Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 5 - Travel and Transition

Sorry we've slacked off a bit on writing and updates... we have more pictures and videos to share hopefully tomorrow but we've just been so busy and when we haven't been going, we've been absolutely exhausted. We're all drained.

Jessica has a blog post she's going to make whenever she gets a few minutes free but at the rate we're going, that might be after we get back to the states! Claire pretty much insists on being held by Jessica the whole time we're in the hotel room. Once we go out, she's sassy, fun, and independent but at the hotel she's extremely clingy. It makes sense though... just 3 days ago she was taken to a hotel by her foster mother and left with us so we understand her being nervous.

Jessica has so much she wants to share about Claire's personality. It has been a joy to discover new things each day. She is smart, funny, sassy, stubborn, adorable, and especially brave. She has been through a lot of pain in her short little life... she has been taken away from everything she knows 3 different times now and there is certainly evidence of that. This isn't going to be a quick fix... it might take years before she is able to overcome all that she has been through. It's going to take a lot of patience and love... we're anxious to get her home so we can begin working on all of these things.

So, I'm going to let Jessica share a lot of little things about her that we've learned and I'm going to stick to letting you know the sorts of things we have been doing.

Day 5 in Taiwan began in Kaohsiung City. We got up early and went to breakfast at the hotel. The hotel we stayed at was AMAZING... it is commonly referred to by tourists as "The Transformer Hotel" because it looks like a giant robot. It's about 80 stories high and is the tallest building in the city. The breakfast buffet was fabulous... a huge selection of traditional Chinese breakfast foods (they eat some unusual things for breakfast... salad with thousand island dressing is very popular) but they also have tons of fruit and western style foods too. Connor was excited to find they had pancakes and bacon. Claire mostly eats fruit and she can flat put it away... this little girl can EAT!

You guys wouldn't believe the stir we create when we show up to eat in there. I would guess there are several hundred people eating at a time in a huge dining room and when we walk in with our red headed boy and our Taiwanese daughter, heads turn and people stare. It's really funny too... they don't even try to hide their stares... they just stare at us and don't even care if we notice. Connor generally is met with smiles and we have been told several times "he is very handsome". I'm not sure they've ever seen a red headed boy before. We've been here 5 days now and we've only seen one other American couple and zero American children. You just don't see foreign kids here... it's not much of a tourist destination I guess... I mean how many of you have ever heard of Kaohsiung City, Taiwan before now? More interesting than the reaction to Connor is the reaction to Claire. People look at Jessica and Claire like they just stepped off a flying saucer. When Claire calls Jessica "mama" people's jaws literally just fall open and I'm not exaggerating. It is hilarious. In Taiwan, adoption is basically unheard of.

Anyway, back to our day... The hotel has a little playground in a room off of the side of the restaurant similar to what you would see in a McDonalds back home. Connor and Claire had a great time playing in there... she loves to go down the slides, especially with Connor. It's amazing to watch Connor play with the Taiwanese kids... he can't speak a word of Chinese but with kids, it doesn't matter. Within minutes he is able to make friends and play just like he would back home. It's really sweet to see him having this great experience. Being the only red headed American in the entire country hasn't seemed to phase him one bit.

After breakfast and play time, it was time to pack up and head back to Taipei. We were worried about how Claire would do on the high speed train but she did really great. She got a bit antsy towards the end of the trip but overall, it was a success. A two hour train ride is a lot different from an 11 hour flight but it gave us a little hope that maybe the flight won't be all bad.

By the time we got back to Taipei, we were exhausted. Travel with 2 kids and 4 suitcases took a lot out of us... cab rides, escalators, lugging our bags around... it was just a lot. We decided not to really do anything once we got to our new hotel in Taipei (the Fullon hotel, recommended by the Dunn's. It is lovely!). We ordered room service for dinner and then settled in for bed.

Well, we thought we were settling into bed. Claire took her bedtime bottle and then got sick. Big time sick. Think "The Exorcist" and then double it. It just kept coming and coming and coming. Bless her little heart... the new foods we have been giving her are probably confusing her little tummy not to mention the nerves of travel with people she still basically doesn't know. After a traumatic bath (Claire HATES the bathtub with an intense passion. Seriously... she goes boneless and just shrieks!) and a change of the bedsheets, we finally got Claire to go to sleep.

Then about an hour later, Jessica heard someone pacing around the room talking. Connor was sleep walking and having a very bad dream. He was confused and disoriented and didn't know who we were or where he was. It took us a little while to get him calmed down but we finally did and the Adkins family finally all got some sleep.

That's all for now... hopefully later on we'll have a little more video for you to enjoy. Thank you all for the comments on the video we posted yesterday. We're so glad to have so many people following along on our journey and keeping us in your prayers. Keep 'em coming!


Dunns said...
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Dunns said...

We're so enjoying watching your family unfold...so emotional! Thank you for sharing.. it brings back TONS of wonderful memories for us while we were in Taipei---awesome country!

I'm glad you decided on The Fullon hotel,,they were really good to us... don't forget to ask about the english taxi driver with the fancy car:)))

Robin said...

Just woke up in the states and checked on your blog. So sorry to hear that Claire was sick yesterday. I hope everyone is feeling well rested and up to par today. I am sure Connor's red hair, Jessica's blonde hair and Claire's contrast is giving lots of people a double take. Funny how some people are subtle about it and others ...not at all. Enjoy your day/night. Looking forward to more pictures and videos when you get a chance.

Holly said...

Just a tidbit...hope it helps-
Josiah was also TERRIFIED of the bathtub...like serious trauma when we gave the little guy a bath and we HAD to...we traveled in August...the hottest month of the hear and Guangzhou is pure humidity.
Anyway...I finally started putting on my swim suit and getting in the tub WITH him and with toys and Tony sat on the side and interacted with us, and with the toys and it helped. I mean it took MONTHS before we actually enjoyed a bath...no clue how his foster mom got him clean before but you'd think he'd NEVER seen a tub before...I think they used small plastic tubs/buckets to wash the kids in the warm months...anyway...maybe try having Jessica get in with Claire and letting Claire sit on her lap sort of above the water.
Hope it helps...ya'll are learning so much about each other and there are just so many fears right now...she'll probably come to LOVE the water like Josiah now does!
One day at a time :) Aren't the stares the best? We were the first to adopt through our agency from Inner Mongolia...not many adoptions there either. Yeah...we had our blonde kids with us and people wrecked their bicycles staring at us! :)

angelina said...

You could seriosly right a movie about your experiences and it would be amazing. Its just so..um emotional..like the Dunns said above..I think I cry every time I read your blog.