Last night, my plan was to wait and write about days 4 and 5 together because I was just too tired to blog. But here I am at almost 2:00 am on day 5, wide awake. I’m listening to Kevin and Caleb breathe while I talk to Danielle down the hall via Facebook. Her Ben is up and in a playful mood.
On the morning of day four, most of us met downstairs for breakfast with Zhou. The breakfast buffets here are huge. I think there are foods representing the palates of several countries spread out among table after table. I’ve tried to embrace noodles and potstickers for breakfast, but I veer back to eggs, yogurt, and watermelon every day.
At the end of breakfast, Zhou laid out our schedule for the morning. We would sightsee and take a boat tour, and we would be back at 12:30 to meet the babies. Our question: When’s lunch? We have quickly learned that you eat a monster breakfast because you may not eat again until 1:00-2:00 pm. We knew that we would get the babies at 12:30 and we had to leave for the adoption center a couple of hours later. Zhou skirted the issue, and we all sort of giggled and said, “No, seriously, when’s lunch?” I think there were no actual plans for us to eat that early.
We toured the vegetable market which was very picturesque in a NatGeo kind of way. Table after table had fresh veggies, fish, and meats. It was crowded, and people were riding motorbikes through the aisles of the market.
Next we took a boat tour. It was roughly an hour long. Our group chatted and joked the whole time. Although we had known each other for less than 72 hours, it felt like we had known each other for years. We already knew each other’s personalities and had established inside jokes. We were all having a great time, but as our iPhone clocks crept closer to 12:30, we had a few somber moments, glancing at each other and acknowledging the nervous tension.
After that, Zhou took us to some shops near the hotel for a bit, and we headed back to grab lunch. The plan was pizza, but then Zhou got a text that the babies were off the train and en route to the hotel. They would arrive in roughly twenty minutes. The game plan changed, and somebody shouted “McDonald’s” so off we went. My mind was spinning, and I was biting the inside of my cheek to fight off tears. We grabbed our lunch and agreed to meet in the hall in three minutes to head to the lobby. I ate one chicken nugget and a few fries while I scrambled to find Caleb’s stuff to take downstairs. The moms had frenzied conversations on our way back earlier: “Should we take anything? Gerber puffs? A toy? If your baby is there first, I’ll take pics and then we’ll swap.”
We met Kelly and Pat in the hall and took the elevator with them. At one point, Kelly and I looked at each other’s reflections in the elevator door and burst out laughing. I’m sure the Chinese man on the elevator with us was utterly confused at our hysteria over nothing.
We met up with the other families in the lobby and one of them said that three babies were around the corner. One was big, around 2 years old. That had to be Danielle and Josh’s Benny. There were two other babies, possibly boys. If so, then those were Caleb and Cameron (Pat and Kelly’s baby). We waited anxiously for Zhou to arrive. I didn’t want to look but Josh and Kevin meandered over to check out the scene.
After what felt like a 10,000 year wait, Zhou arrived. Two other babies were en route and would be there any minute. He led us over to the corner and started calling out Chinese names. We each stepped forward to receive our little ones “Qin Hai Jun?” Zhou asked. I might have raised my hand or said , “Me.” I’m not sure. Everything was so surreal. I took Caleb, and he immediately started crying huge crocodile tears.
He settled down a little for Kevin a few minutes later.
We spent the next hour or so beginning to get to know our son.
He was in a bit of shock at first, and we were over stimulating him. He got a little fussy and cried, so we backed off and quietly bounced him and shushed him. He settled down again, and then it was time to go to the adoption center. He had a 20 minute nap, and he was good to go! We took a picture for their records and signed some paperwork, and then we headed back to the hotel.
We took a walk to Pizza Hut with Caleb, and everyone was curious about our little bundle. We ate in the hotel room. Caleb tried some soft pizza crust. He loved it! And he has totally figured out the baby snack trap. By early evening he was definitely warming up to us. (I won’t lie. It was probably the pizza bribe, but we’ll take it.) We have learned that he loves to make noise by banging toys together. He is very ticklish. He loves pulling my hair. He can crawl really well, and he is cruising. I think he’ll be walking in no time. He has six teeth, which he grinds when he is tired. He is slowly coming out of his shell and even laughs a little. When he’s ready to go to bed, he lies on his tummy and pops his thumb in his mouth. And there is no doubt in our minds that this baby was meant to be ours.
We were able to FaceTime with Meme, Papaw, Granny, Braden, and Annalise while he was still awake and it was early morning in the US. He will get to meet Waverly soon via FaceTime.
In a few hours, the sun will rise here and we will start our day five. We will go to the adoption center and officially complete our adoption.