After the girls and I enjoyed another great breakfast at the buffet, we loaded onto a huge bus (not van) since several new families with Lifeline arrived at The Garden Hotel last night. It was great meeting these new families from all over the country, including Birmingham (another Samford Bulldog!) and Ohio (another Buckeye fan!) and seeing more orphans welcomed into their forever families.
About 20 minutes later we arrived at the large building where the medical clinic is held. It was overwhelming to me to think this takes place each and every week so that precious children are able to make the journey home with their families.
At the moment we entered the facility, Jenna clung to me and became very quiet. She was first in our group to get a picture made for her visa and screamed for the picture. One day she'll laugh at her picture and I'll be able to share this story with her. After her picture was made, her temperature and measurements were taken by nurses wearing masks. She kicked and screamed when put on the table for this to take place and was glad to be back in my arms. The next stop was to see the doctor, who thankfully spoke English. He was very nice and since Jenna could stay in my arms, she calmed down until I had to lay her on the table and undress her for the doctor to examine her. Thankfully he said her lungs sounded clear (since she's had a cough, I asked him about that). Once she was finished with that, she had to be seen by another doctor to look at her eyes, ears, nose and throat (EENT). Since Jenna's ears have some deformities, this doctor only examine them and took quite a while doing so. I have no idea what all he wrote in her medical report, so I asked Lily (with Lifeline) and she said he wrote about the need for possible plastic surgery. Time will tell on that! Finally, because Jenna is over the age of 2, she had to be taken from me for a couple of minutes for a TB skin test. She screamed when the nurses took her from my arms and I could hear her screaming in the room while I waited outside with tears in my eyes. I actually handled this better than I thought I would since I knew it HAD to be done, but oh how glad I was to have my sweet girl back in my arms. Medical appointment is DONE!!! Since there are so many families in our group, we had to wait a while in the waiting area. Shelby made a new friend and they enjoyed coloring together, and Jenna showed me how much she enjoys coloring, too.
Once we got back to the hotel, I fixed the girls a quick noodle meal in the hot pot for lunch and then they played for a while before Jenna's naptime. Jenna discovered how cool her new toy phone is!
Jenna really fought me and didn't want to take a nap, but I could tell it was a "tantrum," not because she was afraid or grieving. She really wanted to stay up and play with her big sister in the other room. This was difficult for me, though, because I don't want to scare her or force her into things at this point, but I tried to use my "mommy instinct" and sure enough, after about 10 minutes of crying and pushing away from me even though I was holding her, she settled down and fell asleep.
A little before 3:00 PM, I had to wake Jenna from her nap so that we could go to a meeting with other families and our guide. It ended up being a 2 hour meeting to go over A LOT of paperwork and our schedule for the upcoming week. I was VERY proud of how well Shelby and Jenna played together, quietly coloring and sharing a snack. Precious moments watching my two girls!
After the meeting was over, the girls and I enjoyed some playtime at the outside playground. Jenna didn't hesitate for one second...she was all over the slide and full of smiles and giggles the whole time...so precious! We then walked to a nearby Cantonese restaurant that ended up being pretty fancy and cost more than I anticipated, but it was a joyful time together. The girls loved their noodles!
Today was full of milestones: the first full day without Jason here (we're still sad he's gone but thankful to know he just landed safely in Atlanta and is home with Nathan and Andrew); completing Jenna's first medical appointment as her momma; dealing with Jenna's first "temper tantrum" at naptime; and being able to go to the bathroom with Jenna not freaking out when walking into the bathroom stall...that is a BIG deal! Seriously, it's amazing to me to think about how far our little peanut has come in five days...praising God for His faithfulness!
On the same token, I can't begin to express in words what a HUGE blessings it has been seeing Shelby blossom this week...her confidence has grown leaps and bounds, and the sheer joy I see in her eyes as she plays with her little sister warms my heart so much! She's been such a trooper with all the meetings and appointments we've had to go to, and she is embracing this whole experience. As much as I miss Nathan and Andrew, I know we made the right decision in having Shelby come by herself to China. It's been a special time for her to grow closer to Jason and I, and she's obviously been a huge asset in helping Jenna feel more comfortable...and we're having FUN!