Oh, how much I have to say, and how little time I seem to have to blog these past few days. Aside from the ridiculously slow internet connection, and being busy with sightseeing in Nanjing, touring Gabbey's orphanage, and traveling to Guangzhou, I am blessed beyond words with a little one who is attaching beautifully with Mommy---so much so that she doesn't want to be put down for even a minute yet! (unless she's sleeping. She sleeps wonderfully. When she's not sleeping, one of us is holding her!) So it is impossible for me to blog unless it's nap or bed time. Which it is right now. So hurry up and read fast, lol, and I'll type as fast as I can.
We had a difficult time trying out a couple of restaurants on our own, so our guide took us to lunch and stayed long enough to ORDER for us. Much better! :) No bones this time....Eliana loved the noodle soup, although it came with a whole sunnyside up egg? which she did NOT eat :)...
Tired baby! Ready for a nap.
We spent all day Wednesday touring Nanjing. My main impression of the city would be crowded (think New York City) as there are 7 million people....also, crossing the street can be deadly dangerous! There are vehicle lanes, but there are also bicycle/scooter lanes. I honestly think there are more scooters than cars in Nanjing! So, to cross the street, you have to cross a scooter lane, wait, cross the vehicle traffic lanes, wait again, and finally cross another scooter lane! It's crazy, and a bit overwhelming.
Our first stop on our tour was the City Gate/Wall. It was built around 1300 and is amazing. Nanjing was the capitol of China when the wall was built, and home to the original Forbidden City. There are 27 caves in "gate" part of the wall, which housed mostly horses and gold, but if needed, could hide 3,000 men!
The view from the top of the wall....you can see the city skyscrapers in the distance. An interesting fact about the Nanjing Wall was that, during construction, each brick had to be inscribed with the mason's name and province, to guarantee quality. If a brick was found to be substandard in quality, the mason was promptly beheaded!
This Buddha was not originally in this cave, but was moved for all to see. He's made COMPLETELY of 24 carat gold. Amazing that no one has stolen him!
Ellie on the other side of the top of the wall....
We also saw the Yangtze River Bridge, and an incredible Jade Factory, but I can't take the time right now to upload those pictures. It was memorable, however, to see much of our daughter's hometown, and I look forward to sharing it with her as she grows older.
Thursday was a day of mixed emotions. We received permission to tour Nanjing SWI on Thursday morning. Not all orphanages allow tours, so we are so thankful for the opportunity to view the first home our daughter knew.
A little brother/sister fun at breakfast that morning:
Outside the gate of the Nanjing Social Welfare Institute. A bit nervous at this point....
Down the hall, up the elevator to the baby room. Gabbey was in the One year old room with LOTS of other babies. (who need homes, by the way! :))
OH, I forgot to tell you something neat. As soon as we walked up to the building where Gabbey had been, her Nanny was hanging out of the third story window, waving and calling, "Chunyi! Chunyi!" over and over again. She was the first person we saw as we excited the elevator on the third floor....and Gabbey jumped into her arms. Her nanny cried almost the entire time we were there. They were most obviously VERY attached. (I had suspected this from some of the pictures and updates I had received. This nanny was always holding her.) You could tell how very difficult it was for the nanny to say goodbye, and, while we know in our hearts that adoption was the VERY best thing for little Chunyi, it still felt a bit like we were "kidnapping" her. I am SO very thankful to this woman who obviously loved my daughter very much as I believe it is her nurturing and care for Gabbey that has made our adjustment so smooth. She told us that Gabbey only ever wanted "mama" (what she called her).... I let her hold her the whole time we were in the baby room, as I know she needed to say goodbye. When we prepared to leave, I asked her to record a message for Gabbey....with tears streaming down her cheeks, she shared her heart with us. I will save the video and share it with Gabbey someday.
Here you can see the hugs they had for each other!
We were priveleged to take pictures/get updates on two other little ones in Gabbey's room. I know their Momma's can't wait to get their hands on them!
I believe with all of my heart that I am the third "mother" to love my daughter. Her birth mother loved her enough that, despite whatever circumstances forced her abandonment, she left her in a busy place where she knew she'd be found and cared for. Her nanny, who will always hold a place in our hearts. And lastly, me. The lucky one who gets to be the "FOREVER" Momma....
Babies, babies, everywhere.
This little guy in the swing broke my heart. His head was back like that the whole time we were there....
It was hard seeing these two in the chairs as well.....they were obviously more severely handicapped, and were tied to their chairs.....I think this woman was a physical therapist. She was massaging and exercising babies the whole time we were there.
The playroom has a large window overlooking the cribs.
This was Gabbey's crib! She most certainly did NOT want to be put down in her crib! :)
Another sad sight....this little guy was wrapped up in his bed, crying this pitiful cry.....I didn't go look at him, but Brent did, and he said he was covered in sores....SO sad....
All in all, I was pretty impressed with the orphanage. The rooms were clean, the children were fed and warmly dressed, there were lots of toys and many nannies. Unfortunately, sometimes it is survival of the fittest, and some of the "cuter", more adoptable babies receive better care. I do think, however, that the staff truly does care and try their best.
Another heartwrentching moment was when the director brought us this little boy. He's 3 years old, stunningly beautiful, and totally deaf. He's been on the list for awhile, and no one has adopted him! We wanted to take him home RIGHT THEN......praying he gets the family he deserves soon......maybe YOU?
Well, did you read fast? LOL.....This post took all of the babies' nap time, and I could keep going ON and ON....maybe tomorrow! Please forgive any typos, as I don't have time to go back and edit this post.
Oh, and a special THANK YOU to each of you who has commented here and on facebook, and who has sent me an email. I've read each and every one, and am so grateful for friends and family as caring as each of you are!