Today was our last full day in Xian. Tomorrow we leave the hotel at 3pm, do a little site seeing to kill time and wait for our children’s passports to be ready, then fly out for Guangzhou at 7pm. It will be a full day for these little ones…..and by 7pm all of them are usually in bed. In the orphanage they went to bed at 6pm and didn’t get out of their cribs until 7am. They would also take a long nap in the middle of the day. So…..they spent a large majority of their little lives in a crib.
So far she sleeps pretty well, but with the smog and smoke she has developed a cough. Tonight she was running a low temp, so please pray she and Ryan and Jenna stay healthy for continued travel. Thankfully Guangzhou should be in the low 60’s. A big difference from the pictures we are seeing from home, where they have gotten about 6″ and are expecting 5″ more. It sure doesn’t seem like a reality when we are here.
John and the kids were getting a little stir crazy, so they ventured out again today. I took the opportunity to put Elyana down for a nice nap, and when they returned they were full of stories to tell me!
It’s so funny, because for us to see a Chinese person is no big deal in the U.S., but here it’s another story…….
This guy came out of nowhere and threw his little guy into Jenna’s arms so he could take a picture! She’s the blond-haired celebrity! It’s sooooo crazy….we don’t think we are a big deal…but they sure do!! Many of them have NEVER seen an American. The only places you see foreigners around Xian, is usually in tourist areas.
We crack up because you see them try to sneak photos of us, and even take group photos with us in the background! Yesterday John realized what one guy was doing, so he turned around and put his arm on the guys shoulder for the picture. They started smiling and taking even more pictures.
Here is Jenna again…..being asked to pose. lol. Oh and the kids would want me to share something gross…..hacking is quite the normal in China. You hear/see it everywhere. So, the woman taking the picture (in the restaurant) hacks and spits it right on the floor!! This is why you are advised to not wear flip flops in China. John says…”it was tile…it’ll clean up.”
Also….waitresses don’t get tips in China. So, John has made quite the impression by tipping just a few dollars each time.
It’s truly a whole different world.
The elderly man in the photo above said something to John about having beautiful kids, and asked John why they are in Xian. Our adoption agency gave us cards written in Chinese explaining why we are here. (It says something like we love your country and we are here to adopt…..we joke and say it’s like telling them “we come in peace.” lol) Anyway……so John showed him and he said “Oh thank you, thank you” many times and asked for our address and phone number. He gave John his name, address, & phone number, then shook his hand and said “Now we are friends, American friends.” John also showed him a picture of Elyana and he kept smiling, giving the thumbs up, and saying “thank you!”
Not all people we’ve met are warm and friendly towards us in Xian, so it was so nice for the kids to experience the side street markets and restaurants. (the non tourist places…the real China) It is so neat to hear the people here give heart-felt thanks for rescuing these little ones. It’s nice to know they are happy for them. Some of them have told us “lucky baby, lucky baby” when they find out we are adopting.
Ryan and Jenna really enjoyed being at the market today and tried some kind of Chinese candy and bought a few more souvenirs.
John says you can find almost anything here…..even toilet seat covers. How would you like to be the model that got the toilet seat contract?
It’s so different here in China to only see one child at a time. You very rarely see a family with more than one child in the city. We had a Chinese woman who sells things here in the hotel tell has we had a very big family. lol. I wonder what they thought of the Duggars when they were here.
After Elyana’s naps and the kids adventures out at the market….we tackled some less inviting activity…. laundry. (makes me appreciate my washer) Elyana had so much fun helping me to throw the laundry into the bath water. I brought laundry detergent, so we at least have plenty of clean socks and undies!! She is such a good girl, and loved helping. We had a great day together as a family.
After laundry we decided to go down and try the Chinese restaurant in the hotel. The hostess snickered and laughed at us as they seated us, and we were planning to eat there until we looked at the menu. $220 bowl of soup was on the menu. (Giant Chinese Salamander soup) John says he would absolutely try it, but not at that price. We ended up eating at the buffet restaurant that we tried the other night.
Elyana is trying new foods and did great with pumpkin, fried rice, and yogurt. She is wanting less and less of the bland foods she had in the orphanage. She shakes her head no to congee and rice cereal now.
This is the same buffet we eat our free breakfast at. We’ve figured out they only have one CD…and it’s an American Christmas CD….we’ve already memorized all the songs. lol
Some people have asked us if there is anything about Christmas here. Yes, they have decorations in the big hotels where they know tourists may be. (nativity scenes are sadly missing…but Santa and Christmas trees are usually present) The kids were making Elyana laugh tonight…they were joking that Santa looks like he is picking his nose.
Elyana just cracks up at them…as you can see in this picture.
Well, that’s about it for today. Too many days in a hotel is making us all a little slap happy. I’m so thankful Ryan and Jenna could be here because Elyana sure loves them. She gave them each a great big real kiss on the cheek for the first time today. They each thought that was great!! She continues to adjust to us, and we are VERY thankful for the progress we see. She has her tough moments, but we work through them. We realize this has been such a big change, it will take a long time for her to heal. She still looks at the Chinese women and points on occasion, while babbling something about them. We think they remind her of a life she lived for 2 full years. This part makes me sad for her. I know she is letting go of memories, while embracing a new life. We are thankful to have pictures of her nannies, orphanage, and we were also given an amazing baby book made by the orphanage with her earliest pictures inside. We also received her finding ad….the ad they place in the paper, so that her birth mother or father can come and claim her if they want. These are wonderful pieces to her puzzle of a life she had before us. Someday I know she will ask, and these will be treasures to share with her.
Your prayers, messages, emails, phone calls, and all the kind things you’ve done……have all meant so much to us. We are missing home, but trying to soak up our time here. Please pray for Elyana’s health and the health of the other children traveling with us. We are hoping the warmer climate may help them.
We send our love to all our family and friends. Have a wonderful day. Good night.