Friday, May 12, 2006

Embroidery Factory

Today is our last full day in Changsha and we have a meeting at 4:30pm to check over all of our documents before flying to Guangzhou tomorrow afternoon. This morning we had a tour of the embroidery factory. Hunan Province is famous for it’s embroidery, mainly because they have a “magic” technique of having a different design on each side. It’s really amazing and I can’t imagine how it’s done. Maybe works have been commissioned or given as gifts to Americans, namely FDR and GW. There were lots of ‘portraits’ of Mao as well. It was really amazing how perfect they were-just like pictures. There were 3 different gift shop rooms, and I was really disappointed that the only ‘work’ that had the Xiang river on it was $3000 USD. oh well. I bought Mae a beautiful embroidered pants and jacket outfit that she will probably wear at age 2 or so. I figure we can do some official portraits and then put it in a shadow box to display the beauty that comes from her home province. Also a beautiful scarf that she can wear when she is older. Mae insisted on a diaper change at 3am, but went right back down. A similar thing occurred at 5, with a bottle, and then right down. She finally got up for the day at 7am…not too bad. She was only able to squeeze in a half hour nap before the tour, so we brought the stroller so she could nap at the factory, but she just sat upright in her stroller, happy as could be, playing with her ‘silly monkey’ and eating cookies. Ayi SuSu discovered chicken broth at breakfast and after spooning some in her eager little mouth, we put some in a bottle and she sucked it down. Hooray! I figure she will learn to deal with veggie broth after she gets home! We also had another breakfast of green bean congee, interspersed with plain. I think that is really the key to her ‘regularity.’ We tried to put her down for a nap after the tour, but she only dozed for about 45 minutes. So we visited the hotel pool, which was FREEZING, but she really liked it. I think she will love warm pools if she liked this one so much. Then we ordered her some steamed egg, gave her a formula-no-rice bottle, and she’s down for her nap. Hopefully she will sleep while I am at the meeting. Then we will have a final dinner out here in Changsha before prepping for departure tomorrow.

-Friday evening
Shabbat shalom from China! I have 2 things to journal about…no pics, but I don’t want to forget these moments. Mae was still napping when I went to the 4:30 meeting. We had to carefully check all the documents (birth certificate, abandonment certificate, adoption certificate, passport, etc.) for misspellings or wrong dates…stressful!! After the paperwork part was over, Daphne explained that she and Ellen had a gift for their nieces. They had a small bit of soil (nothing to declare!) in a Hunan-embroidered red bag for each baby. (I am tearing up just writing this…) She said there is a Chinese custom of carrying a little bit of soil when you travel far away, so that you don’t ever get homesick. She said (and yes, tears were a-rolling, both from the parents and Daphne) that our daughters always have family here, that she and Ellen consider all of our babies as nieces, and they are welcome to come stay at their homes if they visit. She went on to talk about how the Chinese have a long way to go to catch up materialistically to the Westerners, but that they have good hearts and work hard, and they are good people. She hopes when someone asks our daughters where they are from, they will be able to answer “from China” with pride and dignity, because it is a good country. We were all a mess by this time. After everyone had regained their composure she got back to basics with our meeting and check out times for tomorrow. Then they left while we stayed to chat about tipping them…heaven knows they went above and beyond their duties for all of us, every single day.
Here is the 2nd great moment. I went back to the room to get my fees in order for the tours and tips from the week and had a note from Susan that they were in the playroom. So I did all that and went up to join them. The minute Mae saw me, her face lit up and she did a little jig in her walker and started chattering. Susan said she had been very fussy in the room and when they went up to the playroom she wouldn’t play, just stayed put in the walker looking tentative, watching. So, while that was frustrating for Susan, it means I have done my job and Mae knows I am #1. It’s a good feeling. We’ll work on adding Daddy in soon enough.
Then we had dinner at the same buffet where we had breakfast and, Paul, I tried the snake! It was too spicy anyway. But the food was very good, if strange. Lots of random creatures still intact, sitting in warming pans (cooked of course! But still…) Mae was very adventurous tonight, eating almost everything I offered her. Her favorites were egg noodles and watermelon. Then we came back to the room to start packing. She had a bath (I got SOAKED with her splashing) and bottle and went right down. If she does as well tonight as last night, I will be happy. I felt more rested today than I have since we got her. I also took some great video tonight that I will try and upload, if not tonight then in the next few days, of her fabulous belly laugh. What a great sound that is. Good night from Changsha, for the last time.

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