YES, we made it home safe and sound. Jesse Yong did GREAT on the very long flights. What a trooper! When he got tired on the 11-hr flight and couldn't get comfortable in the seat, he scooted onto the floor and slept there. No pillow or blanket or anything. Slept solidly for 5 hours! :)
The last hotel we stayed at had a mildew/mold issue that gave us both mild sore throats the last 3 days in China. Unfortunately, between the flight home, the pollen in the U.S., the climate change between the U.S. and China, the extreme jetlag, and the enormity of adjusting back at home (did you catch all that?) I ended up getting really sick. Laryngitus, a major head cold, chest congestion, the whole nine yards....
Ugh. I can't tell you what a BUMMER it was to be so completely out of it and trying to see family and even just a few friends for the first time, feeling like my head was a big balloon...and mute to boot. Not only did I feel like crap but I couldn't eat anything or sleep for three days & nights. Hence the lack of blog updates and returned e-mails.
Anyway, back to the important things:
Jesse Yong is doing absolutely, incredibly, awesomely well. We are in complete amazement. Honestly. Jason and I agree that Jesse's doing better than we are as far as adjustment/readjustment. To be plucked up from an orphanage (a very... hmmm... inadequate orphanage [for the sake of diplomacy]) and traipsed all around China civil affairs offices for a week and then packed onto 20 hours worth of plane rides, and then plunked down into a new home, with a new bed and a new dog and all sorts of new faces....
So here's a few snippets of things we are amazed at:
- He has great table manners (especially considering the lack of quality/quantity he'd experienced up till now). No hoarding, no grabbing off other people's plates, no wailing and demanding stockpiles of food on his plate....
- He will try any new food at least once (huh...that's more than Jason is willing to do most days. Unless it is some form of meat byproduct.)
- He pretty much sleeps through the night (after about the 3rd night) and willingly goes down for a nap
- He doesn't experience night terrors
- After all his hullaballooing about taking a bath in China, he was completely nonplussed about getting in a bubble bath here in the States. Go figure.
- He LOVES going to the playground -- we spent an hour and a half there yesterday with my sister and her girls. He couldn't get enough. He literally grinned, laughed or smiled the ENTIRE time. It was such a joy to watch him have so much fun!
- He laughs and smiles all the time. It's like watching him literally blossom before our eyes. What a joy!!!
- He is very very very smart. We don't understand how he can grasp so many new concepts instantly, considering the conditions at the orphanage and how much he must have languished there. One small instance: having never seen a door lock, he already had it figured out the first night (both the doorknob lock and the deadbolt).
- He wants to take apart everything and try to piece it all back together again on his own. (i.e. he took my earring and tried to use the post as a tiny screwdriver to take apart a miniature time piece).
- He has emotionally bonded with both Jason and I, and is definitely a fan of his Mammy & Pappy and his Auntie Rachel and Uncle Pete. We are VERY excited for him to meet his Hendrickson grandparents this weekend!!!
- He doesn't freak out or get overwhelmed when we go to new places (just gets shy)
- He mimics English and already has a few words down
- Speaking of which, he understands what we say to him or ask him to do, and he remembers how to do it later on (putting on his shoes, going to the potty, getting into bed, going for a ride...)
- Today he saw a water fountain for the first time. His cousin Abby showed him how to use it. He immediately got up there and tried it. He was very surprised when he learned that water came out of it; then he found a discarded water bottle under a table, walked back over to the water fountain and proceded to fill it up. All grins and so very proud of himself.
- He loves to figure out how things work. Not so interested in playing with things, per se, but more analyzing their purpose (i.e. taking pens apart and putting them back together, watching the hinges and latches of gates so he can figure out how they work...)
- LOVES the digital piano at the house. Has figured out which buttons are rhythm and which ones are "demos" that will play songs for him. Figures out how to stop and start and change things along the way. Also has figured out how to turn down the volume when Mama asks, so that he can keep on being able to play.
Okay, my brain is fried so I'll end now and start getting dinner ready. Thanks to everyone for keeping in touch. Thanks for understanding that so many factors are in play right now --I will come to visit my coworkers very soon, I promise. I will schedule play dates with all our breath-holding friends soon, I promise.
The enormity of becoming parents overnight, and (for me) adjusting to not getting right back into the swing of normal things (like my job), and not sleeping, and being very sick have all added up. But we're coming around and feeling more human by the day.
Oh, and I'll get some new pictures downloaded and posted for you all.
Have I mentioned what a BLESSING this little guy has been?!? We are so thrilled and so in love and in amazement each day at his brilliance in so many aspects... What a happy kiddo! And what blessed parents!