Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Packed up and calling it a night

8:30 p.m. Guangzhou (Tuesday)
That's it.  I can't believe I fit everything this girl talked me into buying into the 2 original suitcases that I brought to China.  I'm a little melancholy tonight.  I'm so excited to get home and see everyone and make the introductions, but I've also really enjoyed the last few days here with Meiying.  This trip to China was so different from the first trip in 2006 for more than the obvious reasons.
I really felt like I was seeing China through Meiying's eyes and through her language and it made me appreciate it in a different way.  I enjoyed watching her, so confident and spunky, make her way around the streets, the vendors, the restaurants.  I also enjoyed some really, really good Chinese food this time.  If you're coming to China, don't settle for Lucy's on Shamian Island every day (though it still provides the western comforts of a good hamburger and french fries as you sit and listen to Journey, Air Supply, the BG's, etc...)  Go to JM Chef and ask for the peppered beef on sizzling platter.  It's out of this world good!
Today, we walked...and walked...and walked the streets of Guangzhou through the local markets, alley ways and into their more western mall area.  We quickly left that mall and headed back to the more authentic streets.  I did this same thing in '06 w/ Derek and Eliza, but honestly, couldn't handle the smells and sights back then.  Today, I was soaking it all in.  It's an easy walk across the canal on Shamian Island and down a few streets once in Guangzhou.
Meiying was hilarious.  If someone would try to sell me something, she'd wave her hand "no" at them very emphatically and say, "Mommy-ahh, NO."  She had me try canalope icecream on a cone and it was fantastic (w/ raisins sprinkled on it).  Really, really good.  We bought and ate dim sum, all different varieties.  We bought some moon cakes to bring home for the Harvest Moon Festival coming up at the beginning of October.  At one point, our group broke up and our guide walked some of the group back to Shamian Island..  The rest of us were w/out our guide.  Well, Meiying turned into our little ambassador-translator.  This is how smart this girl is, the vendor would tell Meiying the price and she would hold up her fingers to tell us how much.  Of course, now that I think about, we think she's smart and were hoping that she gave us the right amount?!  Either way, she was so cute and thoroughly enjoyed her role.  It was raining for most of the walk and so we got filthy and wet, but it was so fun.
We spent the rest of the afternoon w/ Lieba and Amei finishing our shopping on Shamian Island and eating one last meal at Lucy's, which we lingered over and the girls played and drew pictures.   I've uploaded Meiying's drawings so you can see.  The first one is Mommy and Meiying and we are holding hands (she made sure to point that out to me and to point out my earrings).  The next one is our house, down to the detail of the chimney and a horse in the yard w/ someone riding it; oh and also Eliza's bike.  The next one is our house w/ a bird and an airplane flying above it.  Lastly, she wanted Lieba to draw a picture of me next to the house so she could copy it.  Well, Lieba's verson has me "thin"; Meiying's version has me quite plump.   Lieba being in the field of early childhood, tried to convince me that that means I'm warm and full of love.  Hmmm, yeah, ok.  She also has me very "teethy", which was so funny, and very interesting because I had gotten a copy of a "certain" report on Meiying, from a "certain" can't-be-named person before I left for China.  In the report it said that all the drawings by Meiying of her foster family, didn't include herself in the family and the foster mother was never smiling in the drawings.  So, apparently, my teeth and smile is worth drawing!
Lieba and I were both feeling nostalgic about leaving and were so thankful that we had each other to hang out with for the last leg of the adoption.  Amei is so similar to Eliza in many ways and it was good seeing Meiying interract with her.  She seemed to ground Meiying and bring out the calmer side of her.  I liked that.
After we said our goodbyes (which Meiying gave Lieba a big hug all on her own), Meiying (who I keep calling Eliza???) and I came back to the Marriott to begin packing.  Now, here's where it got really funny.  She was trying to pack everything in the room.  Yes, the mini bar, the bathroom toiletries and towels, the desk accessories, piling up the pillows.  Her Daddy would be proud of her!  I tried explaining that these things didn't belong to us.  Fortunately, our guide stopped by to drop off Meiying's passport/visa and the brown envelope (!!) and was able to explain to her.  I was laughing so hard.  Just wait 'til Meiying realizes that we're not going to live in a house w/ an elevator, breakfast buffet, soda, shopping, taxi rides... She is so excited to come home and has been looking at the photo album and practicing everyone's names.  Though she started getting giddy and was interchanging names (i.e. Eliza became Daddy; Daddy became the dog; ha, ha, ha, etc.)
Well, tomorrow (Wednesday), I'll be arriving at 9:05 p.m. on American from JFK.  I'm so excited.  Anyone that wants to come (Cheryl, Christa, Marisa, Judy, Kim, Tarra, Jen & boys, Jeff, Carol...) please come.  You can call Derek if you need more details.  If it's too late being that it's a school night, I totally understand and we'll make our rounds meeting everyone as soon as we're able, which will proably be soon since Miss Spunky-Pants-herself isn't into hanging around the house for very long.  Thank you everyone for all your prayers and support; I couldn't have made it thru those tough days without you all.  I look forward to being able to publish all your comments to my blog from my e-mail once I get home and then I'll be able to respond, since I can't access your e-mail addresses right now.  Enjoy today's pictures and videos!  Next update, from the States!!


Reena said...

Oh Jeeze, Sarah-- I almost called you Eliza!!! LOL!

Best Wishes to you and Meiying for a safe and uneventful flight home!

Jean said...

Yippee! Soon it will be home sweet home!!

I'd love to be at the airport BUT I don't live close- sorry!

Tell us all about it!!

Truly Blessed said...

Oh my word -- you're coming back home!!!! Woo hooo!!!!

I'm so glad that your journey ended on a high note. I would have loved to see Miss Meiying negotiating and translating with the merchants, what a great life skill that is!

You sound, justifiably, like the proud mom that you are. I'm just so happy for you!!

Can't wait to see pictures and read your post from HOME!!!

Truly Blessed said...
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Colin and Jill Canada said...

I am so so thrilled for you. I laughed out loud when you said about her packing up the hotel room contents and that her daddy would be proud. Are all men the same?! lol!

Welcome home to both of you. I'm sure you'll need a much deserved rest now Mommy. You've been such a wonderful mother, just when i think you couldn't do any better, you do are just plain amazing!

I truly enjoyed reading about your journey to Ava and your time in China. I long to go back, just to relive those memories and enjoy Guangzhou, shopping and all! :)

Enjoy your mooncakes, authentic! I am planning on baking some this week, if I can even find lotus seed paste!

Love to you all,
Jill xx

Kristi said...

I have been so excited for you (and so has my mom, who also reads your blog to follow E's progress!) and Meiying the past few days. I am so glad that you didn't listen to my former CLUELESS advice and went on your own instincts and the advice of others who have adopted older children. I can't wait to hear of your homecoming!! ...When Ava becomes a US citizen, your reunion with sweet Eliza (how will she treat you since you've been away? clingy and love-dovey or will she "punish" you for having been away with a shortlived cold shoulder?, ....how will Ava and E interact (I think Ava will be great with E and for E!). Looking forward to seeing your latest addition get acclimated to her new life, learn English, start school, etc. I know she's going to love it!!