Luoyang Day 5 (Monday) – Gotcha!
In short - an amazing day that couldn't have gotten much better. It did start a bit slow with Monsoon rains drenching Zhengzhou last night. Our window leaked badly so we ended up moving rooms this morning. Ultimately this turned out positively, in that our room view changed from the dirty side of a building 15' away to a beautiful courtyard garden, complete with a meandering lily pad pond, walkway and small bamboo forest.
We met the group at 9:30am (all 14 families) and boarded buses bound for a provincial government building about 20 minutes away. We arrived before any of the orphanage vehicles, which were late due to extensive flooding in and around the city. All of the families were in one modestly sized room (a bit small for so many families) when the children arrived. ZT arrived in a small van overflowing with children and adults. He willingly came right up to us and practically gave us a High-5 (well almost). He appeared as happy and well as could be expected after having to stay at the orphanage for two nights. In the bag they brought with him we received 4 cameras, but not New Day CD we had hoped for. I would venture to say that our meeting (reunion might be more accurate) was all we had prayed it would be. You should have seen the room - 14 families – hysterical screaming children, crying babies, a few calm ones and then there was ZG and ZT acting like best buds. Maureen had their matching backpacks ready to go filled with all sorts of things to do and they just went at it. ZT was very interactive and expressive = laughing hysterically at times. It was amazing. He really likes to be held and just seemed ready to be involved in whatever we wanted to do. After a couple of hours we boarded the bus back to the hotel and worked on lunch. Noodles, yogurt and bread were readily eaten by all. While Maureen took a trip to the bank and met with our guides to complete registration paperwork, Craig and Aura Lee took the boys to a wonderfully large indoor swim pool/recreation center in the hotel. We prepped the boys with floaties and went for a swim. The shallow end was 4 1/2 ' feet deep, so there was no children feet touching. As expected, it seemed pretty clear that ZT had never been swimming before. ZG just jumped in and played like a fish. ZT just began laughing hysterically as he watched ZG. Craig got right in with him and he was just all smiles. He never appeared fearful as learned the finer points of keeping water out of your mouth and nose. Eventually we had him paddling and kicking his way around the pool. Amazingly, at one point he climbed out, stood up, walked a few steps to where he had a clear path and just leapt in – came up with a sputter, smiling and laughing. He appeared cautious at times but ultimately showed no fear. Lake Michigan is going to be a blast for him when we return. Back in the hotel room the boys spent a good hour plus playing Lego's. Just like ZG he really likes to put things together and taking them apart. They are like two peas in a pod – we can't imagine we'll ever get any closer to knowing what it's like to have twins than this.
Off we went to dinner at a very small place down the street, and wouldn't you know it – absolutely fantastic food - a new local favorite is discovered.
Tomorrow we are on the bus at 9:00am – traveling to complete the registration process.