Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Beauty of Guangzhou

February 5th 2012

We all slept in.  Well if you want to call 7:45 sleeping in.  I was delighted to get a few extra minutes of some much needed sleep.  We signed up with five other families to go on the tour to see some of the Beauty that can be captured with the eye of one Canon 40D lens.  The only memories we would have for Jadyn until we would return one day, when she's a bit older.  

Breakfast and then we were on the tour bus to Six Banyan Pagoda & Temple.  I felt a bit strange entering into a place where people did not know the Savior of the world, but worshiped many Buddha's and idols.  I couldn't even imagine not being able to have the freedom to practice the religion of my choice.  I looked around and saw what seemed like hundreds of people.  Would they be considered some of the 'lost?'  That thought had me questioning God.  How in a place like this, can those who are 'lost' be found?  In a country where having religious material can have you imprisoned or worse.  How could the gospel be spread to a people that knew so little of an eternity in heaven?  I wrestled with the thought for longer than I wanted to.  How did people like missionaries spread the word in a place like this?  I have to admit I've never been a bold Christian, though it's my duty, to spread the good news.  In those moments, I found myself praying for an entire Country.  

Six Banyan Pagoda

Daddy & Jadyn
Gracyn & Jadyn
Mommy Love
Sweet Dan Dan
Mr. Jacob means Business
Daddy's Litle Girls
A not so 'happy' Cooper

Sweet Iris
The Lewallen Family

From the Temple we then went to the famous Chen House & Folk Art Museum. It was very beautiful.  All Gracyn cared about was the Dragon at the front of the entrance.  Jadyn was starting to get cranky and the fighting between two sisters began.  Gracyn would antagonize her and say, "ha, ha Jadyn I don't have to sit in a stroller."  As if Jadyn knew what she was saying.  It was all body language and attitude and it was on for the two girls.  100% pure sibling rivalry at its best.  

 Gracyn & Her Dragon
 The Family 
 Daddy teaching Jadyn the 'meany' face
 Leave me alone Gracyn

 A Lyons Lion

From the Museum it was to a small shopping market.  Jocelyn our CCAI representative was great.  The market well a little much for five families with toddlers.  They had some really nice....very expensive art work, china, and many other items.  I was afraid Gracyn would be way too excited and knock something expensive over.  So it was out the door we went.  We walked across the street to the corner mini grocer and got a few snacks for the girls.  

By the time we got back it was 12:30 and we had two very hungry girls.  Ramon noodles was their favorite - and quite frankly I don't know how they even fit all those noodles in their tummies.  

We walked around the Hotel and I even went down to the lobby while the girls took their nap.  No dinner plans so we ate at the Cafe on the second floor.  We had Pizza, Pasta & David had a really yummy burger.  

It was an early night for our family.  First crazy bath time.  Jadyn had her first self inflicted injury. She chipped her front tooth on the porcelain tub. After a quick nursing assessment I decided that was enough of a scare for one day.  It was lights out.  

Bath Time


Monday, February 27, 2012

Shamian Island Medical Exam - February 4th 2012

Today would prove to be our busiest day since we arrived in China.  The day started out with breakfast in the Cafe at 8:00am.  There was a bit of a struggle for Gracyn & Jadyn to get along.  Gracyn would tell Jadyn....Wu Ah Ni, which means I love you in Mandarin, and Jadyn would turn her nose up at her and look the opposite direction.  So Gracyn spent most of the morning yearning for her baby sisters affection, and Jadyn wouldn't budge.  They fought most of the morning, kicking, screaming and even biting.  :(

Breakfast was actually pretty good.  A large buffet style with American & Asian dishes and tons of variety.  From noodles, to congee, to French toast, waffles & omelets.  I had dried bananas & Pineapple.  That was all I dared to try.  
9:00 am we were on the crowded bus with all the families.  Some of which we had not seen since our departure from Beijing.  It was so nice to see everyone with there new little ones.  They all seemed to have been adjusting so well.  Moms, Dads, and children.  

When we got off the bus on Shamian Island which was beautiful I might add, we went straight to a small store where each child's photo was taken for their Visa.  CCAI really knows what they are doing.  Talk about holding your hand...They have held ours every step of the way.   Our guides gave us all the details we needed to know, before we entered the clinic for our children's medical exams for their Visa Approval.  Any of the children who were over 2 years of age got an added bonus of getting a TB Skin test as well. Wouldn't you know our Jadyn was one of those lucky ones.  Jadyn was so scared.  The clinic was so crowded,  we were warned about how busy they would be.  We all sat in a very small sitting area until the visa photos were developed and could be attached to our child's paperwork.  

When our guides had each child's picture ready we started the long process of going through three different stations.  1st height, weight, & head circumference.  Then an ENT exam, which I don't know how they were able to check everything in the 30 seconds it took for the nurse to complete it, by just squeaking a toy in Jadyns ear.  Poor Jadyn clung to me with everything she had.  She was so scared.  She wouldn't look at anyone else, she would not get down and play with all the other children either.  The only two who would not get down to play were again her, and Long-Hi.  Poor babies you could see how scared they were, but every other child seemed carefree and safe playing with all the toys and other children in the clinic.  I tried to encourage Jadyn to play with her sister and the others, but she would have nothing to do with anyone but Mommy!  She would barely gaze in Davids direction when he addressed her in any way by calling her Jadyn or Xin Xiang.  She clung to me like a magnet.
  Finally Jadyn had to be examined by the Doctor.  All was well and we were free to move on to our final step, The TB  Test. Jadyn barely flinched when the Nurse placed the tuberculin syringe in her forearm.    Gracyn held her sisters hand and told her how brave she was, and what a little warrior she was.

When we were finally finished it was back to the hotel for lunch and naps.  The girls were out in less 
than five.  It was McDonalds which was across the street for lunch.  The fries tasted the same, heck even the nuggets were the same.  
David had a double cheese burger and it was pretty close to home, but I still wasn't eating it.  

We played with the girls a bit, with Plato, and puzzles and coloring until it was time for dinner.  We met all the families down in the lobby for a group dinner at a place within walking distance called Macaw's. 

Before we met everyone there David decided to rent a stroller for the remainder of our trip.  So I wouldn't have to carry Jadyn everywhere, cause my arms and back were killing me.  So off to the Resturaunt we went.  David pushed Jadyn in the stroller as she screamed bloody murder for momma.  The entire way there she screamed... Momma Baw Baw.  The guides tried to console her and she was not having it.  She was angry now and by the time we got to the Resturaunt she was drenched with sweat from getting so worked up.  I hated seeing her cry, but knew at some point she's going to have to let Daddy help.  David almost left with her until I gave in and let her sit next to me in her high chair to eat.  Food brings this little girl comfort. She acted like she was starving to death.  So she was now happy when food was placed in front of her and she wrapped her arms around my neck and said, " Wu Ah Ni Momma." Yep she just wanted her Momma and all was right in the world.  
After dinner she even let David push her back to the hotel and we went for a Starbucks break.  I had not even had one cup of  coffee since we left Charleston and tnow there was one seven floors below me.  What was I thinking?  So it was coffee and then bath & bedtime for the girls.  

Night time brought about three episodes of Jadyn crying for me in hysteria.  She eventually calmed down after waking the entire 7th floor up on all three occasions.  Poor baby, just was so confused and almost in a trance like state each time.  
I hope when we are home she will know we don't live in a hotel and we are not Nomads.  Maybe then it will be easier for her to rest, and not be so frightened

Guangzhou ~ February 3rd 2012

Today yeah......we were finally going to Guangzhou.  

Guandong Province
We were telling Jadyn all morning that we were going on a "Feji," or "Feji bye bye," which means plane in Mandarin... She liked the idea as long as "Momma go Feji."  All is good as long as Momma goes.  The girls went for a walk and the playroom with Daddy.  Each day we make sure that David takes the girl on a fun outing to help with bonding to Jadyn.  I mean what a great example for Jadyn to see just how much affection Gracyn gives to her Daddy or Baba - then for Jadyn to mimic that same affection.  God knows, it has to help with her acceptance of David.  After a quick nap we all had some "wanna be" rendition of American ice cream....far cry and I actually spit mine out because it tasted horrible.   At 2:20pm we set our luggage out in the hall and we were on our final bus ride in Zhengzhou headed to the airport at 3:00pm.  We said our goodbyes to Vivian & Yisha after our entire group checked in at the airport.  

Yisha on the Left & Vivian our Guides...We will miss you both!
While all the families checked in one at a time, the kids all played and ran around.  Even Jadyn got down and at least watched all the other kids play...... It was a start.  Then she would realize I was watching and strat crying for me to hold her.  


Daddy and the girls ate turkey sandwiches after we got through security, they said they were really good.  I didn't care I wasn't eating any meat that didn't seem to resemble Turkey.  My stomach was having a hard enough time eating the very little I was already eating.  
We boarded the packed airplane and the girls fought and cried as to who would sit next to me.  Thank God there were three seats across a row, so I was able to sit in the middle of the two so they didn't claw one another's eyes out.  They fought more today than any other day thus far.  Love between them seems to have been lost somewhere, but hopefully it will return soon.  Now fighting and refereeing, on top of everything else was an added stressor. 

Gracyn seemed to give in to what ever Jadyn wanted except when it came to me.... She would cry and say..."but I was your special baby first," Gracyn was done with the whole sister thing for sure!!!!  Poor Jadyn must be my stress eater because that little girl would eat everything in sight if you let her.  

We arrived in Guanghou around 8:30 pm,and got our luggage and headed to the bus with our new guides, Kathy & Jocelyn.  We had to have a separate van just for all of the familys luggage.  I know we had so much.  

Air Traffic Control

When we got to The China Hotel, The Marriott, I was pleasantly surprised as it was the nicest hotel we had been to so far.  Equipped with our very own Starbucks.... A taste of home!  


The Bathroom - My favorite

We did some heavy duty unpacking and then it was a very late bedtime for all of us.  Hopefully tomorrow will bring a new day.   
Sister Sleep....