Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rosie's Orphanage, 3/28

 Our guide arranged for a van to take us (Mom, Dad, and girls) to Yangchun today.  Ms. Yu, the orphanage director, met us and showed us all of Rosie's paperwork, then we looked at the photo album of Rosie that we had brought.

We met the Rosie's favorite nanny.  She's the one who was holding Rosie when she was brought to us almost 7 years ago.
 Mrs. Yu (to my right) took us out to a fancy lunch along with two other orphanage directors (Yangchuners, if you know who they are please tell me!)
 This is where Rosie was found when she was a baby.  We only cried a little....
 A truckload of pigs passed us on the way home.  Rosie wasn't sure whether they were going to the zoo or the circus....

Meanwhile, Grandma and the boys went sightseeing with the other two families and saw a temple and some fancy Chinese art.
When we got back to the hotel we found presents that James had bought for us with his own money!  He made these origami boxes for each present.  Then he admitted that he didn't want to come back to America because he's having too much fun!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Consulate Appointment, 3/27

Today was our consulate appointment, the date that the whole adoption trip was planned around.  We had to take a group oath saying that all the documents were filled out correctly, then we handed in some paperwork and that was it.  Mommy had cooties today and both girls were competing for Daddy's affection.  Rosie started crying and couldn't stop.  Mimi saw Rosie crying and thought she should be too.  We got back to the hotel with two wailing little girls.  After a long nap...

 We went to a beautiful park by our hotel where we saw some nice hedge plantings and some outstanding paving!  :-)

 We love China!

Shamian Island, 3/26

 Our guide gave us an hour on Shamian Island to go shopping before lunch at Lucy's.  James saved up his money and got a fancy new robe.
 Weirdest experience ever:  Mom and I walked into this little shop and the guy behind the tea table looked at me and said, "Are you from Denver?  I think I know you."  He then described his friends Natalie and Don from Denver (Aurora) and guess what?  Their daughter is in Rosie's class!  He must have seen a picture of me on Natalie's facebook or something.  He had a big photo album of families and was able to name most of them and tell me where they were from.  What an amazing memory!
 When it was time to go back to the hotel we couldn't get a cab so we ended up on the back of this little motorcycle.  We couldn't stop laughing!  We made it back in one piece despite some close calls with busses, running a red light, and going the wrong way down a one-way four-lane highway! 
Bedtime calls for lots of hugs with Xiao Ge.  They love each other so much!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Zoo, 3/25

 Went to the zoo in Guangzhou today and saw a panda!
 The kids are getting along GREAT!  Hope it lasts after we get home!
 This is a picture of our "shy" Mimi who jumped right up on stage with the belly dancer at our Middle Eastern dinner!
Who wants a snack?  I'm taking orders!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Medical tests, 3/24

 The only official thing we had to do today was get medical tests for Mimi.  The clinic was really crowded with Chinese people and their Chinese kids on one side, and foreigners and their Chinese kids on the other side.

There are two big parks by our hotel.  We walked around one of them in the evening and had a great time.  It was a beautiful setting with a lot going on.  People were singing, ballroom dancing, playing ping pong, looking at the bonsai exhibit, and lots of other things.  There was even a little carnival there.  Some of us rented a boat and motored around the lake.  We had a great dinner with the other family we're staying with then came back to the room to wrestle the kids into bed.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

To Guangzhou 3/23

Mimi had a lot of "firsts" today:  Eating at McDonalds (thumbs up), riding on a moving walkway (thumbs up), riding on a plane (thumbs up),

and getting to drag her own suitcase (thumbs WAY up...she would not let it go!)
 Bedtime is a little chaotic these days.  There's usually more wrestling and tickling going on than reading and singing.
If you have any extra change please remember to give it to the difficult....

Friday, March 23, 2012

Orphanage visit, 3/22

 Our group went back to the orphanage for a visit today.  We made sure the guide explained to Mimi that she was going to show us around and say good-bye to her friends but that she'd be coming home with us.  She was NOT happy to be there.  She clung to John the whole time and didn't say a word to her nannies or friends.
 Rosie showed Mimi how to suck her thumb to comfort herself.
 The big trip of the afternoon was riding the Shanghai Maglev train, the fastest train in the world!  It runs at different speeds at different times of the day but it got up to it's top speed of 268 mph on our first leg of the journey.  It was Andrew's dream come true.  We took two subways to the Maglev, then two subways back to our hotel at rush hour.
Mimi was happy to be snuggled up with her sister and doll.  This is the last night in our fabulous hotel in Shanghai.  Some of us would like to move in!  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sightseeing Wed 3/21

 Sightseeing day today.  We all went to the Bund then it was clear the girls weren't going to make it for much longer so I went back to the room with them where Mimi took a 3 hour nap.  The other part of our group went to the Yu Yuen gardens which were reported to be very beautiful but very crowded.
 No trip to China is complete without some gross food pictures.  This one shows chicken feet and other body parts in various sauces.  There's a very fancy rotating restaurant on the top floor of our hotel.  We went there this afternoon to look out the windows and took a peek at the menu on our way out.  If you're having trouble figuring out what to have for dinner tonight you might try to recreate this dish:  Braised shark fin with seahorses and deer penis and testes.

Whoever told us that Mimi was shy and quiet was soooo wrong!  This little girl laughs and screams all evening long.  She's also a little technology addict.  At one point she was holding both of the devices above while sitting on my lap and looking at pictures on the computer (and trying to push buttons on all three at once).  Her favorite app is the cat that repeats whatever you say.  She was telling it various things in Shanghaiese and Mandarin and we were trying to get her to repeat things in English.  She now knows how to say, "Onetwothreefour" and "Shake your booty"!  She and John are having a race to learn each other's language.  They're now tied as John can say one, two, three, four, and butt in Mandarin.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's official!

 They made it clear that we had 24 hours to try her out and see if we liked her before the adoption became official.  I think she passed all our tests!  :-)
 Nancy, this one is for you!
John took Andrew, James, and Rosie to the top of the highest building in China and they all walked on the glass floor.  Yikes!
 We showed Mimi all the new clothes we had brought her and she was most excited about the package of Hello Kitty underwear.  She took all of them out and laid them flat in a pile, then folded and rolled each one back up exactly the way it was and put them back in the package. 
 I gave her a package of barrettes and she knew exactly what to do with them!
Daddy showed her how to play patty-cake and she thought that was the best game ever!

Monday, March 19, 2012

She is absolutely perfect!

 We went to the orphanage in the morning and did paperwork in a big room with three other waiting families.  After paying the orphanage "donation" I came downstairs and there she was!  She stood there stoically while we sat around her and tried to communicate.  We finally won her over with chocolate pocky sticks and balloons.  She was having such fun with the balloons but made sure to stop and give a balloon to each kid in the room, starting with the crying 2 year old.  What a sweetie!
 James has been saying for months that he does NOT want another little sister.  He even refused to eat at breakfast in protest.  Well, guess who melted as soon as he saw her?!  When it was time to go we asked her if she wanted to hold Mama's hand and she shook her head no.  Rosie's hand?  No.  She went over and took James' hand and didn't let him go all day! 

 Our guide took us to a big Carrefour market to pick out some food.  I pointed out to John that it probably didn't set a great precedent when she kept pointing at junk food and John would put it in the basket and clap for her.  She stopped at the Barbie section and picked out exactly the one she wanted and put it in the basket then kept a very keen eye on it to make sure it didn't go anywhere.
At the room she really opened up and wanted to check out everything.  Her favorite thing to do was pouring water from cup to cup and bottle to bottle.  She was very comfortable with all of us and giggled at everything.  We thought she'd be very quiet but she's been even a little chatty.  She understands James and Rosie and even me!  (Rosie told me she was impressed with my Chinese even though I was a "white-sey")  Whenever James would go to a different room she would follow him and shout "Xiao Ge!" (The younger of my older brothers) and play with him.
The thing that cracked her up the most was finding a Chinese opera on the tv and pretending to be the characters. 

After dinner she admitted she was tired but was very resistant to stay the night with us.  She picked out the pjs she wanted and put them on after Rosie put hers on, but wanted to put on her shoes with them ("that was a fun day, I think I'll go home now...").  She refused to brush her teeth or get into bed, but we got her to sit on the bed and read books on the Kindle after we showed her how to turn the pages.  She finally settled down and slept all night.  She woke up smiling and giggling this morning!


John here -- we got unstuck and made it to Shanghai (I'd never seen a credit card actually melt before).  We now have Mimi, who is a joy!  More to come (and pictures) soon. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Stuck in Tokyo

Miscommunication when booking our bullet train tickets led to us leaving three hours late and missing our flight to Shanghai.  Thankful we found a hotel room since the woman at the airport said that all hotels were booked solid.  We'll get to the airport early and see if anyone can put us on a flight to Shanghai.  This was supposed to be our day to relax and get ready to meet Mimi on Monday (tomorrow).  Wish us luck!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday, 3/16 Kyoto

 John dragged us to temple after temple today.  The main highlight was the Golden Temple....
 Followed closely by the Temple of the Golden Arches.
 We saw a lot of geishas going to work.  The one on the right is holding her smart phone.
The Philospher's Walk is a popular path during cherry blossom season.  We missed the blooms by a few weeks but still saw the first signs of spring.
After a long day of walking we reenergized in the public baths.  Public service announcement:  If you happen to find yourself going to a public bathhouse remember to bring your own towels or you will have to drip dry....