Well, Gotcha Day has officially come and gone, and I'm quite exhausted. Not from the actual day, but again from dealing with the guides.
James and I goofed off this morning, then checked out from the hostel and Susie met us there. We were supposed to leave our luggage there, get NingNing, then come back to get the luggage. Imagine my surprise when our guide had us lug 5 pieces of heavy luggage across busy intersections while she tried to flag down a taxi. Now plans had changed again; we were to go to the hotel, drop off the luggage, and THEN go get NingNing. We did that, only to find that the room we were supposed to stay in wasn't cleaned and ready yet.
We had to drop the luggage anyway because Susie was telling us we had to get going. Hopped in another taxi (at this point, I'm pretty upset that the drivers and cars I thought I'd paid for never materialized). After about a 40-minute ride, we arrived at the orphanage. Walked up the stairs and into a room and there he was! I have seen pictures, but was taken aback by how handsome he is in person! He started towards me and I towards him, and then the guide cut in between us and told us to sit down..so that moment was lost. I started to sit beside NingNing and she told me "no", to come sit beside her and do the paperwork. Ok, fine, I'm just going with the flow....they flit in and out of the room, while NingNing, James, and I all sit there smiling awkwardly at each other. Poor NingNing, he was about dying of embarrassment. We went on a quick tour and met his foster mother, who got upset at the very end, which served to embarrass NingNing all the more. I gave her a hug, and asked Mandy to tell her we would take good care of him; our guide seemed to disapprove of my hugging her, but by this time, I didn't care what she thought.
We rode back to the hotel (yes, in another taxi), with me, NingNing, and James all crammed in the back. The one positive side to this is it certainly promoted closeness, though I'm sure still very uncomfortable for NingNing. James got out his Ipod and showed him some games, which he passed on playing and gestured for James to play. I don't have a family picture yet; Mandy took one with her camera, but as usual, we were rushed back into the taxi before I could ask for one with my camera.
Back at the hotel, Susie and I finished up paperwork while NingNing and James played chess on the computer. During this time, I asked Susie if she would go to dinner with us; she refused. I mentioned seeing a Pizza Hut close to our hotel and she disagreed with me and proceeded to draw a map which she then tried to get NingNing to read so he could figure out the way! I stopped her and said I'd figure something out; that I didn't want him to have to go through that; today was hard enough on him. I got her out of there, and after a bit, we walked to the Pizza Hut that was (gasp) miraculously right where we thought it was. We got a pepperoni pizza and Pepsi for the boys and chicken bites. James "talked" to NingNing through the Ipod; the only issue is that we can't figure out how to have NingNing type in what he wants to say and figure out what he wants, if anything. He's so easy going, he agrees to anything or when we ask what he wants to do or eat, he has no preference. He won't speak a word of English, though I suspect he can understand some, because he laughed at something Susie said in English. We did get him to say "hello" but maybe when he loosens up a little more.
Once back at the hotel, we played Uno for awhile, which he knew how to play. It was funny watching him and James give each other "Draw 2's" or "Skips" and see NingNing's expressions.
The boys settled down pretty early; James is still jet-lagged a bit. So I went to call our tour guide (not Susie) who was supposed to take us to see the pandas tomorrow. I mentioned wanting to hook up with his foster sister's family we met Monday night; he wanted me to call the family, get their permission to go together (thought we'd already agreed), then call Susie and have her take us with them. Susie had made it clear we were not "her family" and were "add-ons", so I told the other guide that I thought it'd just be easier if he still took us and we would hope to meet up with them there.
So here's hoping things work out tomorrow; after the Panda thing, we go to Civil Affairs and take care of that, then Thursday more adoption stuff in the morning and we're going to try for the Happy Valley Amusement Park for the boys. I think by that time, I'll be ready for Guangzhou.
One thing I thought was kind of funny...when he got ready for bed, he stood on the bed, got his shirt off, and laid down with his jeans on. I got the Ipod and a t-shirt and sleep pants and a pair of shorts and told him they were sleepwear if he wanted to be more comfortable; I said it was his choice and he stayed in his jeans, so that's fine ( I just thought the standing on the bed thing was interesting!).