Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Here She Is

 I know, I know, I know.  You want more pictures of Little Miss.  She is the apple of my eye, but still, I tease you with one or two of her and a ton of other things we have found here in China.  I am sorry my friends and family, here is where I attempt to atone for my past transgressions.  The following photos were all taken today.

She has that Spicy Hunan personality.  Cora attempted to cover it on her blog, and I will try my own version of explanation.  Maybe, using both, you can gain a measure of what this spunky, spicy, clever, quiet little girl is made of.
 Hunan.  It is a province in this great country of China.  Chinese are a long line of people.  They have over three thousand years of culture here.  Compare that with our own which is built on an older culture, but is really only about three hundred years old.  When you have such an old culture, you begin to see patterns.  The Chinese people see great winding patterns it seems to me.  They see one in particular.  That the people of Hunan are fighters.  They are fearless warriors.  They would rather keep fighting and die than give up.  Chinese Emperors have made sure they have Hunan people in their armies ranks, and that seems to bode well for their armies.

Hunan is also a province known for very spicy cooking.  One person commented that people of Hunan like their food way too hot to taste.  If you combine these two visions, you begin to get a feel for the people they are describing.

Our Chloe certainly falls into the spicy category.  She is a fighter.  Try changing her diaper when she doesn't want it changed and then tell me she is not a fighter.  It is fortunate she is so tiny, as we would surely have more bruises!

Ah, but she is not all fight.  She has moments, which pass all too quickly to record on film AND elicit, where she is simply a happy little girl finding joy in life's simple pleasures.  We have come up with several entertainments for her since we have met and fallen in love with her.  One is that when she is mad, I stack things on her head, which often quiets her enough that we can redirect her energy, but certainly not always. Another is "pass the baby."  Which we discovered yesterday.  She goes from one lap to the next, but only when she is ready (i.e., leans toward the target and then flies toward them.  Another is one I really enjoy.  She flops down on a pillow or bed and then rolls.  That's it.  But her giggle makes it SO MUCH MORE FUN than it sounds.
 She seems to take a lot of time observing.  She is always watching and taking in things.  She is clever.  She  will take your hand and study it.  A few days ago she took both my hand and Cora's and then compared them with her own hand and then with each other.  She seems to have an intense smoldering gaze.  I can only imagine what kind of travails we will have as she gets older and decides to use her gifts of intelligence for ill...woe unto us!
 Above you see our little family sitting on one of the red couches at the White Swan is a Hotel of great renown throughout the adoption community.  The red couch pictures are a sort of milestone.  And we reached a milestone today.  We took our/Chloe's oath for the consulate.  We are a very short time from home.  Ahh, my own bed.  My own coffee.  My own TV.  My own DOGS!!!  I miss my dogs very much and I cannot wait to see the dynamics that build from this change in the family!
 I am looking forward to seeing her grandparents and our sisters(her aunts and cousins).  Other family will follow, so if you don't fall into the sister or parent category, don't be hurt, but we don't want to see you just yet!  Chloe is hardy, but we only want to expose her a little at a time to the families she will call her own.  No need to make her wish she wasn't related to you SO soon!  :-)

Tomorrow, we have a free day...away from our guide.  That will be a relief, since i am certain he wanted to take us to yet another tomb.  I think we will wander down and try to get some pictures of the locals performing their morning Tai Chi ritual.  And then...well, who knows, maybe some shopping, maybe just relaxing with Chloe.

Speaking of whom, here is a picture I am loving more and more every time I look at it!
We have been pretty lucky with our hotels.  All have been four stars or more.  Breakfasts consist of a wide variety of western and eastern morning dishes.  From dumplings to stir fried vegetables to bacon and hashbrowns, and not to mention each place had an omelet/egg chef.  It's been very nice.  However, you still know you are in China because of the smells.  

For instance, here on Shamian Island, you can be walking down a lovely Victorian street next to rows of lovely flowers and then be assaulted by a sewage smell that burns your nostrils, or by the smell of cooking fish that probably missed the "sell-by" date by a month...just little things, mostly, like how the vehicles have the right of way, and that it's just peachy if you "hack a loogie" on the sidewalk in mixed company.  

I was walking next to the river on a lovely stone sidewalk and noticed a gentleman with a small fishing pole descending a flight of steps to water level.  I decided I would pause among the passers-by and watch his first cast and maybe see what he used for bait, so I could tell my father-in-law about it.  I saw a fish come to the surface as he descended the stairs and when I looked back at him, he had, instead of fixing his hook, unzipped his pants and begun urinating in the water he planned to fish in.  I uttered an audible, "OK, then." and struck off for other locales.  Just little things remind you you're in China.

Oh, and back to hotels.  this one, the Victory, seems hell bent to freshen up our room.  Everyday we go to breakfast, even if its just for a few minutes, when we come back the made is in the room tidying up.  We thought we'd fooled her today.  Cora stayed in the room and I went and brought some breakfast back.  It was after noon when we went and visited another family, just a few rooms down.  I even left the door open because I expected to return in just a few moments...I got done speaking with the friends and turned around and there was the maid's cart!
I hope you all approve of the extra Chloe photos!


Kel said...

That picture of her foot is priceless. I think you will end up with that framed. Something to treasure always when those feet are far far bigger.

Loved the stories too!! Hope you don't mind me jumping in from Cora's blog and saying hi.

Lots of love to you all from the UK

Kelly x

Diana - FreeStyleMama said...


Charissa said...

Thanks for the description of your stay, soaking it up.

Lorrene said...

I love your descriptions.
There is nothing like home when you've been gone for awhile.

jade said...

Your Chloe is adorable! and so are all your pictures (but yes, I prefer pictures of the princess) - as for being spicy: it comes with the age, and it will last a while yet, so don't let your guard down, especially not if she is even spicier than most...
I also really like your posts, not just the pictures, you write very well and Cora does too, maybe the two of you could think about writing a book one day!
And I can so imagine your longing for home and close family and planning the right time to do the introductions: I'm not in the least concerned, but I think your blogs cover quite a lot of your adventure and I hope your other relatives have enough impressions to help them be patient! Oh by the way, looks like the dress Cora made is the perfect fit! I'll go tell her now. Looking forward to see the end of your trip and some homecoming pictures and impressions, kind regards, Jade

Kayce said...

Love, love those toes!!!!