Not much to write about today. It has been quite slow, which has been quite nice. We had such a long day today that we opted to just stay at the hotel. We had intended to sleep-in, but we started the day a little earlier than planned. Mack woke up crying at around 5:30, which then triggered Melissa to wake-up, which then triggered me to wake-up. We had a slow morning, regardless, and went to breakfast around 8:30. We then decided to make a trek to the "Zhengzhou Starbucks" with another family. We were convinced that we had seen a Starbucks within a few blocks of our hotel. Suffice it to say that at mile 3, we had not seen the alleged Starbucks, and by mile 6, when we returned to the hotel, that most of us were muttering (again), "That the Care Bears were here" and "it seemed like a good idea at the time". Did I mention that I had Mack on my chest and/or shoulders for all but one mile of the trip. Seriously, I am thinking of heading to Mt. Everest and becoming a sherpa. Or, better yet, becoming a rickshaw driver--they have great calves. Or, better still, a monk (hey, I like the hairstyle and the pjs they get to wear).
We did stop by a Wal-Mart towards the end of our walk. Yes, I am becoming a Wally World regular. We decided to buy a stroller. Of course, I pick up the one that has no price tag. Imagine two mutually unintelligible people trying decide where the stroller came from, what it might have cost, whether or not I wanted to just forget the purchase, and who was going to go find the price in the event I did want the stroller. After waiting probably 10 minutes for a clerk to return, Melissa decided I should go back to third floor of the store to see if the clerk was waiting. I did, and the clerk was waiting patiently for my return. She probably told me to come upstairs, but you know, it must have been lost in translation. On a related topic, this is the same Wal-Mart that I tried to buy groceries as two days earler. Imagine Melissa and me standing in line with about 10 Chinese nationals behind us. I only have a credit card. I tell Melissa, if they do not take a credit card that I am walking straight out and leaving her and the stuff behind. This sends Melissa into full tilt panic mode. She waves my Master Card at the clerk and the clerk nods to affirm that they do take MC. Perfect, all is right in Wally World. She rings us up and runs the card. She hands me a pin pad. Here the fun begins. I do not even know if I have a PIN code for the MC. Me, Mr. Non Verbal, shakes my head sideways and to help better explain my situation, I loudly state "No PIN". Imagine, if you will, Melissa, Mrs. Verbal, launching into a full conversation with the gal to explain to her why we do not have a PIN and that we have used the card elsewhere in China without a problem and questioning could there be another way to use the card than with a PIN code. At this point, the crowd behind is glaring and I am starting to sweat. I then hand her a VISA Debit card--emphasis on the debit--to which she initially says yes but then indicates no upon the advice of the manager she has now brought into the picture. They take MC (with a PIN) but not VISA (with a PIN or without a PIN). In the end, another adoptive family paid for my groceries. There are good reasons not to shop at Wal Mart and yet I find myself doing it. It must be the heat.
We spent the rest of the day engaged in a family ping pong tournament, doing office work, and reading. Melissa spent most of the day chasing Mack. He is starting to warm to us and is laughing and smiling more and more. Trauma, of course, draws people close together. So, we are feeling close because so far today he has pulled a full suitcase over on himself, pinched his fingers in a drawer, fallen face first in the hallway, and gotten reprimanded for sticking his hands in the toilet. He is ACTIVE! Although, I can say that he does sleep quite well. He took a 1.5 hour lap as we finished our failed Starbuck search and had lunch. And, as I write, Melissa has laid him down for the night and he crashed in about 5 minutes even with the television on and me rattling about. We have got to figure out how to keep him so well conditioned for sleep.
We received all of our Chinese paperwork today. His Chinese passport will arrive tomorrow. We then fly to Guangzhou on Friday afternoon to begin the process of completing U.S. paperwork. This all seems incredibly slow and we wish we were headed home.