Sunday, January 11, 2015

Shad's 9 year "Gotcha Day"

Shad has been our son now for nine years.  His actual "gotcha day" was on Thursday and we celebrated it by going out to eat today and he got two video games on Friday. 

Shad is a very unique kid/old soul.  Everyone that meets him loves him.  He is very outgoing and involved in life.  When I first met him in China, he was interested and agreeable to go with me.  There was another little boy meeting his new family for the first time who was freaking out.  Shad looked at the other kid like he was crazy! 

I went on my own to get him as Sam was not quite two and was very sickly.   Also at that time, one of those Asian flus was making it rounds so I didn't want to risk the kids getting sick.  I flew out on a Friday and got to Chengdu China late on Saturday night.  Sunday I got some sightseeing in and on Monday morning we were off to the orphanage to get the kids.

 
We drove and drove to the outskirts of Chengdu to get to it.  When we finally pulled in, my heart was just bursting!!!   They escorted us into a small conference room.  No one seemed to really know what was going to happen next and THEN the nannies came in with Shad and the other little boy.  Shad was very interested in everything that was going on.
 
 
 
This picture was our first one together.  Shad looks a little questioning in it LOL.   He got over it quickly and we started playing together.  We had been told that he was totally blind and delayed....NOT!  I was busy trying to keep him out of things within minutes.
 
 
After we signed some papers and made arrangements to meet the next day at the Adoption Office, we all left.  Shad immediately fell asleep on my lap.  The other kid, screamed!   At the time I was feeling pretty superior to the other family now I know that he falls asleep as soon he gets in a car LOL!!
 
When we got back to the hotel, I took him up and gave him a bath.   He had on FIVE layers of clothes.  At first I had thought he was a chunky two year old but as I got the clothes off, I was sicken to see marks all over his little skinny body.  It looked like insect bites or welts.  His back near his waist was bleeding from this skin condition.  He only weighed 19 pounds once we did the medical exam the next week in Guangzhou.  I thought Shad was skinny weighing only 19 pounds at 2.5 years old until we got Sarah who weighed that at 5.5 years old!
 
 
This picture was after his bath.  He seemed dehydrated.  Luckily I'd brought some Pedilyte and a bottle
 
 
 
This is a picture the next morning of us signing the adoption paperwork.  Even the taxi driver got included somehow LOL
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Here are pictures of us at the Chengdu Panda Rescue as we sightsee waiting for all his paperwork to be done so we could head off to Guangzhou to get the America stuff done. 
 
 
 
 
This is a picture in Guangzhou of Shad on our balcony. 
 
You know I absolutely HATE to fly....well to get Shad I had to fly to Newark NJ, then OVER the North Pole into Beijing, then from there to Chengdu which is like flying from NYC to Phoenix Arizona and that was on a China airlines!  I was by myself till I got to Chengdu which is as far from Florida as you can get on the globe-literally on the other side of the world!!!!
From Chengdu we had to fly to  Guangzhou which is like flying from Phoenix to Miami FL, again on a Chinese air line.  It was a cultural experience.
 
So the family I traveled with, the mom cried all the time.  She had her mom, her husband and teenaged son and she cried.  I was all by myself with a little guy who was pooping raw hamburger looking stools.  I felt like slapping her  (geez I hope she is not reading this but she annoyed the heck out of me!)  Once we got to Guangzhou, we met up with some other families who were adopting through our agency but most of them were first time parents and very serious.  The other kids were younger and all seem to cry a lot.  I was very thankful for Shad!!!  All the men loved Shad who would eat anything and eat them all under the table.  More than once I had to stop them from feeding him extra food.  Shad was rather obsessed with food.  No one could believe how much food he could eat. 
 
Shad was and is such a unique boy.  I have to admit the first few months were not easy.  He was very independent and strong willed.  He threw a few crazy fits, where he would throw himself on the floor and bang his head.....no matter what kind of floor.  We managed to get those little fits STOPPED!  While we always knew he was our son, it was a new experience for us, as Steve was such an easy going child and Sam was still such a sickly child, we'd never dealt with a child like Shad.  There were a few times I thought we'd "bitten off more than we could chew" but within a few months, he really began understanding FAMILY and that he could come to us for his needs.  He was always funny and engaging so we'd have plenty of laughs when he was in a good mood.  At one point I talked to the social worker and explained to her how defiant he was and the social worker laughed at me and told me I had a two year old!  She did assure me that we'd see some big changes at the three month mark and we really did.  Things got easier and easier with him as the months past.  NOW looking back, I really feel his behavior was just a regular two year olds behavior.  At the time, it was so different than the other boys' behavior that it was a bit overwhelming.  Now when I hear people talk about their post adoption issues, I realize we really did not have many issues.
 
Shad has no memory of China but does want to go back and visit some day.  He has become such a fun kid.  Everyone loves Shad and he is enjoyable to be around.   I'm usually the one to pick him up from school and we do errands together.  I'm always glad for those times so we can talk, just the two of us.  He loves to read and his reading level is very high.  We are reading some of the same books right now and we discuss them together. 
 
He has a very Southern accent and loves ribs!  He is more like Jon and me as far as being social.  He is really like Jon in many ways, it is uncanny and we love it!  He is comfortable in social settings that make me uncomfortable LOL  He has no fear of people not liking him!  We kid him all the time and instead of the show "Everyone loves Raymond"...it should be "Everyone loves Shad". 
 
He's a great kid and I'm thankful that God gave him to us.  We would have missed out on so much if we were not the ones who got to be his parents. 
 
 
 
Shad meeting Jon!
This picture is priceless!!!!
 
And some pictures from today!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



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