Wednesday, July 8, 2009

group email from June 23

Hello! Today was our first full day with C. We had a great day. She is so adorable and such a silly, funny girl. This morning when she woke up she was pretty freaked out again. Yesterday she had gotten pretty comfortable with us. But this morning she was "frozen" again. She woke up and just laid in the bed. I went to say good morning but she wouldn't look at me or even acknowledge that I was there. She was doing that frozen with fear thing that she was doing at the CCAA. But having the boys has taught us a lot. For one thing, a picture really is worth a 1000 words! I went and got the camera (digital cameras are so awesome!) and just started showing her the photos that we took yesterday. We've learned that you can't always tell a child that they are safe and that things are good. You have to show them. And there's nothing that works better than when a child SEES himself/herself laughing and having fun with their new family in a photograph. After a few photos she started making tiny smiles, then she started making eye contact. By the time she got to the photos where she was making Kevin pose with her barbies, she was laughing! After we finished looking at the photos she bounced out of bed and was herself again! She has such a funny personality! After she was dressed I painted her toe nails and finger nails with the pink nailpolish that we brought for her. She LOVED that! She saw me putting on make-up and wanted me to put mascara on her- I just pretended to put some on her. We had to go back to the CCAA to finish signing some papers and I didn't want her to be our "painted lady":-) At breakfast she was really funny. She obviously has no idea what to do with silverware. We gave her chopsticks but she wanted to do what we were doing. She could use the fork pretty good but still struggled at little. At one point she gave up and used the chopsticks but then went back to the silverware:-) When we got to the CCAA she seemed a little scared again. I had Mr. Li (our guide) explain to her why we were there. We also brought the gameboy again to entertain her while we sat there waiting. She also LOVES to take pictures with our point and shoot digital camera. Our meeting was pretty short and we were back at the hotel around 10am. We played for a little while. She really opened up. She loves to be tickled! It's so funny! She and Kevin also had several pillow fights:-) It was pouring rain all morning. By early afternoon it had stopped so we decided to go out. We found the Chinese Medicine market. That was really cool. Kev of course took tons of photos. I love the dried starfish. I wonder if I can just buy a couple of them to take home? The dried seahorses are neat too but I feel too guilty buying those because I saw a documentary a few years ago about how endangered they are and China's traditional medicine market was mostly to blame.... if it weren't for that I'd want some of those too... but like I said, I feel too guilty. It was still really cool to see everything from snake skins and lizards to dried flowers and roots. We kept walking and found the pet market. The dogs and cats made me very sad! But the turtles and frogs were really cool. C loved the pet market! She was really excited about the puppies which makes me hopeful that she won't be too freaked over our dogs! Eventually we came to a really modern part of the city. It was a huge walking district full of modern buildings/shops/department stores etc. It reminded me of some of the parts of downtown Frankfurt, except on a larger scale. We came across a McDonalds (actually we saw FOUR of them during the course of the day.) C was tired from all of the walking so we decided to stop there for lunch. In this part of the city it's not all that close to Shamain Island which means I don't think as many Americans come around. We were certainly stared at a lot. On Shamain Island there are so many Americans and all with adopted Chinese children, so we're nothing new. But we got stared at A LOT in this area. I told Kevin it's like this is the zoo and we are the animals:-) The McDonalds was above a store, so we had to take an escalator. C had obviously never been on one before. She yelped a little when she stepped onto it and it was moving. Then she laughed and thought it was a lot of fun. She also LOVES McDonalds french fries and ketchup. (there's a cartoon on TV right now that she obviously knows, she's singing along with the theme song- it is sooooo cute!!!!) As we were walking back you could tell she was just beat. It was a lot of walking. So Kevin gave her a piggy-back ride back to the Hotel. We've been hanging out and playing together since then. She is really being herself and she's starting to be affectionate now too. It's so great to see how she behaves around other people. She is so shy. With all of the walking around the city and going into the shops etc she stuck right by us. Sometimes shop workers would try to talk to her and she would just back into me and take my hand. Even on the elevator up to our room, a man got in on one floor and when he stepped in, she backed right into me and took my hand. She's got the whole stranger-danger thing down. AND she definitely DOESN'T have issues with indiscriminate affection- that is such a relief. Even with Mr. Li who can speak to her and everything, she clams up and doesn't want anything to do with him. Her paperwork said she was really shy around strangers but that once she gets to know you she talks a lot... that's true! hahaha! She's a chatterbox and quite the actress:-) She loves to play and be silly. And like I said, by this evening she was letting us hug her and be affectionate and she enjoyed it instead of being afraid of it. She even hugged me once on her own! So things are going really well. We had so many photos that we wanted to email today that Kevin just made a quick little website of all of them:
We heard about some pearl and jade markets somewhere not too far off of the island. We hope to find them in the next day or two. I'm also hoping to buy some Jade for Yue Yu to have as she grows up because in China, Jade is a girl's bestfriend:-)

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