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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Our Daughters! (sisters)

Mom and Hope

Mom, Amanda, and Hope
Hope, Mom, and Amanda!

Now we have TWO!

We have Amanda! Or perhaps I should still call her Min Zhi, as it isn't official until tomorrow. Doesn't matter--we HAVE HER!!!

It has been quite a day! Min Zhi was very scared when we got her. She would hardly even look at us. Poor thing, she speaks Cantonese and we don't...she is supposed to know some Mandarin, but we have yet to discover which words she might know...

After we came back to the hotel, Dave and I took the girls to Wal-Mart (can you believe that there is one just around the corner?) to get some clothes. Both of the girls are taller than expected, so we needed to get a few things. Hope was wonderful and held onto Min Zhi's hand right away, so Min Zhi clung to her for dear life. While in Wal-Mart, Dave decided to take Min Zhi to find some DVDs to watch. Of course walking is overrated, so Dave decided to spin Min Zhi down the aisles, which brought a smile to her face. Tickling was discovered to bring out the giggles, and once it started, it hasn't really ended. Now Dave just needs to look at her and she starts laughing!

Hope had a hard time at the store. She was determined that I wasn't going to buy her anything! We NEEDED to get her some fresh clothes, so I didn't take no for an answer. The more she refused, the goofier I got--I did actually get her to say she wanted ONE thing, but that was after I threatened that if she didn't choose anything, we wouldn't be able to go to KFC. Bribery works in many languages!

Min Zhi had no problem showering once we returned home for the evening. It was so much fun wrapping her in a big fluffy towel to dry her off! Hope thought she wasn't going to bathe again, but I didn't allow that to be a choice. I offered her the tub or shower, which she promptly chose shower. After I left, however, she remained in the bathroom for almost an hour with water either running or being splashed, so I suppose she decided to try the tub after all. Poor dad had to use the bathroom, but didn't want to disturb Hope's first real bath. :)

Now both girls are cleaned, brushed, in PJs (yea!) and in bed. Hope keeps looking over at me and smiling. I don't know what made the connection today, but I am SO THANKFUL that it has been made!!!

It's funny--when we first started this process, my focus was on what would be good for the family. During the months of getting paperwork done, contacting governmental officials, and finishing details, I was thinking of what was good for the girls. Now I realize that I am the one that has been blessed the most. I don't know why God has trusted me with so much, but I pray that he finds me faithful.

All my best,


We have been taking a bunch of photos but will have to upload them once we get home!
Hope has been VERY quiet. Babelfish has proved itself wonderfully useful (we didn't purchase a translator) and we can communicate that way. Hope had her first experience of "surfing the web" yesterday and her first airplane ride today. I have been very "hands on" with the hugs, stroking of her hair, holding her arm, etc. I can feel that it isn't normal for her, but she hasn't pulled away either.
Due to our very quick stay in Kunming we didn't get a chance to sightsee or to try and visit her foster family, but we did call her foster family so she could talk to them (and so we could get their phone number.) Hope is never very talkative, even with people that are speaking Mandarin to her, so I think she is just painfully shy.
Hope came to us with the stuffed animal we sent (but not the photo album), some school books and a blanket-like coat in a backpack. She wore new jeans, shoes, sweater and coat. She also wore two layers of long-underwear, which I highly suspect are new but have been worn for a few too many days. I offered some new clothes that we brought from home, but she does NOT want them. I am going to take her out to have her involved in the process of buying at least a change of clothing, and then insist that she showers or bathes before changing. She wears her coat even indoors, and although she denies being hot, her "ripeness" indicates otherwise. David may be flying to Shanghai to do some business, so it may be easier for "just the girls" to take a dip in the bathtub together. :)
Hope has been wonderful in trying to "be a good girl", as our guide told us she was instructed to do. She was told that if she didn't listen to her new mama and baba we might not want her. I think that is playing into her quietness, and although it is nice to have a perfectly behaved child, I am eager to get to know the real girl underneath.
I must share one more thing! I don't know if any other adoptive moms, especially of older children, have questioned if they were doing the right thing taking their child out of a foster family and out of their culture. I was hitting incredible highs and lows the day before we got Hope! However, after seeing her swollen, red, ulcerated hands (probably due to washing clothes outside) and noticing how she responds when I brush her hair or tuck her into bed or tickle her feet, I really think that there will be many more "foreign" things for her to experience in America than just the culture. I consider it my true privilege to introduce her to our forever family and all the "perks" that it entails!
Next will be Min Zhi! Only 2 hours to go!!!
All my best,
Amy, currently in Nanning, China