So, we attended a picnic today. To get there, we took our first subway and bus rides. All of the boys (Jon included, enjoyed the many different forms of transportation). This was a picnic unlike any we have ever been to before! We sat on concrete stools around small firepits. About 6-8 people sat at each place. There was charcoal underneath a grate and on top was foil in places. There were many different kinds of food and they would brush on sauces and spices on top of the food being cooked. There was tofu, beef, pork, bananas, squid, chicken, beans, mushrooms, and more. They were cooked on wooden skewers. The cooked meat would often be on the same plate as the raw meat, so, I was again praying for protection for our bodies. The food was delicious (most of it - I tried squid this time!) and the company memorable. And, as in true Chinese fashion, there was way more food than I could eat. I sat with several new friends, Jon and Jian sat together with others (Jian enjoyed being the cook) and Tanner sat by himself with many Chinese, and was very proud to be on his own. It was a beautiful day for a picnic and we stayed for several hours. The kids had some fun things to play on and then played a little frisbee and badminton while we enjoyed sitting and chatting for a while.
We then went on to a home where we were taught how to make dumplings. Jon and I both learned. I'm not sure we'll try it at home, maybe we'll just buy the already made ones. We enjoyed the company as well as the fun time making dinner and eating with new friends. We were again able to share our adoption story and how it all transpired and worked out. Many people are surprised and curious as to why Americans would want to adopt a 14 year old Chinese boy who is deaf. I'm not sure we'll ever tire of telling the story. We also enjoyed listening to a young Chinese girl play the Guzheng (an ancient Chinese instrument). It was beautiful and amazing! We were enthralled with her abilities and her mother gave us a DVD of her playing.
Tanner has been having a runny nose for a few days and responded well to allergy medicine, so, we assumed it was the smoke and pollution here. Well, tonight when Jon was washing his face, he responded in pain when his ear was touched. This almost always means an ear infection. We're thankful that we have antibiotics along with us and will pray that they will work to clear up the infection. He's continuing to love having a big brother. Yesterday morning he started clapping and jumping up and down and signed to Jian "I'm so happy you're my brother!!!"
Jian still is doing so much better than we ever imagined. It feels like we've been a family forever (I guess in one sense, that's true). It's hard to believe it's been just over a week since we've met him and he became our son. There are definitely some frustrations and irritations, but, nothing we didn't expect or out of the ordinary - especially for a deaf child, and one who has grown up in an orphanage. He loves to touch everything, grab things and be a little aggressive at times. This is not unusual for someone wanting/needing attention as well as a way to communicate with those he can't sign or speak with. He actually is learning well and responding well to redirection. He still always has a smile on his face and loves to check his calendar every day to see when we're flying to America.
Tomorrow we are looking forward to some more sight-seeing around the city. Hopefully a museum about Nanjing as well as a trip to the mountain. It's supposed to be another beautiful day, so, I'd better sign off and get some sleep to be ready for another enjoyable day.