Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 5 & 6- August 23 & 24, 2011

Day 5 - August 23, 2011
Today started out as a test of our patience and sort of like the honeymoon was over for little Ava Grace.  She woke up and did not want any of us.  It’s like the vacation was over for her.  After about 30 minutes she realized we weren’t leaving and then she was all ‘lovey’ again.  She was so much more relaxed than the first day we got her.  She has been a real trooper.  Our first activity today was to go to Adoption office and then to the Notary office.  At the adoption office, we had to go through the interview process and explain why we were adopting.  It was a little intimidating but was quick.  There was a lot of waiting and the kids did great occupying themselves.  We then had to go and take a picture of mom, dad, and Ava Grace.  We found out that this picture was used on the official adoption certificate.  We met up with our friends from Wisconsin again.  It is funny because neither one of us know where we are going or what the next steps are.  We just see each other along the way.  It’s very funny.  We left the adoption office and went to the notary office.  Here the notary is much more important than in US.  Here they are the official recorders and the only ones that do that.  So we met up with our friends again at the notary office.  Here we took the oath, which was basically an agreement that we would not abandon or abuse our little girl.  She basically read the requirement to all of us together and we had to shake our head or indicate yes.  We were presented Ava Grace’s passport that had only her Chinese name on it.  It was a cute picture there that was taken weeks ago and she is showing off her 2 front teeth.  She did great being patient the whole time and the boys are continuously playing with her and trying to entertain her.  Today she was reaching for them and playing games with them.  That was a welcomed site because the first day she wanted nothing to do with them.  She is mimicking them with funny faces and sounds.  She picks up quickly and is very smart. 
After the notary office, we went to lunch at the Bunder (I think that’s right but it’s a boardwalk that showcases the river and beautiful buildings all around central Shanghai).  Lunch was great!  We had fried chicken, spicy bamboo shoots with chicken, rice, cabbage, soup, and fried pork (seemed a lot like chicken fried steak though).  The boys ate great and have been great at trying new stuff at each meal.  We fed Ava Grace some rice with soups mixed together to make it a little easier going down.  She is a good eater and will tell you when she’s had enough.  So far she has taken almost 2x as much formula at each feeding and eater much more from the table than we were told she was eating.  I think she has gained a pound already.  Right after lunch we took a tour down the boardwalk.  We asked the guide if it was going to be a long tour and he said no justa short ways.  So we didn’t take a stroller or carrier.  Of course, Ava Grace fell asleepas soon as we got going and the short tour lasted more than an hour!  Daddy’s arms and back were give out but by the end of that and couldn’t wait til we got into the van again.  From there we took a stroll through the French Quarter here and it was composed of many small stores and galleries down narrow, run-down alleys.  It was nothing fancy but was a very neat atmosphere.  That was another 30 minute tour, but this time we had her in the stroller.  There were some beautiful pictures there.  The thing that really sticks out in our minds is how artistically talented these people are.  They can create some fabulous works of art here. By this time we were give out and ready to just relax in the room and let the boys play with their little sis.  We asked our facilitator how they usually treat sick people here and he took it as we thought Ava Grace was sick.  He made a call and said that he arranged for us to stop by the hospital to get her checked out since the van drivers wife was a nurse there and it wouldn’t cost us anything.  We insisted several times that she was ok and it wasn’t necessary but he wasn’t hearing that.  So we played along made it another opportunity to see a hospital up close.  The nurses and doctors there were fabulous and had a big heart.  We finally made it back to the room after another long day and the boys finally got to play with little sissy.  They did great and didn’t overwhelm her.  She is getting much more used to them now and now reaches out to touch them and interact with them more.  They are lapping it up.     

Day #6 Aug 24, 2011

Jace braved the challenge of this fine dining

Today was a little more relaxing than any of the previous ones.  No paperwork, no appointments, just tour of TV tower and Pearl factory.  So we started out around 9:30 this morning.  We went to the TV tower which is about 1500 feet tall from the best we can interpret.  It had about 250 floors- that is the highest we could go anyway.  It has a skywalk to walk out on and glass floor so you can see under your feet.  It was incredibly high and gave the very best views of the beautiful city here.  It was AWESOME!  We took it all in for quote a while.  Then we went down a ways and to an arcade that the boys really enjoyed.  It was great for them- they have been so patient the whole time and I was glad they had a little while in there to play some games.  We finished at the TV tower by walking through the museum there.  It was huge with many models of what times were like in the older days and explained the history here.  It was nice but way too much for us to take it all in. 
Next we went for lunch.  Everyday before today we have had the very best food you can find here.  Today we went to a very formal place and got the meal we had been worried about getting.  There were many items there that we couldn’t figure out what they were.  Mandy liked some soup that we had.  It seemed to have some eggs stuffed with some kind of meat and some clear chewy things that she said was dumplings.  When our facilitator came back to get us after lunch she asked what was in some of the dishes- BIG MISTAKE!  The dumplings that she liked were tendons and the meat was some kind of mixture of meat.  I could see her getting sick by minute-haha!  There was a chicken foot on one of the plates, no other chicken parts that I could recognize.  They brought us fish and yes that was easy to recognize because it was the entire fish- eyes and all just on a plate.  That was actually pretty decent if you could get past him staring at you while you ate him.  Needless to say, we didn’t eat very much for lunch.  We ate our rice which is always a safe bet here. 
We toured a pearl factory and while Mandy shopped the boys and Ava Grace stole the show.  They have many young girls working in the factories (same as our department stores) to sale items to people.  They love children here and kept telling us that we have a great family.  Of course we agree.  Everywhere we go they say Jace looks like Harry Potter and they just pull Collin with them to show off his blue eyes to all of their friends.  At the pearl factory we bought Ava Grace a pearl bracelet and necklace to give her when she gets older.  The ladies there couldn’t get over how much she was attached to her parents after only a couple of days.  They kept saying we were very lucky and we realize it is not luck but God’s grace that helped us in this union.
Since we didn’t have much lunch today we decided to go out to eat for dinner.  We decided to walk out on the streets around the hotel and came across a KFC.  We were happy to finally get another taste of home, but after we got our food, we found out it was not the same.  The chicken was not the same chicken we have at home.  I don’t know how it was different, but it was very.  None of us could eat our sandwich, so we got a sundae and headed home for the night. 
When we got back we tried to keep Ava Grace up a while to see if anyone would Skype us.  She started playing hard and was talking up a storm.  She is really coming out of her shell now.  Tonight we were able to put her in the boys laps and she was just touching their hair and faces and loving on them. We even got her to kiss them on the cheek for bedtime.  She is warming up to them pretty good now.  She doesn’t see them as a threat but more as friends and playmates now.  

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