"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance.The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break." -Chinese proverb

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Last day in Shanghai (day 6)

Today, our guide, Alice, took us to Yuyuan Gardens.  It was built over 400 years ago during the Ming Dynasty.  We didn't see the oldest part because you have to pay for a ticket and we weren't up for it because Ethan was losing his mind.  It was beautiful there and there are a ton of shops where you can buy some amazing things.  Can you believe that until today we hadn't bought anything?  We bought this beautiful framed hand-painted picture of Liana's Chinese name.  Thank goodness Alice was with us because she was able to write the Chinese characters down for the man who painted them.  He painted the sign in about 5 minutes and it is just amazing!  Alice made sure he put a tiger in the name because Liana was born during the year of the tiger.  She also got us a deal.  The man was charging 230 rmb but Alice got it for 150 rmb which is about $23.  What a steal!

So, the best part of the day was the discovery that we have 250 pictures of Liana on a flash drive that we sent to the orphanage just a couple of weeks ago!  For her birthday, we sent a cake with a panda bear, disposable camera and a flash drive.  We thought that they hadn't used the flash drive because it was still in the package but then Ethan was walking around with it today and I realized that if he got it out that easy, it must already be open.  So Erik stuck it in the laptop and lo and behold, pictures, pictures, pictures of our beautiful baby!  And to think, until we got to China we only had 8 measley pictures!  On gotcha day, we were also given a beautiful photo album of her and they looked at it with us and pointed out her best friend in the pics.  Get this, I actually know the mama that is adopting her best friend!  I recognized her little girl, Daisy's, picture right away and told her later on Facebook that I have pics in Liana's album that I would scan for her when we get home.  But after discovering the flash drive, I found 24 pictures of her daughter in the pics with Liana!  I already emailed them to her.  I am so happy to be able to do that for another waiting mama.  I would have died for someone to be able to do that for me as we waited.  I'm so happy that we know each other and it turns out she lives in Washington so when we visit our parents in Oregon, we plan to meet up so the girls can see each other again.  What a small world it can be sometimes!  Who knows, maybe Liana and Daisy will be friends forever!  They sure share something most people don't share with their best friends.  They share something with each other that we can never share with Liana...her first two years and a life in an orphanage.

Liana is showing more personality and more smiles every day.  I think she's figuring out who Mama and Baba are.  Yesterday, when Erik was out getting lunch for us, I said something about Baba and Liana looked around the hotel room like she was looking for him.  Then today, we were sitting on the floor eating lunch and I asked her if she wanted to sit on Mama's lap and she said, "Mama" and reached for me.  It melted my heart. 

What an adjustment this small girl has had to make in the last few days with us.  Just think, her whole life so far, has been spent in an orphanage and that is the only thing she has ever known.  Now, she has these white parents and brother and sister who look funny and sound funny and take her to all these strange places.  Nothing is the same and now we're about to take her away from her city and the hotel that she probably assumes is our home and change things on her again.  Poor baby.  It's going to take a long time for her to know what our normal life is like.  In her two years, she has experienced things that I can't even imagine.  Even though I do believe that she was loved very much in the orphanage, it's not like life with a family who provides for your every need.  Just putting her down for her nap today and seeing her grabbing out bites of food out of her mouth and handing them to me so that she wouldn't gag as she fell asleep, I realized the kinds of things she must have gone through to think that if she wants food, she better just hang onto a bite from her last meal.  We'll never know what her life in the orphanage has been like but you take little things like this as pieces to the puzzle.  I'm so amazed by her strength.  How strong she must be to be handling all of this so well.  I certainly wouldn't.  I can't wait until she feels safe enough with us to just fall apart when she needs to.  She'll get there. 

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the flash drive

 Liana and her best friend, Daisy

Liana's 2nd birthday...so glad we could at least give her a party with her friends!

And from today...

Yuyuan Gardens

Looking at Ethan

Odd child



  1. Well, it sounds as though Liana is adjusting just fine with you strange people. I had a strong feeling she would and I also think when you guys get home, she will adjust to that very fast as well. I bet she already knows that she's finally getting her break. And what a break it is, not just for her, but you guys too. Amazing experience!! I hope you guys stop and pinch yourselves from time to time. Before you know it, you'll be back in Texas wondering where these two weeks went. I know you probably can't wait to get back home, but cherish this once in a lifetime experience. They always go by way too fast! Give all your kiddos a hug from their uncle. Love y'all!

  2. I can't believe how well Liana is doing! What a little trooper she is! What a great idea that flashdrive was! The pics are wonderful! Such a cherub!! The pic of Liana's Chinese name is beautiful--such a good idea. Bet you'll miss Alice,when you leave. Hope your next guide is as wonderful which no doubt will be the case. You all seem to be making good use of your time, even with the hospital visits. :) Keep on making memories, as fabulous as the ones so far. That pic of Liana and Daisy is just heart-melting! Imagine her having a best friend! Oh the little Sweetheart! Have a good trip, and a happy day! Love and prayers, Mom