Saturday, February 26, 2011

Culture shock, love and squeaky shoes

When you go from Zhengzhou... capital of the most populated and one of the poorest provinces in China, heavy with smog and poverty....where a Dad carrying a baby is pretty much unheard of and and American Dad carrying a Chinese baby is definitely something they have never seen... to Shamian Island, Guangzhou... where the buildings look like Bermuda, the people all speak English and an American carrying a Chinese baby is as common as a

it's a bit of culture shock.

(from our hotel room)

(Daddy and Grace at a park near along the Pearl River)

In a way, it's a welcome change. Being in province is hard. It's the first couple days with your baby, your overwhelmed (imagine how the baby feels), and you are in a city that is so far from everything that you are used to. Guangzhou feels like an American city, or maybe more like Bermuda. The weather is gorgeous. The green gardens and flowers. AND AMERICANS!!!

But, S and I both feel quite sad about leaving Henan, our daughter's home province. Taking her so far from her roots. Leaving Zhengzhou was the first step in that process. OK... so maybe when she was placed in our arms last Monday, that was the first step. I feel so sad about this. S vows to learn how to make dumplings (Grace's favorite), and fried rice, and meat buns. Maybe it's because he likes to eat them, maybe it's because Grace does. But, I think it's because he... we.... want to so much to honor our daughter's culture and the beautiful country of her birth.

Everyday Grace seems to open up a bit more. Slowly be surely. This time with her one on we await paperwork upon paperwork... is really a gift. It gives us the time we need to start to create Mommy and Daddy bond with her before we throw in three excited and active siblings.

Yesterday morning we had to have Grace's picture taken for her US visa and we had to have her physical exam. Again... and I know I say this a lot.... it was chaos. Probably about 30 American families with their new babies (of all ages)... children screaming. In rooms that were too small. Instead of crying, Grace just got all glazed over. Poor thing.

She weighs 19.5 lbs with clothes and shoes on. and is 29 inches long. :)

After her nap we went out for some shopping. They have tons of little souvenir type shops. Home of squeaky shoes (I already bought a couple pair and plan to buy some more!)... and chinese silk dresses. I'm not usually a shopper, but this is different.

We also went to Starbucks (I know you are all surprised)... lots of young adult Chinese students sipping their lattes. In Zhengzhou, no one would be able to afford a Starbucks, here things seem very different.

We had dinner at a Thai restaurant with our whole group. Looking around the two tables we see parents showering their little ones with love. Barely able to pull their eyes off their child to have a conversation. LOVE. Pure and beautiful love. Once orphaned children... now loved beyond words. This children will survive this transition because they are survivors. These children will thrive. Because love can do that.

(Once orphans now cherished sons and daughters. Praise God.)

(Part of our group at dinner)

Today, we have a morning free so we are going on a city tour of Guangzhou. Then it's back to work this afternoon to prepare paperwork for our 7:10 (!) am US Consulate appointment tomorrow.

Steve is laying behind me on the bed, quite literally, watching Grace sleep. Because a sleeping baby with her little toosh sticking up in the air is so stinkin' sweet you can't help but just stare.


  1. Awesome, I got to read 2 updates today!! It really looks beautiful there! I love, love, love the picture of Grace standing! Too cute. She seems a perfect size! Can't wait to see these squeaky shoes.

  2. Can't wait for squeaky shoes!! LOVE it when they sleep with the tooshies in the air. :-)