This has been our first "day off" here in China. We had no baggage to find, no airports to maneuver in and no official meetings or responsibilities.
It's Ben's 35th birthday, and a really terrific wife would have brought a gift for him from the US to China to make him feel extra special. Oops. I'm going to take him out for Chinese food tonight, does that count as extra special?
Just to brag about my sweetheart (even though it makes me look like a pretty shoddy spouse in comparison), he did bring me a gift from home to China. For the birth of each of my children, Ben picked out a special necklace and gave it to me in the hospital. This time, he surprised me just before our adoption interviews with a mother and child necklace. Beautiful. Unfortunately, you will not actually see me wearing it in the photos taken at our official meetings because we were frantically running late and I didn't have time to de-tangle the strand before the meetings. You will have to imagine it around my neck.
Currently, Veronica and Ben are taking their naps. I have also been sleeping a lot. I am surprised by how tired I have been considering how good of a sleeper Veronica is. Last night she slept 12 hours in a row. That is like the sleeping baby jackpot.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that taking care of my girl with her unrepaired cleft lip and palate is easier than I had thought. It takes longer to feed her and longer for her to drink, but she has the system figured out. Other then excessive drooling (which we dealt with with another one of our children) there isn't much difference. She even liked getting her teeth brushed.
I did find out some pretty amazing news. We have been given permission to visit with Veronica's foster mother and the director of her orphanage tomorrow. We will take a 2 1/2 hour drive to her hometown and take them out to eat. We found out her foster mother speaks a local dialect instead of Mandarin. That takes the pressure off me for all the Mandarin words that I didn't learn before coming to China. Veronica wouldn't understand them anyway if she has only been exposed to the local dialect. Fortunately, our CHSFS agency guide can also understand the local dialect. Honestly, these guides are like rock stars. They are fabulous!
Tomorrow will be a wonderful, difficult, eye-opening day. I hope I can hold it together when we are speaking with such an important person in Veronica's life. I can't imagine how I am going to react when we see her finding place.