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Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 13, Tuesday {on the island}

Our day visiting the island and all of its calmness and serenity.  If I had the option, I'd stay on the island.  After 2 cities and lots and lots of exploring, the calmness of the island was welcoming, even if it wasn't as "Chinese" as the rest of the city.
If you're coming, we especially like Jenny's.  It's the best place for the squeaky shoes, (about $5 a pair) and I ending up getting quite a few souvenirs there.  Her prices are low and no haggling which I like.  She also ended up giving us quite a few "gifts" which might indicate how much I spent there.  Cow & Bridge has wonderful Thai food.  Bring your dirty laundry and get it done quite affordably on the island too.
Miss Mimi Jade continues to do well.  She is still transitioning slowly and sometimes quite unsure of her circumstances.  Her grief has given way to exporation and a sense of unsureness.  She is playing and smiling at times and at others something seems to trigger her fear all over again.  A knock on a door does it every time.  So do Chinese women.  She's ok interacting with Chinese women, but when she leaves them or they leave her, I sometimes see the same reaction she had when we left the orphanage.  Arched back.  Screaming. Inconsolable.  Anger.
And speaking of the anger, this girl of ours isn't afraid in the least to show us what she wants and especially that she doesn't want.  She can get angry quickly and will swipe an my face or grab my cheek and pinch hard.    I think this is how the children were likely disciplined in the orphanage.  And I witnessed children at the orphanage being extremely rough with one another without anyone seeming to notice.
 She's still quite picky with her food.  (She has nothing on her big sister Tess though)  and still won't drink anything but water very occasionally.  She loves drinkable yogurt, and I'm going to have to learn how to make congee as soon as we get home.  Anyone have a recipe to suggest?
For those of you who know the famous statue on Shamian Island, here is our girl posing.  She seems to know just where to stand!  It might also give you an idea of how petite she is.      
I am getting incredibly homesick at this point.  I am so ready to get all my little ducklings under one roof and settle into a routine.  I miss my little ducks at home so much and the comfort of Papa's hand in mine.  I heard one of them, Jude, had a mishap and ran into a wall a couple days back and may be missing a couple teeth now.  And I know they are well taken care, but I've been aching for home ever since.  The exploring of China has been wonderful.  Some of the best ever.  But I'm all explored out.  I'm dreading the flight home, and simultaneously so ready for it to begin all at the same time.
On day 10, we are just starting to get our first giggles from our girl.  She is absolutely enamored with simple bubbles!  She bats at them and thinks it is so funny when they come out of the wand.  Both Patch and Liv have been wonderful help playing with her and being my pack mules and go-fors.  I am so so glad they came on this trip.
We are starting our journey home tomorrow, Saturday.  Guangzhou to Seoul to LAX to Phoenix.  Our flight here takes off at 2:00pm-ish, and we arrive in Phoenix at 8:00pm-ish the same day.  It will be about a 36 hour journey.  I'm ready for it.  


  1. congee: 1 cup rice, 9 cups water, put it in a crock pot for 4-6 hours.... done
    you can google congee recipes.
    you can add ANYTHING to congee. I liked it with scallons, peanuts, chinese parsley (cilantro).....
    once you're home though you can make oatmeal and add warm milk to it to make it creamier. Congee really has limited nutrition.

    A large Asian market near our home sells congee in a can - like a soda can... yup - they like their congee. Our little guy likes his steel cut oats with craisins cooked in it!

    Maize is looking precious (and I'm sure you know that Jade means 'more precious than gold')

    Blessings on your trip - I think this stage is really the hardest part - killing time and wanting to get home to all your kiddos and familiar surroundings - waiting to get your new normal.
    Prayers to you and yours for smooth transition!

  2. Mazie is just adorable! I am glad she is settling in better.

    Prayers for an uneventful flight home.


  3. She is soooo cute! And she is a tiny thing too! I'm glad you are getting some smiles. I hope you have a safe and uneventful trip home.

  4. Love these photos of your beautiful Jade! To make our congee more nutritious, we add chopped up carrots and chopped up chicken or ham or eggs. Safe travels and many blessings to your family!

  5. Couldn't agree more about the island (though I shopped at Jordan's and don't think I saw Jenny's). Love, love, love those smiles from Mazie! What an amazing little girl you have! I'm afraid her playmate here is going to tower over her though, nothing petite about my WJ. So sorry about Jude's mishap! Nothing harder than being away from your baby when something's gone wrong-- of course he's in good hands but that's logic and the mama bear instinct doesn't do logic. Hang in there-- you'll have Jude in your arms, the others snuggled up close and papa beside you very soon.

    Godspeed on the return trip-- wishing you giggles, sleep and more of each.

  6. Oh my! Such sweet, sweet photos! I'll be praying for safe travels...and peaceful travels! Poor J!

  7. ohhh is she not the cutest!!! Wishing for a great flight home!!

  8. More cute pics, yay! :D

    Poor little girl, I am so sorry she is still having a hard time! Oh, and it's obvious that she learned that behaviour from the orphanage. You will have plenty of time to adjust that. Right now she still needs to feel confident around you guys.

    God bless you and keep you safe on your way home. You'll be in my prayers.

  9. That little nose squish she does when she smiles? That's on purpose...and that's a good thing. That is one precious pip and I can't wait to watch her unfold even more once home. Good thoughts for travel...

    Tracee (can't remember goog pw)

  10. Wonderful updates Nancy - great reminders for us of the Island too - and "the alley"!

    I make it about 6 PM Friday night your time - you'll be coming back from dinner and then packing for your journey home. Thanks for sharing your life with us - looking forward to hearing that everyone is home safe and sound.

    Hugs - prayers - Godspeed

    aus and co.

  11. Hang in there. You're almost home. I was SO ready to get home to my other kids by that point. Praying for smooth travels and can't wait to see pics of her with the whole rest of her family.

  12. I have enjoyed following your story. We have a daughter from Jiangxi (and one from Hunan).

    Here is my recipe for congee. My girls, now 15 and 11, still request this.

    1 cup rice
    3 cups chicken broth
    6 cups water
    1 chicken breast (minced in food processor)
    1 tablespoon olive oil

    Simmer for 1-2 hours until reaches desired consistency. May be eaten as is or add veggies and/or soy sauce. Reheats well in microwave.

  13. Look at those smile - YAY!!
    She is just adorable!
    Prayers for a smooth trip home :)

  14. Isn't Shaminan Island such a special place?

    Those smiles are just precious!

  15. I love her little outfit and her precious smiles. She is a cutie! Have a safe trip home.

  16. Love these pics! Her smile is so, so sweet! Hope have a safe & smooth trip home! :)

  17. congee: the cheater way. :) No kids; I make this for myself when I'm feeling ill, lol! (btw, rice porridge is commonly used in many parts of the world to treat dehydration caused by diarrhea: ) So as long as she is getting her rice porridge, I wouldn't worry about her being dehydrated :)

    method 1:
    1/2 rice (I like Jasmine rice)+ ~2 cups water.

    Bring to a boil on the stove, turn to low heat (just enough to barely keep it boiling).

    After ~20 minutes, when the rice is cooked through, take a potato masher or spoon and mash up the rice.

    Add more water as necessary to make sure it's still watery, return to the stove and boil for 5 minutes. Stir often to make sure it doesn't stick! Serve.

    method 2:

    -make rice in a rice cooker if you have one.

    -mash the cooked rice, add water to desired consistency, boil for 5 minutes (stir!) and serve


    Enjoy! :)


  18. I was adopted when I was 3 (along with my brother and sister). Thank you for letting us share your journey. I know from experience that the transition takes a long time. I pray Maxie can feel peace and your love as you all get to know and love each other.

  19. Nancy,
    Thanks so much for being Mazie 's Mom! Thank you very much for your big, big heart heart for Orphans. I love everything about your blog! You write so beautifully that my tears are running every time I read your post. I stir the rice for ten minutes on medium heat before adding water. This would add more textures in the congree. The amount of water depends on how you like your congree to be....If you need more help, please email me. Praying for a good trip home! Holly

  20. It was so nice to meet you and your family. Thanks for the diapers, already using them!! Little miss Mazie is even more gorgeous in person, what a sweetheart!!! Praying for you all on your journey home!!!

  21. These photos are absolutely amazing, just like your litle girl. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  22. Ingredients:

    3/4 cup long grain rice
    9 cups water
    1 teaspoon salt

    In a large pot, bring the water and rice to a boil.
    When the rice is boiling, turn the heat down to medium low. Place the lid on the pot, tilting it to allow steam to escape (the same as you would do when making cooked rice.
    Cook on medium low to low heat, stirring occasionally, until the rice has the thick, creamy texture of porridge (1 - 1 1/4 hours). Add the salt, taste and add seasonings if desired. Serve with garnishes such as crushed peanuts if desired.

    This is what I do for L's congee. It was how she got her liquid in VN since she too gave up her bottle. My mother had it waiting for us when we got back home. She still loves this simple recipe and since we are vegetarian, we always keep it this simple. Sometimes I will throw an egg in there for her.

  23. What a precious smile!!!???!!! May God Bless her soul...and all of yours, for that matter.


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