Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Monday, December 16th

   One week down!!  And, we'll be home by this coming weekend!!  On one hand, it seems like Emily's Gotcha day was WAAYYY longer than one week ago, and on the other hand, we realize that we still have a long way to go with Emily's adjusting to us.  While we'd love to be at home and settled right now, Dan and I have both said that these next days while still here in China will be a blessing to have, -- for her to get a little more used to us before we have to cross the Pacific Ocean in an airplane with her!!  If we had to get her on a plane today.... oh dear.  We just don't want to go there!

   Today was another shopping day -- taking the big bus along with the other families!  The mall was made up of all kids of Chinese things for sale, and I did have souvenirs that I wanted to buy.  This was obviously the best day to get it done.  But, not only was it intensely over-stimulating for Emily, the tight aisles between shops and the crowds were difficult for us big people as well. If it had just been one of my teen-aged daughters and me.... well, then, we could have done some serious shopping!  But, add a 3 year old who was reacting in fear and then defiance to the big crowds, and it was a recipe for disaster that ended in a great big tantrum.  If it hadn't already been so noisy, we might have been embarrassed by her screams.  As it was, her screaming was pretty much drowned out by the crowds.

  For the second day in a row, we were NOT up to a lunch outing when the bus unloaded everyone at the hotel.  The people in the pastry shop downstairs will know us by name if this keeps up!!  The pastry didn't fill me up, and I had some milk in one of Emily's little milk boxes (like juice boxes in the US) along with the Cheeri*os I had brought from home.  If Emily won't eat them, I will!

  After nap time, we played in the room again like yesterday.  Emily is definitely starting to relax more in the room and show signs of actually enjoying to play.  She definitely likes to play with Dan a lot more than me.  In our travel preparation, we were told that it was very common for the child to reject one parent and bond more quickly with the other.  Emily will watch Dan play with the Dupl*o blocks that we brought along.  She had no idea what to do with them at first..... she didn't see how to make them fit together for a day or two, but now she'll watch Dan build things and start to put them together herself.  They'll add a tower onto one large block that has wheels and make it roll.  Dan makes truck sounds, and "beep beep" sounds, and she has started imitating them!!  Great progress, we think!!  Then, she'll take them all apart and put them into a little purse/backpack that the orphanage sent along with her on Gotcha day.

    She also loves to climb up in Dan's lap and will sit there unbuttoning his shirt, and then buttoning it back up.  It's another one of those "paying attention to detail" type things that makes me happy to see.  Her hand-eye coordination is wonderful.

  In the evening, we met up with all the other LifeLine families in the lobby to board our big bus again.  This time we were off to have a dinner cruise on a riverboat.  All of these sight-seeing trips have been previously arranged for us.  We enjoyed seeing the night lights, and actually passed by the tall building that we'd seen last week.  Its lights were beautiful, as were several of the bridges that were lit up.

After the buffet meal, there was entertainment for the kids---  a clown, juggler, and music.

    Back at the hotel, we got ready for bed right away.  Emily is finally agreeable about taking off her clothes.  She gets really attached to various things-- one of them being this red jacket.  Sometimes it's a challenge to get her to take it off!  But, now that she's feeling more comfortable in the hotel room, it's become a routine to go right into the room and put her jacket on the chair, and her shoes on the floor under the TV.  She definitely takes comfort in the little routines!  She still despises bed time, so basically right now, we're just letting her sit in my lap on the bed with the lights off, but with a cartoon on the TV.  Usually, she's so exhausted by all the stress of the day that she falls over sound asleep within 10 minutes, and I just ease her down onto the bed and crawl out from under her!!

   It's really amazing to think about how overwhelming all of this must be for a kid who basically never left the orphanage..... and here we are going all over Guang Zhou every day.  I'd certainly be ready to shut down.... and I doubt I'd be very cooperative with the people making me do all these new things!!  It's hard to keep remembering her perspective, because we know much better her life can and will be, but she just has no clue!  But, we can see that each day, she is definitely bonding more tightly with Dan, and she's tolerating me!!  It's good to see her slowly letting down her guard, and start toward the beginnings of trust.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday, December 15th

( Yes, I know that it has now been 10 months since Emily came home, but I am determined  to get this down for us all to be able to look back on..... especially to see how FAR Emily has come in these months!!  So, after many months of silence--- I'll continue the story!  The only way that I could manage to remember any details is that I started making some notes of things I didn't want to forget about our trip as soon as I realized that I wouldn't be able to post much of anything while we were in China.  So, now I just refer to things that I jotted down to help me remember!!)

   After our normal morning routine, we joined all the LifeLine families downstairs in the lobby and went out to board a bus.  Today was a day for souvenir shopping and sight seeing.  First we went to a large shopping center/mall that was devoted entirely to jewelry.  You could buy pearls, jade, and about any other stone you could imagine in any quality you could imagine.  It was impressive.  The place was several stories high.  We didn't buy a whole lot, but we did enjoy walking around with the other families and getting to know them and their stories.

   Emily was captivated by the kids of several of the shop owners who were enjoying the aisles of the shopping center by zooming around on their scooters and other riding toys.  They were her entertainment, and when they saw that they were getting attention, it made them even more daring!!

  It started raining as we were boarding the bus again, and so our next stop was sight-seeing in the rain.  We went to the Chen Clan Academy Museum.  Emily had made it to the end of her rope, and between her being difficult, and the rain not allowing us to enjoy the pretty sights, we were slightly strung out by the time we left.  
  Had the circumstances been different, I would have really enjoyed watching some of the local artisans at work, and reading more about crafts and the history of the Guang Dong province.  As it was, if we let down our guard for one second she would have grabbed anything in sight and would have been set to destroy it.  That was just too risky, so we really couldn't relax.  Emily was obviously tired, so we were very ready to go after a short time of looking around.

This is almost a smile!!  

  Emily was so tired when the bus took us back to the hotel that we just quickly bought some raisin buns and another pastry from a shop on the main floor, and ate a quick lunch in our room.  Neither Dan nor I were up to trying to handle a lunch outing!  Emily took a nap, and then we had a snack in our room.  We right away found something else that she will eat.....  vanilla cream cookies!!

   And, she obviously had eaten them before, because she knew to take them apart and eat the yummy cream part out first!!  :)  Whatever might be the reason that she is mostly refusing to eat---  it stopped when she saw the vanilla cream cookies!  No refusals there!  :)


  We spent some time playing inside while she was in a happy mood.  I brought all of these girly hairclips thinking that I could try to make her look a little bit more like a girl in spite of the boyish short hair.  Well, with the exception of a few hours on the first day, she has absolutely rebelled at any girly hair things going into her hair.  HOWEVER, I am most happy that we brought them along, as they've turned out to be the best play thing ever!!!  She loves to pay attention to detail (which is a really good sign along the attention span side of things!) and she will spend quite a lot of time taking them all off this piece of fabric, then arranging them back onto it.  Hey -- if it works to keep her occupied with something that is not destructive, we love it!

 As always, we spent a good deal of time going up and down the escalators and stairs, and are about to wear ruts into our trail around the lobby.  We pretty much had to stay indoors, though, as it was still raining.  For supper, we ate local Chinese with the V. family at a nice restaurant in the hotel.