Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Evening of July 16th and Day Three- July 17th

So last night after we finished the first Signing Time dvd, we decided we were getting antsy and needed to get out.  Unfortunately, this was the second afternoon/evening of storms and we were unable to go outside.   We went back to our room and grabbed socks and headed to the basement for a round of bowling!  Bless Evan's heart- all the balls were a bit too heavy for him and there were no side rails so I don't think he once knocked down any pins.  He had Rick bowl a few for him so that made him happy to have a score.  He had a great time despite those things.   Lena was hilarious- she seems to hear very loud noises only, so she could hear the ball hitting the lane and pins because it was even louder than an American bowling alley.   She also was enjoying strutting around and playing with her skirt.  We took some video footage and pictures of that.  She has this walk that is just too funny- hard to explain- kind of her own little strut.  She's a girl on a mission!   Believe it or not, I had the high score- 130!  I had 5 spares and one strike.   We had a good time and then headed back to the room for some food.  We cooked up some noodles that cost us about 50 cents a piece- they came in bigger containers than Ramen noodles, but they were a lot like that plus a free spork included.  We actually got Lena to eat some of the noodles by hand so that was good...her first real meal since all she has been doing is snacking.   We also got her to drink some of the yogurts and a milk in a juice box like form- double pasteurized milk (kids here like it).    We put on a movie after that, but we were all pretty exhausted and were sleeping by 8 p.m. or shortly after.

What do you do when it's raining out and there is no where to go to eat?   Resort to the PB you bought at the Chinese Wal-Mart on the super square bread! :)

Mommy practicing wearing Lena in the Ergo carrier....we really must have been bored!
But at least we have this view from our room at night! :)
Day Three- Today we woke up and got ready and then headed downstairs for breakfast.  Again, we could not get Lena to eat.  She seemed to be too into staring at everything going on around her....I think this is partly due to her being deaf- her other senses are heightened.   She would not drink the yogurt (learned that they like it better with a straw), eat watermelon, pancakes, or anything else I tried to put in front of her- even the puffs.   She teared up a few times and we were thankful they didn't turn into meltdowns in front of all the people in the restaurant.  We then headed back upstairs for our things and then down to meet Penny.  Our driver and Penny took us to Panda World.  It was a very small panda sanctuary with a few brown and black bears too.   We learned that they call black and white pandas giant pandas and the red pandas are called lesser pandas.  There were two giant pandas- one was named Basi and has been all over the world.  This panda is 34 years old, which is equivalent to 136 human years!!!   This panda cannot eat by itself any longer so they have to feed it and since pandas have a large stomach, they have to feed it often and a lot!   This panda is famous for all the tricks it used to be able to do, including lifting a dumbbell...and I am not kidding- there are pictures of it!   The other panda was younger and was eating bamboo.   We also saw a handful of red pandas or lesser pandas, including one who did some pretty crazy tricks- hung from rings like an Olympic gymnast, rode standing up on a swing, climbed stairs standing up, jumped over hurdles, etc.  It was hilarious.  We also had a family take our picture while there- guess between being a foreigner with two blonde haired people and as Asian child- you are also a star attraction.  There was a museum we went through too.  Overall, it was small and simple entertainment- pretty worn down place, but something to do!

We had asked Penny earlier in the week about going to a tea house.  Fujian province is known for its tea- people in the northern part of the province especially like black tea or black dragon tea.  People in the southern part of the province especially like green tea.  Fuzhou, where we are staying, is the only place that makes a special Jasmine tea and ginger ginseng tea.    Rick's aunt has a tea shop and so we thought we'd also like to buy her some tea from China.   Penny took us to one of the most famous tea houses in Fuzhou.  We sat down and a woman made us all four kinds of tea to try.   We learned that green tea is good for digestion, black tea is good for stomach issues and sleeping, the Jasmine tea is good for women's skin and blood, and ginseng tea is good for your health.  But a few small cups of it is not really enough to do anything- it would take a few days or drinking for it to benefit you.  We learned how to hold a cup correctly for men and women and that you slurp it making kind of a louder noise with your mouth to show you like it, but you don't necessarily have to do that when you are with close friends drinking tea.  After trying the teas, we purchased some green tea, gingseng tea (which had a sweet taste if you let it sit in your mouth a few seconds before swallowing), and some Jasmine tea which is made with Jasmine flower- it sure smelled good!   With those packs of tea, we got a free tea set with the tiny cups like the ones we used to sample the tea.  We will give that to Lena as a gift someday.   We then took a tour of the home, which was also used as a school at one point, attached to the tea place.   It was like a home you would have seen in the countryside years ago- an open section in the middle with bonsai trees that were over 10 yrs old and rooms around the outside.  The rooms on the first level were where you would have company or rest.  The upstairs rooms were the other rooms you would find in a home.  This home was over 100 years old.  It was dedicated to a famous folk hero in China who banned opium from coming into Fuzhou.   There was a tall figure of him inside the home.

We then headed back to the hotel and we have been resting since.  Lena had some issues with her bowels today....let's just say a lot came out (shockingly since she hasn't been eating much), but it prevented her from getting a nap in.  One of the challenges of her being deaf is that she is ultra-sensitive when it comes to her other senses.  The #2 really really bothered her.  We quickly found out she had gone (twice) because she screamed so loudly!   She also fell asleep in our arms many times and the second we'd put her down she would be crying and having a fit in the crib.   Now adoption research would say to keep holding her and rock her to sleep, but the issue is...because she is deaf, she is ultra sensitive to us moving her to the crib and wakes up EVERY single time!   I think she might just have to fall asleep crying (though I hate to go against the research) because otherwise she will never end up napping and she also does this at night when it is time to go to bed.  Rick went for a run downstairs because he is going stir crazy in the hotel.  Evan got a nap in today. It was storming again this afternoon so we couldn't go out again.   Finally it quit raining so we went outside for a walk through the amusement park and around the back side of the lake...ended up being a lot longer than we thought and we were all ready for a shower when we got back, but especially Rick since Lena wanted to be carried the whole way! :)   We tried to order pizza in, but the delivery vehicle was broken down.  We had our guide get us some McDonalds and it actually came to our room! :)   Evan got corn with his chicken nuggets that tasted just too different for him to eat and Rick and I just got a burger since they apparently don't have chicken sandwiches at their McDonalds.  We finally found something Lena will eat- french fries! :) 

  Tomorrow we go to the orphanage for a visit.  Nervous about how Lena will do there and how emotional she will or will not be when we are there and when we leave, but we think it will be an important thing and we really want to learn as much as we can, as well as get updated pictures and info on some of the boys who are there and still waiting for a family.  Should be an adventure of a day!


  1. So interesting to read about your journey! Lena is just precious.......your whole family is blessed. Take care, Donna Patrick

  2. Hi Brooke,
    I 'know' you from Advocate for waiting children yahoo group. We are following your blog closely as one of our little tykes is in Fujian province. We are day 58 for LOA...praying it comes by Friday before hubby heads out of town.
    Loved the tea lesson. Let me know what you wished you would have brought, or didn't need to bring. Thanks.