Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Longest Day Ever

Except for the day we flew to China, Tuesday was, as the title suggests, the longest day ever. Before I get to the details about our trip to Taizhou City, let me tell you how the rest of Monday panned out. When we first returned to the hotel after pickup, Maddie was quite upset. She kept crying out for her ayi (nanny) and saying, "Abu kay! Abu kay!" We knew "bu" meant no, but we weren't sure how the rest of it translated. When we asked our guide Kelly about it later, she said she thought it meant something like "I don't want to go." Whatever the exact translation, we knew Maddie really didn't want anything to do with us. Eventually, she tired herself out, and out of sheer exhaustion fell asleep on the bed with both of us. After a four hour nap, we all woke up feeling a bit better. She was no longer inconsolable, but we certainly couldn't get a smile out of her either. She ate a light dinner and then just sort of observed us both very soberly. We had a real breakthrough when we got her in the tub for a bath. I didn't think we'd even be able to get her clothes off because earlier when I had taken off one of her socks, she got very upset with me. Once she saw the water and the toys, she practically took off her own clothes. She spent about an hour in the tub laughing and playing and having a great time. Richard supervised mostly because she had really been rejecting him, so we had decided that Daddy would get to do really fun things with her like give her a bath and feed her m and ms. It seems to be working. We're on day three, and she is having eye contact with him and not pushing him away nearly as much as she did the first two days. Her first full night with us was great. She slept the entire night, starting out in her crib and ending up in our bed around 2:00 a.m. when she began whimpering a bit. She fell right back to sleep though and slept soundly until 6:30 a.m.

Okay, so that brings us to Tuesday morning. We went to the breakfast buffet in the hotel and were pleased when Maddie ate well and even laughed and smiled for us a bit. At 8:40 we were in the car on our way to Civil Affairs to do the swearing in ceremony. It was sort of anticlimactic, but it did provide a nice photo op, and we received an official certificate and stuffed Panda. By about 9:30, were on the road to Taizhou City. After getting out of Hangzhou proper, we were presented with some very beautiful scenery. The area is fairly mountainous, and we drove by rice paddies and tea fields galore. It was a gorgeous drive, but long, four hours to be exact. After a quick lunch, we got to the Passport Office. It only takes three and a half hours, seven officials, three photo attempts, two orphanage directors, one translator, two parents, one child, and one special piece of paper with a very particular stamp to get a Chinese passport. It was touch and go for awhile when Maddie's orphanage director hadn't brought THE piece of paper which didn't have the special stamp necessary. He had to return to the orphanage, get the paper, go to another office to get the stamp, and return to the Passport office. Finally, just before closing, everything was in order, and we were on our way. We did not have a chance to go to Maddie's orphanage because we ran out of time, but we are thankful that at least we got to visit her hometown, and we will have very fond memories of the time spent at the Passport office. Another four hour drive back, and we were back in our room by 10:00 p.m. Now you may be wondering how a newly adopted two and a half year old child dealt with this very long day. She was incredible. Not one tear. Not one bout of fussiness. She slept awhile on the way there and awhile on the way back. Oh, and it's important to note here that Miss Madeleine is completely potty trained. She will not go in her diaper. She says, "La shee shee," whenever she needs to go, and no amount of cajoling will convince her to go in her pants because as she told Kelly in Chinese, "No, no. Stinky." She has incredible control, but we did have to pull over on the road once so she could go. In three days, she hasn't had one accident.

Tuesday night bathtime wasn't so fun because the poor little thing was beyond tired, but she slept in her crib all night long without a single peep until she awakened at 7:30 a.m.

Maddie is slow to wake up, but once she was alert, she was happy and smiling and laughing and playing. After another good breakfast, we headed over to West Lake which is one of the biggest attractions here in Hangzhou. It's 15 km around and just a beautiful area. We walked and watched boats go by, fed fish, saw peacocks, and really enjoyed a few hours outside. The weather was tolerable today, too. After a heavy rain last night, it was much cooler, and certainly quite pleasant by the lake. Next, we made a quick stop at the Silk Museum. Hangzhou is best known for the quality of its silk, said to be the best in China. I purchased a beautiful silk jacket for Maddie as a memento from her province. The other thing Hangzhou is known for is its tea which brings us to tomorrow's agenda, visiting a tea farm.

As for the newest member of our family, we cannot believe our good fortune. Madeleine is smart and funny. She is a good eater and sleeper. As I mentioned before, she is potty trained and would much rather drink out of a real cup than a sippy. She gets around amazingly well despite her limb deficiency. In fact, she can climb up and down from the couch, "walk" from room to room, jump up and down, spin around. She already knows herself by the name Maddie, consistently calls us Mama and Baba and has learned a few English words, "Okay, beautiful, uh-oh, eat, silly" oh, and "no."

We are simply having an amazing time and cannot believe the strides Maddie has made in such a short time. We miss Isabel enormously but cannot wait for her to meet her new sister.

More pics:


Cynthia said...

It is so wonderful to hear that you are all doing well and that Maddie is adjusting so well to you both. What an adventerous few days you have had. Maddie is so adorable. How much she has grown and changed since her referral pictures. Can't wait to hear and see more. Have a wonderful time. xxoo

a blessed mama said...

So, so thankful things are going well! Maddie is just beautiful -

Susan said...

I just love seeing you all together! Maddie is precious, and I am thrilled she is accepting her new family as quickly as she is. I can't imagine how much you're missing Isabel, but you'll be heading home before you know it. Keep up the great posts!


Sherry said...

Sounds like everyone is adjusting well under the situation you all have been but in. So glad the weather is nice too. I just love reading all about your time in China and Cassie likes the pictures of Maddie. :) She already sounds like an amazing girl.

Sherry & Cassie

Melissa said...

Wow, you guys have been busy so far. I'm so glad to hear that after the first day Maddie seems to be adjusting so well. I love the pictures! She sounds like a VERY smart little girl.

Lesa said...

Pam, It sounds like she took care a big part of her grieving the first day. I'm happy that she is much happier now.
She has one of the prettiest little faces!
Have you been able to talk to Isabel yet. I know you are missing her big time. Look how fast 3 days have come and gone. It won't be long before you are back home.

lstevens said...


It's good to hear she is making some positive adjustments. It will take time, she is a very lucky girl to have you two.

M & M said...

Precious girl! She is so so cute. Glad things are going well.

RoadTripMom said...

Thanks for the post! Hanna has been excited to see all of the pictures. Em's not here or I'm sure she'd be excited too ;)

I'm heading south to pick up Emma in a couple of days. I could stop in and see if Ibby is getting her fill of Midwestern culture. Nah, I just want to be part of the 4th celebration--is Pig Golf still part of the festivities? : )

Love you!


Norah said...

She is just gorgeous you guys!! Glad everything is working out well and that Maddie is adjusting to being with you. I can't wait to meet her in person! Thats great that she is fully potty trained too! It may be easier to train Ibby then.. :-)