Saturday, November 30, 2013

Orphanage Visit - Friday, November 29th

We decided not to take Lily back to her orphanage today, but we did want to be able to see it, talk to her nannies, and take pictures for her so Brian went alone. That left Mom and I with the three kids. The first time the adults were outnumbered! Since we had been going places every day since we got here, I thought it would be nice to have a laid back day around the hotel and let the kids get some good bonding time in. We started with breakfast. Normally Brian starts getting the kids food while we get everyone situated, but since he wasn't there mom went and got food. Once we got the kids eating, I left to get my breakfast. Of course Lily chooses this moment to shove a large piece of food in her mouth and start choking, and when my mom scooped it out of her mouth she started screaming since someone had taken her food. She never fully recovered, and was pretty fussy all through breakfast. Next we hit up the fish ponds and gardens. Lily hadn't seen them yet and Matthew and Caroline were really excited to show them to her. We spent some time walking around, and Lily spent some time attempting to walk directly off the ledge into the fish pond. This girl is going to be a handful!

When I got tired of rescuing Ms. Daredevil from a watery adventure we went back up to the room. The kids had fun playing together, getting Lily to laugh and walk around the room. We also discovered that she really likes pulling plugs out of the wall. Did I mention that she's going to be a handful? We were overdue on the kids' baths, so we decided to clean them up. Lily didn't really like the bath last time, but this time she loved it! I gave her some stacking cups and she had a great time banging them together and splashing. She didn't even mind getting her hair wet, which is more than I can say about the other two munchkins.

Then it was more playtime, and we were able to Skype with the Dusseaults who will be joining us in China on Sunday!!!! We opted to stay in for lunch and go out for dinner later when Brian got back. The kids were getting cranky so it quickly became nap time! Lily goes to sleep really quickly when I'm holding and rocking her, but I still can't manage to lay her down and leave the room once she's asleep. The second I put her down she wakes up and cries. I think this is the hardest part - I don't have a single second away all day long because when she's sleeping, it's on me! I know that once she feels more secure and knows her environment is stable this will change, but right now it's tough.

Brian got home from the orphanage around 3:00 while everyone was sleeping. He was able to talk with the orphanage director who said that they all love "Tang Tang" and miss her. He also met her main nanny and got pictures with her. She taught Lily lots of things, including how to walk. While the orphanage was in a newer and much nicer facility, he was still able to get an idea of how things were at her old orphanage. All the kids sleep in metal cribs, placed end to end with about 20 in a room. They spend most of their time in one large playroom. The kids under about age 3 are all together all the time, so Lily, James, and Elijah spent all day every day together. It will be interesting to see if Lily recognizes James when she sees him at the hotel in a few days! When Brian got there the kids were having lunch, which was basically just a bowl of porridge or congee. No wonder Lily loves to eat, she hasn't ever tasted so many flavors! Brian also got to see James and get a picture with him to send to Beau and Amanda.

After the orphanage visit he was supposed to go to Lily's finding spot, but the driver wasn't able to find it (haha!) They did go by the old orphanage and get some pictures of the outside, but he wasn't able to go in. While the nannies did seem to really care for the children and babies, it was still a pretty bleak and undesirable place to spend a childhood. We are so thankful Lily has a family now!

 This picture was on the wall of the orphanage - baby Lily!
The playroom

 Lily's crib
Lily's main nanny

Alright, so here's the exciting news for the day. Once all the kids were up from their naps, they were all playing in the living room together with Brian and I WENT IN THE BEDROOM AND TOOK A NAP AND LILY DIDN'T CRY FOR ME!!!!!!!!! It was amazing. But it was nearly impossible for me to get up and go to dinner. Finally they made me, and we decided to try a Thai restaurant. Because it had taken me so long to get up, it was after 6:00 when we left. This is already sounding a lot like a parenting fail... We got there, and it was a rather nice sit down place with live music circulating around the room. Step 2 of the parenting fail. Oh, and it was laundry day so I was wearing my half-marathon shirt and jeans with my hair in a ponytail. Not quite the dress of everyone else there. Those crazy Americans again! They seated us and Lily lasted about 5 minutes before she started to cry. She had drank all the water from her sippy cup, and I didn't have any snacks since I thought we'd be eating right away. Parenting fail part 3. I spent the next 15-20 minutes trying to entertain Lily in the hallway leading to the bathroom. It was only partially successful. I don't know if it's because we're Americans or if this is just how the Chinese do things, but every time we need to order food we have to hunt down someone. At least this time no one said no when we tried to order! While we were waiting on our food to come, Matthew fell asleep in Baba's arms. We couldn't wake him up, so we laid him down on 2 chairs and let him sleep. When the food arrived, Lily was finally happy since she could eat! Unfortunately this didn't last long because it was getting closer and closer to her bedtime and we didn't bring her bottle (and now the parenting fail has come full circle). Caroline was the only kid who was enjoying herself! She was dancing to the music, eating her food, and loving sitting on Daddy's lap. I was pretty much done at this point, so mom and I took Caroline and Lily back to the hotel and Brian stayed behind to get take out boxes and pay and carry home a sleeping buddy.

We've been trying to have Brian feed Lily her bottle and give her snacks and food to increase their bond, but she was having nothing to do with that when he got back! She fell asleep while I was feeding her, and I thought "Sweet! Only my arm is stuck, I'll actually be able to have some time to myself or to spend with Brian before I go to bed!" Yeah, not so much. As soon as I moved she woke up and cried and was laying on top of me again. Let me tell you, this adoption stuff is not easy! Tonight I had my first meltdown and felt much better after. I don't think I've cried since we got here, so I obviously needed to get it out. I think the hardest thing is not feeling like I can spend time with Matthew and Caroline, and they both started to feel it today when Daddy was gone. They were needy, Lily was needy, and I was exhausted! Baby steps, baby steps.

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