A Travellerspoint blog

Levi

Getting to Know Him

rain 25 °C

Levi

Levi

As I mentioned earlier, when we first got Levi he was very insecure and clung to Lora, Chris or Sue. Even in the hotel room he tended to stay very close and became upset if one of them left the room.
Now after a few days we are beginning to get to know the real Levi. He is still a very quiet little boy but very alert and inquisitive. When he sees Lily do something he picks right up on it and wants to do the same thing. He loves containers. He is constantly opening and closing them. He fills them with stuff (whatever he thinks belongs in them) and then empties them. I suspect he will be like our grandson Michael and love Lego when he gets older.
He definitely has a mind of his own and expresses his opinion. He has started smiling and expressing himself in other ways.
He knows what he likes to eat and would eat constantly if allowed. Yogurt is a definite favorite. He will try almost anything that he sees Lily eat. He can feed himself but does not mind being fed.
When he is in the hotel room he seems to be always active with something, just like what you would expect of a 2-year old. He has good deal of use with his right arm. It looks like what failed to develop was the hand and fingers so he has the use of his wrist. He picks things up with his left hand and then carrys them with the right arm.
He walks well. He is a least partially potty trained.
Levi and Lily are getting along very well. Lily has sharing her toys and helping Levi. Not sure how long that will last once they get home.
We took the kids to a park this afternoon and I believe both of them enjoyed all the new sites and sounds.
As of today, Levi has decided that I am OK. He actually came over to me and wanted me to carry him. As I said, he is settling in very well.
One of the questions that always arises is what does the average Chinese thing of foreign adoptions. I am sure that there is some sadness that a child is leaving their country and culture.
PS:
We arrived in Guangzhou last night after Levi's first plane ride. This morning he is a normal two year old - for better and for worse - and one of our family. We still have a lot to learn about the little guy and that will occur over the next months but he is now one of us.

Posted by jckrier 19:36 Archived in China Comments (0)

Zhengzhou

Gotcha

rain 22 °C

What a change when we got to Zhengzhou on Sunday afternoon. Friday and Saturday we were typical tourists focused on seeing the sights in China. Starting with the trip from the Zhengzhou airport we were all business and focused on the adoptions. On the trip from the airport Yisha and Rita, our CCAI hosts, started educating us on the events in the days ahead and what we needed to prepare.
Monday was the big day! At 9:30 am we boarded buses to the local Registrar’s office where we would actually receive the kids. We were an anxious bunch of parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents and other family. Would the kids be what we were expecting? How would they react to us? Had we prepared everything correctly? Then the children started to arrive.
The youngest children seemed to adapt quickly to their new parents. A quick bride with food or a toy seemed to resolve any concerns. The older children, who had some understanding the events, seemed to accept their new situation almost as quickly. The two year olds like Levi were the most reticent and took the longest time to adjust.
Levi arrived around 11:00 and for the first 45 minutes was a most sad little boy. Lora did a great job of reassuring him and by the time we left the Registrar’s office Levi was at least beginning to trust her. Lilly was a really good little sister and, I am sure, helped Levi to trust us, at least a little. By that evening Levi was beginning to relax but at supper refused t eat. Still he went to Chris and Sue without too much hesitation. I was on the “undesirable” list.
By Tuesday morning Levi had made tremendous progress. He ate a huge breakfast and easily went to Lora, Chris and Sue. He plays with Lily. I am still on the “highly suspect” list.
After breakfast we again went to Registrar’s office to receive the Adoption Certificate. Levi is officially part of the family. More paperwork afterwards.
This afternoon the group went shopping at the Lotus Center to buy essentials for all the kids. The staff was very courteous and helpful. With the additional assistance of the CCAI hosts, we were able to get Levi what he needed.
Tomorrow we are off to visit a Shaolin Temple in the area. It should be interesting to see the real thing and not just the movie version.
I have uploaded photos to the site and assigned the tag “gotcha”. Filter on this tag to simplify finding the gotcha day photos. Note, the site loads the newest photos at the top of the list. You need to scroll down to get to the chronological beginning. I will reclassify photos when time permits to put everything in order.

Posted by jckrier 04:36 Archived in China Comments (3)

Beijing

The First Stop

semi-overcast 28 °C
View China Bound on jckrier's travel map.

Now that we have had the chance to catch our breath and collect our thoughts let me step back a little to help you understand our journey. We are on an adoption trip under the management of Chinese Children Adoption International (CCAI). Our sightseeing is both secondary to the adoption process and intended to help us better understand the culture of the adopted child (grandchild in our case). The overall adoption trip is divided into three parts. First, our visit to Beijing that provides the cultural background and a chance to get acclimated to China. Second, our stay in Zhengzhou where we will actually meet Levi and complete the Chinese part of the adoption process. Finally, a stop in Guangzhou to process the US adoption paperwork.
We have just completed our stay in Beijing and have moved on to Zhengzhou. While in Beijing we looked at an interesting slice of Chinese culture. We started our first day a rickshaw ride through a typical Hutong district. Hutong means “small streets” and describes an area similar to much of old Europe. The area has small winding streets with small homes and shops. We stopped at a classic middle level home that featured an open courtyard surrounded by living quarters on the west, north and east. The family head lived in the main northern section. The southeast corner had the common kitchen while the common privy was in the southwest corner. The section was just off the center of Beijing near the second ring road.
From there we went to a silk factory. They demonstrated the process of growing the silk worms that produce the cocoons that yield the silk thread that is woven into silk garments. Cocoons that are formed by two silk worms produce a silk mesh that becomes silk comforters and similar silk insulated products.From there we went to lunch at a Thai restaurant that featured live dancers on stage.
That afternoon we stopped at a jade factory. They demonstrated the process of turning raw jade into carved works and jewelry. My wife accomplished one of her goals and bought jade ear rings.
We toured two of the more well-known landmarks of Beijing. We began with a walk through of Tiananmen Square. This is the largest public square in the world and will hold 1 million people. The Square, which is really quite modern, is bounded on the south by the Zhenjiang Gate and on the North by the Forbidden City. On the west side of the square is the Great Hall of the People and on the East by the Chinese Nation Museum. We were not able to tour the buildings in the short time available to us. The Forbidden City with its 9,999.5 rooms, was the official residence of the Emperor. I It was built with two purposes. The first is security. The Forbidden City has high and thick walls and concentric layers with the Palace of Supreme Harmony at the center. The Emperor was well protected or well imprisoned as in the last years of the empire. The second purpose was to impress the population for the Forbidden City was truly impressive. It actually looks like it is described in many Chinese movies but is even more impressive. The rare outsider that was allowed into the Forbidden City would have been truly intimidated. We spent about three hours walking through Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City which should help you to appreciate their size.
The next day we went to visit the Great Wall. Pictures do not really do the wall justice. Built high in the mountains the Wall follows the terrain and is just as steep as the hills themselves. Climbing the Wall is a real physical challenge. First, there is the sheer number of steps from one guard post to another. Second, the steps were steep along section we climbed. Finally, the risers on the steps were very uneven. In a few places the risers were only two or three inches. In many places the risers were 12 inches or more and in some places were higher than I could step without the use of the modern hand rail. I reached the top of the section we were climbing but that was about as far as I could physically go. Fortunately the return trip to the bottom was much easier.
After lunch we went to a theatre that featured Chinese acrobatics. They were quite good and I hope the pictures will give you an idea of their skills.
Before I forget, our hosts in Beijing were George and Devan from CCAI.

Posted by jckrier 04:36 Archived in China Comments (0)

We Have Arrived

Hi everyone. Today is Sunday (in China), Saturday in U.S. We are now on the second leg of our journey. We arrived in Zhengzhou a short time ago. Don't forget, we are 14 hours ahead of U.S. time.

Our stay in Beijing was fabulous! We were so busy doing and seeing so many things and places. Here is a run down of what we did the last couple days.

We arrived very late on Thursday night and were exhausted from the long flight so we went straight to bed. On Friday morning we visited the Hutong District of Beijing where we visited a traditional style home suited for the Chinese large family which consisted of four "houses" with a courtyard in the middle. We toured this area by rickshaw. Oh, my gosh! This was like something from a book. It was great! Later that morning we visited a silk factory where we learned the silk making process (from worm to cacoon to actual silk). Very amazing process! After lunch we visited Tinnamen Square and the Forbidden City where we learned a great deal about the Chinese history.

On Saturday morning we visited a local jade factory. Later that morning we took a bus to visit The Great Wall of China. What an amazing experience! The Great Wall is 6,350 km long. We were very lucky enough to have a sunny day so we were able to have great views. After lunch we toured a cloisonne factory where various works of art are hand made, mostly vases. Next we were able to visit the site of the 2008 Beijing olympics. Awsome! What incredible buildings. And to finish the day, we saw a Chinese acrobatic show.

Whew! What a busy two days. Let me tell you, we were worn out.

Tomorrow morning we get Levi.

Posted by Lora K 23:54 Comments (2)

We Made It?

First Day in China

overcast 26 °C

We made it! We arrived in Brijing around 11:30 pm on Thursday. Altogether it turned out to be a pretty smooth trip. We left Wednesay morning as planned. We met Chris, Lora and Lily in Seattle and made the final transpacific leap that evening. Since we crossed the dateline, we lost a day and arrived on Thursday evening in Beijing. Very long day but we are here.

We have spent the first day sightseeing. First, we toured a typical neighborhood by rickshaw. We had an interesting lunch in a Thai restaurant. We finished the afternoon with long walking tour of Tiananmen Square and then the Forbidden City. The whole day has been very interesting but we are absolutely dead tired. We are calling it an early night.

We will post pictures and will be more descriptive after we have settled in. Right now we are all struggling to stay awake.

Posted by jckrier 04:40 Archived in China Comments (0)

(Entries 6 - 10 of 14) « Page 1 [2] 3 »