Daniel - Day 4

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.  Heb. 10:39

This was our first day “at our leisure”, and we had fun!  For the first time, we ventured off Shamian Island and into Guangzhou proper…without a guide.  We had maps and we’d passed enough stuff riding the van coming to and from the White Swan that we felt confident enough to attempt it.  We’d heard from other adoptive families that there was a park not too far off Shamian.  After about 45 minutes of walking (sometimes RUNNING to cross the streets…well as fast as you can “run” holding a 31-mo. old in a Hip Baby while pushing a 34 lb., 4-year old in a stroller!) we made it to our destination: Guangzhou Culture Park.  We had to pay 10.50 yuan (about $1.40) to get in.  While the park did not have any playground equipment (the kids were vocally disappointed about this) it was very interesting.  When I think of “park” I think of lots of grass and trees (and playground equipment)…while this park did have many trees and flower beds, it was mostly concrete paths(roads really).  There were lots of people there (there are LOTS of people anywhere you go in China) of all ages, doing many varied activities. When we first got in the park we came upon two groups of women (15-20 in each group, they were all about 50-60 years old).  At first I thought they were doing Tai chi, but they were learning/rehearsing beautiful choreographed dancing.  Elisabeth had so much fun watching them… we all did, actually! 

Two of the ladies whispered to each other and pointed at us and then sweetly waved and said, “Hello!”  Elisabeth and Noah responded back “Ni Hao!”  (Mandarin for “Hello, how are you?”)  It is very unusual for the Chinese people to speak with us, or smile too much, even.  They are so busy just openly staring at us.  They do not mind staring right at you…usually stopping right in their tracks to stare at you while you walk by.  While at the park, an elderly man was watching us intently from about 10 feet away at one point (we were taking a water break and handing each of the kids their sippy cups). Well, that wasn’t close enough for his inspection and he moved (NO JOKE!) within two feet of us, and just stared at us with his hands on his hips – you distinctly got the impression we were the most bizarre thing he’s ever seen in his life!  We’ve gotten used to this sort of behavior, and until someone starts talking with us and trying to engage us, we try to just pretend like we don’t notice it and go on with our business, and believe me, you don’t have to pretend like your busy with 2,3, and 4-year olds! (To a lesser degree, we encounter this all the time in the US also – people stare, they just don’t normally stop in their tracks to do so, and they don’t get within 2 feet of us!)  We are, by definition, a conspicuous family!

On the walk back to the hotel, we stopped for a break at…Starbucks!  YUMMY!

Back at the hotel it was naptime and apparently that outing had so worn out Jas and the kids that they took a FIVE HOUR NAP!  I don’t know if 5 hours even qualifies for “nap” status anymore, I think it crosses some line!  When all the sleepyheads woke up, we ventured out (with Lao Lao) to a new restaurant.  It was supposed to be a western restaurant, and while it did have some familiar things, there were things I’d never heard of and wouldn’t dare try (and I consider myself pretty adventurous).  Jason got brave (and later regretted it) and ordered (this is verbatim): “Pan-feseel chichen roll & dry scallson with bacon cheese fauce”  None of us was brave enough to try the “Deep-fried Sallty Pig’s Knuckle with Sausage”  Mom and I split a rib-eye steak (their idea of medium well and ours are very different, mom couldn’t eat hers….I’m normally VERY squeamish about that, but I was too hungry to care this time!)  The kids split an order of Spaghetti Bolognaise (regular spaghetti) that was VERY yummy! 

While sitting at the restaurant, Daniel wowed us with some new tricks.  On the advice of a professional (thank you, Shannon!) I’ve been trying to demonstrate to Daniel how you chew things, very exaggeratedly.  I did this with a Cheerio, and Daniel (sitting right in my lap) did it also!  YEAH!  I held up my hand for a high-five…and he made fists and started kind of pushing them into my upper chest. ???  It finally donned on me that he was playing a new game we’d been working on with him (although not in the right order yet).  “Gimme five, up high, down low, in the hole…you got soul!”  He’d skipped right to the “You got soul!” part when I asked for a high-five!

Daniel is starting to mimic things we say and do.  We find ourselves all throughout the day, saying “did he just say (fill in the blank)?”  I might be a little biased, but I really do think he’s smart!  He’s still eating lots of scrambled eggs and congee for breakfast, but if finally occurred to me to mix them together, for ease…now he’s eating a Chinese version of Jerry J’s breakfast in a bowl!  He has also discovered that he loves French toast! 

Several of you have asked about his size.  In the pictures of all the kids sitting down, it almost looks like their about the same size…they’re not.  Daniel is about 4-5 inches shorter than Noah, who is still a couple inches shorter than Elisabeth.  Daniel is wearing 18-month and 2T clothes (with the 2T a little big on him right now). 

Daniel is very talkative and outgoing in our hotel rooms, but he acts very different once we step out.  Our guide, Elvin, reminded us that he has VERY seldom been out of the orphanage walls and is probably extremely overwhelmed by all the new sights, sounds and smells.  Talk about sensory overload!  This does seem to be getting better – he had a lot of fun on our outing yesterday, and it was plenty loud and busy!  Daniel seems to “zone out” when someone speaks Chinese to him.  Elvin will talk right to him and Daniel won’t look at him and basically shuts down.  There are several reasons that this could be…but of course we don’t know what is going on in that little brain!

We’re scheduled to visit Daniel’s orphanage today.  We’re very excited that we have this opportunity!  We have about 10-15 knitted sweaters and caps that we’ve delivering for a group back in the US that wants to help keep the kids warm during the cold winters, and we have the privilege of taking gifts to some of the children who have parents about to come meet them, and we’re delivering some albums back TO the orphanage of children who have been adopted from this orphanage and their parents want to give them an update on their precious children.  AND we have lots of candy and goodies for the children!   From talking with others about their experience in taking their newly adopted children back to the orphanage, we feel this will do all of us good. We will get to see and take pictures of the people and places that have been our son’s world for his first 31 months.  It will give Daniel closure and (if other’s experiences hold true for our family) he will likely act even freer and happier with us after getting to go back one last time and see everyone…it appears cathartic for the children. 

Please keep us in your prayers, especially as we make this very important visit on Friday!

In Him,

Elisabeth playing with her new little brother

"I can wave!"

Heading out to the park

Watching the women dance at the park

Chillin' - check out the squeaky sandals

Beautiful painted walls at the park

It's a LONG painted wall

"Who can run fastest?"

What Jason ordered - unfortunately

None of us were brave enough

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...