We just returned home not too long ago from a long and productive day of…..shopping!!! Christmas is right around the corner…right? If you have noticed in some of the pictures, we always will carry Lucy in her wrap. She absolutely loves it. We can carry her in this for hours at a time and we never hear the slightest cry from her. She just watches and observes and listens; sometimes she will fall asleep. And this is what she did all day with us. From the "government store" to the pearl market to all the shops around our hotel, she was her typical, playful, smiling self. In all actuality, she laughs more than just smiling now. It is too cute!
Our guide took us to all these various places to assure that we were getting quality goods and not knock-offs. The government store is just as it sounds; it has all of the best quality items from around China for a good price. From jade to porcelain to silk to tea….there were lots of great things for great prices. We got Lucy a jade stone shaped in a circle that represents family and union. In China, jade is popular and worn in the same way as diamonds are in the states. Good quality jade becomes more beautiful and shiny in its green shade and luster the longer it is worn. In the traditional style of China, I will wear it until she turns 18 and then give it to her. We also got Lucy some pearls for when she is older… you cannot imagine how cheap pearls are here! The entire experience at the pearl market was impressive. You pick out the pearls you want, and then they hand string them for you in about three minutes, putting a knot in between each bead.
Tonight we did more shopping around our hotel. Unlike the government store and the pearl market, you can bargain with the local shop owners. For those of you who know Brian well, you can imagine what an ordeal this is. He, of course, has to get the best deal. If you combine this with his difficulty in being assertive, well….you have a long evening of shopping and dealing to contend with. Now don't get me wrong, I was on my shopper's high all day; but by the end of it I was ready to get home. To end the day of shopping, we got Lucy a traditional Chinese dress which we will put her in tomorrow for the "red couch" photo (for those of you who don't know what this is, stay tuned tomorrow). The dress we picked is red with the Chinese symbol for longevity on it; it is our every wish that Lucy have a long and happy life.
In between all of this, we managed to get naps etc…as well as "belly time" with Lucy. This is when we will play with Lucy on her stomach. Since she is delayed in much of her development, we put her on her stomach to help develop her neck muscles. The first day we did this she would not tolerate it at all and cried. Now we are up to a good 10-15 minutes of belly time with little discomfort from her. Speaking of development, Brian and I continue to question her age or if she was born premature. She is just so little. Whenever we are out, we get many comments from the Chinese as well as other adoptive families who cannot believe she is almost a year old. One worker in a store at our hotel kept saying to me "too small, too small." I don't worry about it as I see that Lucy is just perfect as she is. But it is curious to me. We will talk to the pediatrician about it when we get home.
As we are nearing the end of our stay in China (we leave on Thursday at 7am), I have mixed emotions. Brian and I are definitely tired of living out of suitcases, wearing the same clothes (don't worry, we have been using local laundry services), dealing with the horrible pollution, and not being able to drink water out of the faucet. Oh, and how could I forget the squatty potties? Mostly, we miss all of you and can't wait for you to meet our sweet girl. Yet there is another side of me that is sad about this time coming to an end. As I have mentioned before, I have developed a great fondness for China. And there is a part of me that is sad for Lucy that we will be taking her away from her birthplace. I have been thinking about her birth parents a lot. We will all, always be connected. I know that they have given us the greatest gift in the world and we will eternally be grateful. Knowing the great distance that will be between us and them is sad to me and I imagine will one day be sad for Lucy. For these reasons, it is difficult to say good bye to China.