Day 4: Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Blood: With Eli’s red handprint and our red thumb prints over our signatures, Elijah Qian Ayers is officially ours in the eyes of the government here! We returned to the same government building where we met Eli to conclude what is called the “acceptance” period of 24 hours. This time with a much cleaner boy who was WIRED from the start this morning. He opened his eyes, popped out of bed, and opened every curtain and turned on every light…ready to GO! When we got to the office building, he spotted a ride-on toy. This room holds these adoption ceremonies every week. He was a wild man and yelled to our guide in Mandarin, “This is my motorbike!” A few seconds later though (and right as the government officials tried to start the ceremony), he tipped the toy and smacked his chin on the granite floor. I popped to the floor and cupped his chin, which was bleeding pretty bad. He cried but only for a few seconds. If we were in the States, some adhesive would probably help close it but overall, we are thankful it wasn’t worse. I have a feeling it won’t be his first bump or bruise but this one was hard to see.

Sweat: Our boy is a SWEATER! Even though today was the coolest day so far, it was still HOT. We went to a beautiful park after our adoption business was finished. There’s a lake filled with giant lily pads and a few small rides. Eli rode a train (for almost 10 minutes!) as ping pong balls shot in the air and he caught them with a net. He loved it. Our walk back brought on more sweat. Scooters FLY back driving both ways on the sidewalks. Cars don’t stop and go with any shared rules so you cross by weaving through moving cars and scooters. Our morning started off with some adrenaline as we sat in the hotel lobby eating breakfast and what sounded like a machine gun firing filled the area. I was a half second from hitting the deck when another adoption guide came down and said it a wedding. Between the heat and fearing for one’s life, I’d be worried if one of us wasn’t a hot, sweaty mess!

Tears: Overall, our day was again amazing. Eli proudly announces we are his parents everywhere we go. Even people who look pretty grumpy seem to soften when he points to us and says, “These are my mama and baba!” It’s pretty tear inducing how he says it with such pride. Those tears are easier than others… When we got back from the park, everyone was tired. Eli’s legs are pretty bowed and he has some significant bowing. His legs tire before he does and I know that’s frustrating. As we laid down, he asked me what I thought was could he watch TV. I used our phone translator app to say it was time to rest. He obediently laid down (hands folded again on his chest) but silent tears streamed from his eyes. It appeared he was in thought. We used the app to ask if we could help and let him know it was ok to be sad and we knew this was hard. I was prepared for him to grieve and know it’s actually a good sign for attachment…but it was still heartbreaking.

Tomorrow-we head to Eli’s hometown-where he was left as an infant and where he’s spent his entire life. It is a 3-4 van ride in the country each way. Please keep us in your thoughts as we anticipate it will be our most difficult part of the trip.

Hoping for some sleep tonight