We did have a small victory yesterday morning when he decided to finally start drinking. It wasn't a lot but at least he took something from the new bottle. He took a little bit of juice and did have watermelon and fruit at breakfast.
Yesterday we met our guide in the lobby at 11:30am, received Luke's passport, and headed to the airport with the other two families. We made it through security with only a minor incident when the guard made me put him down so they could scan me and he freaked out. He ended up falling asleep in the carrier while we walked laps around the airport which I was trying to avoid but I couldn't keep him awake. He slept for maybe 30 minutes. They loaded us on the plane and then we sat for about two hours before taxing from the gate. He actually sat really well for those two hours playing but then started to get annoyed with being contained and we still hadn't left the gate. The flight crew was not very informative so when you see them bring out dinner and you're ON THE GROUND... you know you're in trouble.
The next three hours were full of screams and monkeying around the plane. He stood up on his seat at one point and was jumping up and down and screaming. Earlier in the week, he was very stoic and didn't do much up until today. He rarely would walk around or touch anything. Yesterday he decided to become a messing toddler. He was emptying the garbage, turning on the tub and soaking the towels, unpacking luggage... which we were thrilled to see rather than the stoic shell of a kid.
Luke stayed awake for the entire flight and through the airport and finally did fall asleep in the bus on the way to the hotel. I had him in a carrier that I strapped to my chest and he stayed asleep through a chaotic check in and we successfully transferred him to a crib. He stayed asleep until 1am and then I brought him into bed with me and he slept until we woke him up at 7am.
We met up with the other Holt families at 8:30am for what may be the worst part of the trip (I haven't endured the plane ride home yet). We had to take all our kids to a medical clinic where they needed exams before getting a visa to the US. There were 13 toddlers in my agencies group, ten toddlers in another group and a few other families all in the medical clinic at the same time. Who thinks this would be a good idea??? Luke must have some major medical trauma in his past because the minute he sees a white lab coat, he freaks out. He was terrified of the doctor at the hospital, and was screaming whenever he had to go into a medical office this morning. At the clinic, the kids have to go through three separate exams and then get a blood draw for TB screening. He screamed through every doctor, even when they tried to weigh him, measure his head.... everything. The nurses take the children into a room without parents and take their blood. They were taking two kids in at a time and three children went in and our while they had Luke in there and you could hear his blood curdling screaming throughout the clinic. Our guide explained they were having trouble getting a vein. Ugh, it was terrible. As soon as that was done, we left and headed downstairs and waited for the rest of the group. He definitely earned a lollipop after that appointment.
He headed back to the hotel and did some laundry in the bath tub and Luke took a nap. When he woke up, he was a happy messing toddler. He got into Priscilla's suitcase and was checking out all her expensive beauty products. He can open just about every type of container. He's becoming quite the rascal.
Overall, we are all doing a lot better emotionally and physically. The flight and medical checks were terrible but that's the worst of it we hope. He is definitely coming out of his shell a bit more and exploring around and talking. His favorite word is Abby! Abby was singing in the shower (shocking I know since she is always singing) and Luke was at both bathroom doors in our hotel room yelling, "Abby!" They have definitely developed a special bond. We ventured out and learned the Guangzhou subway system to get to a grocery store. Of course it's a walmart inside another massive mall. The chinese people love their malls. We found a cafeteria style restaurant which made ordering dinner so much easier. We could just point and they put it on a plate. Finding a restaurant with a picture menu has been quite challenging. The subway system is super clean and cheap. It was less than $1 for the three of us all together to ride the three stops to the mall.
Continue to pray that Luke will bond and trust us more so he feels safe. He is not drinking a lot but he is drinking more than before and having more wet diapers so we are feeling better that he's not dehydrated.
We are in Guangzhou until Thursday night and have a few more appointments and then will head to Hong Kong. One more week we will be on the plane home.