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11.02.2008

Medical Exam (recap of November 1)

A few random things that I've forgotten...

Sometimes I forget that there are folks that read Fireworks and Fireflies that aren't family. In case anyone besides Laurie is wondering about "the mysterious white haired man," Grant is my father-in-law. Our mothers came along on Kylie's adoption trip and Grant wanted to come this time and he has been a huge help with carrying luggage and keeping Kylie entertained in situations where "only mama would do."

I am a very adventurous eater. There is almost nothing that I don't like. Ian and I love foods of many ethnic varieties and Chinese has always been one of my favorite types of food. We found delicious foods in Wuhan, better than any Chinese I have ever eaten (much better than what we've had in Beijing) but even I found myself craving Western food like crazy by Thursday night. To cut myself some slack, I realized that at that point we had eaten Chinese for lunch and dinner for a week. With that information in hand, we headed to Pizza Hut and shared a stuffed crust super supreme. I don't think pizza has ever tasted so good!

Last trip we came straight from Beijing to Guangzhou. We stayed at the China Hotel in the corporate apartments and had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room area with couches, a kitchen, and a washer/dryer. There was so much space and we had plenty of room to spread out and put our stuff away. I found myself almost hoping that we'd have a glitch with our consulate appointment and get to stay in China for some extra time. This time however we've been in Wuhan for a few days and now in Guangzhou for a few days and while the hotels are nice, it is much different adjusting to being a family of four in a cramped hotel room. I love China, but this time I'm ready to come home.

Those things being said, on to the medical exam. Saturday morning after way too little sleep for our family we went to breakfast in our hotel and then headed off on the bus (along with the four other families ~ man it was good to see them again!) to Shamian Island. We stopped in a photo shop to get Visa photos taken for the kids to enter the US and then went for their check-up.
This exam is basically to make sure that they don't have any obvious infectious diseases that they would be bringing back into the states. When we arrived our five families were the only ones there except for one other family ~ much different than the overcrowded experience we had last year. (Just had to include a flashback photo because it is fun to compare the age difference between my two when we met them.)

What fun it was at breakfast, on the bus, and then as we waited for the doctors to check out the kids to start getting to know everyone else's children. Of course I was excited to see all of them, but I have to take a minute to share a major praise. When Stephen and C.C. accepted Henry's referral, they weren't sure yet how severe his spina bifida was. Honestly they weren't sure if he'd ever be able to walk. From an update they got a few months ago, things looked promising, but take a look at this little boy! Looks like C.C. is gonna be running after her son...

Henry showing his mama the way.
(Heather and baby Eli in the background).


There are three stations in the exam and you don't have any certain order to go in, you just have to get the stamp of approval in all of them. We started at temperature, weight and height. Caleb wasn't too sure of having a thermometer in his armpit, but I was thinking to myself that he should be glad it was there... We still aren't sure how tall he is. That would be because the little thing they have to measure height is a sort of tray that they lay babies in. It went to 84 cm (right at 33 inches) and he was a bit too long to stretch out in the tray. (I'd guess he was about 86 or 87 cm ~ or about 33 1/2 to 34 inches). The female doctor kinda had a perplexed look on her face and then just wrote something down ~ wish I could read Chinese symbols to know what she decided was his height! (I also didn't pay attention to see what she did to measure Zach and Luke ~ 9 and 11 year old brothers adopted by one of our families). Last was weight and we did manage to capture that one.
Caleb looking at me as if to say, "Um, mama, wanna get me off this thing?"
12.49 kgs or 27.5 lbs


Next we visited the eye, ear and throat doctor. He looked in Caleb's eyes, played some musical toys back and forth to watch Caleb's reaction to sound, and peered down his throat (that brought on some screams!).
Last was the general check-up physician. We got the same doctor that had checked Kylie out last year. He listened to Caleb's heart and gave him a general once over to make sure all his joints moved properly and that he didn't have any deformities. As you can see this was Caleb's least favorite stop ~ that little puckered mouth means that wailing is about to commence. At least it provides warning to make a hasty exit from eating establishments...
All of the kids checked out fine and from the island (no shopping that morning) we headed to a Carrefour to buy water and some snacks for our stay in Guangzhou. Even after several overseas trips I had again began to take for granted the fact that we have drinkable tap water at home. I'm so tired of using bottled water to brush my teeth!

The trip to Carrefour (and a stop at Starbucks ~ this hotel hasn't mastered the art of coffee) ran right up to nap time and we got back and put the kids down for a long siesta. During the time they slept Ian worked and I went to the "paperwork" party to finish filling out forms to request Caleb's immigration status. With only five families represented it didn't take very long, and I'm glad that I went this time to know what all goes on behind the scenes to bring our kids home.

Shortly after I returned to the room, Kylie woke up which gave she and I some coveted "mommy/daughter" time while Caleb continued napping. (My boy eats and sleeps like a champ!) Before long though she lost interest in me and was content to stand and watch her brother.
So sweet!


Before long she managed to wake him up and they played while our families organized a dinner plan. Sadly it was too late to order from Danny's Bagel (I was seriously craving some of their macaroni and cheese), so we decided to take Maggie and Rosa's advice on a "great Italian place" that many families have recommended. As we walked down the street I kept thinking that it looked familiar and sure enough, it turned out to be the same place we ate at with Mike & Wendy and Jon & Cindy last year on our last night. The buffet was much better this time and no one ordered pizza, but I couldn't help but laugh from my memories of being there before. (See here for my account of the meal and if you really want to laugh, see here for Cindy's! Ahh, the memories...)

As we left the restaurant the waitress couldn't figure something out with the bill, but Ian and I made a wise decision and all the women walked back to the hotel with the children leaving the men to figure out the problem. That way we avoided leaving in disgrace, because Caleb was really ramping up after getting a full belly!

When Ian finally got back it was bath time. Caleb has continued to like Ian a little better each day and he now accepts Ian giving the bath. It gives Ian a little time to really play and interact and gives me a few minutes without being mauled by my energetic babies. And shortly after bathtime came the quietest part of the day... Rest assured that Saturday night I was in bed pretty quickly after I snapped this shot!

One advantage of how well Caleb goes to sleep is that Kylie is starting to pick up on his habit! She's been falling asleep within 10 minutes ~ a long time compared to his 3, but better than before! This night though he did have what I think was a grieving spell and I had to hold him until he exhausted himself with desperate cries. The mournfulness of his crying made me cry along with him, but he woke up happy yesterday!

9 comments:

cheryl said...

Kristi,
I just wanted you to know that I continue to pray for you all everyday! It is such an amazing experience to follow along on your journey. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, experiences and those beautiful pictures. The pictures of the children sleeping together are beautiful. And, I absolutely love the one of Kylie watching her brother sleep...priceless! Again, thanks for sharing. I will continue to pray for your time in Guangzhou and for safe travels home.
Blessings, Cheryl (awaa friend)

Cindy M said...

Um, I think Caleb weighs as much as Caroline! It will be interesting to see what he weighs in at stateside. Your arms must be happily breaking! He really looks small, though, in the pictures.

I, too, love the picture of Kylie watching Caleb sleep...just darling.

Cindy M said...

Oops, forgot to comment on "Italian Night"...I guess it's a good thing we didn't make this trip...especially after re-reading my account...not sure I could have sucked it up and gone in there again...although the restaurant itself was pleasing enough. So what DID you order? What was playing on the TV in there? Did you buy any $1 dvds on the way out? :-) What about the Thai restaurant (Banana something) that we never made it to..are you guys gonna try to go there? Wish we had...anyway, I'm sure revisiting that restaurant gave you a little chuckle.

Anonymous said...

Glad that the physical went well. Officially he is ready to travel!
Kylie watching Cabel sleep is too sweet. Thanks for the picture of Henry and the good report. Praise God. I'm so delighted for CeCe and Stephen and Darby.
Love you, LaoLao

Andrea said...

So Laurie has been bugging you to identify family members?! LOL I figured he was a parent but I would've guessed your dad. Today I was taking notes as I read your posts about Shamien. I've totally forgotten where to shop, eat, etc. I also realized I need to bring LeighAnna's name in Chinese characters so we can have chops done for both girls.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy that all the children checked out well. Praise God that Henry is doing so well!!!

I love the pictures of them sleeping. Glad you are getting some good food. I remember how tired I got of Chinese food. It makes me queezy thinking about it! WE miss you!
Love Aunt Cici

Amy Woods said...

I'm so glad someone asked that question! I had wondered who that man was too but didn't know if I should ask or not. We had that same man during our medical exam. He was the one who gave us a hard time about Adiah's special need. Glad everything went well!!

NaiNai Miller said...

Thank goodness Kylie isn't keeping Caleb awake at night but is following Caleb's lead and sleeping!! I am so pleased that Ian is able to give the kids their bath and get in some good daddy/kid time. I know how much he loves both his children. It is also wonderful news that Henry is doing so well. What a blessing!! I had almost forgotten that Kylie was just a wee babe when we got her. That flashback picture sure brought back happy memories.
Love, nainai

Nancy said...

I was wondering who Grant was! That's cool you got the same doctor and even went to the same place to eat! So glad Caleb is warming up to Ian.