Wow! I hardly know where to begin. It was a day of such ups and downs. Maybe I'll just recap it that way:
Down- Everyone ( including Zibing, who is not dealing with jet lag) got up at 4:30 a.m.
Up- When Zibing woke up...she did not cry! I was thinking she really might re-freak out when she woke up and realized that whole thing on Sunday afternoon had not been just a bad dream. Instead, she acted fine...better than fine, really. We have one very brave girl on our hands!
Up- Zibing ate a good breakfast. (We were very glad of that because she had not eaten one thing since we met her the previous afternoon.) She ate congee (a rice porridge that is a staple here in China), scrambled eggs, watermelon, pear, and she drank quite a bit of water. But she ate all of this in a very laid-back manner, which totally surprised me since she had to be so hungry!
Up- Elisabeth and Zibing had fun watching our two Mei Mei videos we brought (we have 6 more at home that I did not bring because they have more just straight instruction teaching you some Chinese, which I knew Zibing would not need!) Zibing knows most if not all of the songs (20?) on the video...and she sings so cute! She LOVES these videos – and has asked for them again and again. And Lily Kay had a great time with our digital camera - and she has found a very willing subject in her big sister! (I just deleted like 50 pictures!).
Up- We did our paperwork with the Notary here and registered our adoption – and Yan Zi Bing is now officialy ours according to the People's Republic of China! We saw the director of Zibing's orphanage at the appointment and you could tell that Zibing liked her. That did my heart good. It also did my heart good that Zibing did not try to hold on to her, or cry when she left!
DOWN- Because we felt like it was time (and because she had by this point, gotten her pink sweater very dirty) I changed Zibing's clothes. She. was. not. happy. That is not quite strong enough: SHE. WAS. NOT. HAPPY! She fought me a little at first...but then just went limp and let me do it, while she wailed! It was like Sunday afternoon all over again. Wailing, eyes shut tight, head back. After a while, we tried to head out for a walk (since leaving the room seemed to snap her out of the crying yesterday)...but that didn't work today. And so we came right back to the room. (I shudder to think what might happen if one of our children cried out in public. You should see the looks/stares we get when they're acting fine!) Then Elisabeth and Daddy decided to leave me and Lily Kay to the good time, while they went out to buy us some water. By ourselves now, I just held her and loved on her and tried to soothe her. I knew she was also very tired, so I laid back on the bed with her on top of me. After what seemed like forever (but was probably just 5-10 more minutes) she fell asleep right on me. She only slept for about 10 minutes, but woke up in a much better mood. Done.
While this episode was not fun, I don't know that I would really consider it bad. And I don't think I would go back and make a different decision, even if I could. She now knows that changing clothes with us is not the end of the world. She now knows that mama will console her if she is upset. Our continuing prayer is that we would just have wisdom in our decisions as we all make this transition. Zibing, of course, could not stay in the same clothes forever. And we also do not want to get this party started with Zibing thinking that she gets to call the shots – because that is simply not how things work at our house. And so we pray for wisdom...and grace...and patience.
Up- New clothes episode behind us, we ventured out for lunch. We decided to go back to the little restaurant we ate lunch at yesterday. The food is yummy! And cheap! And we're practically regulars now: Jas just told the waitress “Er” (which means “two”) when we went in today. And we ordered some dumplings. Zibing ate the rice and little pieces of shredded meat (pork?) good and liked the dumplings. It was so precious: Elisabeth would cut them in pieces for Zibing and then Zibing would eat them. The cook (who was not busy at the time) so enjoyed the spectacle that we made that he came and sat down at the table beside us and just stared (but not in a mean way, you could tell he was really enjoying us). He tried to talk with Zibing some, but she just faintly smiled while she looked straight ahead.
DOWN- After lunch it was definitely time for a nap/rest. While the three of us laid down (Jas and I were just reading, not sleeping), Zibing went in the bathroom and closed the door to go the restroom (her standard m.o. at that point). You can't see the bathroom door or room door if you're laying down in bed, but I thought I heard too many door sounds over there (a prompting of the Lord, I believe!) and asked Jas to make sure she hadn't left the room.
That little bugger undid two locks and was halfway to the elevators before we got to her! And she totally knows how to use the elevators because we've used them so much and she and E love pushing the buttons. I shudder to think what would have happened if we hadn't found her when we did! Thank you, Jesus, for protecting her!
When we brought her back in the room, Zibing started to fuss (and seemed like she was going to really go at it) so we let her watch a Mei Mei video while the rest of us just rested for a while. (E still takes a nap everyday (this girl has always loved her sleep) and she really needed some rest)
Up- we went back to the park today (with Zibing this time!) and had fun. We bought the girls balloons and ice cream, both of which they thoroughly enjoyed!
Down and Up- Deciding to go back on our “go native” approach to eating on this trip – we took a taxi to Pizza Hut. BUT, in retrospect, this really should not count against us because this was definitely a Chinese restaurant! Besides the logo, it hardly resembled an American Pizza Hut at all. You should have seen the strange drink concoctions walking by us (I have no idea if they had alcohol or not, but they sure looked strange, e.g. a layer of bright BLUE on the bottom of the cup, with clear liquid on top of that) Deciding to take a pass on the “Kimchi Pork” pizza, the “Black Pepper Beef” pizza and the “Atlantic Salmon” pizza (which the description said also included “octopuses, assorted seafoods, ...and wasabi sauce”...we ordered the (drumroll please).....Cheese Pizza. Wow, was it yummy! I thought it was better than cheese pizza at home! And pretty! They did really neat aesthetic things in their presentations on all the pizzas. Miss Zibing, however, was not impressed and would not think about having one bite. Not in an ugly way though (I pray this continues and isn't just a “honeymoon” thing). She either just smiles sweetly and shakes her head when she doesn't want something. Or she makes her Mock Surprised Indignation Face (I picture her thinking “YIKES!”). (It is really cute...and she knows it...which is cute too.) Tonight her Mock Surprised Indignation Face was accompanied by some Chinese words that I'm pretty sure meant: “What in the WORLD makes you think that I would EVER try a piece of THAT???”
Both girls were so tired that they almost fell asleep at Pizza Hut. Wouldn't that have looked cute: Two caucasians (the only ones in the place, of course) eating with two drugged looking little girls slumped down in the seats?!?! I don't think it could possibly have aroused any more attention that we were already receiving, though.
Up- We got our second wind after our taxi ride back home from Pizza Hut (it would be impossible to not be shocked into total awake-ness during a taxi ride in China). We picked up some milk (niu nai) for Zibing once we got back to the hotel, since she decided to forego supper. Back in the room us girls (Jas refrained) decided to have our first “Nail Salon” session. Elisabeth really wanted to do both our nails, so she got the honors of painting Lily Kay's nails for the first time!
(Lily Kay did sneek a bite of my leftover pizza once we got back in the room – yep, she confirmed for herself that she didn't like it!)
Then Zibing picked out a book that she wanted to us to read. When I patted my lap, she (praise Jesus!) plopped herself right down in it, without any hesitation, YIPPEE! I do believe she's going to love being read to just as much as our first three!
Down- Lily Kay fell asleep tonight in the chair that we put in front of the door. (If you're wondering why we put a chair in front of the door, please re-read the 3rd “Down” entry, above) After she fell asleep hard, we moved her to the floor in the room so she would at least not be very far away from us (and close to Elisabeth, who slept on the floor just so she could be by Lily Kay tonight). When I woke up a while later, she was GONE! It scared me so bad...until I found that she had crawled back up into that chair by the door. (sigh)
The girls are getting along great! Sharing sweetly. Trying to help each other with things (Lily Kay jumped to try to zip E's jacket tonight when we first put it on). They held hands almost every where we went today, and play together so good. Elisabeth is always asking Lily Kay to do something with her: “Lily Kay Zing-bing (she has quite got the “Zibing” down yet), want to color with me?” “Lily Kay, want to dance with me?” Many of you have asked in e-mails about their height difference. It's not always easy to see in the pictures, but Elisabeth (who is on the little side for her age) is several inches taller than Lily Kay (who is on the big side for her age).
I really have to brag on my Elisabeth here: she has just done great on this trip! She is as great a big sister to Lily Kay as we knew she would be, and as she is to Noah and Daniel already. The way she opens her heart to each new child who has joined our family – never showing jealousy of our time – has truly amazed me! If it was up to Elisabeth (and Noah and Daniel have said the same thing) we would have LOTS more kids! (Elisabeth gets tears in her eyes talking about all the other orphans who need a mama and a daddy like she has.)
And speaking of my boys (OH, my precious BOYS!), I just received some pictures of them having a ball at my dear friend Kris's house today! (O.K. You other five moms that have playdates scheduled with my boys- Kris has set the standard. I would LOVE to have pictures of them playing at your house!)
WOW! I have really written a novel here! Are you still with me? It helps free up some writing time when you have multiple hours while everyone else is asleep. It is now just after 5 a.m. here (I've been popping back and forth e-mailing with people, moving Zibing from the chair back down to the floor again...) I know from previous experiences though, that as we get closer and closer to leaving that I'll start sleeping better (just in time to turn around and fly back home and start the jetlag fun all over again) and perhaps my posts won't be this long!
Thank you so much for your encouraging e-mails, they mean so much to us. And we can't tell you how much we appreciate your prayers – we covet them, in fact!
I think Lily Kay may be a professional photographer. No, this is not me (I know you were wondering).