Hello again! · April 06, 2008

Well- we finished off Darrin's b-day with a trip to the pearl market and a dinner out. Dinner-great idea, pearl market-not so much! What we imagined the pearl market to be was stalls of outdoor pearl vendors in a quaint village of some sort. What we were taken to, was like a cheesy indoor mall, hot and packed with people, with tiny store after store of all kinds of beads and pearls. It was madness. Hope was completely overwhelmed- mind you, the farthest she had gone one week ago was on the grounds of her orphanage. Today was just overwhelming for her- new hotel, and then we dragged her to this crazy mall- it was just too much- so we managed to get a few good deals and then got out of dodge! We then regrouped at the hotel and met up w/ the Roths to go to Lucy's Cafe- a great Western restaurant right outside of the hotel. There are shops lining the streets cobblestone streets leading to it with friendly vendors that mostly cater to the adoptive parents.

We had an awesome dinner-and a few drinks too-and just celebrated Darrin's b-day and our new daughters. The dinner ended with some girls dancing- don't get too excited- they were OUR girls! Hannah, Hope and Sabria- and Stacy and I boogied with the girls- they giggled, laughed, and had a blast! The looks in these little angels faces told me that they will be ok. They will be able to laugh and enjoy silly things- like children should!! We then shopped a little- and after Hope almost single handedly destroyed a store we felt compelled to buy a few things! Did I tell you that she is a pistol?? She then had a complete conversation with a vendor outside- which made me a little sad I guess. There must be so much that she wants to say to us- but just can't! We have to admit, however, - hearing her go on in Chinese is just too cute for words!

The Roths then came up to our suite, we sang happy b-day- and the girls played some more! Darrin had a wonderful conclusion to his day, as Hope and he engaged in about an hour of playing- just he, Hope and Hannah. Hope giggled so much and reached for him and gave kisses- just the B-day present that I am sure that he wished for. Alot of the Dads on our trip are having some trouble with their girls- they just are so afraid of them- and won't let them hold or touch them. Hope has been responsive at different times- on her own terms. Earlier today, when Hope was stressed- she would not let Darrin near her- like- freaking out if her tried to hold her hand--but as she got more comfortable in the new hotel, she let him back in again. So, we are grateful to have "hope" that every day will be a little better than the last. Today, all in all was a good day- and our girl has given us so much in the past 6 days--we are cherishing every moment. Our big girl Hannah is also to be cherished- she is incredible- she is, and always has been, a shining light for us and for all around her. She is seeing every child here- and there are plenty- as a child.She has looked beyond any disabilities and played with all of them as if they were her own friends. She met an adopted girl and her sister in the lobby today and sat looking at fish with them- laughing and being silly- the adopted girl was about Hannah's age and had severe burn scars on her face--Hannah came back to the table and told me how pretty she thought she was and if we could find her again tommorow. I am just beyond proud of my sweet girl---and I am grateful that she is taking so much out of this trip that is so meaningful.

We truly have been given the most blessings- - and they have come to us in the form of 5 little people!!

More tommorow!! SIgning off!

Darrrin, Amy, Hannah and SHi SHi XOXOOXO