Friday, March 17th

by Kristi Van Dyk


We are packing to leave Shanxi with our little men. It's been a great 5 days here but we are feeling ready to move on and get this process moving further.  

Yesterday we walked to Starbucks and enjoyed some warm drinks during the mid-morning. We didn't have any plans so it was nice to take it easy. After Starbucks we came back to play in the hotel play area for an hour or so before lunch.  

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At lunch we called an audible and thought we could skip Josh's nap. Is 4 after all, right? And he seemed to be doing well. About the time we hit Yingze Park (which was a gorgeous place for active boys to play) we realized just how wrong we were. Josh was totally overwhelmed by all of the other kids, by all of the play choices, by the options to do... and the height. He ended up trying one or two things (with lots of encouragement) only to come back to Mommy's arms afterwards and just watch. Again, a great learning experience about our boy. Naps are a must - and we need to take all new crowded places slowly! The beautiful part was Josh's sheer delight when the driver dropped us off at the hotel. As soon as Joshua knew we were "home" his spark returned and the silly mischievous boy came right back.  

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After checking all of the paperwork from our guide, we headed back out to try the Pagoda restaurant that we had been hoping to try. Our guide, we thought, had said it had picture menus and that they spoke English. We were excited for some dumplings and rice and maybe Kungpao chicken. When we arrived we learned that somehow we found a restaurant that has no printed English menus, no English speakers and no pictures. But, we were seated now, so we could hardly turn back. Ben helped us order, and we ended up having such a great dinner! (However many times we were laughed at). 

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We also thought we'd treat our boys to Haagen Daz ice cream after dinner! But we quickly learned that littlest man does not like cold things. Again, we probably should have discerned this, but our little guy who likes warm water couldn't handle cold ice cream in his mouth! Yet, he tasted it and loved the flavor so he went through this hilarious (and agonizing process) of eating it, squinting as the cold hit him and then smiling as he tasted it at the end. It was hilarious.  

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Bath and bed were next on the agenda. Josh (after such a busy day and no nap) was asleep within minutes of his head hitting the pillow. And Mom was not far behind. J has developed an affinity for Momma and a not super happy connection to Dad. So, while I love the connection, it's tough even to go to the bathroom alone. We could use prayers for his connection to his super loving daddy to grow. We knew to expect this so it wasn't a total surprise, but it has proven a little more complicated to navigate than we expected. So emotion laden.  

We leave at 1:30 pm local time to fly to Guangzhou. We are set to arrive by 4:15 pm so it is a quick flight. We appreciate your words of comfort and encouragement. We are both missing the girls an extra dose today. It's been so long ... My mom sent us photos from K's ballet observation. It was so good to see her! 

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