Matthew’s Adoption Diary

Tuesday October 5, 2004

A [EXPLETIVE DELETED] miracle of modern [EXPLETIVE DELETED] medicine.

  • What do you people want from me?
  • Hmmmm…I seem to be hearing some sort of beating sound.
  • Probably not a safe activity but it keeps the kids happy.
  • When you convert to Buddhism, you gotta dress the part.
  • Aelex demonstrates perfect tackling form to her brother.

(Editor’s note: Apparently some of the more sensitive members of the reading public have been offended by the author’s repeated and often gratuitous use of vile, puerile and hostile terminology and vocabulary. When asked to tone down his colorful use of the English language the author replied “[EXPLETIVE DELETED] you and the [EXPLETIVE DELETED] horse your [EXPLETIVE DELETED] rode in on.” We took this to mean that he felt his art should not be censored. Unfortunately for him, we have final editorial control of these postings and we shall endeavor to keep the author’s more offensive commentary from the delicate eyes of our loyal readers no matter what that [EXPLETIVE DELETED] says. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.)

Today was Matthew’s visit to the doctor here in Guangzhou to make sure he is healthy enough to pass quarantine and get the A.O.K. to travel to America. We got an early start, and led by the punctilious Linda, we managed to be the first group in line which meant we were in and out like [EXPLETIVE DELETED] through a goose.

Inside the office, the babies were all subjected to a battery of tests akin to what NASA must subject potential astronauts to before they are cleared to be launched into space. There are actually three stations that the children must pass through. An ear, nose and throat division, a weight and height station and a internal/external once over department. I am pretty sure that Matthew did very well even though my Chinese is very rudimentary and I could not understand most of what the doctor’s were saying, but I believe that the following is a fairly accurate transcript of their conversation concerning our son:

Doctor #1: “My god! I cannot believe the physical stature of this child. I can find no discernible reason why he should not be a first round NFL draft pick in 18-19 years.”

Doctor #2: “That is true, but his immense brain power is also to be admired. The number of Nobel Prizes this child should receive in his life will doubtlessly be incredibly large.”

Doctor #3: “While I agree with both of you, we should not be too hasty in our assessment of his many obvious physical and mental gifts. Let us conservatively estimate that his parents will in no way be required to pay a dime in college tuition as he will surely be the recipient of many athletic and academic scholarships that will completely pay for his higher education.”

Doctors #1 & #2: “Agreed.”

So I took that as a good sign.

After we received Matthew’s gold star for good health, we went and had his picture taken for his American passport which we should receive sometime tomorrow or the day after. That is if I did not [EXPLETIVE DELETED] up my portion of the adoption paperwork too badly the other day. I really need to start paying attention in class and figure out exactly when things are supposed to happen, like when my son receives the only document that he absolutely has to have in order to return back to the States with us. This is one of the many reasons that I love my wife. Her unparalleled competence when it comes to keeping track of things like due dates for important paperwork necessary to bring your child home from another country cancel out my many shortcomings in these areas. On the other hand, I kill spiders. So we’re actually quite a team Dorothy and I.

After the photo shoot, we were done for the day which of course presented my wife with a prime opportunity to spend more of our hard earned money. The same money that was going to be used to buy me a plane ticket so that I could fly home with the rest of my family. Dorothy assures me however, that I should be able to book passage aboard a tramp steamer which should take no more than a few months to return me home should we run out of money before Friday. She said this by the way as she refused to pay 800 yuan for a tee shirt because she felt that the price was too low and the salesgirl was shortchanging herself.

Eventually both children fell asleep in their strollers and we, being the good and thoughtful parents that we are, brought them back to the hotel room and gently placed them on the bed and watched them sleep with tears in our eyes as we asked ourselves how could we ever be so lucky to wind up with two such wonderful children.

Ha! Admit it, I had you. Actually, as soon as we realized that they were both out, we hightailed it to the nearest fancy restaurant, and ate our first peaceful meal in days. It was awesome! I told Dorothy that a little Tequila in the kid’s breakfast cereal would pay big dividends later on. We went to a great Vietnamese place where we were treated like kings and ate like royalty (I was chagrined to learn that they were all out of the fried bullfrog so I had to settle for a spicy chicken dish, but I did have a pineapple beer so things kind of worked themselves out.) Eventually the kids woke up hungry, so we immediately paid the bill and left the restaurant, stopping at the corner grocery for some instant noodles that we heated up for them once we got back to our hotel room. We expect to receive out “Parents of the Year” award in the mail any day now.

The rest of the day was spent shopping. Then we shopped. After that we did some shopping. Oh, I almost forgot, then we did some more shopping. Once we were done shopping, we shopped until it was time to shop. Eventually the stores all closed at which point we returned to the hotel room, where Dorothy went on the internet and shopped online for a few hours. (I still have not gotten up the strength to tell you people what we are paying for internet connection fees here at the White Swan Hotel. Let me get some perspective on the situation before I can objectively discuss what these [EXPLETIVE DELETED] have the nerve to charge us for [EXPLETIVE DELETED] internet access.)

Well, another day down and only two more full days to go here in China. Tomorrow, we get to spend the whole first part of the day in our hotel room with the kids waiting in case the assiduous Linda needs any last minute information while she is filing our paperwork at the American Consulate (such as “Dorothy, how can your idiot husband be so stupid as to mess up this paperwork after I explained it so that even a 5 year old could have understood my instructions?”) I have already cracked open a fresh bottle of Tequila for the kids. The upshot is that tomorrow at 5 P.M. we all head over to the Consulate for the highly underwhelming “Swearing-in Ceremony” which marks our ability to repeat after a mid-level consular official. So you had better savor these last few entries because the end draws neigh.

Keeping the profanity to a bare minimum in [EXPLETIVE DELETED] Guangzhou…