February 27, 2013

Little Miss Meili & day 4 in Nanjing

We are learning new things about this little girl every day. And let's just say there is a LOT to learn.

Yesterday was basically a free day. We had saved that day so that if we wanted to visit her orphanage, we could. After going back and forth several times, we decided not to. We were not going to take her back there, so if someone did go, it would have just been Jon. It is a 3+ hour drive to Huai'an and in the end we decided it was best to stay together as a family. We have wonderful pictures and video from others who have visited there that we can show her when she gets older.


So instead, our guide took us out for a walk around the Confucius Temple area to do some shopping.


For as tiny as she is, she sure gets heavy to carry! She has no idea how to "hold on" at all. Even if she did, I'm not sure if she could...she doesn't have much muscle in those tiny legs!


Nanjing is on the Quinhai River (I think!). If it were ever sunny here, instead smog-covered, it would probably be a really pretty river! Even without the sun, this area looks very "Chinese" and it was an enjoyable walk.



Nanjing is famous for 4 things: Rainflower stones, Rainflower tea, Cloud Brocade and one other thing I can't remember right at the moment. We went to one shop where they offered to let us try some tea. It was good...although I'm not sure what the giant bowl of gold fish had to do with it.


The fourth thing might be Nanjing duck. Mmmmm.....don't those look delicious! They're hanging all over the place. Apparently, they're preserved with salt; kind of like jerky only they do the WHOLE duck. If you wanted to try a food that was specific to Nanjing (like pizza is to New York), you would try duck's blood soup. Normally, I'd be thrilled to try the new foods in each location, but I will happily pass on that one!! Our guide said "I think, you would not like it so much!!" I think I agree!


It's always interesting to see things you wouldn't expect to see at home....like a chicken tied to a leash.


Miss Meili is doing better. We're still having a pretty difficult time going to sleep and waking up. Last night, we also had a hard time staying asleep. She tosses her head and flails her arms and legs like she's having a nightmare. She doesn't seem to wake up completely, but obviously is not getting good rest.


She did let Jon lay by her for nap time yesterday and that went OK.



She is learning SO much, and so are we. Some of the information we got from the orphanage staff conflicted with what was in our referral. I spent some time visiting with other parents whose children came from Huai'an, and the more we learn, the more I despise the place.

Our referral paperwork (done at 22 months old) said she loved eggs, dumplings, wonton, etc. But the orphanage "section chief" told us on Tuesday she had been eating solid food for only 6 months. That's odd, since she's 33 months old. And since we discovered we don't think she knows how to chew. She will put food in her mouth and mush it with her tongue, but won't chew. Another parent who recently visited Huai'an told me she saw them have "lunch" and it was a bottle and a cracker. It would make sense....every time she sees a bottle she gets VERY excited.


We tried to feed her an oreo. She can bite with her front teeth, but she did not chew it with her back teeth. And yesterday at breakfast when we fed her a piece of egg, she held it in her mouth for over half an hour (gross!). We wonder if that was a type of survival mechanism? Saving food so she has some for later?



We also think we are seeing some "placing behaviors." It's common for adopted children to act overly cute and adorable because doing this in the orphanage gets them what they want. She definitely seems to know how to do this!!


Little Miss likes to strut her stuff in the mall and smile and talk to whoever will listen. She's very good at charming little kids and women. And while we think she likes us, she is definitely not attached to us. She will happily go to whatever Chinese woman holds her arms out to her.




She also LOVES the escalator. She wants to walk up the stairs, which doesn't last too long since we quickly get to the top. We need to locate some regular stairs so she can practice using those leg muscles more! She also makes it very clear what she wants and swats away anything she is not interested in. It's interesting to me that she loves her boots. If I say "let's put on your boots" she immediately lays down on the floor and sticks her feet in the air! She also likes pretty hair bands and hats. She grabs them and pats her head, then runs to the mirror as soon as we put them on.


We were also told that on about day three or four, it was fairly common for newly placed children to begin to "test" their new parents. Oh my, did we experience this!! Little miss knows how to throw a fit!! At one point, I tried to let go of her hand so I could walk a few steps ahead of her and see if she would come to me. She was NOT impressed!


She promptly sat down and kicked her legs on the floor!



Starting to long for American food, we decided to eat at Papa Johns. It tasted much like home, but it was a sit-down style restaurant where someone actually waits on you! Holding her on my lap proved to not work at ALL. She grabbed and destroyed everything in sight. I made her sit in the chair and was NOT happy.



Afterward, we ate at ColdStone (also just like home!). She and I had to leave the store because she was being so loud and difficult to control. Just ask our friends, who probably will never want to eat out with us again while we're here!

Interestingly, the moment we left the crowded, noisy, busy mall and stepped through the doorway into the quiet, calm lobby of our hotel, her demeanor changed completely. She became calm, quiet and behaved much better. We think maybe all the stimulation in the mall was a little too much for her third day away from the orphanage. Papa Johns was especially overwhelming and that was when the trouble had started.


We have all day today free since the other family chose to visit their son's orphanage and our guide went with them. I think we'll take it a little easier today since yesterday seemed to be a little too much for her. It's a learning process for ALL of us.

Tomorrow, we will go to Guangzhou and couldn't be happier about it! We will be surrounded by American families and people who speak English! And most importantly, it means we're one step closer to HOME!


1 comment:

  1. Reading this has been so interesting. I'm glad you've been sharing this to give us some insight on what you have been having to go through. It's not a one step process as some might think! Stay strong! You guys are doing amazing.