Sunday, January 18, 2009

Great day...

Today our whole group went to a Chinese and English speaking church service at a cute little church here on Shamian Island. It seemed most of the locals who attend this service speak both Cantonese and English, since there were a couple of songs sung in each language and there were lots of people singing. The pastor only spoke Cantonese, so they had an English interpreter. I really enjoyed attending this service. Joe and I don't attend services regularly, but we would like to start attending to have Lauren involved in church activities.

After church we took a walk and then boarded the bus for the Guangzhou Zoo. This zoo is nothing special, although they do have lots of greenery and the grounds are pretty. The animals are in cement cages...nothing remotely close to a natural habitat. I would say that if you're heading to China soon and the zoo is optional you can easily skip it unless you are antsy to get out for a change of scenery.

After the zoo, it was a group least favorite dinner so far, although it wasn't too bad. Our guide does a great job at ordering items off the menu that us westerners would eat. There's usually a sweet and sour chicken or pork, rice, broccoli, a couple of beef dishes, green beans, and a chicken dish...nothing strange or unusual. So far Lauren is partial to any green veggies and little pieces of beef. Oh, and she loves her congee.

After dinner we stopped at Starbucks for hot tea...we both have sore throats...and headed up to the room to get little Miss Lauren settled in for the night. We got her to sleep tonight with only a short meltdown, which is either luck or a big improvement. We think it was luck, but we'll see tomorrow.

She was SOOO good today and actually sat through the church service with no problem. The local family in front of us had stopped and picked up rolls for their kids and Lauren was watching them hand them out. The grandma broke off a piece and gave it to was very sweet.

She is such a trooper dealing with this crazy schedule and constantly running here and there. We got LOTS of smiles today and laughter too. Of course, it's hard to catch this stuff on video. I do have a clip here especially for Grandma so she can see Lauren's smile and hear her sweet voice...

You can see our photos from the day here.


kelly said...

So happy for you that today was a good day!! Cute smile :-)

Suzie said...

What a sweet smile she has! So glad to hear that things are getting better :o)

Linda said...

Gramma appreciates the sweet smile and little laugh and can't wait to see that in person... I Love You Lauren!!! I'll probably wear out that video just watching it. Tears are coming, because she had a better night and a good day... They are for you and Joe also... Mom

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

So glad things are going better..
LOVE the video...
And Lauren is sooooo adorable in her little dress..
Glad Lauren's bedtime was easier..

The Straight's said...

Looks like your little one is slowly getting better and better. Don't worry as her grieving episodes should get shorter and shorter and less traumatic each and every one. My little one was 2 years old and was in foster care and she grieved HARD! It was the hardest thing I ever went through, but oh how it has paid off. Shelby is now a happy healthy little girl with a complete attachment to her mommy :)

At night when the sobbing and pinching and kicking and screaming would begin, I would just sit on the side of the bed and let her do her thing. Sometimes I would simply sing to her (while tears rolled down my face) and slowly she would throw her fit and then she would roll back to me briefly-then roll away and back and forth she would go until she would give out.

I will say the best thing we ever did was to go back and visit the foster mom. Not sure what your situation is there but if you have a chance to go back and visit the orphanage etc-then DO THAT! This proved to Shelby that she had not been kidnapped and that the foster mom "approved" of her going with us. Yes it was a very tough visit but oh so worth it.

Just remember that the sooner she gets "China out", then the sooner she can let you in ;) Early grieving is a good thing for sure but yes it is the hardest thing ever to watch as there is no fix for her hurting. Good luck and feel free to email me if you have any questions- Take care she is adorable!!

Shelley said...

So glad things are getting better. Lauren is adorable, and I just love seeing her smile.

Carol said...

Oh Donna!! She is doing so well!! reminds me of Emily....our girls really do look alike...I swear it's like Emily's twin!!

Emily went to church today and let me tell you even with Goldfish crackers and dried fruit, she was NOT good!!

Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! And no worries you are doing great!!!!!

Stephanie said...

Donna and Joe,

We loved seeing the latest video. You can really see her personality coming out. You guys are doing a great job!

I think you might remember that our kids have had many meltdowns when they get overtired on trips. When they are on more of a schedule at home it is sooo much easier. You got terrific advice yesterday to help get her ready to sleep. We agree that creating a calming routine, such as putting her p.j.'s on, turning the lights down, reading or singing to her, etc... an hour to 1/2 hour before bed really helps. It also helps to start before they appear tired. We still do this with your nephew who is 6 years old!

We are counting down the days!!!

Uncle Jim and Aunt Stephanie

Gail said...

Looks like things are getting better everyday.

Your doing a great job Mommy!

Cloudberrygirl said...

I'm so happy that things are getting better. And Lauren is too cute!

Cloudberrygirl, Sweden

Doreen said...

Lauren is coming around even quicker than I had hoped for you. That is very good news. She is such a sweetie! Hopefully your throats are just temporary. Stay well and you guys are awesome!!!!

Doreen in Montreal single mom to Faith-Jiangxi & Mia-Sichuan

PIPO said...

What an adorable it! :0)

Karsynn's Mommy...Sammi said...

It's getting better all the time! YEAH!!! Enjoy the rest of your time I told you it flies by fast!

fuzzandfuzzlet said...

I am glad today went well. I don`t think it was luck. While Lauren may revisit some old behaviors a good day proves progress.


Somewhere In The Sun said...

What a sweet video. I love when she looks up at you and you can just see the smile all the way to her eyes. What a change from the sad little girl in the beginning!

p.s. Jackson said he really liked that video!

Christi and Abbey said...

You are doing such a great job playing with her, the video clip was such a treat.
One comment above was about going to the orphanage, and I must say I agree. I really felt Abbey needed to see me with all those people and then leaving the building with her in my arms. She became a different child on the ride back from there. My agency said we couldn't go, but we made other arrangements and went on our own.
What airlines are you all using? Abbey and I are flying to the US for CNY on the 23rd with Cathay Pacific, HK to LAX. Just wondering if you might be on our flight.
Thanks for all you've shared on your blog, I am loving following along. It was really hard because I lost internet the past 48 hrs, and I was so wanting to see how you all were.