Sunday, October 26, 2014

Schedule? What Schedule? [Adoption Series Pt 2]

There were some parts about our adoption process that made my heart race and tears well up in my eyes. There were other parts that lacked the luster I expected them to have. When we met our son it was fairly unceremonious. The room was an office with a desk on one side and a conference table on the other. It was poorly lit with whitish tile. I was nervous. Our guides told us to come up with questions for our child's nannies who would be dropping off our son. The orphanage was a two hour drive from the office. I am sure it was the second car trip my son had taken. The first was to the orphanage from the place he was left, and the second was to this office. There were six families meeting children in this office, from more than one orphanage, at the same time.

I made my list of questions. What does he like to do? To eat? What time does he get up? Go to bed? Please, tell me all about him. I'll be honest. Asking through the translator was difficult. Lots of people were talking all at once in an enclosed space about the size of our family room. The nannies told us his schedule. Eventually, after all the questions, our translator wrote down the schedule for us, and then the nannies left. We were one of the last families to leave the room and go back to our hotel room just a few levels below.

My son didn't cry, but he was nervous. We were nervous too. He clung to an apple slice in his hand that had been slightly gnawed on. My husband removed it from his hand when he fell asleep for the night. My husband also went out to get baby food and apples for him. (Yesterday, was the first time I saw my son eat raw apple. We ended up giving the apples we bought to our guide.) We made it through the first night, but we felt over our heads.

It rained in Xi'an for almost the whole week. It felt like Seattle in the Fall. Xi'an happens to be the home of the Terracotta Warriors as well as having one of the oldest and most intact City Walls in the world. Both of them were fascinating. It was important to see the local sights and to be able to share them with our son. Due to the rain, we had our day of rest and then two days of sightseeing after a paperwork day rather than jumping right into sightseeing. That was good. Either way the days were packed.

Having the nannies write down our son's schedule was futile. He had lived a scheduled life in the orphanage, and we blew his schedule completely. We fed him different foods. Most of the children were food insecure. They ate almost everything and anything. Crinkled packaging elicited a response often desperate. Wake up times, napping, regular meals - gone. Travel in buses to new locations. We brought a stroller around the world only to find, our son didn't want to be put down. Poor kid.

Looking back, our son went from the orphanage to two different hotels before coming home and any hopes of reestablishing a schedule. We took him all over the countryside at a variety of times, we fed him a variety of foods, and we gave him naps whenever. We messed up the world he knew. We didn't even speak the same language. The only constant in the two weeks of travel until we got home was us. I am thankful he learned to trust us.So thankful. I can't even imagine how hard it was for him to go from the normal and routine of his first year and a half to what we introduced him to. We learned a lot about him and he of us, but it was hard.

Photo Drop...

The last full night in a crib until we came home.
The next night he woke up screaming and then he co-slept.
Carrying him up the Xi'an City Wall steps. Our arms hurt, often.
The City Wall was beautiful,
 and I wanted to go back to walk/run/ride the 8+ miles all the way around it.
Wild Goose Pagoda Fountain Park
At a Terracotta Warrior Replica Factory
The Terracotta Warriors Pit 1: Amazing. Wow.

No comments:

Post a Comment