Tuesday, March 1, 2011

China Update #9 - A Kiss for Ba Ba

(From Jay)

Hey everyone...we are still here in Guangzhou awaiting the US Consulate to issue a visa for Lori.

She is slowing getting more comfortable with all of us. She has started to laugh and play with Maddie and Annie. She is still very standoffish with me and Camille.

One challenge we have had with Lori is eating. At the orphanage, they told us the girl loved to eat...even stuffed her pockets with food. But since we have had her, she has hardly eaten anything! Everything we have tried to feed her has gotten a head-shaken no in response.

The only thing we have been able to get her to eat has been what we jokingly call her 'hash'. At the orphanage, she was still drinking formula some, so we began to mix some formula in a glass and breaking up a small piece of some sweet bread into the glass. We can get her to eat her hash once in the morning and once in the evening. Other than that, she protested all food. Its obvious that this was her little power trip. Eating is the only thing she could control, so she has been protesting. We know we will break through soon, but in the mean time, we are thrilled she likes to eat her hash.

This morning (Monday) she allowed me to feed her and dress her. But this time she got more involved eating and started grabbing the spoon and feeding herself. She followed it up with grabbing the glass with both hands and chugging what was left. You go girl! She followed it with giving her Ba Ba (daddy) a kiss for his great effort! Small breakthroughs...

We made it downstairs for our hotel breakfast (our only dependable meal of the day) and managed to get a photo pose out of Lori while we were eating breakfast.

We then made it back to the medical clinic to check her TB test. The clinic was NUTS! People everywhere. They were all seeking visas to the US and going thru the necessary medical screenings and immunizations. It was humbling to see and hear how desperate people are to come to America.

We made our way to the doctor who decided Lori needed an xray to make sure she was ok. So, then I stood in a long line at the cashier waiting to pay for our xray BEFORE we got it done. How bout that? It was 198 Yuan which was the equivalent of about $30. We got our xray, told it looked fine, and away we were.

While we are here there is lots of down time between appointments and meetings. Our agency included with our travel a couple inexpensive excursions to pass the time. Today (Monday), our group (consisting of us and three other families from the US), went to the XiangDiang Safari Park in southern Guangzhou. It would be the equivalent of a hybrid of our STL Zoo and Grant's Farm. It was virtually empty and in the off-season. We rode a tram like at Grant's farm for about 30-40 minutes through all kinds of animals...some in secluded areas and most running wild. Really great...animals everywhere, close and easy to see. We got off the tram and walked around a small area like Grant's farm. Instead of feeding the goats with bottles, we got to feed the giraffes with branches. We also got to see their crown jewel, their 12 pandas...which was really neat. Lori seemed to really enjoy the tram ride and the animals.

We also got to enjoy the public restrooms before we left...there is just no getting used to squatty-potties.

After returning to the hotel, we sat through a brief meeting with the Holt staff to go over our paperwork for the US Consulate. Three of the four families have their appointment tomorrow morning. We have our's on Wednesday morning. Lots of down time. I think we have figured out that we could have done all of this in less than 9 days...why they keep you here so long is crazy!

Tomorrow (Tuesday), we have an off day, and we hope to walk to the North into the local market where they sell all the weird stuff like bugs, snakes and seahorses. We will have to give an update for that on Tuesday night.

God Bless You Guys! Please continue to pray for Lori's transition!


  1. The picture of Lori kissing you and the one of her grinning so big at the table has me in tears! I know you guys have a long way to go, but this is progress.
    Will pray about her eating habits. It makes total sense, honestly.

    Can't wait to see all of you on Saturday!

  2. Definitely a breakthrough! Awesome! Praying about her eating habits and safety for the remainder of your trip.

  3. She is just adorable and love the kiss! What a breakthrough! Can't wait to see you back home safely and with all of your kiddos together under one roof!

    As far as the potties, yikes.

  4. I'm crying looking at the kiss pic (doing that tear/spit thing)! You are in our thoughts and prayers every night. We are reading the posts as a sort of "bedtime story" to the boys every night, then we hold hands and pray for you guys. We feel like we're there with you! Can't wait to welcome you home Saturday!!!

  5. Two things:

    (1) The picture of that sweet little kiss melted my heart. Be encouraged, Jay; there will be many more of those.

    (2) Compared to most public restrooms I've been in, that squatty potty looks like a GREAT idea.