We had a busy, laughter filled day today in Nanchang. Bailey is really coming out of her shell and letting us see the funny, smart little girl that she is. We started the day with a trip to the Notary office (much like our courthouses) to finalize the adoption. We had just eaten breakfast before we got in the cab and on the way there Bailey got car sick. I'll spare you the ugly details but will say that a big tip was in order for the poor cabbie who had to drive all day in that little car. The street that the courthouse is on is under construction. They are installing underground tunnels for pedestrians to cross the street without getting hit by cars, mopeds and bikes of all kinds and they are putting in a better drainage system. Because of the construction the driver dropped us off at the end of the street and we had to walk about 20 mintues to get to the Notary building. The heat index was well over 100 degrees and when we got to the front of the building we had to cross a mound of dirt, crumbled concrete and construction debris to get into the building. The building halls and elevator were just as hot (if not hotter) than outside but once we were in the Notary office it was much cooler...at least it felt like it but it was probably still 90 degrees in there. While Mr. Lee handled the paperwork we sat in the waiting room and cooled off a bit. I'm always amazed at the boldness of the locals. Several of them came up and touched and poked at Bailey and tried to talk to us in Chinese. One elderly woman spoke slow enough for me to understand a bit of what she was asking. She wanted to know how old Bailey was and if she was going to America. When I answered her in my best (and very limited Mandarin) she was quiet pleased and gave us a BIG smile, patted me on the shoulder and spoke very sweetly to Bailey. It was very clear that she was pleased that Bailey would soon be an American. When it was our turn to be interviewed we sat in front of the Notary and answered questions...our ages, our income level, our level of education, what were our plans for Bailey's healthcare and education, how long had we been married and why did we want a girl from China? I guess our answers satisfied the Notary because he signed the official documents, smiled and congratulated us on our new daughter.
After our Notary appointment we set out on foot to look for the building where Bailey was found when she was seven months old. We discovered it to be a Chinese Restaurant that was going out of business. It was on a very busy street and it was hard to imagine our precious daughter being left there on the steps to be found by strangers. As I snapped a couple of photos I couldn't help but wonder if Bailey's birth mother works or lives in the area. Does she pass this spot daily wondering what became of the daughter that she abandoned? We caught a cab back to our hotel to meet up with our travel mates and then it was off again to the local Wal-Mart. We wanted to buy infant formula for the orphanage visit on Wednesday and Bailey desperately needed a new pair of shoes that would stay on. We've grown accustomed to being the main attraction wherever we go so we just smile politely and allow the locals to take our photos with their camera phones. We were in and out of Wal-Mart within the hour and headed back to the hotel.
We had lunch at the hotel with another couple from the UK that we met in Beijing. They are here adopting their first child and they are quiet overwhelmed. They had been looking for us all day while we were out and finally found us in the restaurant. They desperately needed to talk and needed some encouragement. Their baby is fine...beautiful and healthy but they are so afraid of leaving the lfie style that they had prior to being parents. I think they were relieved when we shared with them that we still have date nights and that we even go out dancing with friends from time to time. They seemed much more relaxed when we all headed back to our rooms for nap time.
Bailey and Danny took a three hour nap! They would have slept even longer had I not decided it was time to open the drapes and let the sun shine in! They were not to happy about it at first but I knew Bailey wouldn't want to go to sleep last night if she slept all afternoon and into the evening. We joined our travel mates for a trip to Shengli Road. It is a HUGE outdoor shopping strip with no cars, bikes or mopeds. I LOVE the Chinese people and culture and loved seeing the everyday lives of the people who live here in Nanchang. We walked for miles and encountered several sites that were just to good to pass up taking a photo of. We had hoped to find a Pizza Hut but had to settle for McDonalds for dinner and boy did we have our pick of McDonalds. There was one of every corner for block after block. There were many shirtless men and boys out and about and we saw numerous women out in their pjs. The shops are all on the bottom street level with high rise apartments above them. I suspect many of the folks we saw live there and come out at night to escape the heat of their tiny apartments since most do not have air conditioning. Our attorney said the average two bedroom aprtment here is about 300 square feet and the average income is about $500 a month.
We ended the evening with play time back in our hotel room. Bailey is a RIOT! This kid loves to laugh and loves to make us laugh. We have already given her a new nickname...Yabba Dabba Do! She has the widest little feet and they are chunky...much like Fred Flintstones! She also surprised us when she stood up on the bed and JUMPED off like it was no big deal!!! Danny says it remind him of Fred Flintstone when the work whistle blows and he jumps off his dino to end the work day! Watch out Baker...this one might steal you record for ER visits! She is quick too! She runs all over the room. We are trying to teach her not to play so rough. She is strong and it is obvious that she had played rough with someone because she tackles Danny and hits when she plays. It looks like we may need to use the harness that we brought so she doesn't get away from us in the busy airports and we've even laughed and said she might need to wear a helmet when we get home until figures out how hard the hardwood floors really are! She has sang little songs all day long! She loves for me to read to her (even though the books are in English) and she loves to play with the fridge farm, stacking cups and some little cartoon character figurines that we picked up at Wal-Mart. She is a perfect fit for our family!
I wanted to update you on the UK couple with the sick baby. She has been seen by the local doctor and she is back now with her adoptive parents. The ayi (orphanage nanny) is here spending the night at the hotel with the family tonight to try to get the baby to eat for them since she seemed to eat at the orphanage but not for them. When we saw her today she looks even more frail (if that is possible) and sicker than yesterday. The doctor says there is nothing wrong and I think we are all thinking in the back of our minds that it is probably failure to thrive. The poor parents are worried that she will die if they take her home so please keep praying for them. Also, our travel mates new daughter is sick. She has had a high fever and runny nose. She only wants her mommy to hold her and she will not ride in the stroller or walk. It is hard to have a sick child but to have a sick child away from home and to deal with a four year old with severe jet lag is just awful. We feel so sorry for them and wish there was something we could do for them so I am asking you to keep them in your prayers as well.
On a positive note...we have an offer on our home in NC. It has only been on the market since the second week of July so that is pretty quick for this economy! Hopefully the details will be worked out by the end of the business day today. Closing is set for 9/18 if all goes well!
When the sun rises over Nanchang this morning it will be August 26th...Baker's 10th birthday. We have NEVER been away from one of our children on their birthdays so this is really hard for us and him. Birthdays are a big deal at our house...I make their favorite meal and bake them a cake and we have a party with friends on the weekend closest to their birthday. My sister (Aunt Tina) is caring for the kids and I know she will make it specail for our special boy but boy do we wish we could be there. We love you Baker and we will celebrate in our own special way when we get home. Happy Birthday Sweetheart from the other side of the world! Brooke and Brea...we love you to! We miss you all and will be home before you know it! Enjoy the photos from today!