quite unexpectedly, Cameron got angry and pushed his brother away.  When I turned around to see what was going on, I noticed Cameron sitting on the floor, crying and looking very angry.

I tried to ask him what was wrong, as did Colin, but he would not budge. He dug in and refused to look at either of us.  The grieving had begun...

Fortunately, our required adoption education and many (BTDT) adoptive parents had prepared us for something like this to occur. It is , in fact, very normal and honestly, a little healthy for him to acknowledge a serious loss.  Unlike his older brother Colin, Cameron has not had the luxury of a foster family. For the last almost 6 years, this young boy has lived in a dorm room setting with 8 other boys in an orphanage.  Those little things that we take for granted about how a family relates to one another and who does what for whom is completely alien to him.

I am quite sure that the reality of unpacking in a strange city was the catalyst for this melt down.

While my head was completely cool and understood exactly what he was going through, my heart was quite another matter. This beautiful, seemingly happy little boy was so filled with fear that it broke my heart.  And Colin was sad and clearly wondered how he had upset him so.  He didn't understand why his de-de (little brother) no longer wanted to be around him.  Thankfully, he was easier to console and he understands my body language now so he understood that it wasn't him that was at fault.

Each child is a unique creation of God and there will likely be many differences between my two adopted sons throughout the years, but it is because Colin's adoption was so textbook perfect that I felt the need to share all of our experience.

I know that many potential parents read this blog and I always want to reflect an honest picture of this process while being an encouragement and advocate for those children who so desperately need homes.

Secondly, I he needs your prayers right now.  He is old enough to know exactly what he wants to say and yet he can't communicate with me yet.  That compounds his stress and fear.  Of course, Colin has been a tremendous help to me and to Cameron (even if he doesn't realize it yet), but ultimately, he needs to embrace the learning curve and it is going to be a tough road.

I am grateful for the many men & women who lifted prayers on our behalf last night after my "help me" facebook post!  We finally got him settled into bed and he slept well through the night.

Today was a pretty good day so far. We had the required medical exam on Shamian Island. Some of you will recognize some of these pictures from when Colin was here in August.  
Brothers in front of the Exam Room Wing

First stop? ENT

Next comes the eye exam
Body temp was taken under the arm- my ticklish one giggled the whole time.

Blood Pressure

Last was immunizations- poor boy had to get 5 shots today!
Cameron had to get 5 shots today and he was a real trooper so we are resting in the room this afternoon.  He is currently cuddled up under the covers watching TV with his brother.

After we left the medical center, we roamed around the island and enjoyed the Spring-like weather of Guangzhou.

First stop?  Where else?  The White Swan for a famous Red Couch photo:

After that, Jordans, of course.  For those who have not been yet, Jordan's has all sorts of wonderful treasures (and some junk too!) but no high pressure sales tactics. He is a very nice Christian man and a pleasure to visit with. He will even paint your child's new name in Chinese character for you for free.  It is a nice keepsake.  His prices are very reasonable so I don't even feel the need to haggle there. (I know, hard to believe, but true!)
The boys enjoyed looking around his shop and helping me choose a few last minute Christmas gifts.
Colin browsing the merchandise

Cameron checking out the toys

Colin and his scary traditional Chinese mask

Monkey see? Monkey do! (Cameron)

Silliness abounds...

After a successful time at Jordan's, it was off to Lucy's for lunch. 
Also decorated for Christmas

For those who haven't traveled yet, this is a nice simple establishment that serves western food and speak English!  There is indoor and outdoor dining and it is a landmark of the adoption community.  Cameron (the artist in the family) enjoyed his burger...

So, all this transpired in about 4 hours today and we are now comfortably settled into the room.  We thank you for your continued prayers as each day brings with it more change for our boys.
God Bless. Angie


Vicky said...

Angie, how I have loved following along! What a blessing your blog is to me! I pray that Cameron will continue to sense your love! It must be comforting to Cameron to have Colin there!

kimjax said...

Love looking at the pics of all the familiar places - you look so much more relaxed! Have a great day tomorrow, and enjoy the warm weather! Love ya!

Brooke said...

Loving the pictures, Angie! Glad you made it to Guangzhou safely! The melt-down was probably hard to see, but definitely a good thing in the end! BTDT! The boys are so handsome and happy...LOVE it!

Kelly said...

Praying for Cameron. I'm glad he has Colin there to help through the transition.


Carmi said...

Praying for Cameron. I can not imagine the courage it takes for the older kids to take the leap of faith to go to a new family. I always tell people Zane is the bravest person I know.