Mommy and daddy are coming for you!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Day 4 & 5

We got a little behind on posting here. We've been soooo busy! So here's to catching everyone up. Thursday, we went to the International Grand Bazaar here in Urumqi. It really is bazaar, some of the things they sell-haha. It's this huge place to shop, most of it is outside and involves a lot of walking. They had everything from knives, scarves, Uiygher hats, jewelry, local food, clothes, antiques, alot of junk, etc. This is how the locals make a living doing this. There were so many duplicate "stalls" of the same items. Urumqi has TONS of fruits and nuts, there were carts and carts of this stuff everywhere. Actually we didn't get to see a whole lot of this place b/c Drew had a crying fit so we had to go back to the bus and sit. We sat there for like 45 minutes, so we missed out on a lot of bargain shopping.
Later that afternoon we walked over to one of the department stores here around the corner to the grocery store in the basement. There is a dept store on just about every corner here, and they have a huge grocery store in them. These stores are about 4-5 levels high and sell really high priced makeup, clothing and everything in between. They are about equivalent to a large dept store at home, with more levels and lots more stuff to buy, higher prices too. Anyways, Drew got to pick out some snacks at the grocery store. He got some potato chips that were a little different but not bad and he ate them all. He got some candy (which tasted awful) too.
This place had alot of weird stuff, like raw squid, whole cooked ducks, tons of fresh seafood/fish, all kinds of meats. If I knew how to cook good Chinese food, this place had all kinds of seasonings,rice,sauces,noodles--too bad huh?
Another thing, Drew asked our local Chinese guide named Wendy, which he calls "auntie" in Chinese), if we had a car. She told him yes and he asked if it was black. (We were on a bus, and he was looking at the cars going by). We told him that Baba and Mama, Nai Nai all have a car. He was happy to know this. I later asked Wendy if Drew's foster family had a car or if Drew had ever ridden in one before? She said they did not, as most people don't unless they are rich enough to buy one. We found out today that Wendy is only 24, and I asked her if she had a car or drives. She looked at me and said,"I'm only 24." "I don't have a car." Therefore, we concluded that most people here can't afford one. Drew told her later that he wants to go on a plane. I said that he'd get his wish soon enough! BTW, Drew drives Wendy and Elsie (our adoption agency Chinese guide) nuts everyday with all the questions he asks them. He always yells out for them and constantly wants to talk to them. He has to be the center of attention. He is very very verbal.
Oh yes, one of the families and I took a taxi to find their little boy's and Drew's finding place.
To make a long story short, it took well over 1 1/2 hr to do this, mine took the longest. I was looking for a shop next to a hospital. Well we finally got introduced to a Chinese woman who helped us at the clinic there. She called her daugher, who spoke English and translated for me! That was sooo nice of her to go out of her way for me. Anyway, come to find out, the original flower shop in which he was found, was no longer there-but another one was it's neighboring shop or took it's place due to construction of the roads. So, I took pics and video of this. BTW,never get sick or go to the hospital while in China. You wouldn't believe the ancient, primitive buildings,offices, equipment, everything they use! Just ask me about this later,.. I could go on and on.
So today, Friday, we went on an extra day trip to see Heavenly Lake up in the mountains. It was really beautiful up there. I was glad it didn't take any longer than it did to get up there, as I was starting to get a little woozy. It took us > 2 hrs to get there. Drew loved walking around and climbing on the rocks. In the parking lot of the place, we saw this money walking around. It musthave been somone's pet we thought, although it didn't look very friendly. It kinda looked like a baboon. My camera wasn't working properly, so all the pictures that I took up there are not on my SD card for some reason. I'm so bummed. There was a lot of snow on the tops of the mountains of course too. We ate lunch there at this Muslim restaurant. It was very good. Drew ate 2 skewers of lamb and some shredded potatoes in this sauce stuff. It was kinda like Chinese food in a way. That was the most he's ever eaten all week at one sitting. Most of the time, all he eats for breakfast and dinner at the hotel is watermelon. He loves it! Well the other night, we ate at this Uigyher restaurant next to the hotel and all he ate out of the food was the onions. He'd pick them up with his chopsticks (which he can use proficiently) and put them in a bowl of water to rinse them off and eat them. It was pretty gross. He has terrible table manners, he makes such a mess and gets it all over him. He is really good about letting me wipe his hands and mouth off though. We'll have to work on the table manners when we get home... haha.
Well this is our last night here in Urumqi, Drew's hometown. It's kinda sad to think he may never return to his homeland. Well I hope he does, or wants to maybe later in life. Earlier, this evening we went to park across the street to let him play. They had all kinds of play equip set up today. There were tons of people over there... you would not believe. Anyway, as we were walking on the sidewalk, a lady kept saying Xin Suo (his Chinese name), so we stopped. She could speak a little English but not enough to have a conversation. She told us that she was Drew's teacher!!!! (at the orphanage) What are the chances of running into someone that he knew from the orphanage, while out on the street with us? Oh my.. I was so excited. So after she and her son walked on, I realized I must take a picture of her, so I ran after her for one. So, now I have a picture of Drew's teacher!!! Too bad the other 3 families weren't with us, they could've asked if she was their childrens' teacher too (which most likely was, or at least knew them for sure)!
Drew had a very good day today and evening. He was pretty darn good, never ran off, and no crying, bathtime was fun too-which makes our day a lot easier! haha Well we are headed off in the morning to fly to Guangzhou (pronounced Gwan-joe), the last city to visit!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Finally... Some more pics!!

Well we finally had time to upload some pictures last night so I'm going to try to put some on here before we leave to go to the Grand Bazaar. There's just a mix of things we've done over the past 3 days, and maybe a few from when we were in Beijing.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Day 3

It is Wed morning just after 8:00. It just now gets light outside here in Urumqi. They keep the same time as Beijing but they actually don't start their day until like 2 hours later, it's really confusing. Right now, it looks like a ghost town outside our hotel window as everything is quiet and closed. We have a really good view of the city buildings and the park across the street from us. So Drew and the rest of the kids are used to going to bed at 10:30 p.m. and not going to his preschool til after 9:00 a.m, a late start for the rest of us. They're used to taking a 2-3 hour nap in the early afternoon according to the reports. However, he's not been able to take a nap like that since he's been with us. So he wears himself out playing all day and by night time, he's exhausted. He is still sleeping right now actually. He loved his spiderman pjs he has on, (thanks to the Duffers to them)! His friend Tonito (Xin Zhu) and his sister Vivi came by last night right before bed time, and they played good. Drew shared his toys and gave him some stickers too. He had to include his mama and baba in this, as he placed a sticker on each of our foreheads too! He fell asleep pretty fast last night, on his own and slept even better than the previous night. It seems he's a good sleeper, so far. Well our schedule is to go to a museum today at 11. So I'll post more later folks. Well we had to go to the museum later in the day instead of the morning so we were free til then. It was really windy so Scott bought Drew a kite and was trying to fly it, though Drew wanted to run the other way and so the kite kept falling to the ground. He wouldn't listen to Scott, and tried to run off away from him. Scott had to grab him and get onto him. He kinda threw a fit, so we had to go back to the hotel to calm down. Earlier in the morning before breakfast, Drew tried to throw a can of coke out our window. We're on the 23rd floor here. Of course he got in trouble. Then, he tried to tear up some Yuan money, and yet got in trouble again- then he tried running out of our hotel room, which really got him in deep. So... needless to say, our day hadn't started out real good. It seemed that he was trying to test us most of the day. However, each time he would calm down and get over it. Before we left, Drew got in his bed and said, "I'm laying down", according to Scott. He did lay down and wanted to take a nap but we had to leave for the museum. He actually fell asleep while there, his Nai Nai (mamaw) held him while he slept. We later went to a real Pizza Hut for dinner. It was delicious, just like home. Really this was the first real "American" home style food we've had since here. Drew told Elsie our guide that he didn't like pizza but he did eat one piece. He had Scott get him a bowl full of veggies and fruit from the salad bar and he ate most of it. This was the best he'd eaten all week for us. Maybe he's close to a vegetarian? haha

Also a first for him, (not to be gross), he had a bowel movement while at Pizza Hut! I realize this is not something normally to get excited about... however with his earlier colon problems and diagnoses, I was worried as he hadn't gone all week! And... also....Drew had his FIRST bath tonight with NO CRYING or SCREAMING!!!! ( The first night, he only put his feet in the tub, last night, he stood screaming and crying as we tried to wash him off). We had Elsie remind him several times today that he had to have a bath tonight. He said ok, but we'd heard that before.... Let me tell you he was truly dirty and very very stinky!! He had a BIG time in the tub, squirting Baba and Mama with the water from the rubber duckies. He laughed sooooooo hard and soooo much. We just loved it!! He got us really really wet, but we didn't care. He is really in a great mood tonight.

To big brother Riley

Just wanted to let you know that Drew is ready to meet you and ready to wrestle a lot with you and dad. He likes to run, play fight, and loves to play with balls, is good at catching and kicking them too. Maybe you can show him how to play soccer and he can be as good as you are someday. Drew can show you how to eat really good with chopsticks, he's an expert!! Hugs and kisses to you, we LOVE YOU Ri--Man!!!!!!!!! By the way, Riley, we know that Drew is truly your brother because he has a problem with warts on his fingers too, and he is SO Hard - headed--- JUST LIKE YOU ARE!! hahaha

Monday, March 31, 2008

Day 2

Good morning to all! Drew slept through the night in his rollaway bed. He got a little restless in the wee morning hours, probably b/c he was hot. I got up and took off 2 layers of pants he had on from yesterday. Yes, he had 3 layers of clothing on from top to bottom! They really bundle these kiddos up over here. Drew finally woke up around 7:20 this morning. The first thing he reached for on the nightstand was the disposable camera he had yesterday. He loves to take pictures! He got the picture album out and started looking at it again. Scott pointed to our pictures and asking who we were. He pointed to me and Drew would reply Mama, he pointed to Riley and he replied "guh guh" (which means big brother in Chinese). He recognized Nai Nai and Yeh Yeah(grandma and grandpa). The whole bathing issue was a tug of war you could say in which he won. He did not want to take a bath at all last night or this morning. Finally, Scott got him to sit on the side of the tub and put his feet in. So they splashed around and made bubble bath beards. Scott was getting our laundry together to send off, and put Drew's clothes in it from yesterday. He pulled out the sweatshirt/jacket from the pile, I'm sure he thought his baba was maybe trying to throw away his clothes? Before we ate breakfast, Drew wanted to go down the hall to see our Chinese CHI guide Elsie. He told her he wanted to go outside to the park again to play. We told him ok, but after we ate. So needless to say, baba took him outside just now, while I am blogging for a minute. Well gotta go see them play and going shopping too.

Let's say shopping in China is a little different and difficult. Mom, Drew and I went to this department store, which was at least 5 levels. The bottom was a grocery store and other things. Basically this place was an equivalent to a major mall in the U.S. and just expensive if not more. So when you wanted to purchase an item, the clerk had to write it down on a slip of paper and you had to take it to a cashier at a different spot, then after you paid, you had to go back to pick up your things. This is quite a change from shopping at home. We found Drew a pair of shoes, which light up. Yes I know their not the greatest, but he liked them. He also picked out mickey mouse socks. The ones we brought are too big, as are the rest of his clothes. We later found the toy department and he of course picked out some toys. Lastly, he picked out Teenage Mutant Ninja Turltles DVD movies, a music CD, and a comic book--these are all in Chinese! Interesting, eh? So coming back to the hotel, he fell asleep in the taxi so we thought he'd take a nap in the room. We put in this movie of the turtles and he never fell asleep. We've been lying in bed eating and playing. He and Scott have been playing hide and seek in the closet, and wrestling. Drew is a very active, assertive little boy. He knows what he wants and he lets you know it. He sings songs in Chinese sometimes and it sounds sooo cute. I just love to hear him speak in his little voice in Chinese. Most of the time, the only word I recognize in all of what he's saying is either Mama or Baba. But hey, I guess that's the most important words anyway!!! Alot of the time we just say ok to him, unless he's getting into some trouble and we tell him "Boo" which means No in Chinese. We know just the very very basic words to communicate and at times we have trouble with that. That doesn't seem to affect how he interprets us though, I think we have a good thing going here. Oh yeah two more things, Drew LOVES gum and loves to pass it around to everyone. When he chews, his dimples just shine!! And we think he is very very smart indeed as he can already count to 5 in English. Scott has been working with him on this and it's only the 2nd day we've had him!!!

Our first meeting!!

Well we've had quite an exciting, nerve racking, long day today. Well actually my nerves were working overtime and Scott was A-ok as usual. Just got back to the hotel, it is 6:00 p.m. now Monday evening. We left here this morning before 10 a.m. to meet our Drew. We went to the Civil Affairs office and when we got there, the kids were already there in the room. However, Drew was no where to be seen. Of course I panicked and wondered if they forgot to bring him!

Thank goodness not, he was there, just in the bathroom. He was very quiet and shy at first, he stood over to the side trying to hide from us. He stood there and got tears in his eyes for a few minutes as there was a lot of noise going on in the room with the 3 other kids meeting their families too. The room was quite small of course. First Scott gave him some bite sized chocolate chip cookies which he ate a few of. We showed him his backpack and he perked up immediately. He continued to unpack EVERYTHING in his backpack, every little nook and cranny pocket was emptied out. He had a ball with everything he could find to drag out of there. Then the other kids came over to check out all his neat stuff, we all had a good time sitting there in the floor as the kids went through all the toys. Let me tell you that he LOVES his BABA-- (his daddy), he wants to be beside him at all times and only wanted to sit on the bus beside him. We did switch seats coming home and he asked to sit by his dad, but then he settled for me I guess. He only wants his baba to hold and carry him too. Scott says he weighs a ton! hahaha

We were walking down the street waiting at this office, and Drew wanted a balloon. Well he not only got a balloon, he got 2 more toys and juice to drink. He was very happy with that. We realize he doesn't truly understand what is going on, as he asked the Chinese tour guide who was taking him back to the orphanage. She told him he was staying with his mama and baba. He said ok. Just to tell u as I'm writing this, Drew found his MP3 player and wanted me to get it started for him. He is into EVERYTHING! He is a Very inquisitive little boy to say the least. He opens everything he can get his hands on or into. When we first just now walked into the room, he walked straight to this laptop and turned it on!! I'd say he knows how to use a computer....

Drew had a big time passing the beach balls around in this office we were in today, we were in there for hours!! He got it out and wanted it blown up. He was laughing out loud while throwing and catching that around. He also kept asking for ice cream, preferably chocolate according to our tour guide Wendy. So finally later, his baba took him to buy a chocolate ice cream bar which he ate all of. He seems to be very independent. He likes to play with the other kids at times, and other times, he just wanted to sit down and look around,or draw pictures at the table by himself. He can definitely entertain himself pretty good. Ok I'm going to post some pics for now, and will do more later. It appears since we've been in the room, that he can speak a few words in English it sounds like. We shall see.... Oh yeah, his dimples are sooooo darn cute!!!!
Ok here's the rest of the day events. After we got back to the hotel, Drew (Xin Suo-his Chinese name) wanted to go outside so we walked out to this (concrete) play area/park across the street from the hotel. He wanted baba to hold him, actually stopped in front of him and held his arms out for Scott to put him on his shoulders! He got to ride these little animals car-like things. He didn't want to get off of it after it was over. He locked his legs around it, but did not throw a fit at all-thank goodness. He then saw this kiddie train-which of course he wanted to ride. Once this was over, he jumped out of it and got into another cab of the train to ride again. So we're walking around here and there's this man selling balloons, he spots him and immediately gets excited. So you know he ends up with yet another balloon! After this, we walked back to the hotel to eat. Just to let you know, you would have thought he had eaten out with us a thousand times before. He did so wonderful. We found out he likes watermelon, tomatoes, broccoli, meat, not a very picky eater-yippee!!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

On the road again...

Well folks, we are now in Urumqi, Drew's hometown. Just got into our hotel, would you believe this place says you can't drink the water still? I brushed my teeth with the water at the last hotel we were in.. b/c I forgot! Hopefully I won't kill over anytime soon. We had a 4 hour flight here from Beijing. I slept the majority of the way, thank goodness. We haven't been sleeping well since being in China--it seems all of us want to wake up in the middle of the night. Basically we run on a lot of adrenaline I guess. We're meeting with our guide Elsie in an hour to alot of paperwork. We were told that we will be leaving in the morning at 9:40 going to the some Civil Affairs Office to meet our children at 10:00 a.m. We're still going to ask if we can visit their orphange, but it doesnt look good at this point. They already said we can't meet the foster parents.... what a bummer. So it is Sunday afternoon 3:00 here , which makes it late Sat. night 1:00 a.m. there? I will be a basketcase by tomorrow morning. Scott reminded me that today/tonight is our last night of freedom with kids. I hope that I can sleep at least a little bit still. haha Elsie is going to help translate to our kids tomorrow when we meet them which will be wonderful in explaining to them what in the world is going on. I hope he likes his new name too.
All of the families with us here are soooo excited too for tomorrow, the big day. I just pray that it goes as smooth as possible for the kids' sake. So, be thinking of our family, Sunday evening, because it will be our Monday morning here!!!