I have a favorite memory of each of the boys from the time we spent with them in China. No these aren't the boys, but it is a cool picture isn't it????
I love going to China! And I'm going there soon. : - )
Mike bringing Boone to me. I had stayed in Guangzhou to get Pryor.
Boone's grades are getting good. He came home the other day and announced "I like science." And he had an A on his report card to prove it! But if Boone has a sub teacher, look out. He'll find out how far he can push. And then he'll push right up to that limit, and sometimes beyond. I'm been telling him to pray about it.
Boone was a wild man in China. The boy needed tamed. That didn't make me any less crazy about him. He was/is so cute and clever. And he made/makes me laugh--a lot. The first time Mike laid eyes on him he said, "Sammy is going to like him."
I made up my mind, though, that I was going to straighten him out before we left China. And he made up his mind that he was going to make sure I didn't. Every morning we would go downstairs to the dining hall. Boone was stubborn and didn't want to try the foods I wanted him to, like fried eggs, linked sausage, orange juice or peanut butter. Of course, those were foods he had never seen in his life, but keep in mind he was way under weight and looked like a little refugee. The boy needed food. When he ate he ate like a P-I-G. One hostess who spoke no English would give me the evil eye because she thought I was mean. I forced him to use his knife to cut his meat, chew with his mouth closed and sit up straight. Since we didn't speak the same language, I had to give him stern looks to make my point. He wanted to act silly and came across like he was . LOL
Well, Boone is all show. He really didn't mind the fights we were having. He actually was enjoying it all. He knew he had a Mamma now--and he liked it! And he was free for the first time ever... out and about living like a real person.
I had been with Boone only about two days on this particular morning. As we passed the hostess who greeted and said goodbye to the guests, Boone was his little cocky self. He strutted past her. That's when Boone stuck his arm through mine, and as we passed her he cocked his head around, looked straight at her and stuck his tongue out as far as it would go. Then, he gave me his big toothy smile. I know he was saying to the hostess.. "ha I've got a Mom now so what are you going to do about it." But, if looks could kill that hostess gave Boone one!
You know what I did?!! I pretended not to see any of it and kept right on walking.
Boone told me the other day the night before his Dad picked him up he was so excited he couldn't sleep all night. He told me it was the way he feels now at Christmas Eve.
Pryor tells me a lot of interesting stories about his past. The other day he told me after living in his foster home, and being sent back to the orphanage the standard two weeks before his adoption he was allowed to eat the staff food. I guess they wanted him fattened up. He was in good shape too. His foster parents had been good to him too.
Pryor is now making the honor roll. He is still learning to work hard though and I know could "easily" be making all As. China told me he did make straight As there.
I picked Boone out, but God picked out Pryor. Boone was the exact child I wanted. I liked his looks, his age and his write up. I found him fast--within a day or so after we had decided to adopt. It was instant love, and I had no second thoughts EVER. And, with Pryor I had pretty much a list of what I wanted and needed for the 2nd child to adopt along with Boone. I hadn't told Mike yet I was plotting and praying. : - ) I knew the age I wanted and I knew it would be a boy. I wanted him to be cute (shallow or not). I knew where he had to be living because of the time we could stay in China. Since, Boone was already in one province, the 2nd child I was looking for needed to be in Guangdong, since every person adopting has to spend time there. And the cost was important too (always is unfortunately). Well, I had decided to start my "real" plotting, planning and PRAYING as soon as we we sent our dossier to China, and I did! Things started to fall in place in a way only God could make happen. I started to look through the oceans and oceans of orphans. When I saw Pryor's face and it said he spoke Cantonese I knew he had to be in the Guangdong province where the city of Guangzhou is in. It turned out he was in Guangzhou, the city we had to spend most of our time to finish up Boone's legal work. Probably what sealed the deal though was the description of him in his papers that said he was an A student. Now I don't have to have a kid that is overly smart, but when you are my age and this is your 12th child, it helps. I need my life to be as easy as possible. I'm not getting any younger. If some people don't agree with me... it's a free country (and let's pray it stays that way!).
Our first dinner together. Mike and Boone had met up with Pryor and me.
Boone said he thought this was a fancy dinner. He said this was the first time he went out to eat. Mike had taken him to McDonalds in Zhejiang, the city he came from. I think this restaurant was considered a very nice place and their specialty was squid. When you take your guide out you buy. He was very disappointed we would NOT order any squid. We did tell him to go ahead and order him some, but he didn't.
"This" was for sale on the sidewalk along with other interesting things.
Pryor and I at their version of Walmart. The bins were full of rice. It's true! The Chinese like their rice!
Shepard Salem is the very serious quiet type. He is the worrier. He is the planner. He is the thinker. I think he'll be an engineer. His report is showing he could be, because like Stafan he is making straight As. He told me tonight he asked God to help him make As--with God all things are possible! Shepard plays sports and is pretty good, but his love is building and engineering. When our handyman comes for the day, Shepard can NOT wait to get home and see what was done. Then he wants to discuss all the guy's moves with me. What did he do? How did he do it? It can go on forever.
In China when we got him he was nervous and scared. It wasn't until we got home we found out that because of his two front teeth being broken in half his gums were infected. So, one reason he was so quiet was because he was in pain. His gums got even worse by the time we got home. He started to run a fever and even the dentist didn't catch it in the beginning. Later he had a lot of dental work done. But, I think his hard time in China made him the serious person he is today.
Though Shepard was quiet when we first got him and still is, after a couple of days he got his nerve up. I guess he figured we weren't that scary after all. So one day we were about to get on the hotel elevators to go up to our floor, Shepard decided it would be funny to make a run for it. He ran to the elevators, hopped on and pushed the button before I could get to him. Again, we were staying at the White Swan Hotel. It's a big hotel! Luckily, Shepard is a sharp kid and knew what floor to get off on. When I got to our floor he was standing there laughing his little head off. Secretly, I thought he was cute, but I said to him, "Don't get funny with me young man!" He knew no English though so I had to "act" mad since I couldn't lecture him on how dangerous it was. I was carrying a pizza. I dramatically threw the pizza box on the floor and swatted his little butt. Ugh... can you imagine losing your kid in China?!!
I was proud of Shepard from the start. He was exactly what I wanted. When we got home though he was starting to feel so bad he didn't "do" anything but sit quietly. Poor Stafan was thinking "this kid is no fun." So, their start together was rocky. Now though they have a LOT in common and have a lot... a lot of fun together. They are close.
Oh, and Stafan, Shepard and Pryor all came from the same orphanage in Guangzhou.
Well, I might as well say it. Stafan is about the perfect son. He was then and he is now. He is kind, sensitive, never disrespectful, always conscientious, sometimes serious, "cool," athletic and makes straight As. He is the dream son, and he almost always wants to do the right thing.
In China Stafan was fun from the start. I remember one lady adopting a baby looked at me and said, "That was the kind of kid I was wanting." Hmmm... guess she was being honest. We first thought he would be a lot less serious minded than he is now though. Now I realize he acted different when we first got him because he was so thrilled to be adopted. He was just plain and simply happy about his new situation. Every time you did anything for him he would say "Thank you Mamma." This went on for months.
As we left Civil Affairs, Stafan "hopped" in the van and winked at me. For days after, he would wink at me constantly.
Give me that pen! I'm signing for this beautiful boy!!
Being Joe Cool. He still is, but not as cocky about it.
The first meal we ate out with Stafan was at McDonalds. Stafan had told our guide that's where he wanted to eat. He wanted a cheeseburger. As you can see he is enjoying it.
Well, that next day I thought we would give him a treat. Instead of McDonalds we got him the fancy cheeseburgers inside our fancy hotel-the famous White Swan Hotel.
The guide laughed and said "He said McDonalds cheeseburgers are better."
His first night with us Stafan slept with me in my twin bed. I didn't realize it until the next night, but Stafan did not like sleeping with a girl. So, the next night when I told him to come to bed he jumped in bed with his Dad instead. For the rest of our time in China he would always hop in bed with his Dad instead of me.
These pictures I think are all Guangzhou, Guangdong.
Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. Boone came from Jiaxing, but Mike stayed in the capital, Hangzhou.
Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province
Oceans of orphans left behind. Boone is in all these pictures.
Boone is the one with the gigantic mouth of course.
Boone says the little albino boy got sick and died. he said "he got heart sick." I have no idea if that is true.
Boone: "Mom, I remember EVERYTHING in China. I saw him in the hospital when I broke this arm."
Boone did break his arm in China and has a HUGE scar to prove it. It was on a trampoline. They sent me pictures of him on the trampoline.
Boone is sitting by the little blond albino child.
Boone: "That was me when I was a kid? I never knew I was a kid before."
Boone: "I had friend who stand up for me and I stand up for them. But, his stand up different than mine because I stand up right away. I say "Hey, it's not his fault. Then when the people being bully I started getting mad. I bite them!! That's when I started biting."
Me: "You don't bite."
Boone: "I did in China. I bite a lot."
Boone: "Yum! Remember when I told you in China we work and then we get food? Then we had to take care of the stupid babies."
Me: "You did?"
Boone: "We had to clean them. Give change their diapers. We had to take them to the stupid tub. It was nasty. It was plastic."
Me: "What else?
Boone: "At night time we had to take our own shower. We were so tired."
Boone far left--the small one. Imagine this scrawny little boy was responsible for taking care of babies and changing their diapars.