Tuesday, December 18, 2007

December 18, 2006

“All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Psalm 139:16

First of all, I cannot believe it has been one week since a sobbing little baby bundled in a huge red outfit was placed in our arms. A little girl who had never known a mom or a dad or brothers or a sister. She now knows all (but still needs to meet her biggest brother!) A little girl screaming and all bundled is now always smiling and dressed in cute dresses daily. A little girl who was afraid of us now loves us so much. A little girl we had never known, we now know so well and love so much! One week ago today. It seems like we've had her forever!

We had a fun day today. It started off with another delicious American buffet. Oh yum! A lot of the girls were down there and played around a bit. AnnaClaire wore her bib without a peep and even sat in the high chair. She ate these amazing Clementine type things, noodles, egg, yogurt, rice, and veggies. She is a PIG! No wonder she’s such a chubster! She said goodbye to her friends for the time being and we went to the room to get the Ergo. We then ventured out to the bank. Needed more Yuan! The bank took the bills that the hotel would not (ones with writing, rips, etc) which was nice. AnnaClaire, Mom, and I stayed outside while Dad got the money. 2 hot pink hello kitty buses passed by. I was sad I didn’t have my camera, they were pretty cute! We went back up to the room and had to sit there until 12:15 in case Rosa or Fontana had a question for us. See, it was our consulate appointment day. We don’t go, our guides represent us. It was a kind of boring few hours (10:30-12:15) but we survived and Fontana knocked on our door to let us no everything was okay and we were free to go anywhere. While waiting, Dad stayed in the room and AnnaClaire napped, while Mom and I headed to the Dong Fang shops by our hotel. There were a few cute things we considered buying but ended up not getting anything. Our group had planned a 2:30 outing to the Chen Family Temple, so we had about 2 hours to do something. We walked out to a nearby park. It was so much fun. It cost a few Yuan to go in, but it was so beautiful and a great outing. I definitely recommend it. We had to go underground to get there. It was on a lake and there was a huge beautiful restaurant at the other side (wish we had eaten there, but I think you have to be “special” to eat there.) AnnaClaire loved going around in her Ergo and looking at the water. She especially loved when we stopped to admire the waterfall! We came to a dead end so went back and turned another way. We got some great pictures of her in the grass and she was just so sweet and let me hold her! At one point, a very nice Chinese man stopped by to see our sweet one. He was so friendly. He spoke little English and thought AnnaClaire was beautiful. He asked if she was a girl. (Like he couldn’t tell? She was wearing a flower jumper!) Anyway, he told us he had a 2 year old daughter at home. He was so nice not trying to pick AnnaClaire up or anything. He was very friendly and recommended we put cream on her face (it is SO rosy red and chapped!) We told him we were bringing her with us to America and she was going to be a part of our family. He thought that was neat. AnnaClaire must’ve thought good about him, because she said “BA!” as we left… sweet girl! We walked back to the hotel and got Will who’d been chomping on McDonalds. We changed AnnaClaire’s diaper and packed the diaper bag. We then headed downstairs. AnnaClaire saw Sarah Lu come down and wanted to go see her. They are SOOOOOOOOO cute together! This morning, we tried putting a bow in AnnaClaire’s hair, and Sarah Lu (who I guess knew AnnaClaire didn’t like bows) took it out and smoothed AnnaClaire’s hair for her! How sweet! Anyway, this afternoon, Sarah Lu leaned down and kissed AnnaClaire on the head. We all said “awwww” and she did it again. AC had a huge smile on her face! And then, AnnaClaire was playing with her drum and anytime someone took it from her, or she dropped, Sarah would take it and give it to AnnaClaire. It is so cute how she looks out for her!!! The bus left a little late and we got to the Chen Family Temple around 3. We only stayed for an hour. It’s a very small museum and it is not my favorite thing we have done. They did have some beautiful ivory sculptures and pretty closianne pots. We also found very pretty bookmarks at the gift shop. I think it is funny who you can recognize someone from their website. As we walked in, I noticed the family of a blog I follow (Maisie). It’s such a small world!

We headed straight from the Chen Family Temple to Shamian Island for more shopping. AnnaClaire’s name painting was ready. It looks AWESOME! My comforter was also ready, but they did the wrong colors so they have to redo it. UGH! AnnaClaire’s pillow was ready and that was right.. yes! Dad and Will hunted for another suitcase for our purchases while Mom and I went in more stores. Andy’s is great! I got a beautiful feather painting (a painting on a feather which is framed) and we got a photo album. I bargained and got a good price. Another store, which I am unsure of the name, we found a few things too. It is a great store right next to Andy’s. We got AnnaClaire a Chinese silk dress that will fit her around age 4. We also got her another set of the hot pink and green pant outfit we got yesterday. We got this one in a size that will fit her when she is 3… we just loved it so much!!!!! We found some beautiful hand embroidered Chinese folk art. Mom had found them awhile back and wanted a few. We got an awesome price and got 3. They are beautiful!!! I think that is all we got at that store. They had awesome bottle paintings that are of your kids! You give the man a picture of your child and he paints it in the bottle. We are considering doing that tomorrow, depending on how long it takes and what the price is. We didn’t have a picture of AC with us today to get it today.

We then had to head back to the bus. We didn’t have much shopping time because our group dinner reservation at the Banana Leaf (40 min. away) was at 6. The Banana Leaf is AMAZING. It is a Thai restaurant in a mall sort of thing. We walked up to this restaurant that looked so pretty on the outside, kind of like a hut. We walked in and the people were cooking food in font of you. We crossed a bridge with alligators under to the dinner area. There was a huge palm tree in the middle that was decorated for Christmas. First they brought out this mango juice. It was delicious! We were sitting with the Martins and AnnaClaire and Claire LOVED it! We all did! Then a band went up and starting playing guitars and all the waiters and waitress’ starting marching out and grabbing people to dance with. Some strange guy came and grabbed me. I was glued to my seat. Liz, I felt like you that one time when you hid under the table when they were singing happy birthday at TGI Fridays! Then I saw Olivia start dancing and I was like okay, I’m not the only one! Some guy got Mom too. It was hilarious and fun! I was not so in to dancing, but the man was persistent. The song finally ended and AnnaClaire was cracking up at Mom and me! It was SO funny! Dad and Will were holding her and dancing with her. It was sooooo cute! Mom got grabbed again and Mrs. Martin did too, much to her dismay! We got the whole thing on video!!! It was sooooooo much fun. Then they brought out the food. It was one of the best meals we’ve had yet! All kinds of meat, calamari, fried tortillas with peanut butter, fried tortillas with bananas, veggies, noodles with shrimp and more. The dishes were yellow and green and were so pretty. I knew I was going to love the meal. And boy, did we all! It was so good!!! The dancing and singing+the food=a great meal! To anyone looking for a fun place to eat in Guangzhou, GO THERE! There was an interesting few minutes when a very disturbing security man was being very interesting to say the least, but we won’t let that ruin this post. AnnaClaire had so much fun dancing and singing with Dada and Will and she did not want to leave that place! She’s a Latino gal! ;)

After delicious dinner, we came back to the hotel. Mom changed AnnaClaire’s diaper and put her in jammies. We then went and brought Mia a sleeper that is too small for AnnaClaire on the way to go to the Martin’s room. They were lending us some amazing lotion for AC’s cheeks. AnnaClaire and Claire had fun and so did Mom, Mrs. And Mr. Martin, and Mr. Howard who came later. Mrs. Martin showed us the pictures she got from Claire’s orphanage. There were 2 really sweet girls with Claire who will probably never be adopted. That makes me so sad. We had so much fun and Claire and AnnaClaire were quite funny! We then left and Mom put AC to bed while Dad, Will, and I got Starbucks.. Ahhh, yum! We came back and AnnaClaire was still asleep. Our normally asleep-in-2-minutes-baby has been very restless all night and is finally fast asleep! We starting packing all our goodies into the new suitcase Dad bought and we are almost ready to leave. Tomorrow we have the Swearing In ceremony and we are going to try to get our group together for a Red Couch picture. We’re going to do some last minute shopping with the Martins, the Howards, and the Dagenbachs, and maybe a few other families who decide to come. I can’t believe tomorrow is our last full day in China! I don’t want to come home yet! I LOVE China! I do want to see all my friends and introduce you all to my sweet sis though!  And I can’t wait to get back swimming although I’ll feel very “out of it!” (Sydnee, I feel like you were in Europe… I haven’t found time to swim in the pools, plus this one is outdoor~BRR!)

How is it that it's been a whole year since we woke up and ate that amazing buffet with our group. I remember how I always looked forward to going down to breakfast. For some reason our whole TG just happened to be there at the same time. It was great! Breakfasts were always fun! A year ago was our CA. Of course, for us, that just meant we had to be in our hotel. Funny, because that's such an important thing, yet we don't even go to it! We went to the beautiful park next to the China Hotel. It was gorgeous. AnnaClaire enjoyed the fresh air. We met the nicest man who talked to AnnaClaire and us and showed his appreciation that we had adopted her. Later that day we went to the Chen family temple. It was really pretty. We then went out to the Banana Leaf, which was definitely one of the highlights of our trip, without getting into too much detail. There's really no way to describe that dinner other an amazing, funny, fun, and well... interesting. A year ago, we had spent a full week with our precious AnnaClaire... God is SO good!!

AnnaClaire, how has it been a year since our CA, since we visited the beautiful park, since we went to the Chen Family Temple, since we ate at the Banana Leaf. You loved the Banana Leaf. You loved the mango juice and got so into the music. You were nicknamed "Latino" in our travel group because of the way you danced to all the music. That was such a fun day. I can't believe it's been a year! I love you so much, little one! You have grown so much in the year. Just look at the pictures... and look at you now! I love you!!


Lexie said...

Wow!!! You have done a lot of posts today!! I loved everyone!

Jie Jie to Sarah Lu and Chayah Ru said...

Awwww!!!! Our mei mei's are so sweet together!!!!!! Our little bow buddies! I miss you guys!!! :)

Jie Jie to Sarah Lu and Chayah Ru said...

Awwww!!!! Our mei mei's are so sweet together!!!!!! Our little bow buddies! I miss you guys!!! :)