Friday we packed our bags and headed for the airport to transfer to Guangzhou for the next leg of our journey. I snapped these photos of Jason and Sammy while we were waiting to board our flight. Friday was a pretty big turning point for our little dude. It is not uncommon for a child in Sammy’s situation to attach first to one parent and push the other away for a time. For the first 24 hours we had Sammy, he was okay with going to either of us and letting us both care for him. That changed Tuesday morning and he narrowed in on me. He was only comfortable with me holding him, feeding him, changing his diaper, even looking at him. If I stepped out of sight, he panicked. Jason was such a trooper, consistently reaching out to him, playing with toys from whatever distance he needed to maintain and taking advantage of the moments he was comfortable enough to let him farther in. Friday while we were at the airport, Jason walked away from our gate for a few minutes to look for something. When he started to walk back toward us, Sammy grinned as he saw him and ran to meet him. The two of them even left me for about 10 minutes after that to go for a little walk together. A huge milestone!
Sammy did AWESOME on the flight! The flight attendant gave me one of those tether straps to hook to my seatbelt so he sat on my lap facing me and I slipped it around him and buckled it and he sat right there the whole 2.5 hours, stacking his cups and sliming me with suckers. The only time he got upset was about 20 minutes before he landed when he finally realized he was wearing a seatbelt! I prepared for panic and screaming but like most things this week, he took it in stride.
We had such a funny moment when we landed in Guangzhou. There was a man walking in front of us to baggage claim and he heard Sammy behind him and turned to look at him and then at us. A minute later he turned back around and said, “Is that your kid?” We said yes and smiled and he looked again at Sammy and us and said kind of surprised, “He looks Chinese!” We all three had a good laugh when I assured him he IS Chinese 🙂
We got to our hotel just in time for bed Friday. I noticed when we walked into the lobby that no one even looked at us and Saturday I figured out why. When we got to the hotel restaurant Saturday morning it was full of other adoptive families! Every family who adopts from China has to pass through Guangzhou for a medical examination and a meeting at the U.S. Consulate so there are lots of us here. It has been fun to meet the other families and their kiddos…and to blend in a bit! Guangzhou is beautiful. It’s quite warm and humid here and there are plants and trees everywhere! Jason said if Shanghai is like the New York of China, maybe Guangzhou is the Miami.
Saturday morning was our appointment at the medial clinic. Sammy carried a steamed bun in each hand as we headed out of breakfast and for probably the next hour!
Thankfully our guide, Becky, knows what is going on. She got us up and out the door early Saturday morning and we were some of the first families at the clinic. By the time we got checked in, the waiting room was full of probably 30 other families! As strange as it sounds to say of a doctor’s office, the joy in that place was palpable. We saw the other two families who received their children with us in Shanghai and met many others. It was just a sweet, sweet thing to see rooms full of little ones and their new families doting all over them.
I was unsure how Samuel would do when we walked in and saw all the white coats. The little guy has seen more than his share of those in his first two years. It makes my heart hurt to think of him facing check ups and shots and surgeries without anyone to cuddle him through it but we are making up for lost time! He had to leave us for a bit to get a blood draw and we were at the ready the instant the nurse opened the door with hugs and marshmallows. He recovered pretty quickly 🙂
Saturday afternoon, we went with the two other families that are here from our agency to Chen Academy.
Becky was very knowledgeable about the many carvings of stone, wood, bone and ivory in the academy.
Mom and Sammy listened very attentively. For a moment. Then Sammy and Dad spent the next hour and a half walking up and down stairs and ramps.
The tall American attracted a crowd.
After the Academy, we made a stop by the grocery store for supplies. Sammy snagged these two things out of our cart to carry. Coffee and chocolate. That’s my boy!
After a quick dinner at McDonalds, we met some dear friends who traveled from their city to spend a couple of days with us! It was SO great! More about our visit in the next post. Erica and Michelle, thanks for coming to see us!