After I wrote last night, we talked to Dominic, who we had hoped would speak some reassuring Chinese words to him , but Dominic is very shy and wouldn' say much of anything. I told Simon, 'Dominic is much like you, very shy' (I demonstrated, eyes down, shoulders hunched, he looked at me and nodded. Later, we received an email from the mother of one of Simon's closest friends at the orphanage who was adopted last summer. I had never 'talked' with her and did not know she was on any of my yahoo groups, but she was responding to a plea I posted on the Xian group. She offered to let her son Skype with Simon. Although, it was very late here, I wrote back with our Skype name asking her to call as soon as she could, realizing that it could be a day or so before she had time to respond. She responded within minutes. Simon was delighted to talk to her son, Jude, who is absolutley adorable and still amazingly fluent in Chinese. They talked for a long time, but to the best of my understanding, at the end of the conversation, Simon was still saying he was planning to stay in China. Perhaps, though, something began in his heart at that time.
Afterwards, he and Jed had fun playing with their remote control cars and took their leapsters to bed with them. It was after 1:00 when I was still telling them to stop talking and go to sleep. I heard the words America and China alot in their conversation. We awoke and went to breakfast not having a clue what the day would hold. Jed was outgoing and big brotherly toward Simon, as usual, and Simon was his 'oh so very reserved' self. Toward the end of breakfast, Jed said, ' Gu Gu (big brother, that's Simon) fei ji (airplane) Guangzhou (the city where we complete our US paperwork). Jerry and I were momentarily stunned, not daring to believe it, not wanting to overreact in any way. Bursting into tears in the restaurant might have gotten us even more attention than we already get, if that is possible.
We met our guide in the lobby and whispered what we thought we had heard to her and she asked him how the night went. He said 'good'. Wow! We were hopeful but still not certain until he put his hand print on the paper, which turned out to be a very ordinary moment, in the midst of the mountain of final paperwork. Between the Civil Affairs Office and the police station , where we applied for his passport (note to anyone coming here, there is almost no heat in those two offices, wear your long johns) Simon asked the guide if he still belonged to the orphanage. She told him 'No, now you belong to a family'. I honestly think that was another hard moment for him.
This is on our way back to the hotel after all the paperwork was completed - Simon is playing the kindle, everyone was physically and emotionally exhausted !
This is in the lobby, waiting for our room to be cleaned, Simon actually was waving at me, almost cheerfully. As the day went on he got more and more cheerful - no, I should really say, less and less somber.
There was a real smile on his face, when we bought him a suitcase for his first airplane ride.
We had alittle adventure this afternoon when we took a taxi to the 'wholesale market' -zillions of people pushing through trillions of shops (think Disney at it's most crowded, but filthier than your local landfill). After buying the boys some sweatshirts, watches, Simon's suitcase and a basketball (which will have to remain in China) we needed to take a taxi back to the hotel. Hailing a taxi on a crowded street in a not so nice area in China is not quite the same as stepping out of a hotel to a line of taxis. We were a weary group nearly an hour later, as the sky was darkening, when an empty taxi finally pulled over. Weary, but feeling more like a family.
Please keep praying, Simon and Jed are becoming buddies, oddly enough, with Jed as the acting 'big brother'. Jed has been with us two days longer, so of course, he already knows everything ;). Simon has not shown any particular affection or even interest toward Jerry or I. While Jed jumps to help us at every turn, Simon throws things on the floor and expects us to clean the up (not in a mean way, it is customary here - in the civil affairs office , he threw a paper cup on the floor after he was done with it- there are people with push brooms everywhere, sweeping up stuff people throw or spit on the floor...but enough local color). he responds very well when I tell him to do something but I don't want to push too hard right now. I do appreciate Sammy telling me, she thought her older kid adoptions were easier because she is strict - I am , too, but I am holding back alot here, smile. Tomorrow we begin touring - Terra Cotta Warriors on Saturday. Again - thank you, thank you , thank you !!