Saturday, 12 May 2012

Exploring Beijing

We slept in this morning and barely made the breakfast time!  I guess we’ve recovered from jetlag, though the 11:00pm arrival last night at the hotel surely contributed to the sleep in.  After breakfast we had to get our papers in order for the citizenship application for Li Lin.  Imagine a hotel room with our 3 guides, a photographer and a souvenir salesperson, all helping 18 sets of parents, plus kids, plus siblings and some other family members take a visa photo, organize about 17 sheets of paperwork and place orders for a keepsake.  Mass chaos!  We cycled through in about 2 hours but it must have felt like ages to the guides!
Once that was done the same conglomeration of people met for a group photo before most boarded the bus and headed out to visit the Summer Palace
Wow, not a bad cottage, what with your own private lake, many ornate buildings, your own hillside etc...  Gorgeous scenery, gorgeous day and great lesson in history.  
  We learned a fair bit about the Summer Palace, the dreaded ‘Dragon Lady’ and the marble boat on our way there.  We also experienced for the first time in our trip, the sheer number of people in a specific area in China.  It was interesting navigating the narrow walkways through the crowds.
There was a lot of walking and large crowds as it was Saturday.  We were wondering how Li Lin would do in this new environment.  Neither likelihood was all that appealing: Li Lin loving the open space to run and running around hither skitter and yon, or her being overwhelmed by the crowds and wanting to stay in Sara’s arms all day and wondering if Sara’s back would hold up.  The Lord provided option 3 which was the best of all.  Some new friends from Orillia, Grant and Tracy (see are on their second adoption trip and are adding a little boy to their family to make it 4 kids, just like ours.
Sara talking to Grant and Tracey
They had a stroller and their 3 year old son was not interested in using it.  We asked if we could try Li Lin in the stroller to see if she would like it and ended up high-jacking the stroller for the day.  It worked like a charm and Li Lin loved it.  Much thanks!  As soon as we got home (after we dropped off some laundry to be done – we are trying to do our own in the tub but in the humidity it takes days for the clothes to dry), Logan and I ran out to a market nearby and bought a stroller.  We used it going out for supper and Li Lin loves it as well.
Li Lin in the high-jacked stroller!
 The plan tomorrow is a Jade Factory, the Great Wall of China (can’t wait) and the Olympics sites: Birds Nest and Water Cube.  To all the Moms out there, and especially to my own mother, Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday.  It will be interesting to spend the day with several first time Moms here in China who have been moms for less than a week!  To my dear wife Sara, Happy Mother's Day four times over this year!

Li Lin is still not very fond of her baba, and I have battle wounds to prove it.  However, there are some positive signs.  She is an incredible tease and very good at sharing.  Whenever she opens a snack or treat of any kind, all of the kids get some.  One candy for each of the kids, then one for Li Lin.  Mama usually gets one too.  Baba on the other hand rarely got one.  Now, she will often share with baba... but not directly.  Usually she will come close, place it on the table or chair in front of me, give me a wide grin and then take off running!  Occasionally, she will hold out the chip or candy in her hand behind her back and back her way towards me until she feels me take it and then bail off in the opposite direction!  Tonight, I got 3... yes, count it 3 oreos from her... without her being asked to share with Baba.  I think I actually got more than her xiao ge ge (which is fine, cause Hudson does not like oreos) and da ge ge, as well as jierauna (as she is now calling her jie jie Rykauna).  One thing that is very nice is that ALL money that she finds lying around, from coins to 100 yuan bills, she gives to baba.  I guess she figures I'm the bank.  She's making deposits of a few 100 yuan, planning on making withdrawals in the near future to go on shopping trips.  Let's hope for her sake that the interest pays well.


  1. Thanks for fast updating! The description of Li Lin and baba makes me laugh! Cute little girl! She knows that baba is the most powerful guy in the family and he takes care of money! Her feeling for baba is a mixture of respect,trust and shy...She is so smart and observant!It's great that you got a stroller for Li Lin.You need it for sure at the Great Wall. Have a good sleep to all of you!

  2. How sweet the little girl! Interesting attitude to baba. Good to see she bounds with your family well. Have fun in the rest of your trip.

  3. Dear Steph and Sara,
    We are checking in on your blog daily and praying for you all. Li Lin is beautiful. We are praying that God will comfort her and continue to give you the wisdom to meet her unique needs.
    -Our love to Rykauna, Logan, Hudson and Li Lin!
    -Happy Birthday Steph!
    -Happy Mother's Day Sara!

  4. Hi Sara! HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY This sure is a special one and sharing it with so many new mothers makes it "awesome". Have a nice day! Rykauna, Logan, Hudson and Li Lin seem to be having a good time judging from the smiles on their faces. Hoping you and Steph are also able to take everything in. Again Steph "Happy Birthday". Many prayers. Ropa

  5. Happy special Mother's Day Sara. Although you look quite young carting all those kids around, facts are facts. You are the proud mother of four beautiful children.
    Thanks to the stroller, this day seemed to go quite well. Lovely pictures. Sounds quite exciting.
    Don't worry about your littlest one Baba. She will come to love you. How can she not? Remember Shawn and Ronda's little one? She then became your best buddy. She is simply studying and testing you. Quite cute and adorable actually. Love you all. Mom xoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

  6. Hehe...I laughed at how she gives you candy and the money too. She is a funny little monkey!! Aren't all Baba's our own personal banks?!!

    On the second week we too gave in and ended up buying a little stroller...! My back was broken and Li Lin sounds very much like Lilah, I had to carry Lilah everywhere and she would only let me carry her - she held her Baba off for a while. But when we got home to Canada it turned around and she only wanted her Baba for a week or so... so get ready for it! :)

    This more than likely will be the week that you see big changes... in a wonderful way! :)


    PS - The paperwork chaos just brings back some "interesting" memories! The medical clinic will likely be another chaotic mess you'll be thankful to have behind you.