February 28, 2013

Day 5 in Nanjing - Meili has SO much to learn!

Oh.my.goodness. Miss Meili is learning more and more every single minute. It is truly an amazing experience to watch this little pint-sized person learn so much so fast. I can't even imagine what is going through her mind right now.

Today we decided to take it easy since yesterday seemed to be a little bit too much stimulation for her. We had the whole day free, so took our time in the morning and ate a very leisurely breakfast. Did I mention the breakfasts here are amazing? The whole room is filled with food - something different on every wall. Pastries, fruit, traditional Chinese food, traditional American food, even a Japanese section. So much food you could never try it all. However, a lot of it is not so great for a child who doesn't CHEW!


I wish so much that I had some good raw milk and coconut oil to feed this little one right now! She needs some healthy fat and protein! There's lots of fat here, and a fair amount of protein too, but I wouldn't exactly call any of those options "healthy." I was able to find some whole milk and real butter, but no one here eats cheese, the meat is who-knows-what from who-knows-where and she won't chew eggs. We did discover today at breakfast that she LOVES the pork and vegetables inside the dumplings, so we cut them open and dumped them out and she ate the filling from about 15 of them! I doubt the hotel staff was thrilled that we left 15 empty dumplings, but who cares - she's gained almost a pound already!

We relaxed in the room for a while...played some games with her, gave her a bath and later a nap, etc. We didn't head out until about 4pm.


We wanted to go down to the temple area to get a "chop." Basically it's a piece of Rainflower Stone that's been carved and polished into a square. Then an artist carves whatever you want into the bottom to make it like a stamp. We purchased a small one and had her original Chinese name (Jingjing) carved in.


China is so odd....right next to our BEAUTIFUL hotel and fancy mall is this:



Another view of the river:

And another odd China sight....we have NO idea what was going on here:


Meili is absolutely fascinated by almost everything. Today we managed to locate some non-moving steps. She wanted to go up and down and up and down....and we did, several times. We figured this would be a good way for her to build up some muscle in her legs.


This little girl is a CHARMER! We do not necessarily think this is her true personality...it's likely a survival technique she used in the orphanage. Cute, smiley, fun kids get what they want there. So sad. But I will admit, her antics and ability to charm people are quite entertaining right now. People stare at her whenever we go out. They follow us around, ask for pictures with us and her, and even gather other people around them to watch. Now, we don't know for SURE why this is, so here is my list of possible reasons:

1. She's just extremely cute and animated. (most other Chinese kids are very quiet. I'm not sure why)

2. She's a Chinese kid with white parents.

3. She's a Chinese kid with white parents who is not dressed like the Michelin man.

4. Number 3, plus her parents are MUCH taller than most people here.

5. Number 4, plus her mom wears ballet flats so her feet show (this is NOT something Chinese women do!)

6. Number 5, plus her parents do not wear coats. It's 60-65 degrees here and all the Chinese people have heavy coats on. People look at us like we're naked. So strange.


I honestly don't know what it is for sure. We were the main event here before we got her, but now it's definitely her. There is a bakery here that we like; they have wonderful pastries and most of them are super-cheap. There is usually 1 person working in the back who can see out the doorway into the store. As soon as we show up, she yells at everyone else working in the back and they all show up to make a big deal out of Meili.


She totally eats it up too!


For supper we had the Chinese version of HuHot. If only we had this in the US! It's the exact same thing, only you can choose rice instead of noodles if you want (we had rice tonight). You pick your meat, veggies, sauces, seasonings and they cook it on a smaller version of the HuHot grill. The servings are huge!


Total cost for this food: about $3. The first time we ate here I had noodles and it lasted me three meals.


Meili has learned so much in the last 3 days that I can't even begin to describe it all. One of the most interesting things has been to watch her play. Many BTDT (been there done that) parents told us the only toy we needed to bring was stacking cups. I didn't bring a lot, but figured I would for sure need a few more than just that.

Nope. That would have been fine. For a child who has never had toys, everything is amazing. Her favorite toys from the last few days are:


The first day - the box from the diaper rash cream. She carried it around and put puffs in and out of it for HOURS.


Second day - plastic fork and spoon. I had no idea these could be so much fun. She banged them together and on other things the entire afternoon.


Third day - an envelope from the hotel. This isn't the actual one. She played with the original one so much that it got totally destroyed.


Today - more plastic silverware. And a comb. She stands in front of the mirror and combs her hair. And Jon's hair. And anything else she can find that she thinks needs combing.

And right now, she's sleeping with a hotel toothbrush. I don't think we would have even needed the stacking cups!!

A couple big things happened today. First, she shared a piece of food with Daddy. This is good, because hopefully it means she's starting to trust that we'll provide food for her. Often when she gets a piece of food, she immediately hides it behind her, so it's encouraging to see that once in a while she'll give up a piece.

And she learned how to give kisses! I will admit, that was pretty stinkin' fun!


Daddy got the first one, but since then Mommy and Daddy have both gotten plenty of others. Unfortunately, she also blows them to anyone else she sees, and blew lots to the women in the bakery! So the kisses aren't exclusively for us, but it's still something she learned to do and that's pretty exciting.

Tomorrow we fly to Guangzhou! I'm hoping this is not confusing for Meili since she's just gotten used to being with us here and transition times are still a little difficult. Please keep praying for us! All things considered, Meili is doing really well. We'd be thrilled if it continues but have no reason to believe it will...all bets are off when it comes to how these kids will react in any given situation.

We also want to thank everyone for all the prayers and support. We honestly think we could almost feel them during those first difficult days. You have no idea how much all the encouraging notes and messages meant to us, especially to me. Forgive me if I am not able to respond to every one...sometimes our connection here isn't the greatest and I don't like to be staring at a screen while Meili is awake or isn't otherwise occupied with Jon. But please know that we appreciate every one very, very much!!


1 comment:

  1. She is so precious Virginia! I'll keep those difficult times (naps, diaper) in my prayers for you. Hopefully soon they will be a distant memory for her and all she will know is your love and happiness. What a priceless gift you are giving her, a whole new life, future and hope.
    Lots of love,