Sunday, December 2, 2007

Days Fifteen & Sixteen

We're going home!!!

By to our new friends...

Then off to wait for our flight...

And eating our last meal before we land...

Day Fourteen - U.S. Consulate

We went to the consulate today to get all the imigration paperwork. We'll need to have it processed when we land in the states and the moment thye stamp her passport she'll be a US Citizen! How Exciting!

Also, we went across the street to see the largest manmade waterfall in China!

Then we all went out to eat together for the last time - we go home tomorrow!

Day Thirteen - Shopping

Day Thirteen - shopping

We had a free day today. So, I took some of those photos I've been meaning to...
Like Lucy's...

and items in the White Swan...

and some of the stores...

(They had such small entrances, you'd never guess how big they are inside!)

Then we had some time to play at the park at night.

She really loves the park. I guess you'll see us playing in the snow going down the slides this winter!

Then we took an evening stroll along the river. This bridge you always see over us when we're at the park is the private entrance to the White Swan. They had so many visitors they were clogging up the streets, so they made them their own entrance ramp.

But that was all. Nothing exciting today

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Day Twelve - Botanical Garden

Day Twelve - Botanical Garden

Selah was bored with today's activities save two things. She LOVES water so she was very insistant about getting up close to each and every fountain, stream, or fish tank. Also, she lovesw kids. Today was apprently field trip day for the local school children because there were dozens of groups of school kids around. She would just stand and watch them and I'm sure she'd continue for hours if I didn't insist that we move on.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day Eleven - The Zoo

Day Eleven - The Zoo - DADDY'S DAY!!!!!

Boy, oh Boy did Selah ever fall in love with dad today. She smiled at him, played with him, called out to him -loudly, cried if he walked too far away, begged for him to pick her up, etc....This has to be the best day ever!

Bill had to do some paperwork so we were on our own all day. Because we had Bing to guide us, we took the subway across town to the city zoo. Did you know that Pomeranians rank as zoo animals in China?

Enjoy this beautiful photos of our little girl.....

Day Ten - Museum

Day Ten – Museum

This morning Tony had to meet with Bill to do the Visa paperwork for Selah. It was an hour and a half of the most mind-numbing work. I’m glad Selah is more comfortable with me so that I could get out of it! So, Selah and I went to the park. Boy does she love the park. I had hoped to take photos, but a young man came up to me and asked if he could practice his English. Of course I said yes and then spent the next 45 minutes talking about work, school, my family and mostly the NBA – which is amazing since I know nothing about the NBA. This young man’s dream is to come to America to play in the NBA and to play in street ball games. Very interesting.

Then Bill took us touring to see a nearby temple

and the Chen Family Academy. It seems that this rich family built a school many hundreds of years ago and now they’ve turned it into a museum. I started taking pictures, but there were way too many amazing things. I just gave up eventually.

Selah is opening up more and more each day. She tries almost any word. She loves to talk and point things out. She has her own morning routine now, too. She slides out of bed, puts her shoes on, wait for me to dress her – which she thinks is very funny – then we take her shoes back off, put on her socks and let her put her shoes back on herself. She really has something about shoes. She won’t let her bare feet every touch the floor. Even straight out of the bath she’ll try to put her shoes on and only stops if I show her that I’m going to carry her to the bed. Funny girl.

Tomorrow we hope to go to the Zoo! Maybe I can get some cute Selah pictures there.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Day Nine - Guangzhou

Day Nine – Back to Guangzhou

Nothing exciting to talk about to day. Bill took us on a brief side trip to see a new museum being built next to the sea. Not too long ago they found a sunken ship that was 800 years old and they are building this museum to house the ship and all of its treasure.

Then we made a stop at a harbor and headed home to Guanzhou.

Once home, we had dinner at Lucy’s (still have to get a picture…) and then did some clothes shopping for Selah and the boys. Also, found a store that did laundry – I have never been so happy to have my clothes cleaned in all my life. We’ve actually been looking forward this for that two days.

Day Eight - The beach

Day eight – Visiting Yanjiang

Today Selah really started opening up. She would try to say almost any single word that we worked on: “more drink”, “up” and “down” were the most common. She’s eating very well with a spoon on her own and actually prefers it. Then when she’s done, which is always long before the rest of the group, she slides down and walks around the room exploring. I guess because we have a larger group, almost every restaurant gives us a private room. That’s very nice for changing the girls and letting them stretch their legs.

Emily’s orphanage was very nice. Quite clean. Bill said every time he’s visited there it’s always been clean and neat. Paul brought candy the kids almost knocked him over trying to get it!

Emily did not cry like Selah. Most of the kids in her orphanage were special needs and Bing and Paul think maybe she was not given a lot of attention there because she didn’t need a lot of care. She smiled a little, but was more than happy to leave with her parents when it was time.

On the way home we stopped at a local fruit stand because Selah has fallen in love with these small tangerine type oranges and we saw them as we were speeding by. Talk about being the center of attention again! I don’t think these locals have ever seen a Westerner in their life!

Then it was time to play at the beach.

Selah did not like the sand on her feet so we were confined to a small hotel blanket on a huge beach. Many couple kept coming up and saying how cute she is and the asking to take our photo. (Here’s Selah paying with the beach toys that the Watsons bought her!)

Tony and Bill were the only ones who played in the surf. It was quite strong. I stepped in up to my ankles and was almost knocked over!

Dinner was the most amazing eating experience yet and I didn’t bring the camera along! They had many fish tanks full of fish, shrimp, snails, turtles and some other indescribable marine life. Bill pointed to a tank, they pulled out the fish, boiled it right there and put it on the table. I do not believe I will ever have such fresh shrimp in my life. Selah would not eat shrimp before, but this time when she saw it with the head and legs and tail attached she was very anxious for it. I guess that’s the way she’s use to seeing it. She better get “un”use to it in a hurry. I don’t think the boys will eat right out of a fish tank at home!

We walked back to the hotel about 8pm at night and the girls came alive. They were chattering, walking, pointing, smiling….and really enjoying themselves. They certainly love the night life! Selah was even getting naughty pulling me and wanting to go places she couldn’t and touch things she shouldn’t. She is really use to having things her way. The more she lightens up and becomes more herself the more I see what problems we are going to have! She is definitely strong willed!

Day Seven - Orphanage

Day Seven – Visiting the Orphanage

Today Selah got up early with me so me so we went downstairs and walked around the hotel. It was very beautiful with a pond full of fish and walkways over the water and the entire first floor was lined with shops like a mall.

She has loosened up so much I don’t want today’s trip to ruin our progress. As we walked along, she was saying so many Chinese words to me and looking at me intently expecting me to get it. She must really think I’m dumb. She keeps pointing very specifically at all men, either those walking by or those on the TV, and saying “da”. Not sure what that means, but she’s very emphatic about it. Bing says she can’t help because the girls’ dialect is so different, she doesn’t have any idea what they are saying.

Then we went to a local shopping mall to buy toys and candy for the kids in the orphanage. We intended to go to Wal-Mart but it was not open yet. While we were in the store Selah fell in love with one of balls we bought. Tony thought he’d try throwing it to her and see what happened…..SHE SMILED!! The entire store was starring at us – that’s not rude here – because it was such a remote area and they never see westerners. Also, the were all commenting that our baby was so happy! Everyone in the store – at it was a large store with lots of shelves – it was definitely Wal-Mart size – at they all crowed around to watch them play ball. She doesn’t really get the idea of catching, but since she was in the cart, the handle kind of caught the ball for her.

Then it was off to the orphanage. I was really dreading this part. I wonder how upset she’ll be?

Well, our driver got lost. He was asking many local people for directions, but the locals had a different dialect of Cantonese and therefore could not understand him. So, he switched to Mandarine – no luck there either. Then he got on the phone – I realize now he must have been calling the orphanage, because a few minutes later “gee gee” jumped in the van and started directing him.

OH My – Selah catapulted herself out of my arms and clung to Gee Gee for dear life.
Then we were arrived both her friends were there to great her with candy in there hands. Apparently, they know her well!

For the next hour and a half, woman after woman came and picked her up or took her right out of the arms of the person holding her. They talked and talked and Selah cried again for every person who touched her. There were probably 20 women she cried and reached out for. The only way you can truly experience the magnitude of this event is to watch the video. But here are some photos.

We were shown her room, the play room and the court yard where everyone plays.

Then she played on the slide,

ate congee in her room, and shared some.

Do you remember the picture from yesterday of her standing in the 11th floor hotel room window looking down? I now know why she likes that. They would always hold her leaning over the wall to call down to the court yard below. That was one of her favorite things to do. I think Tony almost threw up when they did it.

And now I know why she’s so desperate for me to understand her – holy cow does she talk! She talks and talks, and directs the nannies and the babies and calls down to people below and appears to tell whole stories to each new person who holds her. She appeared to be bossing everyone around. She even got them to feed her a bowl of congee while she was there. I was happy for this because I learned that she is very capable of feeding herself and prefers it. (Since then I’ve let her feed herself each meal and she’s much happier)

Then it was time to go. I was prepared for the worst. She was obviously much loved here, very spoiled and, apparently, the “mother” of the other kids in her room. I’m sure she’s not only sad that she’s leaving the caretakers, but I bet she’s worried about the children she’s use to caring for. So, there was screaming and kicking again as we all expected. But what we didn’t expect was that twisted around to let me hold her against my chest and she hugged me and laid her head on my shoulder. No one thought she would accept any type of comfort at this point and especially not from the people who “stole” her. Then she cried herself to sleep in about 20 minutes – the most sorrowful, mournful and heartbreaking cry you will ever experience – and then she was done. That was amazing. That was a God-thing. That says volumes about how she’s going to adjust and attach to us. That is a blessing that is immeasurable.

Quick funny story -- when we stopped for lunch, a bunch of ladies kept talking excitedly to Bill and pointing at us. We’ve become really good at knowing when people are talking about us even when we can’t understand them. He said they were asking how Tony and I could be married and have a Chinese baby come out. How do you put two westerners together and get Chinese? Very funny.

Then we were off to Yangjiang, the town where Emily’s orphanage is. It’s right on the South China Sea and our hotel is 100 meters from the water. Conversion anyone? I don’t know the exact conversion – but it’s close….

Since its winter here, it’s the off-season. There is literally no one here. When we went walking after Sundown and looked back at the hotel, there were 3 room lights on and the entire rest of the hotel was vacant. Tony said it seemed like the beginning of a horror movie. “You can check in – but you’ll never check out!” They also turned off the A/C system to save money, so we only have the fan running. WE ARE SWEATING! It’s only about 65 at night, but with no windows that open and no A/C, it’s very stuffy.

After visiting Emily’s orphanage tomorrow, hopefully, we’ll walk on the beach and get some pictures of the sea for you!