Friday, May 16, 2008

The Health Check

Here' Maya and me trying to look elegant in the lobby of our hotel: The Hanoi Elegance Hotel 3.(there's 3 of them in Hanoi.)

If I could only get these rocks loose, I could throw them in the koi pond!

Here's the tiny princess walking around like she owns the place.

Today we went to the Police Dept. to pick up Maya's passport. Then we went to the International clinic for her health check. I had no idea what to expect. Somehow I imagined Maya screaming while a male Vietnamese doctor did a brief exam. We were taken to a very modern place (where all the foreigners go for their health care). Maya was very cooperative while the nurse took her measurements. They got off to a good start when the nurse handed her a lollipop before she did anything else. So I thought we were getting off easy. Then it was Kiet's turn to get "vitalized". Everytime he whimpered, she wanted out the door.

Then the two friends played and Maya fed Kiet some Cheerios.

Then it was Kiet's turn to see the doctor. While we waited, Maya played with the social workers from Holt. When it was our turn to see the doctor, she clung to the Nhan and cried. She refused to be held by anyone else. Nhan is the man on the left.
Our doctor turned out to be a Chinese American woman trained at Washington University. She spoke perfect American English with no accent. She asked us the usual questions about Maya's health and if we had any concerns. I tried to assure her that Maya had been bonding with us while she clung to Nhan and cried. Then I took her from Nhan and held her so the doctor could examine her. She had already figured out that we were in cahoots with the doctor. Now she was really mad at us.
The doctor's assessment was: Other than looking a bit pale, anemic and malnourished, she seems to be in good health. We tried to assure her that we are doing our best to stuff as much food into her as possible and taking it easy on the junk food. She did recommend that we get her off the orphanage brand of formula (it's loaded with sugar). Oh, Grandma and Nanna will love this: she said when we get home we can stuff her full of spaghetti!

After the health check we walked to a restaurant near Hoan Kien Lake. Maya was asleep in the carrier. As soon as I sat down, 4 young women appeared, crowding around to have a look at Maya and fight over who was going to get to hold her while we ate. I kept telling them she was asleep and she would cry if I took her out. They would not take no for an answer. They took her away by the kitchen where we could still see her. If she fussed they took her into the next room where the bar was. I had to ask them to bring her back so she could eat her lunch. They took the bowl of chau from me and brought it back empty 1o minutes later, and Maya with chau on her face. When we tried to take Maya back, she cried again. The girls all thought it was a hoot that the "Vietnam baby" didn't want to go back to her parents. Pretty much everyone in the restaurant came out to see the spectacle. Matt finally stole her back from them. He said no more waitresses stealing our baby. He said it's too traumatic for Maya but I don't think his poor heart can take it.

I thought she was still mad about the doctor visit. I suggested we go by Fanny's for an ice cream cone. (I hope the doctor is not reading my blog!) Then we let her walk around the lake for a while before heading back to the hotel for our daily blog, I mean, nap.

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