Sunday, September 9, 2007

How Sarah Got Her Groove Back!

Two posts in one day -- oh, boy! Just wanted to put up a few photos from the day and a bit more news. Before I forget, for anyone reading who will be in Guangzhou soon, we highly recommend Sherri's if you need laundry done. We've had laundry done four times now and the clothes washed at Sherri's smell really good and were done very inexpensively. The clothes we had washed in province came back smelling rather bad and were very "crisp". The clothes we had done at Sherri's today are soft and smell fresh! Sherri's will be moving in the next two weeks to about a block away, but you can always ask for the new location at the hotel.

Sarah has been a bit under the weather as well the emotional side of everything going on taking a toll. Until today, that is ! Right now, Kevin is standing on one bed and Sarah is standing on the other bed and they are pretending to karate each other! Beginning this morning she has broken out of any shell she was in and is smiling, happy and very playful. She LOVES being around the little girls in our travel group and while we were in a store today she was talking with a sales clerk who told us Sarah said that at the orphanage the older children were not allowed to be with the smaller children so she never got to play with them even though she wanted to. Today at the pearl market she picked out three little beaded kittens and gave one to each of the three older American girls that are in our travel group -- the girls are about 2, 4 and 6. The 4 year old girl today told Sarah that she loves her! And she loves being with the Chinese girls in our travel group as well and has been enjoying holding them and helping the older girls by holding their hands as they walk.

She is very open and social with not only the children but the adults as well. One of other dads in the travel group and Sarah had a whistling contest and she love talking with one of the other moms who was born and raised in China and speaks both Mandarin and English.

After dinner Sarah said "Ma" and showed me her wrist and she had what looked like a large blister about the size of a quarter. Right away I thought it was a reaction to all the shots she had yesterday, but she made a "buzzing" sound and then mimed that a bug had bite her. We went to 7-11 first but couldn't find anything to bring the swelling down so we headed down the street to a slightly larger grocery store (we have yet to see any grocery store that I would call even medium sized except for the Walmart in Nanjing). I couldn't see anything that looked like medicine for bug bites to me but right away she picked up a green bottle about the size of a Tabasco bottle that was all written in Chinese and said it was for bug bites. As soon as we left the store she had the bottle open and put some on the bug bite and the swelling is already going down. I love how independent she is but at times I think I should be doing more for her as her Mom, but for so long now she has taken care of herself and is just used to life that way.

At the pearl market today she was asked as least on one occasion about who were were and she didn't seem to mind telling them. Then at the little grocery store tonight she was looking at a necklace and said she wanted to buy it using the "fun" money we had given her and I could tell the sales girl was asking her about us. I know very little Mandarin but heard Sarah say "daughter" in Mandarin and then "Mama" and "Baba" and she doesn't seem to mind at all that people are asking. I had gone out by myself today to take laundry to be cleaned and stopped at a small store right outside the hotel. As I entered, a sales girl came right up to me and said "you are the Mama to the big girl, right?" I was kind of taken back and said something like "we have adopted an older girl" and the young woman went on to say that she has seen us walking outside and she and the other shop owners had been talking and first they thought Sarah was our guide but then they realized she must be our daughter so apparently we have been the talk of the shops around the hotel. The young woman was so nice and said how wonderful it was that we were a family and how everyone was so happy for us.

We have been able to learn a bit more about Sarah through her talking with our guide, the other adoptive mother who speaks Mandarin and through the shop owners. She likes to run and was excited to learn to swim at the hotel with us and would like to learn more about swimming. Also, she would like to learn to ride a bike. She wants to take classes to learn to paint and draw. She told one person that she received very good grades in school and likes school. She wanted our guide to ask us if we had any pets and when we told her "no" she didn't seem to mind but we asked if she liked pets and she said she likes cats. She doesn't seem to like chocolate at all and makes a bad face when I taunt her with the chocolate they leave with the turn down service (although tonight she hid the chocolate on me and said "no ma!") She hates coffee!!! We went to Starbucks tonight so I could have a latte and she kept saying "no, no coffee!" In Chinese "coffee" sounds just like "coffee" in English so it's one Mandarin word I can say! She told a sales clerk tonight that she is really excited to "go home to America" and she is counting down the days until we leave -- apparently she told the girl "just three more days until I get to go home!"

Kevin hopes to stay up late tonight in hopes that ESPN will have some American Football on! And, there is NO Mountain Dew in China (oh, the horrors!) so Kev is going through some serious withdrawal!!! We even have a hard time finding Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke here and when we do it usually has lemon added and tastes really bad.


Shannon and Boyd Bringolf said...

Wow! You are doing so great! I have been following your blog and was totally impressed with Sarah and you family.
My family is from the Rock Island area and when I saw Davenport, I was really excited for you!

Shannon B

Mom of 5 said...

I am so excited for the three of you !!
Sarah sounds just delightful !

Mike and Barb said...

Her smile is just breathtaking!

Beth said...

OK - so I've been following your blog since I stumbled across it shortly after your referral time. I apologize for not commenting earlier. I just have to say how I've loved "traveling" with you and following your family's story. Blessings to you as you journey home. Sarah is an incredible young lady. She sounds so strong and she is absolutely beautiful. We are also in the midwest. You'll have to let us know if you ever travel through WI.

BTW - tell Kevin that the Packers just won!!! :)

Beth (new mommy to Hope)

Lesa said...

Hi Debbi,
She looks more relaxed in these photos. I can't get over how gorgeous she is!! What a personality to boot. I recognize those little girls. They belong to Shandra. They are in our playgroup here at home.
Tell them hello for us.
I know that you were meant for her as she is for you.
I hope to meet her someday at on of the agency reunions.

Lesa Lambert

Rebel said...

I am also one that stubled upon your blog... and I am so glad that I did! What an amazing story of courage both on your part and your daughter's part... a leap of faith! I am so happy that your experience has been so wonderful thus far... and I am sure it will only get better!

Cheers from down under, Rebel

Sylvia said...

I have enjoyed following your adventures to Sarah! Thank you so much for sharing. I hope you continue sharing your wonderful story. ( I love that daugher of yours!) If you are ever in San Diego, please let us know. We would be honored to meet your beautiful family.

Ed and Lisa said...

I am loving reading your blog! What an exciting time it is for all three of you. And don't worry, you may feel like you are not doing all you can now because you are on Sarah's turf so to speak. Her country, her language.... you are her "ma" and are about to open her eyes to a whole new world when you head home. You get to show her what a family is and you will be the one to teach her all about your country and culture and hold her hand through this amazing journey she is about to begin! You guys are going to do great things and I can't wait to read more!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

Lisa :)

Emma's Journal said...

I just love reading your blog. I really look forward to opening it up in the mornings and i'm so delighted that you have found your Daugther. She is beautiful and seems to love you guys very much. That is a cute picture of her with Shandra's girls. I'm so happy that things are going very well for all 3 of you. Sarah sounds like a lovely and caring girl - God is Good!

Kathryn said...

I'm sure as soon as you are back home, you will be the one helping Sarah; right now you are where she is most familiar. My husband and Sarah would get along fine, he also doesn't like chocolate. Leaves more for me, so it works out fine!