So as you all know we had quite a first day. We woke up on the 2nd morning and had breakfast at the free buffet in the hotel. (Yes, I woke up in time for breakfast!) We discovered Roxy likes steamed eggs, fruit, and kidney beans of all things. Kenny thinks we should make her lots of Cheung’s chili in the future. I reminded him that he’ll have to make a non-spicy version for our daughter. We then went back to the Civil Affairs Building where we had received Roxy the day before and signed some paperwork. We also had an interview where they asked us specific questions such as “why do you want to adopt from China?” We spent some time in the children’s playroom with Roxy and had the joy of seeing her play with a ball. We remembered from her report that she likes balls. Kenny had fun teaching her to dunk the ball. We have a mini adjustable basketball hoop waiting at home for her. We then went back to our hotel, the Best Western Wuhan Mayflower Hotel, and rested the rest of the day. Roxy was a bit feverish so Kenny just bought some food and we spent the rest of the day taking care of her and trying to get her to eat. Poor Roxy was coughing quite a bit and was very sweaty. Roxy has been sleeping in the same King sized bed with us. We decided not to even try the crib provided by the hotel because it just seemed really really hard. Roxy seems to really trusts us to take care of her and is very adept at pointing what she wants and putting up her hand if she doesn’t want something. Kenny was feeding her and playing with some magnetic Tegu blocks we brought with us and we heard Roxy distinctly say Baba! So we’ve only just begun to be a family and Roxy clearly knows who her Mama and her Baba are. In fact if you ask her, “Mama/Baba zai nar?” (which I think means where are Mama/Baba) she will point to us.
We woke up on Day 3 and went to breakfast again at the buffet downstairs in the hotel. Roxy was feeling better and had a great time feeding herself fruit and kidney beans. She made a big mess but had a blast with her food. (Doesn’t she sound like a Cheung already?) She likes these yogurt drinks. I’m sure they have a lot of sugar but we have been really trying to get her to eat anything. Slowly but surely her appetite seems to be coming back. We got on our “adoption bus” and went to the Wuhan Municipal Children’s Welfare Institute. This is the orphanage that had custody over our daughter from the time she was found until we adopted her. Roxy was found on March 13, 2012 at the Outpatient Center of Children’s Hospital, Jiang’an area, Wuhan city. She spent the first month of her life at the Wuhan Municipal Children’s Welfare Institute in the Infant Room pictured in this post. We met one of the directors and she showed us around with Lisa, our guide from Holt (our agency). We got to see some of the children at the institute, and visit a few classrooms. I was hugged by a boy with down syndrome who melted my heart. It was really cold at the orphanage and I think I can see why the children are so bundled up.
The doctor at the orphanage wanted to check out Roxy so we brought her in to be examined. She was deathly afraid of the doctor. He concurred with Kenny’s diagnosis of a cold and bronchitis and recommended that we take her to the hospital for an IV. My Mama bear instinct kicked in and I put my foot down and said that we didn’t want her to to have an IV put in. Kenny and I agreed that for a cold and bronchitis that an IV was unnecessary and would likely traumatize her. With all the changes going on in her life, Roxy certainly didn’t need to go to a scary hospital and have an IV put in. They gave us some medications that we are likely not going to use, because cold medicines are not usually used on children as young as Roxy is.
After arriving back at the hotel, we noticed Roxy was looking at us funny and seemed uncomfortable. Kenny realized she might have to go to the bathroom and we put her on the toilet. We waited about 5 minutes and got a reward! Now, I think any parent that has seen a child through potty training will understand why Kenny and I were high fiving each other and Roxy (who looked confused by our reaction). We spent the rest of the day bonding with Roxy. We discovered she likes to watch videos. We put on some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and something about a bear named Osso. She loved both. I fed her goldfish crackers for the first time and she liked them. I was happy to discover that she liked a snack that can be easily purchased back home because she seemed so into Chinese snacks that I wasn’t sure I could buy in Cali.
Some highlights: watching Roxy play ball, Kenny teaching her to slam dunk, visiting the orphanage and seeing the Infant Room where Roxy spent her first month, meeting some of the children and seeing the classrooms, Roxy using the toilet, watching videos, hearing Roxy call Kenny Baba, feeding Roxy kidney beans, goldfish crackers, and fruit.
Kenny and I are focusing more on getting to know our daughter rather than on going around and doing things in the Wuhan area. The pollution in Wuhan is terrible and we don’t like spending huge amounts of time outside. I’m convinced that my nose is running not because I’m sick but because of the pollution. I can’t wait to get back home to Cali and breathe some fresh air. On Friday we fly to Guangzhou. We’re both looking forward to this because both of our families are originally from the Guangzhou area. Our families both migrated to Hong Kong and both of our parents were born in Hong Kong. As a fairly fluent Cantonese speaker, I like the idea of visiting the exact area where my ancestors are from.
We’re totally thrilled with our daughter. Roxy has quite a personality and can be a ham, especially when she eats or food is being prepared (sound familiar anybody?=). We figured out a way to transition her to her American name. Her Chinese name given when she went into the orphanage is Wu Lin Qiao. Her nickname is Qiao Qiao. So we have been saying Qiao Qiao Roxy and she has been responding. So far so good. We haven’t had any major meltdowns even though Roxy is still a bit sick. Please pray Roxy gets better soon and that we can continue to bond as a family.
Dr. Jacqueline Cheung, also known as Jax, grew up in Sacramento, California. She is a Christian Wife, Proud Mom, Major Foodie, Sacramento Native, Elk Grove Resident, Feminist, Adoption Advocate, Blogger, Freelance Writer, and Cat Lover. Jax is the owner of the award winning Jax Chronicles blog & adoption ministry. She also works as a Freelance Writer and writes for Sacramento4Kids, the Elk Grove Laguna News, and many other publications. Jax is married to Dr. Kenneth Cheung (Kenny). Jax and Kenny live in Elk Grove, California and have 2 daughters named Roxy and Carissa, and 3 cats named Mochi, Miso, and Mango. You can follow her journey on Instagram @jaxchronicles, her Jax Chronicles Facebook page , or her Jax Chronicles blog.