God is Good. All the time.

It has been a little over 48 hours since we have our Xuan Song with us. I must say that it was a long time a’comin’ but has been so worth the paperwork and waiting!

Things are really going so much better than we and our tour guide thought. On the way to the office to meet him Monday morning, Vicky warned us that 3 year olds are “the worst.”

(Walking through a gorgeous park today, hand in hand, happily, I asked what the best kids are like!?)

The first hour was honestly very business-like. We had a lot of paperwork to do and signatures to provide. Xuan Song and Daddy played cars a long time. I spent some time showing pictures of Duluth and giving gifts to his teacher and orphanage worker. They were so kind! I am continually impressed with them the longer I spend with XS.

He has amazing table manners, uses a napkin, picks up trash he drops and listens every time we say no to him. We got to see one orphanage worker after having a day with him and we were able to thank her for teaching him so well!

We have successfully managed to:

1. get him to nap. He sleeps almost 3 hours every afternoon (if that keeps up, what will my kids do, impatiently waiting for him to wake up!?)
2. give him a bath.
3. feed him lychee, tofu, watermelon, spicy noodles dipped in hot water to kill some of the spice, and lots of cracker snacks.
4. share iced tea with him.
5. walk through a park (pictures below)
6. walk through the streets with him, although the busyness seems to be too much later in the day.
7. enjoy an embroidery museum, shop and keep him occupied when he really needed lunch and a nap.
8. and finally, teach him the essentials of English. 6 words have come out while reading a Seasame Street book: tractor, Ernie, Bert, Elmo, choo choo and cock-a-doodle-doo.

All in a days work of a parent!

A side note about his English name, Tobiah. Although we haven’t used it a lot yet, we chose it because in Ezra 2, there is a list of families that cannot establish their connection with Israel. Consequently, they are excluded from priesthood. We imagined they were kind of like orphans. “Tobiah” comes from a word meaning “Yahweh is Good.”

All the time.

Now for the photos:

Waiting.  I sang a lot.  Brian set up a camera and paid fees.

Waiting. I sang a lot. Brian set up a camera and paid fees.

This makes Tobiah officially an Asker: a red palm print on a document.

This makes Tobiah officially an Asker: a red palm print on a document.

Walking in Changsha's Martyr Park.  Named for soliders who died in a civil war in 1940's.

Walking in Changsha’s Martyr Park. Named for soliders who died in a civil war in 1940’s.

Monument to the fallen soldiers.

Monument to the fallen soldiers.

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Parenting: some days it's just a walk in the park.

Parenting: some days it’s just a walk in the park.

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