Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Jan 21 - Visiting the Orphanage and Other Things...

Thursday January 21, 2016

This morning,Ben and I woke up earlier than Lucee and got ready before she woke up. She woke up on her own at 715am, probably because the lights were semi on and we were skyping with the kids who had made it safely to nana and papa's and she had wet the bed. I gave her a bath and got her dressed for the day. She seemed to be in a better mood, but wasn't acting very good toward Ben for some reason. We've noticed that she'll seem to be close to one of us and then be close with the other one at a later time. However, most of the time she seems to be in a good mood with both of us. It's at least reassuring that if she seems to not like Ben for a bit, we know it won't take long and she'll be buddy buddy with him, and vice versa with Brandee.

Today is the day we have the option to go visit the orphanage and take pictures. However, with the last day or so, we've decided not to take Lucee back, but for one of us to go take pictures while the other one stays with Lucee. We had asked Ashley for his advice since he has seen many, many adoptions take place, what his opinion was to take the kids back to the orphanage to visit. He said it's completely up to us, but that he seems to think that kids who are Lucee's age, seem to get sad and act like they wonder why they are coming back. Are they being left again? And then they go with the parents again and it's like a roller coaster of emotions, they are in an orphanage, they are not, then they are again, and then not. If we had taken her yesterday, we would've blamed ourselves that that was the reason for her shift in behavior after the 2nd day. We were thankful that we confidently knew that that was not the reason for her shift and didn't want to chance her reverting back anymore behaviorally. With her being a little more standoffish with Ben this morning, we decided that he would go take pictures while I stayed with her in the van.

Ben's visit with the orphanage was very special as he got to take videos and photos of where Lucee has spent the past 4 years of her life. We are thankful that the orphanage seems to have been a clean, safe place for her to grow and develop. We heard that since she is from an orphanage in the capital city of her province that it is usually a bigger orphanage and they have more resources and staff. This definitely seems to have been true as she is a very social, engaging, smart child already. As Ben was taking a tour, he realized that Lucee was in a “wing” of the building specifically for kids with Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome. She even had a room for her to do physical therapy and hydrotherapy! He got to meet the nannies that had cared for her and see pictures of her from when she was younger. What a blessing to have been able to capture these memories for her. Although she didn't go back to visit with him, these pictures and videos will hopefully one day be able to help her through the processing of adoption. When Ben was there, there was a boy (about 7 years old) who kept following him around saying, “Baba? Baba? Baba?” and pointing to the door. Baba means Dad in Chinese. Adam and Missy, we found your boy ;) Wish we could've brought him back to a family in the US. Pray for him to find his forever family, please.

Afterwards, we went to Walmart to find a suitcase and other items before our bullet train ride to Guangzhou tomorrow. Ben has been craving a regular bag of Lay's potato chips the past couple days and we found a big bag at Walmart. Apparently, Lucee likes them too. Funny thing is, we rarely ever buy them in the US, but in China they tasted great! After Walmart, we went back to the hotel for lunch and a long afternoon... We have kind of come to dread the afternoons in Changsha, because there isn't much to do, and she hasn't take a nap for us, so we just hang out in the room. But after 4 days of this, the few toys we brought are becoming old and she is bored with them. We are finding it's the simple, odd things she is interested in (but just once and then she moves on) for example, this afternoon she played a while with a deck of playing cards. She likes to take things out of packages and put them back in. We also took a walk outside (it's been very cold and dreary here the entire time we've been here). One last walk in Changsha, where we feel a bit like aliens. As we walk down the street we can see out of the corner of our eye, the people turning to stare at us as we pass each other. We also got to see a man in the underground tunnel, that people walk through to cross the busy streets, singing for money. He was an albino Asian man. He had a special walking stick laying next to him as he sat on the ground, indicating that he was blind. On the other end of the tunnel was another man laying in a bed like mat of blankets as though he was homeless. It made us think about the many children in the Chinese orphanages that age out of the system and many of them turn to the streets for survival. We learned that some of them are able to stay and work in the orphanage, but many do not.
We went back to the hotel to rest and play what has become one of Lucee's favorite games, PU Stinky! This time it was with Ben's shoes. She will smell them and then put them down and wave her hand in front of her nose and say in pretty clear English, “PU Stinky!” She has picked up on a lot of English words since we have gotten her. She only knew “hello” when we got her. Now she tries to copy the words we say. We have also started teaching her basic sign language, which she seems to pick up on quickly as well. For a girl who was given such a low IQ score on her adoption file, she is showing that that was definitely an error of scoring. She is very smart and picks up on things quickly. She loves to see how things work, as you'll see a perfect example of this tomorrow. We also watched the China's Got Talent show and a Caucasian lady from Italy was on there putting sharks to sleep. Lucee went up to the TV and pointed to the lady and said “momma.... something in Chinese.” Then she'd point to me and laugh and go back and forth doing this. To me it seemed like she was saying, “momma, she looks like you”. I'm curious what she'll think when we get back to America and most people “look like momma”. :)

Tonight we decided to take advantage of the free pillow service we had read about on a sign in the room. You could choose from seven different scented pillows to use for free or to buy. I called the service desk like it said to on the sign and asked for the free pillow service for Buckwheat and ginkgo. The lady didn't understand English so she had another lady get on the phone. This lady didn't understand me either because the next think I know, a lady is knocking at our door with 2 fresh pillowcases to put on our pillows. I tried explaining to her by gestures that we wanted a scented pillow and I'm sure she thought I was a bit crazy. I ended up telling her in Chinese, “no thank you, sorry” and she left. No pillow service for us tonight. But we did end up sleeping well and with her going to bed around 8pm and us going to bed about the same time, Ben and I are getting at least 10 hours of sleep. Wish we could bottle this up and use when we get back home and have 4 kids :)

Boy who called Ben, "Baba"... He's looking for a home! :)

Photo of Lucee painting (she's the one in the front).

Lucee's old bed.

Ben and one of Lucee's nannies, Wendy (I believe that was her name).

Her hydrotherapy room.

Her sensory motor therapy room.

This is the way kids ride in China... sitting in their parents lap or in their own seatbelt... Thankfully we didn't go that fast, but still it was a so different than the laws in America. 

Stopping for a picture on our walk around the hotel.

This smile is so contagious and heartwarming!!!!!

PU Stinky!!! 

She loved riding on Ben's shoulders.

Kisses for Baba!

Taking cards out and putting them back in... it's the simple things.

Our pillow service... fail.

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