Finally, after our plane was supposed to have taken off, they announced that we were going to start boarding. They led us all outside to a tiny, crowded bus and we piled in. Then they drove us all around the outside of the airport to a set of metal stairs that led up to the walkway which would let us board the plane. About halfway up the stairs, Jonathan finally lost it. He started screaming and thrashing and kicking. It took both of my hands to keep him from falling or kicking other passengers, so Greg ended up carrying both of our bags and Jonathan's stroller. He screamed as we walked into the plane and all the way to our seats. I think I actually pulled a muscle in my right hip or lower back trying to hold on to him. Once we got to our seats, he calmed down pretty quickly. He thought take-off was hilarious. He kept looking around and giggling. He seemed to love the flight. He played with his seatbelt, and ate some snacks and looked out the window. Because of bad weather, we had to circle the Guangzhou airport for about 20 minutes before we could land, but he didn't even seem to mind that. When we made our final descent, he looked a bit concerned, and I wonder if his ear was hurting, and then when we touched down, he lost it again. He began screaming and thrashing in his seat. I think it really scared him, but as soon as I pulled him into my lap, he stopped crying. He did great as we taxied to the gate, and left the plane, and walked to the baggage claim. And then we waited some more. And waited. And waited. He got wilder and wilder the longer we waited. Fortunately we met a nice woman from Israel who offered him some cookies, and I think that might have saved my sanity. Once the baggage finally arrived, we left the airport, met our guide, and drove to the hotel. Once we got to the room, Jonathan finally lost it for good. He was so tired and overstimulated that he couldn't hold it together any longer. He lay on the bed screaming and thrashing and writhing. I curled up next to him, and after about 15 minutes got him calm enough that he let me hold him and help him gradually change the thrashing to a gentle rocking. It only took him a few minutes to rock himself to sleep. I then collapsed into bed, and slept for over eight hours!! That is the first time I have had a whole night's sleep since we got here!
Today we had to do the medical visit. That is one of my least favorite parts of this whole process, and it was every bit as bad as I expected. Jonathan screamed and cried for most of the time we were there. Once we left, we were all exhausted. Greg and I were both afraid that Jonathan would have a difficult day because of this, but after lunch and a great nap, he woke up in the best mood we have ever seen him in. He worked his simple puzzle for the first time, and happily explored all of his toys. We walked down to Lucy's for dinner, and he seemed to love that. He was smiling and chuckling to himself on the walk back to the room, so Greg tried to get a picture of him, but as soon as Jonathan saw the camera, he made his serious duck face.
Back in the room, he sat down and played ball with Greg for a few minutes. We have been trying to get him to play ball with us since the first day, and this is the first time he showed any interest at all in playing with it. Then he helped clean up his toys (sort of - we are still working on that), listened to his bedtime story, and went to bed. We really can't believe how much progress he has made in just a few days. He is a great little guy, and we are so thankful for him.