It’s been a busy, yet nice, couple of days. We have been excitedly preparing for our upcoming adventure. Tomorrow, we leave for a 30 hour train ride resulting in a long anticipated reunion with the Doty clan. All 6 of them, and we couldn’t be more excited. In the last few days we have gone shopping for food and clothes to get us through these two weeks. A very pleasant surprise was that we found Peanut Butter- and an American brand none-the-less. PB&J sandwiches for the ride, please! We leave tomorrow (Friday) night around 9pm, ride through the night and day, and arrive in Kunming around 6am on Sunday.

Now, the reason y’all come to read this, THE KIDS. — They’re great and sweeter than ever.

  • YinLi (Luke, from last summer and this summer) was matched with a family and sent into foster care with Simon’s old foster mom.
  • Trey was matched with a family yesterday. I let him celebrate by having an Oreo. If he only knew….
  • Everyday, Forrest amazes me with how much he looks and acts like Matt from last year.
  • Alice is matched with a family.
  • Ryan (a HANDSOME little boy with albinism) is now sitting up on his own.
  • Abigail is starting to take steps on her own.
  • We have started painting the walls again. Autumn and I had drawn some numbers and animals on the walls last year, but from the Visa chaos, never finished them. Hannah and I are finishing them up now. We now have a giraffe, 2 monkeys, an elephant, and a snake on our walls.
  • We got 2 new babies. Sophie & Yet-to-be-Named. Sophie is very premature and Yet-to-be-Named has something wrong with his booty.
  • Last year we had a little girl named Molly. I saw her in the halls yesterday and she’s walking.

Simon’s Flight Itinerary.

Simon, along with my parents, leave Guangzhou for Shanghai tomorrow morning at 9:00am. They will fly into Chicago and land there around 4:40pm CDT. They leave Chicago and fly into Charleston. They’ll arrive in Charleston on United Airlines around 10:45pm EDT. That flight number is UA3359. If any of you wish to welcome Simon home, there are some people heading to the airport to meet them when they get off the plane. After landing and seeing everyone, they’ll then go home to get some rest and attempt to avoid jetlag. Thursday will probably be a day of effort to get Simon settled in and on a new time zone and schedule, so if you want to visit at the house instead of the airport, please give them some time to get him adjusted. I’m sure he’ll be more pleasant for you to meet that way anyway.

 

A Sunday in China.

Today was quite a day. We woke up with expectation to Skype with Mom, Dad, and Simon, but they never showed up. Hm. So, we got ready and went to the caf for lunch. We walked outside and much to our surprise, there was something pretty and blue up above us and all that pollution. Who would have known there was something pretty up there above all of that. After we got to the caf and realized the rice was MIA once again, we decided to go into town for lunch. We told Tony that we would be back by 2:00 to hang out so it was just a quick bite to eat. We got back to the room and of course he was waiting for us. 🙂 We took the computer out into the “lobby” and set it up where Kung Fu Panda was playing in Chinese. What started out as Hannah, Tony, and me soon turned into about 20 kids and me. Hannah decided to go back and take a nap and not long after I was surrounded by a herd of little boys. What I noticed the most was the tendency for the older boys to discipline the younger boys. When one of the younger boys would try to touch the computer and I would tell them no, the older boys weren’t far behind me to pinch them or push them away as a form of discipline. I quickly tried to assure the older boys that I had it under control and their discipline methods weren’t needed at that moment, but that’s part of orphanage life I guess. None of the younger boys seemed to phased by any of it- mine or the other boys’ form of discipline. Another thing I noticed was their need for affection. I thought the boys would just want more attention whereas the girls would long for the affection, but it proved to be that the boys wanted hugs just as much. I tried to be careful with my hugs, but they were plentiful. Once the movie was over, a few of them helped me carry the stuff back to our room and the rest followed. They all knew I would have some sort of treat for them back in the room so they were quite expectant when we got there. Of course, they each got 2. I can’t wait to see our relationships with them flourish. We bought a jump rope yesterday so hopefully that can bring us more time with His children. I really love getting to know the older kids because you can see so much emotion in their eyes- hurt, excitement, pain, love, and a yearning to be loved.

How we started out.

How we finished- with about 10 around the outskirts of this picture.

Just because I think he’s handsome and his shirt is funny.

I wrote this post before dinner, but didn’t publish it. Thank goodness because after dinner was quite interesting, and in my opinion- blog worthy. My original post said, “Well, it’s about dinner time and I need to go wash some dishes so we can have something to eat off of.” Let me just show you what I washed my bowl for:


Then, I decided I was going to go take some pictures around campus. One of the little boys from earlier today found me and was not leaving my side. As a result, he showed me all around campus and what I needed to take pictures of. We then played some type of game where we pretended people were chasing us and we were communicating via walkie-talkies. Oh, imaginations. Here are some recent pictures and some from tonight. Enjoy…

This is the trampoline. Nice, eh?

Sweet little girl with Downes jumping on the trampoline.

We found the sunflower garden!

He was so excited to push the button on my camera for this picture. No joke.

So this is the only picture that’s not from today- I braided Hannah’s hair that day & this nanny loved it so asked me to do hers. I did, and they learned. She came in the other day and had french braided her own hair.

Warning: Someone Stole All the Rice!

Around here, rice is a staple food with meals. You always get rice. It’s plain and simple rice- and it’s our go-to food when nothing else looks edible. Well, I’m convinced that someone stole all of the orphanage cafeteria’s rice. We typically have it with every meal, allowing Hannah and I to survive off of caf food, (maybe that’s slightly dramatic, but hey that’s me) but we haven’t had it all week. All week, y’all. I’m tired of plugging my nose and eating unknown food. We need rice!

Alright, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest…..

As soon as we got there this morning, we were informed that the staff needed one more person to accompany a baby to the hospital. Am I supposed to say ‘no’? So, to the doctor I went. I took a baby that we have yet to name. She’s about 7 months. Ella, that will be her name. Glad we got that cleared up. Ella and I, along with 2 other nannies and babies, went to the doctor to get hearing tests. I am all too familiar with hearing tests from my past and I am still clueless as to how you even begin to check a 7month old’s hearing? Oh well. Apparently, you rock them to sleep first and then proceed with the test. At least, that’s the Chinese way and how we did it today. Once we got back from that, Hannah and I “ate lunch” [without rice] and took a nap. For some reason, we were both exhausted today. After lunch, I headed back upstair to find Grace and Carter hairless. One of the nannies brought them in after getting their new do’s and all of them busted out laughing. Apparently they realize just how ridiculous a should-have-hair-but-they-made-me-bald chinese baby really looks.

My least favorite, I mean favorite, thing about living in China is riding 30 minutes in a car with nobody who speaks the same language and watching them point at you (from your head to your toes and everywhere in between) and know that they’re critiquing everything about you, but you have no way of understanding any of it. Sometimes, I really do believe ignorance could be bliss. It’s quite amusing at times- those times when they all stop talking, look at you with fake smiles, and then go back to their conversation.

Tomorrow, hoping they have rice, I will be in a better & less sarcastic mood.