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March 29, 2006
Well, dad and I have officially been voted off the island! This morning, Sophie woke up at 6 am and I got her out of bed and played with her! Then it was time for her apple juice which I started to give her….then came the problem….Dad wanted to give it to her so she can get used to him. So I promptly handed her over, and Sophie promptly threw a royal fit! It took a very long time to get her calmed down again once I left the room. So mom came and told me I have to leave Sophie alone. Sophie has become too attached to me instead of to mom, so dad and I basically have a restraining order….we have certain times when we have visitation rights, but I can’t do anything along the lines of care taking or comforting….nothing that comes naturally!

Other than that, things are great! We just had KFC for dinner! Mmmmm…..lunch wasn’t bad either! Dad had the waitress bring us soy sauce! I was excited! They also had really good potatoes! And more watermelon! I also packed leftover pizza just in case, but surprisingly I didn’t need it!

But off the topic of food, this morning we went to the Wuhan museum. It was pretty neat I guess! I held Sophie for the first little while when she was asleep and not in bonding mode….better than total exile! J/k…..Dad and Kevin made it a lot more interesting! It was all ancient relics excavated from a tomb in 1976 that was dated back to 433 B.C. Fairly old stuff I suppose! They had a huge set of bells from the tomb. They made a replica and put it in a concert hall where they did a short performance….that was fun to watch. Sophie really liked the music!

After lunch we went to the turquoise factory. It was pretty cool. Mom and I got bracelets. I liked it better than the jade factory! I think it’s prettier….but maybe that’s just me. I don’t know.

(editors note: The following paragraph contains English language punctuated with the actual annunciation of the Chinese nationals who are speaking… so in case you have forgotten from earlier posts…. Add an R to the end of important words to get the “local” flavor)

Then, it was back to the hotel for a completion of the Chiner portion of our adoption ceremoner. Then, several families went with us to the park square across the street from the hotel! Getting there was the interesting park, cuz in Chiner, cars don’t stop for pedestrians. You have to walk part way, stop, wait for the next opening while cars are going on either side of you, and try your best not to get hit (3 lanes of traffice, 8 lanes of cars…). It’s kind of scary. I would never do it on my own!!!! Once we got there, we walked around a bit. Then, we had our first taste of Chinese people looking our babies over. They checked our layering jobs and for the most part, we were good to go. Some families had too much on top, not enough on bottom. These Chiner people are picky, ya, are picky that way, ya. It was pretty cute though to see all these little old Chiner ladies fussing with our girls.

Then we all headed to KFC. On the way, Mom was talking to Sophie and told her, “Qing qing wa,” which means “kiss me,” and Sophie actually did it! It was sooooo sweet!

After dinner, Mom stayed with Sophie in the hotel while Grandpa, Grandma, Daddy and I went over to the square to watch the fountain and light show. It was really neat. They had music to go with it. There were a lot of people there….lots of families. The parents and grandparents took the little ones to play in the middle area where they rode bikes and played with balls. It was neat to see the family life there.

Next we just wandered the streets looking at shops and such. We saw a little boy practicing Tai kwan do or on the street. His grandpa tried to get him to show off for us, but he was too shy! We did take a picture of him, though! He was very cute!

I have decided I am tired of being stared at. It makes me really uncomfortable! Wherever I go, people just walk past and stare at us white folks! A lot want to take pictures with me, too! I’m tired of cameras! I’m ready to be back in the majority! I miss Klamath Falls! I’m definitely ready to be home where I feel safe and have familiar things and sounds around me! I’m also ready to see my brothers and friends again…..getting kind of lonely here! Really lonely here!!!

Anyhow, its not late, but I’m tired and have a big day tomorrow! We’re going out into the country side to see what type of places our babies came from since we can’t see the orphanage! Talk to you again tomorrow!
Miss you lots and lots-
Lindsey Kae

Good Evening Friends…. I am Paul, your host for this evening screen side chat. In my last post, I alluded to the fact that we would discuss cuisine in this forum. Well, I will do that in two facets, one regarding the typical American response and the second regarding my lovely little daughter Sophie and how exciting her eating was for me today.

#1 – All food here is Chinese. End of story. It does not matter what you eat, or where you eat, the ingredients are not the same, the cooks are not the same, the grease is not the same… Just enjoy it. We have had WONDERFUL food here. Sure it does not taste like Panda Express or Eddies Quick Wok in your home town, but what fun would that be? We have had exotic dishes like fried Lotus Root, Brim Fish, Congee, and another million things we can not get at home. The closest you will get is breakfast. Eggs, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns and toast with coffee and juice… It is all good. So forget about your mama’s home cookin’, enjoy it and savor the moment as you think of your daughters past, and the future you are giving her!

#2 – Sophie has been kind of finicky in her eating, more specifically, we don’t know what she likes to eat or has been eating in her foster home. Little bits of a bottle, some juice, little tastes of other stuff, but that is it for lunch and dinner. She has been enjoying breakfast with congee and steamed eggs, but we strike out at dinner time (with the exception of pizza hut… which she likes). Well today, we were out touring and we ate a really nice Chinese restaurant (imagine that!!). She was napping on her mama’s shoulder when we went in and we decided to try and make her eat a bit of congee while we were there. So Beth started with some vegetable congee (rice soup) and a little bit of white rice….she liked it, so I grabbed some sautéed beef (with ginger sauce) and a little bit of red chili paste on for good measure, and with great skill and dexterity of chop sticks, and carefully aimed towards her mouth.. she opened, I obliged, and she absolutely ate it, so I tried more, she ate it, I tried the fish, she ate it, we tried the sautéed potatoes, she ate it…she ate about everything we could give her. Thank you Lord, it was a blessing to see her eat and be happy. It was almost non stop for a few minutes. In fact, she ate more Chinese food in one sitting than her big sister Lindsey has in the last 6 days! Wow, what a relief. So, if those of you reading this are in the wait for their trip to get their Chinese baby, take a hint from me. They like Chinese food… try it and see!

Now for a serious note. As a follow up to Lindsey’s note above regarding being “on display” and looked at. It is a really good lesson for us all. We are bringing the children God has given us from their birthplace in China, to a predominately white American community… Where they will get stared at, talked about etc…. Funny how tables turn isn’t it. I think it is a great example for me to remember when I take me sweet little girl home next week. People will stare, people will whisper, but you know what, IT DOES NOT MATTER. God made us each special, and we need to celebrate that uniqueness. I work for the US Air Force everyday, and the USAF has taught me a lot about working and living with folks from all over the states and the world. We are all valuable to each other, ant very valuable to God. This whole difference in nationality thing is in our own mind folks, and a product of a long and difficult political history. The new generations of chinese are ready to meet the world, so when you get over here yourself, just let those folks stare, greet them, be polite, make a friend. It will make your life richer.

Sophie is an absolute doll. She has the cutest smile, and knows when to flash it! She enjoys playing blocks with her recently exiled sister, and also likes her little cell phone with lights and sounds. She is having fun when she gets to play with the other children and I think she will really miss them when we get home. Myah is her little smiling buddy, and I think we will have to visit the Gordon’s on occasion just to keep it fresh. The relationship and knowing is very visible in the eyes of the girls when they see other asian babies. It is a beautiful thing to see. Brenna Morgan, you better be ready, I think Sophie will give you a run for your money in short order. You guys will be great buddies!

An interesting observance today at the park. It did not matter what time of day, the park was full of people. Seeing how they live in the tiny apartments help me understand, but there were families everywhere. The Chinese people do love their children. The little boys and girls playing in the park last night during the light show were very cute, and it looked to be very loved by their families. The park is a neat place. The warmth of the families is different than I expected from the country that so readily discards their little girls. I was also happy to learn that the Chinese people adopt about 60% of all chinese babies that are adopted. That is another great thing I did not know. Thank God they do have hearts for children!

In closing, I must say that although I am ready to be home. I am really beginning to understand why it takes so long. Even though the wheels of government move slowly, I actually think it is better for our new children to go through this two week transition. I mean, here is this little cute girly, who is used to 5’5” Chinese people who look, smell and sound normal to her, and now she is living in a small room (10x14) with a 6’3”, 230 lb white guy and his family who not only look, sound and smell different, but we don’t even know what to feed her… I thing this transition is very good and I look forward to finishing over the next 7 days, but I will enjoy it each day as it comes. So until tomorrow, Good
First Story With Mama
Girls In The Park
She Likes It
Hubei Girls!