Thursday, July 27, 2006

Wow, what a difference a day makes. Julia has really started becoming more active today and interactive. She played with some of the other children in the hallway this morning and has gone from just standing in one place and looking at you to running down the hallway. She is great and a lot of fun to play with. Her facial expressions are too funny. At breakfast this morning, she decided she would like to eat with a fork and a plate as we were. Her bio said that she mimics and picks up real quick. Well, they didn't lie. The fork was a little big but she found a way to manage. She is slowly starting to turn away the meat congee since she has started trying other foods that does not apparently taste the same to her anymore.

After breakfast, we took a bus to a local museum but it was closed due to renovations. We then were taken to a park that was absolutely beautiful. We visited the loving ball dance stage where such ceremony would take place. I think I mentioned in an earlier blog that we had purchased a loving ball that is a tradition specific to the Guangxi Province. The girl makes her own loving ball and decorates it herself. She then attends this ceremony where she will see which gentleman she likes and then she writes song to him? and he responds in song. Then she will throw the loving ball to him. If he likes her as well, he will catch it. If not, he will not raise his hands and it will drop to the ground. If he accepts her loving ball, then he has to go home with her and work for her family for two years for FREE. Then if the parents accept him and like him, they will get married and return to his parent's home.

We then went to a bridge that was completely made out of bamboo using no nails at all. The bridge went on forever. It was hard to maneuver around with the strollers. We then went to a budhist temple with monks to have some of the babies blessed. Julia was asleep on my shoulder and missed the blessing part. My baby has already been blessed tremendously. It was interesting to see the people walking in a lighting their incense and bowing to the idols.

Once we got off the bus at the temple, a few ladies were standing there to immediately dress us in Mongolian apparel and then they would take your picture for about $2. Matthew, Mom and Nancy got their's done and they turned out really good. Julia was on the verge of falling asleep and looked like she would have a fit if anyone touched her so I decided she and I would not partake on that adventure and just take our own photos.

She has really taken to coloring this afternoon. She is extremely smart and picks up super fast on anything you do. Everything has been a complete 360 for her and she has been a real trooper. Grandma Susan bought her ice cream at the bottom of the Pagonda this afternoon and she was not real sure about that and then loved it after getting past the cold feeling on her tongue. The boys were able to buy feed for the coy and feed them. It was amazing to see the size of the fish. Matthew tried his best to catch one by hand. Yeah, right. He acted like he was really well.

Well, we do more paperwork this afternoon and then we will all probably go to dinner together. Tomorrow morning we will meet and take a bus to the flea market. That should be a good opportunity to polish up on my bartering skills. I'm sure Matthew will take care of that for me. Matthew.... David says he is a true leader and that is good since he is a boy in the family. Leader is an understatement for Matthew. He has been a HUGE help to me on this trip. He is not timid at all. Sometimes you might get a little nervous about things that you have to do that you are not familiar with or might seem impossible. Well, just take Matthew with you. He does not have one shy bone in his body and always seems to get what we need done. Julia has really taken to him but still wants me over anyone.:)

I think we have almost mastered the potty, kinda. She just tried to squat but got really upset about the diaper being in the way. We ran to the potty and let's just say she should feel extremly lighter. She is wonderful and everything I expected and more. We have a dentist with us on this trip. He and his wife adopted a beautiful 11month old that has been doing great since day one. He is going to take a look at her mouth tonight and see what he can tell me about her future medical needs to the best of his ability. We have been so fortunate to have such a good group of people on this trip.

We will leave for Guangzhou around 5 p.m. tomorrow evening and arrive there around 9 p.m. Three more flights after that and we will be home. We will be staying at one of the nicest hotels in the world...the White Swan. This is our last stop before going home and where we will meet up with all the other families that have traveled all over China to get their babies.

Gotta go. She is running around the room playing with her crayons and looking at herself in the mirror and waving bye-bye to herself. As I always ask, please continue to pray for these children. Today seems to be a better day for them. I have gotten more smiles from her in the past hour than over the past three days. I just got interuppted by the housekeeping manager. They are making me pay for a teacup that is in our room each day. I accidentally knocked it off the bathroom counter this morning and it broke...20 Yuan ($2.50). Can you believe that? He kept saying, I sorry for this but you have to pay. Geeze, Louise, you would think they would overlook something like that for as much money has we have paid since being here.

I will try to blog tomorrow but it might be difficult since we have to pack, shop and fly out in one day. Take care everyone and thank you for the emails. Tim, Chase & Carson, we miss you guys. Olivia and Stewart, we miss you as well. We miss everyone.


Drew and Lori said...

I am so excited- I think I have said this 100 times- but my heart just overflows to see that little girl with such smiles and personality. what a difference a mommy makes!

chaz ballard said...

its amazing what u are doing for this little girl and god is going 2 bless u for doing this by how it sounds u are having fun and enjoying china but from now until wednesday this is just a vacation for u and matt have fun and be safe... i cant wait 2 see u and matt and julia

Jen, Brian & cousin Megan said...

That is great that she is adjusting so well. You must be so excited to see her personality emerging more and more.
I think you should add on one more flight - just a short stop-over in Colorado Springs. Megan really wants to meet her new cousin.

Hodge Family News said...

She is just beautiful!
Great pictures!!!


Brittni&Justin said...

Hey Ms. Leah and Matthew and JULIA!!! WOW! how exciting its been to keep up with your blogs and pictures! I cannot believe how STUNNING Julia is! :) She is too cute, and from the looks of the pictures, she's learning how to pose too.. haha. I'm praying for all of you! And we look forward to your return home soon!!
God Bless You!!! :) Brittni


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