Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Getting to Know Hannah

I feel like I've fallen a little behind in telling you all what we have been up to. I'm not too sorry, though, because I've been busy snuggling the cutest thing in all of China! We have been busy figuring each other out. She is generally quite sweet and I can tell when she feels totally comfortable she is going to give Hailey a run for her money in the feisty department.

Today we went to the notary's office and then to the Bocade and Embroidery Museum in Chengdu. It was amazing! They still do bocade by hand on these huge looms. There are only 7 masters left that know this skill. They produce beautiful works and it was fun to watch them in action. The dude on the top of the loom has memorized the pattern and knows which ropes to pull as the lady below passes each thread through one by one. They fork for 8 hours a day and finish about 6-8 cm of product each day. This work is tedious, but the product was amazingly beautiful! There were also master craftsmen who did embroidery. Some even double sided where the picture would be completely different on each side. It was so cool Miss Hannah couldn't take it and fell asleep. She caught a cat nap in my arms and I was happy for the snuggle time!

In an effort to give you as much info as possible a=on the other things happening here I'm going to a bullet point system so I can jot stuff done as I think of it instead of having to organize my thoughts.

Here are some things about Hannah…

1. Hannah had her first bath last night and really liked it. She did great with getting her hair washed too. After bath she got to where her first non orphanage clothes - a pair of pink and gray ballerina pajamas.

2. She is a great sleeper. The last 2 days she has slept 2+ hours at nap time and this morning she slept until about 8:15.

3. The orphanage said she was the most beautiful child in the entire orphanage! See, I may be biased, but it was confirmed by another source! Wait until you see her, and you will agree!!!

4. She is generally a very happy girl, but when she gets upset she has a mean right hook, or Kung Fu Smack, as Travis calls it. I've been smacked a time or two over the last 2 days. We are firmly telling her no when she does it, so we are working to fix this. She also throws things when she is done with them, namely her sippy cup. When she draws her arm back we are trying to intercept the soon to be flying object.

5. She is speaking a lot and is picking up English so nicely. She will wave at people and say hi or bye. She calls her brothers "go-go" which our guide (still Tina) said is "brother" in the local dialect.

6. She very much enjoys talking to people on Skype. She blew kisses to Chris' dad (her namesake) on Skype but hasn't done it again for anyone else.

7. She finds great joy when I sing Jesus Loves Me to her. When I do the hand motions she tries to copy them. Sometimes on her own she starts singing and bouncing to her own beat.

8. She is a great eater. We brought instant grits packets with us because grits are close to the rice porridge she is probably used to. She lets me feed her oatmeal or grits, but with anything else she wants to do it herself. It looks like I'll have 2 "me do it" girls! Help me!!!

9. Hannah has the most adorable little lips button nose and beautiful eyes. I could stare at her all day!

10. The ladies at the orphanage said they thought Hannah and I looked similar since we both have broad foreheads and big eyes!

11. She gets a little freaked out when we travel by car. It makes me wonder what she is thinking as she stares out the window. It reminds me that she has rarely left the gates of her orphanage and it must be so overwhelming to see so much flashing by. She also seems to be struggling some when she wakes up from her naps. It just takes her a long time to realize that we are still here and it wasn't all a dream. She is having to experience so many new things all at once. Although she seems to be doing great, please keep praying for her as she adjusts to us and all that is new in her world.

About the boys….

1. They like Hannah A LOT!!!

2. Everyone in China thinks they are twins. This drives Travis crazy and doesn't bother Chase one bit. I think Travis doesn't like the idea of looking like a 6 year old and Chase is fine with the idea of looking like an 8 year old. I've told Travis it doesn't mean he looks 6, but he still doesn't like it.

3. The boys get touched (usually their hair) often and asked if they will pose for a picture. It doesn't bother them to be touched, and I think they like posing for the pictures!

4. They seem totally comfortable in China, even in busy crowded shopping areas. Note to all grandparents reading this: Let me ease your mind and say that we are holding on to them and keeping them close in these "busy crowded shopping areas."

5. Chinese food is no problem with the boys. They would happily survive on rice and soy sauce for the next week or so.

6. They are getting along very well with each other. I'm proud of them!

7. The think the buffet breakfasts at the hotels are AWESOME!!!!

8. They have survived without TV for many days now and don't even seem to miss it. They haven't asked about it at all.

9. They LOVED the Kung Fu show in Beijing and now they are honing their Kung Fu skills.

10. The language barrier doesn't seem to lessen their habit of talking to anyone and everyone without ceasing. Either they don't know the Chinese have no idea what they are saying, or they just don't care.

A few things about everything else….

1. Chris is adorable with Hannah. He is so patient and kind to her. She has reached for him to hold her a few times and I can tell it melts his heart!!!!

2. This journey is like none other and we are sooooo blessed to be living this out!

3. The many emails, texts and Facebook and blog posts have been so wonderful!

4. Skype is awesome! We can video call to a computer for free or call and regular phone for just 2.3 cents/ minute!

5. Tina is still our guide and at this point I assume she will be for the rest of our time here. She said she has been a travel guide since 08 (I'm skeptical on that) and an adoption guide "3 to 5 times and mostly for families from Spain." I doubt Tina speaks Spanish, but I could be wrong!!! She is very clueless but we are trying to be very kind to her. I could write an entire list of funny (or annoying) things Tina has done the last 2 days, but I don't have enough energy to write that much about her. If I didn't include a few things about Tina you might be disappointed, so here are a couple…. She had to stop and ask directions to the orphanage - proof she doesn't go there much. When I was trying to get Hannah settled in my baby carrier (like the kind where you strap the baby to your body) she decided it would be "helpful" to just start unbuckling different straps. It wasn't helpful and I got visibly annoyed. No worries, she is not aware enough to notice my annoyance. Chris thought this entire exchange was the funniest thing ever and couldn't hide his laughter. Also, when Hannah's nanny was telling us her schedule and the things she likes to eat, she said Hannah liked to eat "sweet cakes." We assume she meant sweet breads/rolls/muffins, you get the picture. Well, when we went to the store later to buy Hannah's formula and a few snacks, Tina took Chris to the birthday cakes and said "they said she likes cake." It was a very Amelia Bedelia moment!

6. Our suite is pretty sweet!

7. We just got unbusy enough to start working on the boys school work. This takes a long time! I admire there teachers so much! Here's a big shout out to MRS. PERRY and MRS. WALTHER!!!!! You ladies rock!!! See our pic of hotel homeschooling above!!!

8. Chengdu is know for it's spicy food and beautiful girls. I think our Chengdu girl is beautiful and spicy.

9. If you ever want to be rich become a notary in China. We were at the notary's office for about 10 minutes today and had to pay him an arm and a leg!

10. I'm so thankful to be married to Chris! I can't think a a person more fun to do this with!

I still need to write down the details of Gotcha Day, but I'll have to do that later and post it. I want to capture all the details of our Hannah Day, so stay tuned!!!

We love you all! Blessings from Chengdu!

Chris, Amy, Travis, Chase and Hannah


  1. Post a video of Tina hablando the Espanol, and I will laugh hysterically!

  2. Love the Amelia Bedelia comment! Your agency should be ashamed, however. Can't wait to hear more about sweet Hannah's personality as it unfolds before your eyes. Lily was doing a lot of the same things at first (throwing things, and she pinched instead of hit) but none of it lasted long. She quickly moved on to bossing everyone around :)

  3. Hannah is a beauty!
    How old is she? Our little princess (16months) is waiting for us in Chengdu.
    Can't wait to see more photos of this beautiful city!

  4. Oh my goodness ... she is a DOLL! I would agree she is the cutest in China ... in the year 2011 ... because I got the cutest (and feistiest) one in 2006. HAHA. You make me laugh hearing about "Tina". Thankfully, you have a husband who can help you see it as one big comedy act. Perhaps a "Saturday night Live" adoption skit at the next Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit? HEHE So glad the boys are enjoying their trip. Such sweet memories. World travelers at 8 and 6 ... little seeds for a future with the nations perhaps?? So excited that you guys are all together now (less one beautiful Hailey!). Take in China. Maliah is very excited you are there ... and very excited that another "Chinese giwl" is coming home.

  5. She is a doll!! Wish I had a granddaughter like that. Wait, I do! What are the chances?

  6. She is beautiful! Our boys are 6 & 8 too and will travel with us when we get our girls. I love hearing how they are doing too!

  7. Loving the updates!! And the pictures!!!

    Here is some unsolicited advice. :) Do with it as you please. :) Feed her all of her food. Her "me do" attitude could be wanting to have some control. In reality, she's probably very scared, and really does need to know that her mama is in control and will take care of her. She needs to know that all of her needs WILL be met!! And these by her mama and baba!! Remember, she doesn't understand, yet, that you are going to be around forever!!!!! And ever!!! Yippeeeee!!!!


  8. Love these updates! She is beautiful, I'm so happy for all of you :)

  9. Dear Amy,
    Stumbled onto your blog today when googling my frustrating at our LOA wait. (I found your day 50 post) Your blog is so wonderful and your Hannah is a doll. We are day 61 for LOA on our little girl who is 18 months old.
    Your blog is an inspiration to me and I look forward to following!