Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gotcha plus two - The Panda Zoo

What a faaaaabulous day! No government offices, just touring....SHOPPING....and fun. You know China can be a lot of fun when you are just walking around. Our expert tour guide Katherine and driver Bob really showed us an excellent time. These two are really not required to do anymore than get us to our adoption paperwork appointments but they are out everyday taking us to their favorite spots and getting us the best deals. We really got lucky when we were matched with this pair. I thought I was pretty good with chop sticks....until Bob ate lunch with us and put us all to shame. But you are not really here to read about that so on with it. Her latest changes include talking...babbling really..and pointing. She has a picture book courtesy of Auntie Darla and cousin Wallace and when she is ready for daddy to blow bubbles, will open the book and point to the bubbles.

LOOK! A bubble!

She has not requested to use the bathroom yet, but goes almost immediatley when she is put on the seat. I would have loved to have had her teach Jack!

The Readers Digest version:

Molly continues to improve and open up. It seems when she wakes in the morning or wakes from her nap is the hardest time and she tends to get shy and closed off...but last night we had her trying to pop bubbles and she has started babbling quite a bit. We are all convinced there is some hearing going on...although we wont really know until we get back. She is absolutely...and I say with great humility...attached to me right now which is greaaaat! We just have to continue to prove to her that Rob is as safe as he seems. He is so patient and kind. Much more than I would probably be. Just the perfect dad to this little girl.
Darla and Mary fly home tomorrow which I know their families are excited about. We will certainly miss them and I know Molly will...it was more than just "nice" to have them here..it was essential and Molly's progress has more to do with their trip here with us than I think they realize. Now I always knew that Mary was awesome, but how lucky are we that we have Auntie Darla? Words can't describe. Even better to imagine all the "Auntie's and Uncles" we have once we return..in one week!

Who said they wanted details?

We were so ready for this day. No appointments - just a free day to tour this awesome city. It is already my favorite city in China...not a huge contest as I have only been to one other city....but it already is. We started with breakfast down in the hotel restaurant. Our girl who started out eating congee now...wont touch it. Almost as if she has said...you know, I have been eating congee all my life...I think I will just stick with the french toast and watermelon. What is congee? Congee is best described as rice cooked slowly with extra water in it. The people here mix other food in it...almost like oatmeal...but it can also be eaten for lunch or dinner... the China version of grits I guess. The most remarkable transformations we see in Molly are when she is put in front of food. It is really the most amazing thing we have noticed since we got her. She completely loosens up - looks around and loves to eat. She is meticulous about having clean hands and wipes them or rather holds her hands out toward me so that I can wipe them off. Quite a transition for a mom who has boys that given the choice would rather spend a day sitting in a mud hole than anything else.

You can see in this picture that she loves spaghetti but is already concerned about cleaning her hands:

From there we headed to the Panda Zoo. The Panda Zoo is located right in the city and the minute we pulled up the zoo director came out to meet us. I cant put into words how close we were to the pandas. You wouldn't see anything like this in the states. And if you did, the place would be swarming with people. When we arrived, we were the only people there and we just stood and watched the panda's eat, do tricks and sleep. The only thing that separated us was a sheet of glass and a concrete ditch. It goes without saying that unless we travel here again, we will never be this close to a Panda bear again.

Here we are posing for a photo op with the director of the Panda Zoo:

More panda pics:

From here we traveled to the house of the Hero of Fujian who lead the attack on the Opium trade and is referred to by locals as simply "The Hero". We toured his house and then enjoyed a tea ceremony....a once in a lifetime event in it's own right. My favorite was the oolong tea...followed closely by Jasmine. Molly couldn't have cared less about the tea...all she cares about is the endless supply of cheerios that have seemed to come her way. Want to see pure joy? Give that girl a bag of cheerios! Some more touring and shopping followed this where we were able to get the items for Molly that we knew we wanted to leave with. Artwork from her province, a tea set from her province, custom made satin dress that probably wont fit her in a week based on the amount of food she has inhaled, and some jade.

Finished with lunch at a Cantonese restaurant where Rob was introduced and loved a dish called spicy duck blood. I was not brave enough to go there. I stick with the noodles, beef and rice. The rice, which is at every meal from breakfast to dinner is the best rice we have ever had...could be a meal all by itself.

Once we got back, we took out Molly's hearing aids and she fell right to sleep. After a few hours and some warm up time, we headed up stairs for tea and then down to the restaurant where we were lucky enough to run into Katherine and her family celebrating a cousin's birthday. They were kind enough to come and meet us.

Her daughter is an eight year old girl who has decided that her English name is Kitty because she loves Hello Kitty. I cant think of a better reason to pick a name! Absolutely adorable and very gracious.

When we were introduced she bowed to us and said "It is so nice to meet you". WOW! Good luck getting my boys to even look at you when they meet you. Definitely a different world here. What ever they are teaching their kids, it is working! When they left we handed Kitty a huge handful of kit kat bars and Hershey kisses. She looked shocked at first and then started licking her lips. True gratitude for such a small gesture is something that is hard to teach...but Katherine has done it. Giddy-up Katherine. During our tour Katherine has taught us several Chinese words and phrases and in return we have given her some American slang...like "Giddy-up" for starters, You are the man, You're the bomb, and more like that. Lets just say her English is much better than our Chinese. My hope is to have her whip out a huge "DUDE!" in Lori Cribbet style before we leave for Guangzhou!

Back to the hotel room for a bath and off to bed for Molly who took about 5 minutes to fall asleep. She has started as Darla puts it "To take up more space" and be a little more adventurous. Every day is progress...slowly it will click that we are not going anywhere without her.

We are here in Fuzhou for three more days...than off to Guangzhou to complete the adoption process, have an exit medical exam for Molly, pick up the visa and head home on the following Wednesday!

Words can not describe how much Rob and I appreciate the prayers and support. We truly can not express how incredible it is to have so much community support in what will be the most rewarding but most difficult life transforming event we have ever experienced. We cant thank you all enough! Keep those prayers coming as the home sickness starts to settle in. Fortunately, we don't have to worry about our boys as they are in the most capable hands of Robs parents...but we do miss them and are ready to have the family all under one roof!


Leslie Cobb said...

Debbie and Rob,

What terrific news! I have been out of town and am just catching up. I am so happy for you all. Can't wait to meet Molly in person. Be safe.

Leslie, Charlie, Jacob and Matthew

On said...

wow tooooooooo cute!!! I would like to take a look of the pandas too!

I love Panda... and just bought a Panda Bag from the following Blogshop:

Nice to meet you.