On to happier things: Our first full day together went pretty well. Sophie took two solid naps. Mama joined her for the second. If you just hold her closely she closes her eyes and drops off to sleep. For those of you familiar with our sleep issues with Sam, she is a dream. But, of course, Sam slept well in Vietnam, too. So we'll see.
In between naps, we went for a walk behind our hotel, down winding streets where people live in 10-story buildings above small shops. We saw chickens, baby chicks and lots of hanging dried salt pork. Sometimes the meat was hanging right next to the laundry. Lots of people were sitting around playing cards; I saw one woman knitting. (see cross post on Spiritual Knitter)
We went to a supermarket and bought some provisions—raman-type noodles, some cookies, candies, bananas, diet coke and beer. While Ed was paying, a small crowd of people gathered around me outside and discussed Sophie, checking her teeth, touching her hair. Our guide had given us a laminated card that says, "We are Americans adopting this girl from China. We will love her very much." Of course, I had forgotten the card.
In this area, hardly anyone speaks any English and except for the ATM machines, there's not a lot of English translation. It's like night and day compared to Beijing, where I felt like I was in New York City (the nicer parts!) This reminds me more of Vietnam, though bigger. And way smoggier. I can't tell you how grey the sky is from pollution.
Sophie seems so happy; she laughs, smiles, plays little games. If she's grieving the loss of her foster family, it's hard to see, except that she clings to me constantly. Seriously, it's very hard to get dressed, never mind go to the bathroom (another reason for the shortness of recent posts). She went to Ed twice yesterday, both times while walking around outside. It's hard for me to carry her for long distances; she is 21 pounds and I can feel it in my lower back. In the room, she cries even when I set her down next to me. Sometimes she flirts with Ed by looking at him and smiling; other times she screams when he even tries to look at her.
For dinner last night we went to the Chinese restaurant next to our hotel. We were on our way there alone but ran into our guide in the hall, who pointed out that there is no English there. So she wrote a note with our order (Spicy beef, broccoli, rice, congee, and beer and bottled water) then stopped by to make sure we were OK. The beef was so good, but very spicy (allegedly ordered "mild.") Sophie ate the congee—vegetable rice soup and watermelon. She is a very enthusiastic eater.
Today is Tuesday. First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLARE! Sophie slept well last night, though woke up screaming at one point. Last night we noticed two more teeth pushed through (on the bottom), so now she has four on top and four on the bottom. This morning another milestone—her first poop. Believe it or not, she is already potty trained and peed on the potty (you have to hold her over it and whistle!) but she didn't poop until I was feeding her later, so in the diaper. Still, good news for the doctor, who came and checked her out this morning and declared her very healthy.
We reached Grandma and Grandpa in Arizona and the Manions by Skype yesterday and will try some more folks today. Thanks again for all the lovely comments. Yes, we do kiss her cheeks a lot! And yes she does kind of resemble a China doll with her round face and nun-like haircut. She looks cute as a button in every outfit we put her in, even her brother's old football PJs.
Today we have some free time but will hit the local flea market later this afternoon. I'm hoping to get a pedicure or swim in the hotel pool a bit. We have a few more days in Nanchang so want to see some of the city and shop a bit. They are supposedly known for porcelain. Gotta go—Sophie's up.