Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! Thursday, November 28th

I'm so excited right now because Lily finally felt brave enough to leave my side and walk around the room! She is in the living room with Brian and Caroline and is totally fine with it! She and Brian just had a great time playing together. She was sitting on me but completely interacting with Brian. They were laughing and smiling together playing peekaboo and passing her weebles car back and forth. We started having Brian give her all of her food too. We saw the way to her heart and took advantage :) now Brian is making sandwiches and is about to feed Lily hers. Thank you so much for praying for us! It is making a difference!

Here are the things we have learned about Lily so far:
  • We have nicknamed her the koala because she holds onto me with her entire body, even her feet!
  • She has started to babble and talk and her favorite sound is wawawawawawa
  • She has no fear of falling and has tried to walk off the bed several times and really loved trying to dive off some stone steps at the temple today. 
  • When she gets mad she throws herself on the floor on her back and pushes herself around the room 
  • She is not a huge fan of the Ergo :(
  • She likes to randomly growl like a lion
  • She thinks her brother and sister are hilarious 
  • Her favorite place to sleep is on me
  • She is not a fan of the bathtub
We had an early start to our day today. Matthew and Caroline were up at 4:30, Brian was up at 3:30, and I was up at 5:30. Lily, however, did not get up until 8:00 which gave me a break for a few hours. In that time we were able to Skype with dad, I updated the blog, and got a short workout in. It was great! Then we got ready and headed down to breakfast. I am seriously not sure how I'm going to survive when we get back and I don't have bacon, hash browns, pastries, and fresh squeezed orange juice readily available. 

At 9:45 we met in the lobby for our first sightseeing adventure! For Matthew and Caroline the highlight was once again riding the bus. I think this is going to be a trend. We should have just taken a trip to the train station and they would have been happy. Mental note for our next vacation. So we went to the Chen Ancestral Hall, which is basically a temple for the Chen family. Since Chen is the most? popular name in China, people would come here to trace their ancestry and light incense to send messages to deceased family members. Now it is a museum housing some amazing art. My two favorite rooms were the embroidery and ivory rooms. There were amazingly intricate artworks made completely from thread. In the ivory room they had incredible ivory carvings. I was just in awe that someone's hands had made these pieces. 


After a few exhibits the kids needed a break so we walked around in one of the atriums. Lilys personality really started coming out! She was walking all around and went up and down the steps over and over, laughing and smiling the whole time. I'm not really sure how to describe the way she went down the stairs. It seemed that since she had my hand she thought she could somehow jump with straight legs and hang from my arm down each step. Then Simon took us to another part that had an artist creating chops (kind of like stamps) and paintings. I ordered a chop that had Lily's Chinese name and American name, and a wooden dragon on the top for her birth year. I also got a beautiful pink floral painting on a tapestry scroll with her Chinese name to hang in her room. Brian got one with fish to hang in his office and mom got a red floral one with Flynn in Chinese to put in her office at home. They are going to deliver them to the hotel tomorrow and I can't wait to see how they turned out!


Simon took our group to his favorite dumpling restaurant nearby for Thanksgiving lunch. The food was authentic, northeastern Chinese cuisine and it was amazing! All the families were at 3 huge tables with lazy susans in the middle to share all the food Simon had ordered. We had fried dumplings, steamed dumplings, potatoes that were made like noodles, Chinese pizza, chicken, and these amazing Chinese potato chunks covered in a sweet glaze. I could have eaten the entire plate myself! It was definitely not your traditional thanksgiving meal, but I wouldn't have traded the experience! Although I did miss watching football. 

The walk back to the hotel was somewhat less enjoyable, since Lily was exhausted and didn't want to be in the Ergo and screamed the entire way. She finally fell asleep mid-cry when we were almost back. We borrowed another family's stroller for Caroline and she fell asleep too. It was obviously nap time! We all slept until dinner time, but didn't eat dinner since we'd had a big lunch. Then we just enjoyed playing (reference first paragraph). I am so encouraged by the progress with Lily this evening. Please keep praying for us!

Our orphanage visit is tomorrow. We found out that Lily's orphanage moved about 2 weeks ago, so we don't know if we will be able to see the place she spent the first 16 months of her life. We also don't know if we will all be going or just Brian. We're not sure if we want to take her back because we don't know if it will help (bring closure) or hinder her adjustment. Plus it's 2 1/2 to 3 hours in the van each way. Whoever goes will also get to see her finding spot. We are praying that we make the right decision for her!

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