Monday, December 13, 2010

Life in Guangzhou

Hello from Guangzhou! I’m so glad that Jeremy has been keeping up with the blog. I’ve been exhausted each night and haven’t done as well as I wanted to with recording everything that’s going on.

Just to go over a few happenings of the last couple of days… Saturday morning was clinic day. We were sooooo grateful to find out that President Obama just signed a bill that did away with the required immunizations for Hague families. What did that mean for us?? No shots! Last year, Xander got EIGHT immunizations in one sitting. It was so sad—especially when you can’t explain what is going on and you are trying to build trust. This year, it was just TB tests and physicals. The clinic was extra busy--we’re talking 50-60 kids. I’m pretty sure that Sophi was the loudest screamer of them all. She was TERRIFIED of the whole experience, and boy did she let everyone know! She even broke the scale while fighting the nurses. I was quite amused at the whole thing. But Lexi, sweet Lexi… She was so quiet and compliant and had us soooo sad when she started to cry during her TB test. It was the first time we have seen her cry, and those alligator tears were just heartbreaking.

Sunday was a great, restful day for us. We needed it! We slept late and had a late breakfast, then spent most of the day in our hotel room. We took the traditional red couch photos, otherwise known as "torture the children" hour. Queen Sophi let us know she was not pleased, and was not one bit cooperative for the pics. Lexi is just not photogenic (though she is very beuatiful) so between the two, we were not loving the photos. That evening we had the traditional group dinner at the Thai restaurant nearby. We kind of balk at the fact that they call themselves a Thai restaurant, as it is neither like real Thai food (Jer would know, as he lived there for two years) or like American Thai food, which we LOVE. But we survived it, and they did have awesome kiwi shakes. Mmmmmm. Restaurants are a challenge with Lexi. She has a hard time waiting for food, and grabs at everything around her. I think we have broken three plates in the last few days…

This morning we had to go back to the clinic to get the TB tests read. Afterward, we decided that we wanted to go swimming. It’s been a lovely 75 degrees in Guangzhou, and swimming sounded relaxing and fun. They have a BEAUTIFUL pool here, with a waterfall and shallow area for the kids. It was one of the reasons that we wanted to stay at the White Swan. Well, when we got down there, we found it was closed for the season. They directed us to the lap pool instead. We soon found out that it was NOT heated, and just putting our toes in had us shrieking. Jeremy thought it would be funny to throw Graci in, and she in turn was trying to push him in. I went to help her, and (surprise, surprise) got thrown in myself. It was “take your breath away” cold! We called it the polar bear swim. I was very impressed that Graci and Jessica both ended up spending quite a bit of time in the pool. But I was most impressed with our Lexi, who would shriek with laughter as Jeremy would pick her up and turn her around in the water. She was shivering with cold, but giggling and happy and quite the good sport. I think we’re going to have lots of fun with that girl. (:

Tonight we went on the Pearl River cruise. We’ve done it before, and knew what a fun experience it was. The lights along the riverside are so beautiful. It seemed especially lit up tonight—likely for the Asian games going on this week.

Now, on to the important stuff—our sweet new girlies.

Lexi Li is SUCH a sweetheart. She has the sweetest, happiest disposition. She laughs if she falls down, smiles if she spills her drink—she’s just a special little girl. But she can also be quite stubborn. She seems to find it funny to get down on the floor in the middle of our walk and not want to get up. The cuteness of it is wearing off, and it’s getting quite difficult. So we’ve resorted to strolling her most places. I feel bad, because I know she prefers to walk, but getting her off the floor is not very fun, as she acts like a wet noodle if she doesn’t want to get up. (: She is good at feeding herself—very good—but of course, gets quite messy. It’s been hard to just succumb to the fact that she needs to feed herself anyway, and to just not worry about the mess she makes. She is soooo tender with “xiao mei-mei” (little, little sister). When Sophi cries, she comes over and tries to give her a stuffed animal or other toy. The problem is, Sophi is absolutely terrified of stuffed animals, so it only makes her scream louder. It makes me giggle every time it happens—Sophi is sad about something, Lexi goes to help her, and you see Sophi’s eyes just widen in terror as Lexi gets near her. We’re going to have to work on that… Tonight on the cruise, our guide was talking to Lexi and they were singing some songs together. Afterward, we all cheered for Lexi and I gave her a kiss. Our guide told Lexi that Mommy was proud of her and wanted to kiss her because her song was so pretty. Lexi obviously understood, because on the ride home, she would sing me a song, and immediately turn to me for a kiss, and then clap her hands and smile. So tender. I loved it. This girl is such an angel.

Sophi Bre has turned out to be quite the princess. She was so docile for the first couple of days, but has definitely gotten comfortable with us. (: She is so so cute. She loves to flirt and to charm. She only has a few words, but has no trouble communicating. She’s very good at speaking “Sophi,” which is essentially a series of grunts and squeals, along with a point of the toes or a shake of the head that lets us know exactly what she wants. I’m so glad that she has spunk, as her life will demand it. She is so LITTLE. She turned two in September, and I brought mostly 2T clothes, and she is swimming in them. I think she’s more of an 18 month size. Which, by the way, we LOVE!!! It is so much fun to have such a little one!! She is so babyish in so many ways and we are eating it up. I love holding her and cuddling her against me and having her so small. She is very adept at using her feet for everything. She feeds herself with her toes, waves with her feet, turns the pages of books, points at what she wants—she’s just amazing. People in China are not afraid to stare, and we’ve always had our share of stares here throughout our adoptions—especially because of our biological kids (they think Jessica is a little Barbie.) But we are getting more attention than ever because of Sophi. She just charms everyone as she waves with her little feet and smiles. A lot of times when we’re out, we’ll get a whole group of people just stopping and watching us. I often wonder what she thinks of all the attention. As far as walking—she can take a couple of steps on her own, and then she falls. She has a leg discrepancy of 3 cm or so, and is missing her fibula in her right leg. I’m assuming she will have a leg lengthening surgery to correct the discrepancy, but we won’t know for sure until we get home. I do think that she will likely be walking in the next year. (: She is such a sweetie. She has my heart.

And there you have it. We are so blessed! I am so grateful to our Father in Heaven for these beautiful girls and the way they have so quickly become bonded to us. I know He is watching over us. I am overwhelmed at His goodness and that He would bless us with such incredible little girls. I'm completely in love.

Still, I found myself in the bathroom today nearly hyperventilating at the thought of what awaits us. I am so excited to go home. I miss my boys and Elli like crazy. I want to get settled in. But here I have nothing to do besides take care of the girls. I don’t have to cook, I don’t have to clean. I have two other adults with me at all times, and I have my two oldest girls—who are a big help. And it’s STILL overwhelming at times. To think of going home to jet-lag, Christmas preparation, Jeremy working, and 8 kids is a bit terrifying. I know that it is just a matter of time before we get balanced and adjusted, but that doesn’t make it any less scary. I’m trying to tell myself that it will all be ok, but I’m not as convincing as I want to be. (:

Anyway… I’ll leave you with some pics.

Love to all, and thanks for your comments and prayers. I can’t wait to bring these sweet girls home and let you in on the fun!


PS I just spent over half an hour adding FIVE pics. That’s it for me. I’ll have Jer add more tomorrow morning. (: