Her behavior first thing every morning is exactly the same. She wakes up groggy, but somewhat startled, opens her eyes to see us either in bed with her or in the room with her, and immediately crawls straight out of bed and gets as far away from us as she can. She goes into the living area (the hotel room is like a suite), sits down on the floor and stares through her grogginess until she fully wakes up. It definitely is a statement of her LACK of trust in us still.... there are no good morning smiles and no cuddles (she doesn't give any affection at all, and I can only give her tiny kisses if she is in my lap already --like when we are riding on the bus-- and I'm coming at her cheek from behind her line of vision! She tolerates it that way, and might even be starting to enjoy the closeness! But, NOT in the morning.) I get up and fix her milk and tempt her into my lap with that. She is making good eye contact most of the time, which is great!!
I have to wonder, too, if her getting out of bed so quickly might have something to do with the fact that the kids were not allowed to get out of bed by themselves. This might be more freedom than she has had before, and --given the freedom, she'll opt for getting up before the freedom is taken away. I don't know for sure what the orphanage morning routine was, but she was still sleeping in a crib. There is a crib in our hotel room, but she screams mightily at the very sight of it, so we actually never even tried it!! It's quite obvious that she does NOT have a good relationship with a crib!! --Most likely she spent lots of hours in one, having to entertain herself, or wait for someone to come get her out. If we had been planning to put her in a crib when we get home, we would have tried making her sleep in one here, but since we aren't, there really is no point!
Today brought more rain. It rained yesterday as well, so we've had some dreary days. Again, we are SO thankful for a large hotel with lots of walking space inside.
We still met up with everyone in the lobby and got our seats in the big bus!! Today's outing was to Shamian Island, the place where all adoptive families used to be required stay while in Guang Zhou. Families who are here for their second adoptions (or maybe third or fourth!) have fond memories of their prior time in China. Many have wanted to revisit the shops and restaurants, so a trip was planned there for everyone. It used to be full of souvenir shops, coffee shops, etc. that would attract Westerners, and quite a few of them are still there. Now that China doesn't restrict the foreign visitors so much, though, and also now that the American Embassy has moved, some of the shops have moved or closed altogether. One place that has stayed open and is famous with all adoptive families is a restaurant/cafe called "Lucy's." It has good Western food! So, we went in a few shops, and I bought a few more gifts that I wanted to pick up, but then headed to Lucy's to get out of the rain.
Emily is enjoying a snack... she wouldn't eat any "real" food,
but she loved this chocolate!! It was a Chinese version of Nut*ella
with wafer-type dipping sticks! We'll be buying some of these
to help keep her happy on the plane trip home!!
While we were here, we visited more with several of the families that had come in for lunch, too, as well as met some other families with different agencies that were there. It's amazing to see the camaraderie that exists between people who have come from so many different places, but are all here for the same reason!! We get a chance to glean advice from those who have done this before, we offer encouragement (or at least some sympathy) to those whose children are struggling, we all laugh together and share stories of the funny things we're all doing in "survival mode!" You have an immediate kinship with all of the adoptive families, and we all do as much as we can to help each other make it through these days. Everyone has their own personal adoption journey story to share... how God worked in their hearts to get them to this particular place at this particular time. It's incredible to see how He works!
The afternoon was just the same as before-- the bus took us back to the hotel (this time we'd already had lunch, and the lobby pastry place missed us!) and we had a naptime for Emily in the room. Emily had managed not to have any major meltdowns..... of course, we'd done our best to ward them off as much as possible. She still acts out a lot in the room (still intent on tearing up the TV, breaking the lamp, etc.) She is really starting to be quite clingy to Dan and not want to have much to do with me. If I try to play with her in the room, she walks away and goes to get in his lap. She won't look at the toys unless he's getting them out, and then she'll play nicely. She wants him to hold her and doesn't want me even to hold her hand. We try to get her to do some of her favorite things with me, but she even refuses most of them now if it's not with him, too, -- or just with him. It can be frustrating, but since we were forewarned, it was definitely expected. Our main tactic is to continue to have me be the one giving Emily her milk every morning (with her in my lap.... she doesn't get it if she won't stay in my lap.... and thankfully, she has shown that she really loves her milk!!). She also still sits in my lap at all mealtimes; even if Dan has been holding her, he puts her in my lap before he sits down. She sits in my lap on all bus rides-- and since these 2 things have been the routine basically from the beginning, she doesn't balk too much.
Tonight we went back to the Malaysian restaurant that is close by. I wasn't feeling 100%, but I'm hoping that it's not a big deal. Emily came down with a cold/bad cough a couple of days ago, and hasn't been completely up to par, either. We had an adventure trying to buy children's cough syrup in a drug store where the salespeople knew only a small bit of English. They were very helpful, though, and it has seemed to help her. Since she doesn't like to eat most things we try to give her ---even things that are yummy -- I took one look at the nasty brown cough syrup and told Dan she'd NEVER swallow it down. We tried mixing it into a Chinese porridge-type stuff in an attempt to camouflage the taste, but she spit it right back out. I wasn't surprised a bit! Finally, we poured it straight into a little medicine cup, held her locked in Dan's arms, and I stuck it up to her mouth. She opened her mouth and drank it right down! My jaw dropped! Oh well --- God's divine intervention, I suppose!! Or else she has really strange taste buds! We're praying that her congestion gets better before the plane ride home. We're learning her little quirks -- and one is that she likes rubbing kleen*ex on her nose!! She's not really that great at blowing it when the tissue is there, though!
So, we went to bed hoping for the best.... tomorrow brings the day we've been waiting for: the appointment at the US embassy!!