Friday, January 13, 2012

Playing, Planes + Pizza

What the heck are you people in the US (and elsewhere?) doing?!?!  Praying, saying the Rosary, wishing on a star, performing an exorcism?

Being a superstitious Italian lady, for fear of jinxing us, I am not going to make any statements about E getting better or turning points or any of that.  Being an educated adoptive parent, I'm not going to assume that the grieving and pain has stopped.  But something is different.  Something is happening that has allowed us to stop holding our breath. 

Re-entry is always bumpy for E.  When she wakes up, she's scared and confused.  But, who wouldn't be, given her situation?  Today was no different.  The grumpies lasted through breakfast, until we took the little princess out in her chariot.  Girlfriend LOVES the stroller and being OUT.  She also loves the five-story mall that our hotel is attached to.  We pushed her around for a few hours, played with her, took her into stores, and she just takes it all in.  She is extremely patient, and doesn't demand that we buy her things.  She'll play with a toy, and when we tell her "all done" she's OK with moving on.  We bought her a little push toy that she got a kick out of, and we let her ride one of the mall rides.  We saw lots of smiles and giggles.

After the mall, it was time to embark on the massive re-packing project we had in order to leave Nanning.  It was hard saying goodbye to the place where we first met our dear daughter, but we felt ready to move on.  I think that because we met E in our hotel room, she associated the "ding" of the elevator and the actual room with being "kidnapped" by us.  It was time to say goodbye.

Next was our adventure for E's passport and on to the airport.  Our guide, Cindy, waited and waited and came to tell us that the passport was not going to be ready and would have to be sent to Guangzhou.  A few minutes later we were sitting in traffic and Cindy got a phonecall saying the passport was ready!  Like out of a movie, she jumped out the car into traffic and ran to get the passport!  She came back with it in a flash and we were off for a crazy ride to the airport.  If you haven't been to China then you have no idea how insane the driving is.  There's no way to explain it, and we thougth about taking a video but the jerking motion and constant near-miss crashes would certainly make you barf on your laptop.  We made the flight by the skin of our teeth, exacerbated by the fact that the gate was changed and we were in the wrong line and nearly went to Shanghai.  Would have loved to see Shanghai, but the little detour would not have fit into our schedule on this trip!

E's first flight was largely uneventful.  There were two other families with their adopted children on the flight, and at first I was so silly as to think that E was going to be the only one not to cry.  No such luck.  The others wailed the first half of the trip, E wailed the second.  But, all in all, she did extremely well.

We met our guide, Helen, who IS THE BEST GUIDE IN ALL OF CHINA!!!!  No kidding, she is awesome.  She is such a natural at this.  She was able to tell us that E calls for me (Mama) and that one of the phrases that she has been using a lot (sounds like "Aii-yanhh!!") means "Let's go" or "Hurry up already" or "What the heck are you slowpokes doing let's get going here!!!"  This information meshes pretty well with our impression that E is a diva.

We checked in at the Holiday Inn Shifu (not like the Holiday Inn in the US at all) and decided to brave the drizzle and head out to the pedestrian walking street for dinner.  It was bustling with people and all lit up beautifully.  E wasn't fazed at all by the sounds or tight crowds.  We headed to Papa John's for some pizza, which we found out E loves!  Not so much for the pepperoni, though.  It was great because E really started to warm up to P over our pizza dinner!  Not surprising P would bond with his daughter over pizza...

Even though it was really late, we decided to stick with the routine and give E her bath.  Little did we know that she was up for an all-night suds-fest, but it was so fun to see her happy and playful.  We rounded it all out with a little toothbrushing, and nighty-night. 

E is ONE. BRAVE. GIRL.  The bravest I know.  She's strong-willed, funny, gentle, patient, and simply adorable. 

Thank you again to everyone for all of your well-wishes.  Whatever you are seems to be working for now.  We know that there is a long, long road ahead of us, and we are ready to take each and every step together, the 3 of us against the world.  Our love to everyone, T + P + E


The Jiu Jiu said...

It always takes a few days for the New Normal to begin sliding into the slot originally occupied by the Old Normal. There's no way Emmilene can't be feeling all the love the two of you so obviously have for her, just give her a little time to catch up to all the changes. (I commented at one point during out trip that the poor kids had their entire world yanked out from under them approximately once every 48 hours...)

And that photo of her chomping on the pizza is precious!

The Payne Family Blog said...

Just keep doing what YOUR doing!!!! She is so adorable!!!! Good to know about the "Aiii yaaa" expression. We have heard that a lot! that and "Yaya?" Meaning "Turn on Pleasant Goat?"

Emmie's Favorite Auntie said...

I literally laughed out loud when I read the line about your daughter being a diva and then IN THE NEXT LINE you mention how the Holiday Inn isn't AT ALL like Holiday Inns in the US (scoff, scoff).
Shopping, pizza and two awesome parents, what else do you really need?

Pattie and Joe said...

Our hearts are in the heavens now! It was amazing when I read she was calling YOU mama, not just calling for her foster mother. Now we know even if she takes a step backwards, it is only temporary :). Loves to out and around... And shopping! She is definitely your daughter!!! You are our heros for your patience and love for E. how does the song go - "you are the wind beneath her wings" and she "will be everything she will be because "you loved me!". Still praying, but with a smile now, not tears!!!!

Anonymous said...

the little bud is openning up!! sending more love & blessings. may your stay in Guangzhou a pleasant one!

Christy said...

I am thrilled there was a turing point. Somthing about Guangzhou changes these little ones. Its like leaving their home city makes things better for them. When we were there just almost exactly a year ago our Finley (she had just turned 3) made a huge change once we got to GZ. She always liked my hubby but there was a change in our relationship-- a wonderful change for the good. It was not perfect and I would not have expected that, but it was better. Im so happy to hear E is moving in the right direction.

I have to ask is you guide Helen who works with Judy Wu?? If so, Helen was our guide back in 2007 with Mia and we saw her and spent some time with her when we were there with Finley last January. She is awesome and you are in the best of hands!!!

I will give you some eating advice since you guys are foodies like we are. Leave your hotel and head over the pedestrian bridge and the street that you end up on that boarders the little river, stay on that street and turn left. Go down that street past the vicotry hotel (old voctory) and down the street is a shanghi restaurant with a green door. Helen should know which one. It is amazing. Honestly my mouth is watering thinking about it. They have a individual hot pot spicy beef thing and their dumplings are awesome!!! You must try it and it is cheap. Also, Cow and Bridge is always a winner- thai food. Also, across that main street by your hotel-- the one you mentioned in your post up on the far side of the street the second floor is an italian restaurant. It is not wonderful but it is good for a change of pace.

Anyway, glad E is doing better and Im enjoying watching your trip. Cant wait to be there in 5 months. :)

Michele said...

Glad that things seem to be turning a corner. HELEN is the BEST. We loved her. Tell her Michele and Xiaoping (Shou-ping) said hi! We were just with her a couple of weeks ago. She is amazing!!!!!!!!

claire taylor said...

So good to hear that E is feeling better. Sophia was the same way, mornings and bed time were very rough. But she turned a corner in Guangzhou.

I love how supportive you are of her when she is grieving. Just love on her as she lets you. It isn't over, but it will get better every day as she learns to trust you both.

What a sweet angel! Enjoy Guangzhou!

Claire Taylor

Angie said...

So happy to hear that things are going better! Love all the pics & her phrase that she says.....ha! I wonder if Helen will be our guide in 3 weeks? Hope so if she's that awesome!