Thursday, 24 July 2014

Bonding in China

We did our first excursion to see some of China instead of just looking at paperwork. It was a good day for sight seeing with beautiful blue skies except for one small thing, it was going to feel like 48 degrees C - maybe we should've just stayed in our air conditioned room but we wanted to see some of the area our daughter is from. It doesn't appear there will be a trip to the orphanage or the actual city she lived in so this is the closest thing. We asked the agency about a visit to the orphanage but the answer was very casual, oh  it's very far, there are fees, all fine we said but as far as we know nothing was arranged and so this is the closest we will get. So, we set out on the bus and stopped at Teng Wang Ge or the Pavilion of Prince Teng. It is a beautiful looking castle with many floors and we were going to climb the stairs to the very top our guide Mary said as there is a play going on.  Would've loved to have seen it if we made it that far. As it is the place was packed and hot and we only made it to the third or fourth floor and turned around. Maya too found it to be a very hot day and she was not so interested in the sight seeing. It may be something she has seen with her school perhaps so she would've preferred to go back to the hotel but Mommy and Daddy wanted to see it so she put up with it. Looking at souvenirs helped to pass the time but she has a hard time deciding on something she really wants. The other day we looked for shoes for her as we brought size 2 and 3 but she needs size 1. She tried on many shoes but none were just right and she didn't want to look at any of the walking shoes. She wanted something more fashionable but they were either too big or too tight and she didn't find anything. So it's only a pair of flip flops she has and the sandals she came in. She did bring a couple of things with her when she came like a white party dress and a shorts set though she's not offered to wear it. I don't know if this is something she came with from her previous life with the foster family or got those at the orphanage.

She often turns the camera on us, be it the phone or the larger camera and has got some pretty good shots. We got her a little video camera but we've not seen it since gotcha day when she and her friends from orphanage were using it. Will need to get her a camera of her own.

Love the photo of her brushing the hair on her father's back. She was fascinated with it and his arm hair. I guess most Chinese men don't have a lot of hair.  Also she is learning to use the knife and fork but will chose chop sticks if handy. When she had a hamburger she took the bun off and just ate hamburger but what she loves most of all is what we call Swiss Chard, the boiled green stuff. We eat it too, stir fried with garlic, it is tasty but this girl puts away some serious Swiss Chard.

Every day we Skype with the kids at home and she tries to be in on the conversation. Our grandson seems to understand she will be his aunt and calls her aunt Maya though we've taught him to say aunt in Croatian and he will say Hi, teta Maya which is so sweet. As we've seen a few times Maya is very good with little kids and I'm sure they will both warm up to each other very quickly.

There is always a corner somewhere where people are dancing or doing their meditation or some kind of exercise, even in this heat they are out on the streets or the park. For us it would take some getting used to this kind of heat, it sure wears you out even with little activity never mind climbing 7 floors of a castle. In some ways it makes us appreciate with our moderately hot Canadian weather.  Wondering how Maya will feel when it gets cold. It gets cold here too but not as cold as in Canada.

We still tried to use the time to bond with Maya. I like us to hold hands and mostly she doesn't mind. She is getting the idea that we like to keep her close. Sometimes she does run ahead to something she suddenly wants to see but we call her back and she gives us a little grin as she looks back at us like she's thinking, oh we're together, right.  We've always been this way with out kids and I tell my oldest, our grandson's mom Sherie to always have him in her sight when out and about, have eyes like a hawk. I believe Maya likes holding hands and will sometimes seek us out to do just that. 

My husband found a hat just outside the Pavillion where some souvenirs were sold. He looked like a typical American I thought, from Texas maybe or Alberta. We did get some Chinese people wanting to take photos with us and twice with him only, lol.  Love this photo of the little boy with the umbrella where Maya is posing, completely innocent, just trying to keep off the hot sun.

We did find a hat for her as well in our backpack. It did say Costa Rica on it but it didn't really matter as long as it helped keep her a little cool. We did try to get her an umbrella but she couldn't decide on one. Maybe this sudden new found freedom of choice is a bit overwhelming, She'll look at many things but in the end will say no.

The Pavilion was beautiful with many brilliant colors and designs of typical Chinese style, some designs very intricately done. At the back was a great view of the river front and Nanchang. It is a busy city with lots of traffic. As we walked back we found an ice cream stand and it was perfect for this hot weather and bonding with Maya mind you she only ate half of hers and then gave it to me. She does this alot. Whatever she doesn't eat she will put on our plate to eat so nothing is wasted.

Ho's communication going? Like this, lots of hand motions, some Google translation and a nifty app that allows her to write in Chinese right on the phone screen, works great. On an odd moment she gets a bit frustrated if we don't understand but overall mostly there is no problem.

Got this beautiful shot of a little girl sitting and Maya came right over, they just stared at each other and then this handshake happened, they held hands for a while. Also had some Canadian flags to give away to the locals but Maya immediately took it to another little girl who is a proud new Canadian herself.

These fish are always interesting especially with this little duck trying to make her way right through the crowds.

Maya taking the camera again to take some wonderful shots of her new parents.

Just some items in our hotel room including Chinese Oreos then when we got back to the room it quickly got very dark and I thought of the Typhoon someone was saying was hitting Southern China but in the end it was just a thunderstorm to round out the day.


  1. Love your photos! I think you need to make a Shutterfly book of Maya's photos of your trip. Great photographer!

  2. I didn't realize you were in Nanchang! Our daughter was in Nanchang SWI; was your's? Your guide sounds like ours, Fiona. I wish we had gotten rid of her the second day. With the guides there in Nanchang ... fight for what is yours! Make a list of your "demands" and stick to them! What agency are you using?

    With that said ... LOVE watching your daughter's story unfold. Thanks for sharing!