China: Days 7-8

Happy Sunday, friends!

Before I dive into my weekend recap, I wanted to answer a few questions I’ve gotten since I started posting about our adoption process…

1) How old is Brooks? He turned one on 9/16, the birthday he was assigned at the hospital, so he’s now roughly 14 months old.

2) What is his special need? This one is a little bit hard to answer right now because, truthfully, his medical file was VERY slim. What we know is that China suspects he was born 4-6 weeks early, although our International Adoption doctor thinks he was a little bit closer to full-term than that, and he was hospitalized twice as a baby. The first time he was hospitalized was after he was found, and the second was at roughly six weeks old when he was dehydrated from Rotavirus. Both discharge notes mentioned he was mildly anemic, so technically, anemia is his “special need.” That’s truly all we know.

3) What do you know about his birthmom/birth family? Nothing. Brooks was abandoned at an intersection at approximately six days old.

4) What agency did you use? We used and love Holt International. I have seriously NOTHING but great things to say about them. They have been wonderful to work with!

5) Why are you STILL in China? Ha! The adoption trip is about 12-14 days depending on the government appointments you get. It’s just part of the process when you are adopting internationally because you have to deal with two different governments. Last week was all about finalizing our adoption on the China side of things, and this week we are finalizing the adoption on the US side of things and getting Brooks’s visa to immigrate into the country. We’ll be home SOON!

Okay…here’s what we’ve been up to!

We are loving our time here in Guangzhou spoiling our baby. 🙂
We woke up bright and early Saturday morning and headed to Brooks’s medical exam after breakfast. This is a mandatory step in obtaining his visa into the U.S. from the Consulate.
He’s definitely an Ezell boy – food is the key to his heart. 🙂 Also…all the heart eyes for that amazing combover.

The general screening was step 1 – healthy boy!

The measurements were next – little man is 72cm long and 8.4kg! At last update from his orphanage two weeks ago, he was 70cm and 7.5kg. Our peanut is growing!

No pic of the third step which was the ENT exam…he was NOT a fan, so we’ll skip straight to the part where he fell asleep on the way back to the hotel. 😉

Doctors are exhausting, y’all.
After his little nap, we headed out to the hotel playground. This, to our knowledge, was his first time on a slide or swing, and he LOVED it!
He slid down this slide no less than 50 times.

Peek a…

BOO!! 🙂
This playground was also the first place Brooks showed a preference for me over other women. Huge attachment victory!!!

After the playground, we ate lunch in the hotel restaurant. They had this precious little play area for people waiting on their food. Note to American restaurants…this is amazing!

He came back for another little nap after lunch and then we walked over to Lia Hua Park where we explored the lake area. How cute are my boys?!!

Hi, Mom!!

I see you!

Also of note, this man loves him some Noonday Collection…he held onto those paper beads the whole walk back to the hotel!
We ate dinner at the hotel and then headed to bed after a great first day in Guangzhou.
This morning, we headed out to Shamian Island to do some shopping and touristy things.
Taxi rides are always an adventure…

In front of the Pearl River with my boys.

Koi pond.

In case I’ve led you astray in believing he’s perfect…he’s definitely still a 1 year-old. 😉 

Shamian Island historic buildings – this felt so much like New Orleans!

Another view of the Pearl River.

Family photo op inside the White Swan Hotel.

This statue is a famous “China Adoption” photo that nearly all families take while in Guangzhou. I have no idea why, but it is super cute.

Hey, guys!
We came back to the hotel for a quick lunch and nap. After nap, we headed down to the hotel pool to attempt Brooks’s first swim! He absolutely LOVES baths and playing in the sink, so we thought this would be a hit…
His favorite toys – cups!

You want me to WHAT?!!

Thinking about it…

Jury’s still out…
I’m sorry…but this peanut drowning in his 12-month bathing suit…I die.;) 
It started raining a little bit after an hour, so we headed in for a snack and then explored the hotel playroom. 

I’m calling it now…this kid’s an engineer. He is OBSESSED with putting things in and out of boxes, cups, bins, really whatever he can get his hands on. We spent about an hour putting these blocks together and then taking them apart. Future Aggie?!! (Fingers crossed!)
We wrapped up our day with dinner at the hotel again, a bath, and now we are conking out for the night early. It was a BIG day!
I know it’s silly, but I can’t stop thinking about where this little guy was just a week ago tonight…spending his last night in a cold, hard, metal crib with no mama and daddy to call his own. 
It breaks my heart to think of all those who remain there…cold, lonely, probably a little (or a lot) hungry…who are going to bed tonight with no one to rock them and pat their backs. There’s no one there to sing “Jesus Loves Me” or tuck them in with a special blanket. There’s no guarantee that the hands who laid them down will be the same hands who pick them up in the morning. Adoption is certainly not the ONLY answer to the orphan crisis in our world today, but these kids deserve better. 

All kids do. 

There are an estimated 1 million (yes, MILLION) orphans in China alone today. The nannies and caregivers do their absolute best, and I have no doubt there is a special place in heaven for all of those wonderful women…but they’re not forever mamas. International adoption has declined so significantly in the last few years, and there were only about 2,350 children adopted into the U.S. from China last year. Brooks is one of the lucky ones, but so are we. These children are amazing. Adoption is amazing. If you’ve had adoption on your heart or maybe us sharing our story has lit a fire in you, please please please reach out to me! I’m certainly no expert,  but I’d love to tell you about our process! 
Hope you all have had a great day, and, as always, thank you for following our journey! 

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