The White Swan is a reminder of how much good there is in the world. As my eyes panned the restaurant yesterday at breakfast, I saw twenty-something families--maybe more, each representing at least one more baby or child who has found a home and a loving family. It is awesome in the greatest sense of the word. It is overwhelming to see and warms your heart tremendously. I remember feeling this same way two times before--in the very same place.
After breakfast, we gathered our things and met our group in the lobby to go take visa photos. Charlie's picture came out so cute and the funniest thing is the difference in his mug shot in less than one week. You can already see that his face looks fuller. Then we walked to the medical examination office for the dreaded medical exams. This time ours wasn't so dreaded though. Because Charlie is under two, he did not need a TB test like Daniel did. Because the U.S. government changed the ruling and now allows vaccinations to take place back at home within 30 days of arrival, Charlie left without a single vaccination--unlike big brother Daniel who bravely endured seven shots in one sitting. We moved from station to station as they took measurements and checked him out. At one station, after the doctor listened to Charlie's heart a few times, he motioned for us to follow him to another room. Our hearts sank as we thought the ball was going to drop and we were going to find out that something was terribly wrong. On the contrary, he wanted a second opinion to confirm that Charlie's heart is NORMAL! They believe the ASD has already closed! Of course, we will celebrate once we take him to our cardiologist at home, but it was a welcome bit of information.
While Jimmy put Charlie down for a nap, Madi and I checked out all the outdoor exercise equipment in the park nearby. She loved running around and trying out everything. It was great for her after being stuck in that medical office all morning. We also purchased a jie jie (big sister) t-shirt for her, along with a di di (little brother) shirt for Charlie. I delivered Madi back to the room for a nap too and went off to the visa paperwork meeting for our group, where we gathered all the necessary documents for applying for Charlie's visa. I met some really nice people in our group. We are excited to get to know them. After hearing Daniel's story, one mother told me that she thought she had been to our blog and then asked if I had done a radio show. She had heard my interview about Daniel. What a small world...
The kids woke late from napping, and we spent some family time bonding in the room before dinner. Charlie is changing by the day. He is belly laughing a lot, thanks to Daddy's tickles and games with him. Now he is more smiles than not. You can see that is absolutely loving all the attention we are smothering him with. He adores Madi and she adores him. She picks him up and drags him around like a rag doll. He just goes with the flow.
These are some of our favorite things about Charlie so far:
When he sits like a little frog
His tiny little toes that are so kissable
His spotted little back that looks like a dalmation
When he wakes up and does "stretcher monkey" (Jimmy and Madi gave him that name)
That little hand that reaches out to you when he sees you