Sunday- breakfast in the fancy hotel buffet again. Rob “took down” the French toast and doughnuts again. Lily likes ham. We take her to the buffet and show her things. She sees things that look normal and shakes her head no. She sees anything that looks like unidentified animal parts and jumps. Literally. She jumps around. Phoebe feels scared to eat freely here and I don’t blame her. I told her we would get her something really great back in the states to make up for it.
After breakfast we went to a “park” in Guangzhou. It was really like a pretty lake and amusement park. Our boys finally got a chance to RUN and let off steam. They just took off. So much fun. Only a few things looked American. Everywhere you look is a photo opp! Latnerns hanging from almost every tree.
The older retired people here play during the day. There are parks with exercise equipment everywhere outside. Things that look like ellipticals, see saws, gymnast rings, rowing machines, etc. No expensive gym fees or electricity needed. Just good old elbow grease needed! I think about the same age people in America. I cannot imagine them doing the same types of exercises these fit elderly people do here. They find a breezy place beside the lake and do their Tai Chi (sp) exercises. They look happy and at one with nature. Nothing new age. Just fit and happy.
The amusement park part was fun. We rode the “Lovely Fruit Worm Pulley.” It’s like a mini roller coaster. Lily practically PULLED us to it. Got on it and raised her arms high into the air and giggled the whole way through it. All I could think was how perfectly she fits into our Disney loving family! She has NO FEAR. They only time I’ve seen her fearful is when we get into a large place she clings tightly to Daniel. Its amazing because of the sea of Chinese faces everywhere, Lily wants US. She feels most comfortable with US!
The older people play ping pong and hackysack. They play hackysack like it’s easy. So we all bought us one and the boys say they thought it was easier than it is! LOL.
We came back to the room and did paperwork for our Consulate Appointments and then went to lunch. We were able to walk down the crazy fun filled streets and find our way to McDonalds. Phoebe said McDonalds has never tasted so good. We got Hello Kitty happy meal toys. Then we walked to a department store that doesn’t look too different from Sears and bought a stroller for Lily. She loves it! It was about $40 and nice enough to bring home. Right now as I type she is pushing her two baby dolls around the room in the stroller! Fun. And Hope just had a blowout on the bed with daddy. Mommy likes the poops. Thankful we are not dealing with constipation! We are all healthy today. No one has diarrhea, no one is throwing up! Praise the Lord.
Tonight we walked down to PIZZA HUT. We let Lily pick out what she wanted from the pictures. She got giddy when she saw the chicken wings. We chose pizza. Then we walked down the street as if we were in a parade and everyone stopped to stare at us and say Hello and wonder if they had pronounced it correctly! I don’t mind the stares a bit. They clearly haven’t seen many Americans. Even in Guangzhou, the whole day outside of our hotel we never saw any other nationality other than Chinese. They really love Johnny. They want their picture made with him. They ask him how old he is. He is very gracious to speak to them, because he wouldn’t like anyone talking to him like that in America.
Hope is getting more and more attached to us. When husband tried to put her in the crib tonight she clung onto him tightly!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!! Isn’t it funny that we want that. It’s just so sad that she didn’t want us because she has never had anyone pick her up when she cried so she just quit crying.
Husband told me tonight that I picked a really good baby. He said she is the cutest baby he’s ever seen outside of our others. He says he feels like she has been with us from the start. I feel the same way. He says he doesn’t even notice her “hole in the face” as Johnny calls it. He said we’d never have to fix it for her to be any cuter. None of us notice it anymore. The kids couldn’t care less. The only people that notice it are the Chinese people who STARE because they’ve never seen a cleft lip (because all those babies are abandoned to live in orphanages). I think it’s great for them to see us smothering Lily and Hope with kisses and love. To them Lily looks normal though. They just don’t know how old she is. But Hope is a weird site for them. I think it will do Americans good to see Hope as well, It’s a reality. You could’ve been born with a cleft lip. They are perfect and pure. Just in need of some medical help to look normal. I think you will be distracted when you meet her but you will see how quickly you get over it. She’s so perfect.
We are SO happy with Hope and Lily. Hope is a easy cute fun baby and Lily is wild and free and fun like our other kids. Lily fits in perfectly with our family. She has bonded quicker than I thought. A blessing from God. Lily is a testimony of adoption. God reveals so much to me through her. The other day I was thinking about how easy my life was before I came to China. I used the word convenient. Adopting two kids (especially a nine year old) is NOT CONVENIENT. Things that flowed naturally and easy with the Hook family of 5 have been changed forever. It’s not all fun and games and it wont be maybe ever. But it’s worth it. Lily and Hope are worth inconveniencing our family. I am so glad God found me worth sending His Son for. I will never take His sacrifice for granted. And I will never regret mine and Husband’s decision to take a chance on these two and forever change our family. Life isn’t about us. It’s about reaching out to others. Im not talking about adopting. Im talking about anyone! We cannot live convenient lives and expect to live lives that please God. Convenience and laziness doesn’t change others and bring others to Christ. It’s tough, but worth it. It’s life and death for people. And there are so many lost people in this country. America is blessed. With nice warm homes, clean living conditions, laws that protect, freedom to live! But outside of America the “real world” exists. I know many of you know this. I’m just saying that getting outside of the American routine of life does a person good. Not just to go home grateful we are not one of them, but to go home and ask God how we can make a difference where we are and get out of our pampered sissy American lifestyles where we keep thinking we need more just to lead normal lives. Ok, back to happy things! LOL…
Things Lily likes:
Wrestling with her siblings
Being carried by daddy or on his shoulders
Strange looking bony meat
Getting dressed in pretty clothes
Slurping noodles and congee
Her baby dolls
Drinking everyone else’s drinks but her own
Green jalepeno peppers
Dancing to Justin Beiber in Adri’s room
Riding in her stroller
Hello Kitty (does she really have a choice???)
Things Lily doesn’t like:
Getting her hair blow dryed
Leaving her daddy
To be told no
To not get to sleep with daddy
Things Hope likes:
Playing with her fingers
Mommy and daddy
Doing the downward dog and other yoga positions to relax in her crib
Sucking her fingers
Riding in the baby carrier facing out to see things
Playing with mommy’s necklace
When mommy sings to her a special song
Things Hope doesn’t like:
Any food besides a bottle
***We are SOOOOOOOOOOOO thankful Adri got to come with us. We were short financially and told her that we may not be able to afford to bring her but it all worked out. We say everyday that we couldn’t make it without her! I think in the beginning she would say that we could but I bet she thinks now that there is no way we could make it with out her! LOL. It scares me to think we even considered not bringing her. I am sure we would have lost one of our kids if not for her! She is so helpful, easy going, and has the best attitude. She has dance parties in her room. Lily knows Baby Baby by Justin Bieber and can dance with the rest of them! She loves Adri like a big sister. She calls her Adria!
Lily also calls Johnny, Johnnya! She says it quick and feisty in her Chinese accent. It is so funny! She will also tell on Johnny! She will say Mama! Johnnya! And when Lily cuts loose she gets in her “Chinese mode” as Johnny calls it. She chatters loudly and strongly and giggly in Chinese! I am so thankful that Johnny can translate as he knows “half of Chinese.” In fact He will speak “Chinese” so much to Lily it really appears they are having real conversation!!!