Applying for the passport (June 28)

Well, Daniel may have gone to sleep faster last night, but uninterrupted sleep only lasted until about 4 am.  Sigh.  And every 15 to 20 minutes after that he would begin thrashing and crying while reaching out his arms.  It broke my heart that it was not me that he was reaching for ~ not because I need it to be me, but because I feel so helpless to help comfort him right now.  Thankfully the big kids slept through it all and stayed quiet until about 8.

This morning though the sunlight did not bring the same cheerfulness that yesterday morning had brought and Daniel wanted nothing to do with any of us for nearly an hour.  Eventually a granola bar won him over and suddenly he was back to his happy little self.  I think that we may get in touch with ND today to see if someone can go visit Anna to find out if we are missing something big in his bedtime routine.  

After another delicious breakfast, it was time to head to the police station to apply for Daniel's passport.  Mom offered to stay behind with any of the big kids that didn't want to go, and Caleb and Darcy decided to stay with Grandma while Kylie wanted to come along with Ian, Daniel and I.  

Folks reading what appears to be the daily paper under glass, one the street.
Sights on the street
 Frustratingly enough, the entire trip was a bust as the translation service has not finished our official documents yet.  Alfred said that typically there will only be maybe one family per month to come adopt, and with both us and the Canadian family here the translation service is running behind.  So we went for a walk around (and stopped in a grocery to pick up some local snacks) while we waited for the forms.  
Daniel enjoyed jumping in the People's Square.  (Alfred is a GREAT guide!)The monument in the center is to honor the current government party.

One interesting thing we learned from Alfred is the reason that McDonald's is not anywhere in this entire province.  (Yes, we asked.  We've had nothing but Chinese food since last Wednesday and a burger and fries would taste pretty good right now…)  He said that there is KFC but no McD's because the governor (or whatever the title of a provincial ruler is) is Muslim and McD's has pork in the breakfast menu.  There is a Pizza Hut, so I guess they worked out an agreement that there is no sausage or bacon?  Don't know if the reason is 100% accurate, but for sure, there is no McDonald's here, so we will continue to eat Chinese and Muslim.  

We enjoyed our conversation time with Alfred and chatted a while.  He was born here in Xinjiang Province and moved to Urumqi to study at the university.  He is a guide for English speaking tourists and just recently started working with adoptions.  We are either his fifth or sixth adopting family.  His biggest type of clients are adventure tourists and he frequently takes folks for overnight trips into the desert.  Hmm, a camel ride on the outskirts of the Gobi Desert, sure.  But sleeping there overnight?  Um, no thank you.
Passing out fruit snacks to help pass time at the notary office while we waited for our paperwork
Daniel obviously approved.  (and yeah, he really is THAT cute!)  

Finally at 12:30 Alfred suggested that he take us back to the hotel for the kids to rest.  If our documents are ready before 4pm we'll go to the police station this afternoon.  If not, I think we are headed to see the Grand Bazzar and then we'll have to go to the police station in the morning.  Hopefully Daniel's passport will be processed quickly so it doesn't have to overnighted to us down in Guangzhou.

My big girl enjoying her gum filled Chupa-chup lolipop
Daniel enjoyed the first half…
Some local people on the bus beside us.  
At 4:30 Ian called Alfred to see what he had heard.  Turns out that he was walking into the notary to pick up our forms and was about to call us to ask if we could be ready in 20 minutes.  We scooped Daniel up from his nap and headed down with Kylie.  Thankfully Mom volunteered to stay back again with Caleb and Darcy, making much less of a scene at the police station.  (Though there was indeed a scene when Ian had to run with Alfred to go make copies of our passport and as Ian disappeared from sight Daniel decided he wanted Baba to stay close.  Let's say that I got quite a few stares as I ~ a caucasian woman ~ stood outside the station with a five year old and a screaming toddler strapped to my chest, both of whom were Asian…I've never been so glad to see Ian's face when he got back!)

When we got back from the police station we let the kids have a little down time together.  Sure was nice to watch my boys playing!  

caleb has waited for a long time for his car driving buddy to be here!
Tonight we caved and finally decided that our stomachs were ready for something more familiar.  It had been six days of Chinese food for breakfast, lunch and dinner after all...

His first Pizza Hut meal
if Daniel wasn't thrilled about the pizza, his siblings showed their approval by chowing down tonight!
Back in the day Ian and I would have walked the roughly 1 1/2 miles, but with such a large percentage of our group under the age of five, we opted for a taxi.  Luckily our driver didn't bat an eye at packing seven passengers into his car and off we went.  Daniel wasn't overly excited about it, but also didn't turn up his nose, so we may have another pizza lover in our house.  Our ride back to the hotel proved to be exciting as our driver thought our hotel was on the other side of town.  What we expected to be a five minute ride turned into a thirty minute one.  Thankfully he realized his mistake when he began to pull over for us to get out and Ian calmly said, "No, not here."  The cab driver turned off the meter, reread our hotel card and took us to our hotel and Ian had to force him to take any money at all.  While Caleb sacked out on the return, it was a scenic drive and we got to see part of the city that we hadn't seen before.  The only drawback was that we missed our evening exchange with "our" fruit vendor, so Ian ran across the street to buy half a melon while I got the kids ready for bed.  

Bedtime tonight went amazingly smooth.  We had given Daniel a shower and once he had his pajamas on, he was happy to run around without shoes and socks and even went to bed without them.  He whimpered for about two minutes, but then settled into the spot between Ian and I.  While he did fidget for a while, he did let me rub his arm and then finally he was asleep with no crying episode.  I'm hopeful that tonight he'll sleep through the night.  I'm sure there will be more crying spells, but I'm  thankful that he seemed to be more peaceful about staying with us tonight.

**Something else random about this province.  If you followed regular time zone boundaries, it would be two to three time zones behind Beijing.  But all of China is on one time zone, so the sun sets pretty late here in the summer.  The picture above was taken out of our hotel window at 9:40 pm last night.  So strange to see the sky that bright at nearly 10pm!**

We're at the end of day two and find ourselves thinking we are the luckiest parents in the world.  Daniel is one pretty amazing little guy and he rounds out our family quite well.


Nancy said...

He is SO cute, I want to kiss his cheeks! Continuing to pray for a smooth transition for you little man.

Naomi said...

He is so precious!!!! Praying for you!

Angela said...

He is adorable Kristi! Praying for you all as you continue to transition.

Jordan Carl said...

He is awesome! I cannot wait to meet him! But can we get a few more pictures of the boy and a few less of random Chinese things? :) Just kidding, but seriously, could we work on the ratio. Not that I don't love China and what they have to offer, I just want to see my new cousin Daniel with his family!

Love you guys. Praying for you!

Jess and Tim said...

So glad things went better for Daniel. We really liked our Pizza Hut in China! Looking good M family!! Prayers for continued peace for Daniel!!

Amy Murphy said...

Sounds like he's transitioning well. So happy to see him with you guys! He'll be sleeping through the night before you know it! (I hope!) Praying for you guys.