family picture

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We "want our very lives...to serve as HIS signature to all mankind so that all may know His work," Job 37:7

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Relaxing day in Changsha

After such an intense and overwhelming experience yesterday we were in need of a little break emotionally. So if I still have any readers, today's post will be light hearted and I hope to let you guys in on a little bit of our sweet boys personality.

Today was just what the doctor ordered. Joel and I were both up early because he went to bed so early. I was concerned that the visit to the orphanage would cause him to have a fitful night of sleep, but he slept fairly well. I on the other hand think that my mind is processing all of the events that have taken place because I had some CRAZY dreams. I woke at 4 because I had dreamed that I had just adopted 5 boys from Africa and I couldn't figure out how to get them all home from the airport. Go on, you can laugh. I did.

We got dressed, skyped with the kiddos and headed downstairs for a leisurely breakfast. I am so overwhelmed by how many families we have run into who are coming back to let their adoptive children visit their birth country and city. It is really popular in this hotel to see new families in the morning. This morning we met a family that was from NC and they were so excited to meet other southerners. ALSO, the dad had come to Tuscaloosa in April on a trip to help out families from the Tornado and help remove debris.

Today we had 2 things on the agenda: Wal-mart and Starbucks.
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First was Wal-mart and, Wow was it different and yet the same. It's purpose was the same but the items were very different. Our guide was wonderful about walking through walmart and explaining to us all of the things that we saw. The seafood section was something to behold. 
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(please notice the floating fish in the tank.  this is normal and people will still buy them.  Also notice the little tank on the bottom.  Those fish will jump from tank to tank.  Can you imagine having your stroller to close and a fish jumping in on your baby.  I am laughing just thinking about it)
They had an eel section were there were four containers full of eels and someone would come and you would tell him how many kilograms you wanted and they would get it out, kill and clean them for you. This wasn't behind a counter but out in the open. In fact I was inches from touching these things and the tanks are packed.
Same with the fresh fish tanks. There were even fish jumping from one tank to another. It was crazy. I saw two women make dumplings (not in the seafood area but right next door) I watched for a while because theirs were so pretty and mine always look like a hot mess. She actually turned her back to me trying to guard her secret. I was a little sad but respectful. Candy section was about the size of the produce section of the Tuscaloosa Walmart. When I use the word "candy" it is in reference to their candy not our candy. Unless you consider small vacuumed sealed fish bites in flavors that aren't very popular in the States, candy.
We did pick up a few items and it was a fun learning experience for both us and our guide. We were able to see so much of the cultures of everyday life just from the people who were there, the food that was popular and what was important to them materially speaking. Our guide also asked us lots of questions like, the use of the word, apparel and whether it is used in conversational English. There is a matching outfit set that is popular in China and he asked if we had this in the States and how would they do that because here you get a Male shirt, female shirt and one kids shirt. So all in all it was an awesome trip.
Then we went to a Starbucks, there are only 2 in Changsha and that is not alot compared to the sheer size of the city. The Starbuck's is the same with a few minor cultural favorites (green tea frappaccino topped with red beans). I did buy a mug that said Changsha on it. This is the first time I have seen anything in the souvenir type area. Souvenir's are not very popular in this part of China. Just in case you are wondering; green tea frappacinos will stain your clothes and Joel does not like them.
We then headed back to the hotel and laid around in the room the rest of the afternoon. I did a little laundry in the tub and picked up and read and played blocks, played telephone, played throw whatever you can find, played blocks, played ball, watched the traffic out the window (this really is fun) ate dinner and played. All, of course, with Joel.
Speaking of Joel, he has been nick-named Joely Poly. Not because he is round like a roly poly but more like a bean pole. He is very sweet, smiley and loves to play. He is doing better in some things and not in others. He does not want me out of his sight for long. I went to the bathroom today and he cried the most we have seen him cry and even started calling for me, "I-ee, I-ee". If you remember this means "Auntie" to him and to him, Auntie is care giver and in his little world the most important thing. I was super excited that he registers me as a care giver and I can't wait to transfer that to Mommy. All in good time, I know. He only wants Ethan on his terms. He started trying not to make eye contact with me when feeding and wants to feed himself even though he doesn't have the skills to use a spoon. He is even fighting laying in my arms to take a bottle and instead wants to sit in my lap facing away. We are working on that one. He climbs a lot which leads me to my second nick name of Spider Man. He can climb into the tub. It is wild and you really have to watch him. He loves blocks and he will stack them, knock them down, and put them back in the bucket. He is walking more. We have seen him take up to about 5 steps by himself. He likes the tile floors a lot. I'm guessing because they are familiar to him (like the orphanage). We have also noticed that he has a couple of behaviors from the orphanage (we think). When he gets frustrated he grabs his hands and pulls them apart hard and if you try to love on his hands when he is doing this he will stop that and pull at his legs almost in a pinching manner. When he is most frustrated, mad and confused he will pull his hair hard. We even noticed some scratches on his head when we got him and at first wondered if it was from heat, insects or worse. After we saw him pull his hair, we knew it was from that. We are seeing less of the hair pulling but we are still seeing the hands and legs. When he is confused or overwhelmed he gets very quiet and still. We have seen this twice, yesterday when we got to the Fast Train station and today when we walked into Walmart. His naps are crazy and that is making his bed time crazy. I think getting that consistent would help out a lot.
Ethan and I still like each other. This is the most time we have had with only one child in 7 years. He was just as overwhelmed with the orphanage experience. He was still able to keep it together better than me and was so sweet and gentle. He gave me some of the most tender pats on my back as he would help lead me from one place to another or help guide me down some precarious stairs. I could just tell how sweet he was being. He was of course my calm in the storm. I am so thankful for him.
Tomorrow is the beginning of the end of our trip. We have a very relaxed morning planned. It includes packing. We have a 4 something flight to Guangzhou. We will get there around 6 and hopefully be in the hotel by 7 or 8. If you could please pray for our sweet little one. Yesterday he left his hometown forever, tomorrow he leaves his Province forever and we are quickly counting down to leaving his country forever. While we are excited about this chance to unite our family, we can not forget that we are leaving a VERY important part of Joel's history. Hopefully we will get to update the blog tomorrow, even if it's only to post the tons of pictures that I have.

1 comment:

  1. We enjoyed the 'WalMart' experience as well. Faith did the same with bottle feeding. It wasn't until we were home until I saw improvements. I can't believe it is time for you all to travel to Guangzhou. You are going to love it! Safe travels!

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