Thursday, September 6, 2007

Saying Good-bye to Nanjing

We've just returned from wonderful authentic Chinese dinner. When we visited Sarah's orphanage on Tuesday the director asked us if we would join her for dinner on Thursday. When we arrived at the restaurant tonight we were greeted not only by the orphanage director but by five other staff members as well including Sarah's favorite nanny. The restaurant was simply gorgeous and had private rooms for each party. In the middle of the table was a large round serving "Susan" full of various kinds of meats, sauces and vegetables. We were each given a glass of wine and our choice of fresh squeezed juice (watermelon or orange). Then, the dishes started arriving and didn't stop until at least 10 different courses were served. We started with soup and went on to all kinds of meats and vegetables and ended with fresh watermelon, cantaloupe and grape tomatoes. During the dinner, there were about 8 different times that toasts were given and most of the time Sarah was the special person being toasted.

After dinner we commented to our guide about how much food there had been and he explained that in China when someone invites you to his/her home or to a restaurant, they wish to be able to provide more food than the guest can eat. By being able to do this, the host is being gracious and doing all that they can for the guest. We certainly had more food than any of us could eat and were very grateful for the delightful opportunity to experience such hospitality and kindness. We can tell how much Sarah is loved by all these people and how much they are going to miss her. The director even explained to her during the dinner how to prepare some authentic Chinese food for us once we all get home. At the end of dinner, the director explained that Sarah is a daughter of Nanjing and now as her parents we will always been a part of Nanjing as well and they hope we can return soon for a visit to "our home in Nanjing."

The orphanage director explained to us that Sarah had been given the choice to remain in the orphanage or they would try to find a family for her. She chose to have a family outside the orphanage. Due to her age, she had to write an application regarding why she wanted to be adopted and what she envisioned her life being. Then the orphanage worked on her papers and submitted her file to the CCAA. The director asked us why we wanted to adopt an older child and we explained that when we read her file that we could tell she had great spirit and a kind heart and we just knew that she was meant to be our daughter. The director asked Sarah what she thinks she will like to do when she comes to the US and she said she would like to learn to paint and draw so that she can be a designer.

The taxi ride to the restaurant was 10 yuan (about $1.50 US for a 15 minute ride), but on the way home the fare was 12 yuan. Kevin kidded that the extra weight in the taxi after the large meal was the difference in why we were charged more for the ride back!

Sarah really seemed to enjoy seeing everyone She is now watching tv -- funny enough, she picked "The Dukes of Hazzard" so I think she and her cousin Ai will get along real well!

Tomorrow we say good-bye to Nanjing and head to our final destination in China. We will be in Guangzhou for 4 days and then fly home next Wednesday. We have really enjoyed China -- I must say more than I thought I would when I envisioned the trip. We have the language barrier to get through, but know everything will work out. Sarah has been using her new translator quite a bit and is starting to use new English words.

Here are a few photos from our trip to the park today and from her good-bye dinner.


Lesa said...

What a lovely experience for all three of you. This was a very special moment in time going to dinner with people she has grown up with. How nice for them to consider you a part of their family.
I know that Sarah will become a fine young woman and would love to be a fly on the wall to watch her grow in her new home and new life.
I wish her the best with her future artistic ability.
I hope you will stay up with the agencies group so we can hear how she is doing.
Thank you for allowing everyone to be a part of your lovely trip.
I will be keeping up with your blog for as long as you have it.

Lesa Lambert LID 6/19/06

My Three Girls said...

Really enjoyed today's update. Sarah truly is a brave girl......

Have a safe trip to Guangzhou!

new girl said...

This was a wonderful update. The dinner sounds wonderful in every possible way -- I am so glad that Sarah has been so loved, and that you now have two homelands! I can't get over what a courageous threesome you are!

Thank you again for posting this link on RQ where I first found you and for sharing yours and Sarah's story with other adoptive families!

Dano said...

I am almost speechless at how amazing it is reading about your days in China. Thanks for sharing!!!!!! (Sorry Kevin ... just ALMOST speechless.)

I am so thrilled for all three of you and it sounds like in spite of the bumbs along the way it is going extremely well.

I can't wait for you to get home & get settled into your new life as a family of three. Hee hee, that three thing sounds so awesome!!!

Safe travels.

Love you loads!!

PletcherFamily said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog each day and seeing the pictures of your beautiful daughter and family. She seems so sweet, and I am sure you are over the moon to finally have her! And the fact that she does magic is so neat! What a great girl.
Take care and I hope that you have a safe journey home.
Jennifer and clan (from June dossier dance)

A Special Family said...

What a wonderful update and quite the experience. I'll be hoping for a continued wonderful process.

We are the KOPICKIs said...

What an honor to be adopted into the family of Nanjing. Your experience is no ordinary experience. It is unique and wonderful. Sarah is a gift. She is special - her people apparently think so - and it shines through in her face. This girl is going places -- she's going to do things...BIG things in her life. Hold on to your hats mom and dad, I suspect you are in for the "ride of your life." Enjoy every minute!!!

Emma's Journal said...

I really enjoyed today's post. That was so nice for them to make all that food. I had to laugh when it cost more to to Kevin eating all that We're so happy and glad that Sarah is doing just fine and seems to be very happy with her new Parents.
Hugs and Kisses
From Sherri, Todd and Sam

Sylvia said...

Thank you for the update and for sharing your wonderful experience.

LaLa said...

What a wonderful opportunity for you guys and man that picture really makes me miss the food in China..yum

That park is gorgeous and so is your daughter!

Mike and Barb said...

Again, thanks for the update... what an amazing story you have!
Sarah is so beautiful and talented, and I hope that she will "Melt" into her new family swiftly and completely.
Hope your transition to Guangzhou went well, I imagine that might be hard on Sarah.
Hang in there!

M Morris said...

I hope you all made it safely to GZ! We've been thinking of you a lot and can't wait to see you next Wednesday!

It's truly special that you got to have a luncheon with the director!!! We got the big glass ornament as well, with Lydia's name (obviously) and another plaque that described all the types of Chinese opera makeup. lol