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Friday, December 30, 2011

Touring and Trivia

Today we visited a Buddhist Temple, did a little shopping and gave the boys their first taste of America. I am not a good tourist or museum goer. I like to walk on by and say, 'mm, that's nice', what's next. Jerry, on the other hand, reads every caption, and asks questions about every piece of information, given by the guide. I try to say, 'oh, wow!' politely, hiding my yawns. If you want to know anything about Chinese temples, buy a book. Or ask Jerry. Simon is like Jerry (see him standing thoughtfully in the first picture), Jed is like me - are you surprised? We saw alot of statues, Buddhas and goddesses. Fortunately for me, while Jerry and the boys climbed to the top of the seven story temple (I've seen stairs before) I got to watch the set up and partial rehersal for the New Years celebration that will be going on at this temple. It will be fun to watch it on TV and see everyone in their costumes.

Simon told the guide that he did not believe in Buddha, but later he considered putting some money given him by the orphanage in a donation box. He and Jed discussed it, laughing , and then apparently decided against it.

Since Jerry discovered there was a Dairy Queen here, he has mentioned several times that 'we should take the boys'. I am sure he only had their interests at heart and was really sacrificing to have ice cream for lunch. We decided on Blizzards and we got genuine smiles and enthusiasm from both boys through the whole event. Georgia Mud Fudge, Cookies and Cream and Strawberry Banana were our choices, avoiding melon, kiwi and a few other fruit flavors. apparently American candy bars are not allowed.

Simon is doing great. We have seen smiles -at Dairy Queen, when we went back to Walmart and bought him the remote control car he refused the other day,,and when we bought the boys books. He chose Pleasant Goat and came home and read it. Jed chose Cars and hasn't glanced at it since I made him choose it. We have heard laughter - watching movies, playing with Jed, jumping on the bed (don't tell). He still isn't making eye contact, but that will come.

In talking to our guide, we learn more about Chinese culture. She and her husband are both only children so they are the first modern generation who will legally be allowed to have two children. She has a two year old son, and is very excited to be able to have another child. When we told her we were taking the boys to DQ she cautioned us against allowing them to have too much as it is not considered healthy to eat cold food in the winter (I wondered why the boys were giggling so much, at stealing ice off the buffet at breakfast!).

She also told us that it gets very hot here in the summer, sometimes as high as 110 degrees. There is a law that when the temperature gets over 100 no one has to go to work. With little air conditioning, that would be nice, except that the weather stations are only allowed to say that the temperature is 98 or 99! So everyone must go to work even though they know they should not have to.

Have I said yet, that both boys arrived wearing brand new pjs under brand new sweatpants, under brand new jeans and sweater (Simon's is handmade by an orphanage volunteer). And new shoes. They also had the cameras and toys that we sent. Jed had a bag of apples and Simon some snacks. That's it. At ten years old, they owned nothing of their own. Jed knows a bit about computers and could negotiate his way around qq if we wanted him to, but since we didn't we unplugged the cord from the internet in Urumqi and he hasn't asked here. Simon said he didn't know about computers, when he was wailing the first day, and hasn't asked to contact friends on qq at his orphanage, so perhaps they are not allowed to in Xian. (QQ is like the old IM where anyone can wander into a chat room. We prefer to have more control over our kids contacts than that allows.) Sorry for rambling on, we love you all, Catherine


adoption journey said...

When we adopted an almost 14 year old March 2010, the first few mornings I woke up to find my computer was changed into Chinese! We also had a $700USD phone bill from the hotel in Guangzhou. He was trying to call his friends in the middle of the night, from the bathroom stall!

Sharon Ankerich said...

Dear Catherine,
I found your blog today via a friend Donna who has a son at Simon's orphanage. In reading your whole journey, I found you also adopted Jed from Xinjiang. We are waiting to lock the file of our son from the same orphanage but he has been at Shepherd's Field living. We will be going to Xinjiang sometime in 2012 and would love to talk with you at some point when you have time. We just got home about a month and a half ago with our son from Fujian who was also at SF. Both the boys were foster brothers so we will be SO happy to have them back together forever home! Blessings and love,
Sharon Ankerich