Monday, March 30, 2009

One from Tom

This blog is being done by Tom, and as, you’ll see, Abby and I comment and write about different things. The kids slept great from about 9:00 PM Sunday night until Price started talking around 5:00 AM. Abby and I woke up, and she started working on the second effort at her post that took three tries (see the previous post). We decided to grab breakfast from the hotel before getting cleaned up for the day’s appointments. The hotel breakfast is included with the room price, plus the food is a) good and b) mostly recognizable as exactly what the label says it is. Although, I have to say, their idea of orange juice seems to be more juice that is orange in color as opposed to juice from an orange. We have discovered that a BIG breakfast in these nice hotels will save us money and give us enough food to get through until mid afternoon.

Our guide, Mary, picked us up at 9:00 for the three appointments we had today. The first was in a building that had a waiting area which contained another a dozen or so families who are also adopting. We had an ‘interview’ – four questions, a couple of signatures, we got a gift for adopting, and then we waited for our formal Adoption Certificate to be printed. Next, we got back in the van and drove to a very quick notarization appointment, and then last, we had her picture taken and we were done for the day. Mary took us to a grocery store to get some milk, water, and soft drinks. You just have to see this place to believe it - people every where, and so many workers in the store straightening displays, standing around to help, etc. It felt like there were often more workers than shoppers. I’ll have to go back to get the names and descriptions of some of the items for sale in this store to post. Some of the English names and descriptions are really amazing. Then, Mary brought us back to the hotel, made plans for tomorrow, and we were on our own.

We fed the kids some lunch and then put them down for naps. During this time, Abby actually got her post completed and posted while I watched a movie on her iPod. When we got the kids up, we went back to the grocery store, because Abby hadn’t gone in with Mary and me earlier, and because we needed a couple of more things. Then, we went to the ‘walking street’, which is blocked off at the ends and has stores, shops, and food stands/stalls up and down the whole length of it. While we were out, we ran into two other adopting couples: one in the grocery store, and one on the walking street. While we were talking to the couple on the walking street, a small crowd gathered around us, and, before we knew it, we were celebrities. Also, we had several older ladies, and a few men, come up and touch the kids hands or feet to check to see if we were keeping them warm enough. In one instance a lady came over, checked Carmon’s hand, and then went back to her friend and explained that she was fine and that Carmon also had a pair of tights on under her long pants!

At the very end of the walking street was a McDonald’s, and. after the hamburger (I use the term loosely) we had from room service the night before, I wanted to try to see if American Hamburgers had made it to the Far East yet. I went in and ordered from a picture menu and paid. When I came out, a small crowd had gathered around Abby, Price, and Carmon, and I could just barely see Abby’s blonde hair surrounded by many locals. I shot some video of this. As Abby and I were walking away (still being stalked by the clothing police, I might add), she told me that Price had started playing Peek-A-Boo with some of the people who were looking at him.

A few observations and comments, NONE of which are meant to be disrespectful of the Chinese: first, Diet Coke doesn’t exist in China. Coke Lite, yes, Coke Zero, yes, but you get a REALLY strange look when you ask for Diet anything. Second, driving on the roads is, at best, go where you want, in any lane you want, including the lane of traffic moving in the opposite direction’. It works great for them; it really does! As Abby and I were watching it from the sidewalks (or moped lanes as they are known here) or the van, it is absolutely amazing that we didn’t see many, many crashes. Bicycles, mopeds, cars, SMALL cars, walkers, trucks, buses, all go where they need to go, even if they cut off a police car or van while doing it! Third, the people are all very, very friendly, even if they don’t speak English. People everywhere we have been always smile at us, wave, want to see and talk to the kids; it’s like we’re part of their family. This also means, though, that there is the occasional look at us as if we’re the Black Sheep of the family for not dressing the kids warmly enough…

Well, the kids are in bed, Abby is snoozing and my head is drooping, so I am going to post this for now, along with some video for all you to see. All this video was shot with Abby’s new digital camera, because the digital video camera we brought over with us broke somehow. We discovered that about 15 minutes before going down to have a quick lunch before we received Carmon. The first video is when we first saw her, and Abby got to hold her. The second video is of the crowd surrounding Abby and the kids when I came out of McDonald’s this afternoon.

One last thing I thought of as I was getting out of bed to post this…our legs are KILLING us from the climb up the Great Wall Saturday! Every time we’ve had to get in or out of the van, go up steps, or squat down to pick up a kid or a kid thing, we’ve both laughed about the soreness and the way we are moving. It looks like we’re both in our 60’s!

Jack and Madeleine, you’re going to love Carmon! Mommy and Daddy miss you both so much, and I can’t wait to see you Friday. Everyone, please keep the prayers and email coming!



Annis Family said...

No wonder Carmon was crying, the woman just about broke Carmon's neck trying to "wipe" her face. Abby you should have swatted her!

Brandi said...

CRYING!!! Oh precious one! I love her already!

Love that you are a celeb there too!


Dori's Mommy (Diana) said...

Congratulations!! She is just adorable! I remember those crowds in Nanchang.

I actually found you via my Diana Rambles site.