It's hard to believe that we received our son only two days ago. A combination of jet lag, which we are all battling mightily, and a flood of new emotions have combined to really mess up our sense of time. Each day, though, we seem to recover a few lost hours of sleep and An seems to be getting more used to us and his new life. What can I say about him so far? Well, he's a sweet, happy kid, just like he seems to be in the pictures I posted yesterday. He's got an impish grin that slays me each time I see it. It's clear that we was well-cared for and loved at the orphanage, for which we are very grateful. He responds well to affection and reaches out for it when he needs it. Our biggest hurdle right now is the language barrier. He's vocal at times when he's excited and is assertive with sign and body language when he wants something. Our Vietnamese hosts kindly translate as much as they can. The biggest part of his day so far is going to the lobby of the hotel and taking in the huge fish tanks. "Ca!" (Fish!) he shouts, as he looks to me for affirmation and agreement.
I could fill an entire book of reflections on what it has been like for us the past few days. The adoption process aside for a moment, I had no idea what a treat it would be to visit this country. The people are so deeply warm and friendly and sincere. No matter where we go, people are polite and helpful. They seem genuinely interested in our visit. It's been a humbling lesson in hospitality for the jaded American in me. Other than the sweltering heat, it's a delight to be here. My only regret is that the nature of our visit doesn't really allow for meaningful sightseeing or other tourist related activities. However, just going from appointment to appointment in the van through the city provides more than enough opportunity to see what a vibrant and social country this is. It will be interesting to see how our impressions of Hanoi, approximately 1,000 to the miles north, compare to Ho Chi Minh City.
More later. Now, it's time for a morning bowl of pho.