Thursday a.m. started with Ethan waking at his prescribed time. 5:00. Blah. To his credit, he will lie in his crib and babble and "sing" contentedly for 1/2 hour or better. Aiden is starting to show signs of the stress of the trip, and we wanted him to get as much sleep as possible. So, we tried to keep Ethan quiet, got him dressed, and he and Daddy went for a walk and some play time down at the play area. Unfortunately, Aiden's extended sleep was not terribly extended. He woke up about 1/2 hour later and sat bolt upright, asking where Daddy was. I was mid-clothes washing (load #3 - fun) and had to abandon that to get marginally presentable so I could take Aiden down to play with the other two "boys." I dropped him off, came back to the room and resumed clothes washing and repacking. I also got time to update the blog while they were playing. I'm not sure who got the rougher end of the deal on that. Those boys are BUSY! They played for a couple of hours, and when they came back up it was snack and nap time for Ethan. It was iPod time for Aiden. Boy is he going to hate to return to reality where iPod time is far more limited!! Later in the day we went to the pool with our adoption buddies. It was pretty cold, though, so swimming time was short-lived. We came back and just hung out in the room. At 2:30, Jeremy and Emily (or Jemily as we've begun -- on accident -- to call them) agreed to watch Aiden while Troy, Ethan, and I went to Ethan's finding spot.
Troy felt it was a little anti-climatic. He said he didn't know what he was expecting, maybe to go into the hospital or something. Sadly, all the report states is that he was left by the front gate of the #1 Yiqi Hospital, so we took pictures of the facade of the building and the front door where he was likely abandoned. It is beyond sad. It is heartbreaking to picture a mother setting down her baby and having to walk away, for reasons we will likely never know, in the hopes that her baby would have a better life. He was about 10 days old. She left him where she knew he would be found and would be taken care of. She has no idea where he is and how he is faring. The thought that kept going through our minds was, "I wonder if his mom and dad are nearby. Is it possible that they are here?" We took our pictures and some video and returned to the hotel. We collected Aiden, visited with Jemily for a while, and decided we had better get the boys down for naps as both were starting to behave, well, less than civilly.
Aiden wasn't taken with the idea of sleeping while Ethan was his predictable self. Put him in his crib and he will, after some cooing and babbling, fall asleep. Around 5:00 (I know, great parenting. Again.) Aiden finally gave up the ghost and took a nap. We woke both the boys at 6:00 to go get some local cuisine. We went to our first restaurant where our server from the other night recognized us and went out of her way to accommodate us. She ushered us outside onto what can loosely be termed the terrace and brought out a make-shift table. She was beyond sweet. It was beautiful outside, and our little al fresco dining experience will probably be the most memorable from the trip. We got our usual four beers and then pointed to what looked good on the menu. We got a couple large, delicious dishes to share with Jemily and some rice for the boys. Troy and I decided we'd better buy to pay for babysitting expenses from earlier in the day. Jeremy and Emily MAY have gotten short-changed on the deal. In total, the bill was 110RMB. Yeah, that's less than $15!! And again, there was food left over!
Here's the interesting twist part. As we were leaving the restaurant, we crossed the street, and a cute young lady stopped us and asked us if these were our children. Keep in mind, as I've said before, we've been started at, pointed at, whispered about, and even glared at. I responded, "Yes. We adopted them on Monday." She immediately began to cry and, in so many words, thanked us for our generous hearts and for loving their children. She continued on to say we were wonderful, that she loved America, believed relations between our people were better than what news portrays, and that she loves speaking English and feels good when she does. She went so far as to invite us out for a meal but said she understood when told her we were leaving for Guangzhou the next day. She could not express to us enough how grateful she was for us. She almost brought me to tears. So, I decided to try something. As people stared at me, instead of ignoring them or glaring back at them, I smiled. Guess what. More often than not on that trip back to our hotel through Jianen Alley, people smiled back at me. Lesson learned. Don't make rash assumptions. Look for the good in people instead of the negative! I guess I needed to be reminded. And if the young lady outside of the restaurant wasn't enough, we stopped in a local grocery store for some chips and snacks, and as Emily and I were standing outside, a couple boys and girls walked up to us and asked us if these boys were 1/2 Chinese. When we explained the situation, we got much the same reaction (albeit a little less emotional). Go figure. Whodda thunk it? Hopefully I'll remember this little life lesson for a long time to come and pass it along to my boys.