Our guide took us and the other family from our agency to a huge park today. It was very nice to get out of the hotel and city congestion that surrounds it and have some fresh air and walking space, and bot did Ella walk! Our little one has blossomed into a toddler overnight (literally). I told German at breakfast on Tues how weird it was to have a 2 year old at a restaurant that was so calm, that lasted 1 day. This morning Ella was grabbing at everything, wanting to do everything herself and started toddler behaviors like throwing when she is mad that I wouldn't have dreamed she would do 24 hours prior. The change is truly amazing! At the park she wanted to walk everywhere and was up and down tons of steps (with our help). She was getting pooped about noon and I tried to get her to sleep in the ergo carrier, she was so close but then would start screaming again, after going through this for awhile I handed her to German and she promptly fell asleep (of course), we were able to get her in the ergo without her waking and she slept for 2 hours.
This afternoon back at the room was pure craziness. As those of you with small children know, a 2 year old trapped in a hotel room can be quite trying on your sanity, combine that with the fact that you're in the middle of a foreign country with nothing close to walking distance that is remotely kid friendly (and there is no way you want you child walking along the streets as there are no really traffic rules followed by cars, motorbikes or bikes) and it gets that much worse. Oh, and of course the 2 year old with you is a basically a stranger who was taken from everything she knows two days ago and placed in your care, hopefully you get the picture. There have been some tense moments but I'd say all in all the 3 of us are doing pretty good and I am proud to say Ella is asleep in the bed for the night without one tear shed, quite an accomplishment!
Adopting a toddler so far has been quite an experience, now that she is comfortable she is into EVERTHING, wants to go wherever she wants to go and for the most part do it herself. At least with a newborn you get a chance to adjust to each other and have a non-mobile child for a bit, this is chasing, and watching constantly from day 1.
Plus, we are really starting to miss our other 2 bubbas and can't wait to get home and give them lots of hugs and kisses! We have already started planning what we want to do with them the weekend we get back (which is still ~10 days away) Today at the park we saw a little turtle and I was so sad because all I wanted to do was show my Lucas because I know he would have loved it and Noah would love the weird automatic car parking garage that we can watch out our hotel window here in Nanjing. A huge thank you to my parents for watching them and friends for stepping into help (thanks Kirsten & Katrina!)
All in all, I think German & I are both emotionally and physically exhausted (carrying a 25lber around almost constantly is quite tiring, she is not as little as we had thought), but seeing the transformation of our beautiful daughter even in the short time we have had her is such a priceless gift and experience that it makes it all worth it and I wouldn't trade it :)