I was up early Saturday morning, getting dressed and ready to go for the medical exam and getting our suitcases fully re-packed. We’d decided that Danny would take a taxi over to the China Hotel, along with a couple suitcases, to see if we’d be able to get adjoining rooms. If we couldn’t get nearby rooms, I wasn’t sure that would really be a better situation for us, and we’d rather know that earlier in the day. Plus, assuming it worked, then we’d be down a couple suitcases for our large group cross-town transfer. There is a significant downside to not having a real texting or calling plan for our time in China – that we can’t communicate with each other when we don’t have access to wifi. We decided that the best option would be for Danny to make that trip and then come back and for him and Sharon and Madeleine CaiQun to get us checked out of the Pengman Apartments and get our stuff over to the lobby of the Garden across the alley. I’d do the medical exam with FangFang, and if I got back before 11:00, I’d head back to our apartment, but if it was after 11:00, I should just stay at the Garden until they arrived. Danny and I walked over to the Garden at 9:00, and FangFang and I headed to the medical exam required in order to obtain FangFang’s visa for entry into the United States.
This medical exam is mostly a formality. FangFang’s height and weight and head circumference are measured, and her vision and hearing are tested in a very nominal way (does she turn her head when a toy is squeaked off to the side?).
A doctor does a physical exam and looks over her file and makes some notes. The most important test is really the TB test, as a child cannot gain entrance to the United States without treatment if they have a positive TB test. And this is the one about which I was most concerned – generally parents are not allowed into the room with their children for this blood test, and the doctors there are not very experienced in working with children who have osteogenesis imperfecta. Standard medical protocol is not always appropriate for children with OI. For instance, the force of a blood pressure cuff can sometimes cause a humerus fracture. I certainly won’t be able to prevent every fracture, but in the past, parents adopting kids with OI have been allowed into the room for that TB test, so they can hold their kids instead of the medical workers holding them, and I was hoping they’d allow that in our case, too, and thankfully they did.
My goal was to get through the exam without a fracture, and we were successful!
FangFang also tucked into me as I was holding her for the first time! In addition to seeing many, many other adoptive families (a number of whom I had already connected with online), we saw the one other family who had been in Nanning with us last week. FangFang kept pointing at them, so we walked over to say hi, but then she seemed a bit intimidated by them, and she tucked her head into my shoulder as we were standing there talking with them! We’re making progress 🙂 Those few moments did this mama’s heart good.
After FangFang had completed all the stations of the medical exam, Elsie helped me to organize my paperwork for our consulate appointment, and soon after, we headed back to the Garden, where I planned to meet Danny and Sharon and Mei Mei and find out what they’d determined the best option would be for our lodgings for the rest of the week. We actually saw them right as we were getting out of the little bus, and they said the China Hotel was able to give us adjoining rooms, and the Pengman Apartments had let us check out with no penalty! Elsie actually flagged down the bus driver for us, and he gave us (and the rest of our stuff) all a ride over to our new hotel – so helpful!
When we were on the bus, Daniel and Sharon told me about his adventures of the morning. Apparently right after his taxi had pulled out onto the road, leaving the Garden, that morning, they’d gotten into a car accident with another car! Car accidents in China have always been a bit of a fear of mine, as there aren’t usually seatbelts in the cars here. No one was injured, and the drivers pulled off to the side of the road to argue about their relative responsibilities. Danny got out and took our suitcases and hailed a new taxi and proceeded on his way!
Thankfully our group trip over to the new hotel was a bit less eventful 🙂 We got checked in, and as we were finishing up, we actually ran into a friend of mine and her family, here adopting two more kiddos. One of the added benefits of being at the China Hotel is that there are adoptive families everywhere, so it’s easy to connect with others and encourage each other and be encouraged.
It was afternoon by the time we got checked in and settled, so we played for just a bit and then ate a late lunch at one of the restaurants in our hotel.
Then we found some of the yogurt-milk FangFang loves at the 7-11 near the hotel, and I put her down for a nap.
Madeleine CaiQun took a long bath, and the rest of us relaxed and unpacked some. By the time FangFang woke up, it was late enough we weren’t sure about venturing out to a place we’d never been around the hotel, so we just ate at the Chinese restaurant in the hotel again and then played for a while before bed.
Even though we technically have less space here, the atmosphere is so much more relaxed and so much easier. We’re so glad we made the switch. We feel a lot more comfortable here! And that little bit of extra comfort definitely lowers my stress level and makes everything else feel more manageable.