On Day 8 we had our usual delicious breakfast buffet and then hopped on the adoption bus and went with our Holt Adoption Group (and it’s a large group) to this Safari Park in Guangzhou. I don’t honestly know the English name of the park. At first we were reluctant to go because we were out literally all day. But we decided it would be fun to go, even though we were concerned that Roxy wouldn’t be able to last all day. We had fun feeding the giraffes, and a baby tiger, watching a tiger show, and observing some pandas. They really had a great collection of animals. I couldn’t help but wonder though about how they trained the tigers to do things like jump through paper hoops. Roxy had a few melt downs. I think before Roxy was clinging to me because maybe I reminded her of some of her former caretakers. But for the past 2 days or so, I think Kenny has had more success with calming her down. I’m not sure if she was really too young to enjoy it but I noticed that some of the displays and live animals really scared her. (I’m hoping she will be enthralled with the Monterey Bay Aquarium=). Overall, the Safari park was fun. We found out Roxy LOVES popcorn. Chinese popcorn is like kettle corn, slightly sweet. I am making a mental note to pack more diapers than I think I will need the next time we’re out all day.
On Day 9 we got to sleep in for once. After our usual breakfast buffet we decided to go to Yuexue Park which is across the street from the China Hotel Marriott. It was kinda of interesting because there is no direct path across traffic in the street so you have to travel through the subway walkway to the other side and go up the stairs across the street. The park was a nice Chinese park. I say Chinese park because it didn’t feel like an American park with lots of grass. There was no grass in sight although there was a nice pond and plenty of Chinese New Year decorations that we enjoyed taking pictures of. I particularly enjoyed walking along and seeing the little red Chinese lanterns hung up. We bought Roxy some popcorn again and just strolled along. It was nice not to have to run around. Kenny went to an exit meeting which went over details of how we take our departure from China.
On Day 10, we woke up at 6:00am and Roxy was NOT HAPPY! I told her that it was okay since Mama isn’t a morning person either. But we struggled to get her to go potty, to take a bath, and she screamed her lungs out. We went to the buffet but seriously ate for like about 10 minutes before we had to go to our visa appointment and oath taking ceremony at the Consulate of the United States of America. We had appointments which means we sailed through the line. Honestly though, especially since a lot of Chinese people have been giving dirty looks not to me or Kenny but to other people adopting, I’m glad we have have some perks, even if it’s just avoiding a long line. Roxy screamed her little lungs out on the bus (I think she was still tired) and Kenny was feeling under the weather so I went to the Jade Market with some people from our adoption group. I found some pretty pieces. I got a jade bracelet for Roxy and a necklace for myself.
On Day 11, we were all feeling a little out of it. Kenny and Roxy were feeling sick and I wasn’t 100% either. We went through our usual morning routine and hit the breakfast buffet for the last time. Afterwards, we went to the Holt office on the 5th floor to check in for our flights the next day. We spent the rest of the day lounging around, sleeping and packing.
We’ve noticed Roxy seems to really not want to use the toilet anymore unless she’s pooping. We were warned she might regress slightly and I think it’s okay for her to stay in a diaper for now. She definitely has a lot of things to adjust to and a lot on her plate and we can try potty training her when she settles in back home. Although I’ve had a lot of great experiences in China, I have to say that I am really really ready to go back home. I’ve been having some gastrointestinal issues in China that I will spare you the details of. So I’ve been subsisting on the awesome breakfast buffet at our hotel (congee, breads, waffles, omelette, fruit, bacon, etc, with pretty much anything I could want for breakfast) and a lot of noodle dishes which are typically my comfort food. I really wish we could suddenly beam ourselves somewhere like in Star Trek. The China Hotel is a fabulous hotel but it isn’t home. We want to be home with our kitties in Elk Grove living in suburbia and breathing fresh air. We really need to just go home and settle in. Roxy needs to get used to a routine that is the life of our family.
I’ve been in China slightly less than 2 weeks and so much has happened in this time. We’ve met our daughter and become a family of 3, we’ve fallen in love with her and bonded, and we’ve fallen into a routine in terms of caring for her. I’ve learned that toddlers don’t know the word no very well and that they won’t eat something unless they want to. I’ve learned that tears sometimes mean nothing other than, “I just want to be held.” As we learn more and more about being parents, I am assuming we will reach a comfort level where we can say we know how to handle pretty much whatever happens (not there yet=). I believe that this will come, with lots of love, prayers, and stability.
Dr. Jacqueline "Jax" Cheung 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 the Elk Grove Tribune, Sacramento4Kids, 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. To follow her journey please follow her Instagram @jaxchronicles, her Twitter @jaxchronicles, like her Jax Chronicles Facebook page , or check out Jax Chronicles blog & adoption ministry.