Six Banyan Temple and some poolside fun
This morning our precious Jin Bei decided to wake up on the wrong side of the bed. We tried to convince her to get back in and wake up on the right side but to no avail. We gave her a bath, all the while she cried. She did pretty well at breakfast but still had a way of trying to declare who's in charge. She's a good eater, no doubt. Now that she trusts us, she'll eat just about anything.
We met up with our travel group to head to Six Banyan Temple. It was interesting to listen to the history of the temple and the three buddahs. Several of the families in our group chose to receive a blessing from a monk. But as Christians, we simply chose to observe and respect the practice rather than participate. It was so hot and humid while we were there that Jin Bei cried most of the time. Caleb was dripping sweat too. I don't think any of us were too comfortable.
After the temple, we all headed to a tea shop to enjoy some tea. Our guide Helen has been so wonderful. She explained all the teas the lady served us. I had a cranky baby on my lap the whole time, so I lost count of all the teas we tried. But I do remember having green tea, green jasmine, ginseng, puh er, chrysanthemum, and perhaps a few others. We managed to buy some tea to bring home. And thanks to Helen's phone, I was able to communicate that I wanted some gunpowder tea.
We all headed back to our hotels once our tea excursion was over. Since it was lunch time, we thought we would try the noodle shop near our hotel. I ordered a delicious vegetable noodle soup. But I had to have Patrick bring it to me in the hotel room because Jin Bei was throwing quite a tantrum about wearing her bib. Patrick and Caleb finished up their lunch quickly and brought mine and Jin Bei's back to the room. She finally relented and wore the bib, and Patrick was able to feed her her soup, which she devoured.
Again, we had a low key afternoon in the room. Jin Bei won't take a nap. So we let her munch on some pringles and watch cartoons with Ge Ge, Caleb. The two of them really love their pringles. But Jin Bei isn't happy unless she's got the can in her arm. So we're working on that. We decided we wanted to try swimming today for Jin Bei. The pool is located on the top floor of the hotel, and we are on the floor just below. So it is quite convenient. It started to drizzle a little, and the pool attendant told us we couldn't swim. So we headed back to the room. About 20 minutes later, we tried again. This time there was no rain, so we were allowed to swim. Jin Bei laughed a lot when Caleb was swimming, but we could tell she didn't want to get in when she refused to take off her shoes. So she spent most of the time watching from the sidelines. I did convince her at one point to squat by the side of the pool and put her hand in. She discovered that splashing the water with her hand was quite fun. So she did this for a little while. Then she felt comfortable enough to stick her feet in, shoes included. But she was more intrigued by the big steps to the shower area than actually swimming in the pool. Perhaps next time she'll want to get in the water.
After swimming, we thought we would give the noodle shop another try. We got dressed and headed over. The same ladies that tried serving us lunch were still there, and we cried "Oh no" for them. But to our great surprise, Jin Bei did well. This time she wore her bib without too much fanfare and enjoyed her miso soup. And to top it off, Baba fed her the whole time! Naturally she wanted to try my soup, which was a very spicy beef noodle (and absolutely delicious by the way!) But I did fine convincing her it was going to be too spicy. Patrick had a delicious spicy, Korean chicken dish that he really liked. And Caleb enjoyed his miso soup and fried shrimp.
We came back to the room to get ready for bed. And it just wouldn't be a typical night if Jin Bei wasn't splashing around in the potty. She thinks it's hilarious. But we're growing tired of it. And those silly toliet locks we got when we brought Caleb home but never used will be coming out of storage ASAP. She's a very smart girl. And while she knew we were all getting our PJs on, she marched around the room pretending to be busy, so as not to change into hers. She eventually relented and got changed. She semi participated in bedtime stories, which was progress for her. We turned out the lights but she continued to just sit up in bed. When I finally managed (with Patrick's help) to get her to lay down, she cried pretty hard. But it was really brief, and she was soon asleep.
Right now, Mama and Baba are fighting colds. Caleb and Jin Bei seem fine for now. But you'd never know Jin Bei wasn't sick because she's always pretending to blow her nose like Mama. She really does like to imitate me- going potty, blowing my nose, you name it. It's precious.
We really do love our Jin Bei a lot. She's a lot to handle right now. I know I have talked about how well she can throw a tantrum. And she really can. But we know that God has crafted us for her and her for us. Patrick and I talked about how sometimes when we're out in public and we see a child throwing a fit, we think to ourselves that their parents don't know how to control their child. Well, that would be us at the moment! LOL. This transition has been huge for our precious girl. She has been plucked from the only life she's known for over two years. She has these two white people telling her to call them Mama and Baba, is eating sometimes different food, staying in multiple hotel rooms. We talk different. We smell different. It's just so much. We know that in time, she will come around and truly realize she's in a safe place with safe people, and that it's okay not to be in charge.
This hasn't been easy for her, or for us at times. I share all this with you because I want you to know that this adoption of Jin Bei is quite different than Caleb's adoption. Caleb is quite resilent. He's so easy going that it took him 4 days to finally cry and grieve. Even then, he never had a tantrum, kicked, hit or threw things. Madeline Bei has done all of the above. Please do not expect her to be the same as Caleb. Caleb came from a huge orphanage and quite likely was relieved to get outta there. Madeline Bei, on the other hand, (as Patty has so eloquently described her own son's adoption from the same orphanage/foster care program) acts as if we've kidnapped her. Her reaction is actually much more typical than Caleb's. So her initial transition will be much more difficult. And we can already see that. Please be patient with her and show her grace during this time. Her life is not rosey, despite the love and affection we show her. She's too young to truly understand our intentions at the moment. It will come with time, no doubt. But it will not be overnight. Despite the rollercoaster of a ride this has been, we couldn't be more blessed to call her our daughter. We love her like crazycakes, and we can't wait to introduce her to you all. Enjoy the photos from today. I had some issues with uploading some more photos, but perhaps I can share those next time.