Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tears, giggles and long noodles

Thursday was our day to visit and be interviewed by Nanning officials. Cate awoke a little disoriented and sad but was quickly brought around by a hearty breakfast. Like my Aunt Priscilla, the way to her heart is a good meal. I'm glad she likes to eat because she is a skinny little thing and the 3T clothes we brought are sliding off her.

We then went off to be interviewed with our CCAI guide - wonderful "Uncle Michael". A nanny from the orphanage was there, and Cate saw her and began crying hysterically for her foster mother. Michael later found out that Cate was taken from her foster home on Monday and had spent two days with the nanny and began bonding with her. Only to have another disruption on Gotcha Day. Considering this, we are fortunate she is doing as well as she is.

The first official kept me a long time asking many questions. Since her English was only so-so, it was hard to understand what she was really asking. In the end it was clear she was concerned about how I would manage two girls as a single parent. Michael told me later that he thought she wanted to know if I knew how hard parenting two girls would be. If she had seen me walking down the street the previous day she wouldn't have had to ask. The second official treated the whole thing like a mere formality, and we were all done.

Cate was still carrying around her "security blanket," a bag of candy and food from her foster mom. Grace was anxious to try the pool, so we started to change into our swimsuits. Cate did not want to change clothes. She was still in the same clothes from Gotcha Day and cried if we tried to take them off. So I brought her swimsuit and we went to the pool. As soon as she saw the water the giggles began and she started stripping. Grammy, whose swimsuit is still in the lost luggage, waded into the baby pool, and we all had a great time.

After lunch we had a nap, and Grace awoke screaming with a bad dream. Cate rubbed her shoulder and tried to comfort her - it was so sweet. We then took the stroller for a disastrous walk in the park. Two young men approached us and introduced themselves and explained to us that they were the new face of Chinese rap music. Of course, being American, we must be interested in rap music. They performed a little number for us and we were complimentary. Then they attempted to help us with the stroller up some steps. Both girls erupted in screams - not big rap fans- and refused to stop for a good ten minutes. That really scared them off.

We ended the day by going to a "real" Chinese restaurant Michael had recommended located in the hotel basement. Mother, Grace and I suffered a little culture shock not knowing what to do with the bowls and how to order. Cate on the other hand was completely at ease. She slurped down tremendously long noodles with style and looked at us as if to say "I'm Chinese and YOU'RE NOT!"

All in all a huge step forward.


YogaPrincess said...

Hello Westons!
What a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences you are on. It is good to keep your spirits up with the small joys like the girls showing off their sunglasses and giggles at the pool. And to keep yourselves well fed! It seems to me that Cate is looking not just for a forever family but forever love, and of course she'll find it with you and Grace but she maybe doesn't know that yet. If she can bond with a nanny in two days, though, you'll be looking back on this stage in amazement in no time.
Warm thoughts of all of you,

Catherine said...

Grace and Cate look like sisters already! I can't wait to see them together, and I know you will be relieved when this most difficult part of the transition is behind you. Kris and I send our love and can't wait for May 9!

Margaret said...

What a relief to hear that everything is a little better today. I know each day will get a little easier. Grace and Cate look so cute together. We all gathered around the computer before dinner to look at the pictures. Meghan and Lindsay cannot wait to play with Grace and Cate. We are still praying at every meal. We love you all.

Poppy said...

Please get here soon. I need to see my daughter, Panda Bear and Panderoo (Cate). I miss you. Marla and I are on pins and needles waiting for you get back. Marla wants to take the Bear and the Roo to do some serious shopping and of course to get their nails painted. I just want to play with them.
I love you all.

Marla said...

We are just overwhelmed with happiness and joy. My heart is about to burst open with all the love I have for all you brave women in China. Both Poppy and I are just giggly right now. It was very difficult for Poppy when Anne, Grace and Dianne left the states for China. He was physically ill and nothing could or would console him till we got a call from Catherine that everything was OK. He was a different man after that conversation with his neice. The answer is and always will be that love will overcome every difficulty that we face. It is as simple as that.
God be with you all now and always.He has surely smiled on you---Marla

Anonymous said...

Anne, I can't wait to hear some of that rap music! The photos of the girls are so cute and it looks like they'll enjoy lots of mischief together

Catherine said...

I know you are all so tired at this point...from what Aunt Di wrote in her last e-mail, it sounds like it's "one step forward, two steps back." Eventually, the steps forward will add up and everything will be better. Kris and I are thinking of you all and sending our love and wishes for many joyful moments sprinkled among the hard times to get you through.

Marla said...

Poppy and I are living on a high since you sent the pictues and wrote all the stories about the girls and all the adventures. Have to admit, your Dad and Grace's and Cate's Poppy wants more pictures and news. He expects a lot out of his girls, always has, always will. We are gathering all the things we will need for our trip to the Carolinas and our visit with you all. We send our love and feel the comfort in knowing that this was all God's plan.
We love you all---Guy and Marla