Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 2 With Joseph

Last night we got ready for bed.  We decided that Wen Xin would sleep with Mike (our room has 2 double beds) because he seems more comfortable with Mike at this point.  Lights out.  As I drifted off to sleep, I heard a little voice whisper, "Mama."  Wen Xin, holding the fleece blanket we sent him a while back, crawled into bed with me.  He snuggled and petted my arm.  Then, after a few minutes, he went back to Mike's bed where he dove on top of him, wrestled him and grabbed at his nose.  This routine in the dark repeated itself for a solid hour.  Snuggle with Mama, wrestle with Baba.  Back and forth.  Back and forth.

Breakfast, this morning, didn't go as we expected.  Yesterday, I got our guide to ask Wen Xin about his favorite breakfast foods.  This morning we went down to the very nice breakfast buffet.  Mike and Wen Xin sat down as I fixed a plate for Wen Xin:  fried rice, stir fried veggies, ham, and some pineapple -- his favorite.  I sat the plate in front of him and he shook his head, "No."   So I went back and got congee, a rice porridge.  Again, "No."  And not just plain "no."  "No," along with whining, thrashing around, etc. 

I took his food and began to eat it myself.  The hotel has signs on the buffet that say, "Please don't waste food."  So I figured that if we got it, someone had better eat it. 

Mike went to fix his plate and took Wen Xin with him, to see if he could find anything Wen Xin might eat.  When they got back Mike said, "He just wants to leave." 

So Mike and I ate breakfast as he whined and pointed at the door and refused food.  We kept smiling, but we didn't budge.  At the end, Mike pretended a piece of cantaloupe was a choo choo train and as it neared Wen Xin's mouth, he gobbled it up.  And then he proceeded to eat a very large breakfast.

Today we visited The Summer Palace.  It was the summer residence of an emperor.

Besides playing his Leapster, Wen Xin's favorite thing to do is to make photos with an old digital camera we brought along.  In fact, every time I ask to take a photo of him, he takes a photo of me, taking his photo.  It goes something like this.

But sometimes, I can coax a good photo out of him.  (Ok, I can't really do it myself.  I need a lot of help in Chinese from our guide, Mina.)

Mike snapped some good photos of Wen Xin and me together.  I've been a little skittish because (1) he doesn't really like getting his photo taken and (2) I tried to pick him up for a photo yesterday and he threw a fit.  But with a lot of silliness, it turned out ok this time.

Today, we also introduced the name Joseph Michael* to him.  We will begin to call him Joseph sometimes, while still calling him Wen Xin most of the time.  We met some Chinese people today who asked him if he had an American name, so it seemed like a good time to introduce this.

And finally, we visited Joseph's "finding location" -- the place where he was left as an infant.  It's in a very rural section of Beijing.  Our guide and driver did not take us to the exact street, only to the general area.  They kept Wen Xin in the car because they did not know how the local people would react to an American couple adopting a Chinese boy.  Mike and I got out and made a few photos and some video.  I thought about the fact that seven years ago, his mom might have walked those streets seeing the same buildings.  Joseph may never care about this, but if he does, I want him to know that we tried to preserve as much of his history as possible.

*6/13/12 - Update:  We never transitioned to calling him Joseph, because at 7 1/2 years old, he had a strong opion about keeping his Chinese name. 


  1. Good to know the old choo choo train thing works in other countries too.
    Was that backpack on the first pictures,his? Did he get any of his school work?

  2. Chris - He came in with that backpack, but when they saw that we had brought him a backpack, they transfered the stuff out of his orphanage backpack to his new one. We meet with the orphanage staff one more time and they said they'll bring books then. We'll see.

  3. Mike and Dana, I just wanted to let you know how much Kirk and I are enjoying reading your blog and seeing the pictures of you with Joseph. I got on the phone with Mom today (Saturday) and we looked at the blog, each on our respective computers. We read it together and oohhed and aahhhed at the pictures. She can hardly wait to meet her new grandson! We even bookmarked it so it will be easy for her to find. (I hope, anyway!) Got to get to bed. Love you all. Sherri


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