2, 2000, 5

In case I was thinking otherwise, Lydia proved herself to be a standard 2 year old today.  China or America, two year olds are the same everywhere I think and their fits have proved to be quite similar!  Lydia decided she wanted a toy from a shop this morning and like the meanest mother in the world I would not buy it for her.  TWENTY MINUTES LATER she was still screaming, flailing, arching her back, kicking me and otherwise being a complete brat!  It didn’t help that we were walking around the streets because Eric was sitting in the Island’s church with the room key.  So here I was, this American with a screaming Chinese child (and I mean SCREAMING!!!!) wandering around this little town.  Everyone was looking at me and at one point an elderly Chinese woman stopped and began to forcefully tell me all that I was doing wrong with Lydia, in Chinese that is.  And old women yelling at you in Chinese while you are trying to hold a screaming child is not a pleasant experience!  Add in the 100 degree weather and the sweat dripping off of me as I was being kicked and hit and it was one of the low points of the trip.  It served as a reminder, probably necessary, that while Lydia is a doll, she is every bit a two year old and probably a pretty spoiled one at that.  Whenever we have had other kids in our room and they have played with her toys she is not a happy camper.  Silly me was thinking it was just the insecurity of the transition but I am now realizing that she has probably had everything she wanted in her little life.  Which in the long term is a great thing – I am so thankful she appears to have been very well taken care of and loved – but she will have a rude awakening in a few days.  And our home should be a little interesting for awhile!  I think I need to start praying right now for patience with our littlest angel.  It is a fine line between disciplining her and loving her here in these early days of transition.

Later in the day, after a pretty tasty spaghetti lunch at the local Italian restaurant (complete with an old Italian man yelling about how to make the pizza) we headed to a museum in the city.  It housed a mausoleum of a 2000 year old king.  It was unearthed about 15 years ago when the Marriott began to build a hotel and found it.  It was pretty amazing to walk around in the tomb and see the artifacts.  2000 years old!  It is almost unfathomable to me to be able to look at something that old.  To the Chinese it is hardly impressive.  They have so many cultural artifacts and their country’s history goes back for so many 1000’s of years, it is barely worth noting.  I am not the biggest fan of museums but I was glad we went.  Another part of Lydia’s heritage that I am thankful to have experienced. 

While we were there one of the museum people (I can’t remember what you call them) started to talk to our guide.  I could tell that she was talking about Lydia but of course didn’t know what in the world she was saying.  Turns out she was remarking about how beautiful she was.  The Chinese consider fair skin to be the most beautiful and Lydia has very fair and flawless skin.  She is by far the lightest child in our family!  She is also very chunky which is a sign of a good, healthy baby and is considered very beautiful by the Chinese.  Anyway, the museum person was going on and on about how beautiful she was and how she sees lots of adoptive families and Lydia was the prettiest child she had ever seen.  And, she continued, she could understand why the mothers abandon some of the babies because they are very ugly – especially the ones with the cleft lips – but Lydia was so beautiful she wanted to know why the mother abandoned her.  Needless to say, our guide was feeling a little awkward at this point and tried to explain to this woman that the babies were not ugly, they were all wonderful, and no one knew the why’s of abandonment.  It made for a funny moment to say that least.  I was glad I didn’t speak Chinese and have to try and talk to this woman!

5 more days.  I am ready. And tonight, I am very ready.  We had dinner tonight with our whole group, which is almost 60 of us including 20 kids.  Not really something this introvert enjoys.  Our table consisted of 3 screaming babies, 2 elementary aged boys (travelling with their parents) who were constantly being chastised by their mother, and 1 father that I am fairly sure has never travelled outside of Eastern Kentucky.  It was hot and sticky and the restaurant smelled something between a mix of seafood and tofu.  How much longer til Olive Garden?  The table next to us was having water beetles for dinner (I am not kidding).  And it was all I could do to just have a few bites of sweet and sour pork.  And now…I think I am going to hit the toilet to throw up (not kidding about that either).  I am MORE than ready to get on that plane and get this family home. 

Tomorrow we are going to the pearl market.  I hear we can get some beautiful things.  I would love to get Lydia a piece of jewelry for when she is older and you never know…maybe I will indulge myself.  We have shopped far more than we ever thought we would, pretty much because we have nothing else to do.  So our kids are getting a trunk full of fun!  (and no Josiah and AC, you cannot have everything on Friday night!)  We actually have found some really neat Chinese things both for our family and also specifically for Lydia as she grows older. 

Well folks, I am going to sign off for the bathroom and then hopefully to watch the Wimbledon final.  I promise to post some new pictures soon.



susan said...

I am glad you survived your 2 year old adventure. God bless you for being strong as a parent. I love you.

Justin and Lisa said...

We had the same tantrum experience in the airport, and a couple of other places. The people just kept coming up to us and talking so fast and just an inch away from Emma's face. It was nuts! I don't think they are the "let them cry it out" culture. Good job staying firm. It's so hard to know what to do in these first days together. Just 5 more days! You can make it! We were also SO tired of the shopping. The pearl market was fun, but we were so fed up with spending money, we didn't buy too much. Have fun!