Tuesday, January 17, 2017

People's Park, Star of Nanchang, and More Giggles than Tears

Johanna had a pretty good day. So did we! Though the weather was pretty overcast and wet, (though not raining), we still headed out to People’s Park in the morning. The kids had a great time running around, and there was lots to see there, including ladies dancing, exercise machines, bridges to cross, fish to feed, and paths to explore. 

After the park, we went to ride the Star of Nanchang. It’s the third largest Ferris wheel in the world, at 525 feet high (Las Vegas and Singapore have #1 and #2 if you’re curious!). It takes thirty minutes to ride it all the way around, and the views were great, even on a foggy day. We could see out over the river and lots of the city. 

Next it was time for lunch. We went back to the mall complex across the street from our hotel and ate at a teppanyaki restaurant, where the food is cooked in front of you. Jonas got invited to help make the fried rice, so he pretty much thought he was the coolest kid in town.

Johanna helped Jonas button his shirt.
We went to a few stores after lunch, including a children’s clothing and shoe store. The shoes Johanna had been wearing since she came to us were about three sizes too big, so we let her pick out some she liked. Oh boy, we are in trouble with this girl! She is a SERIOUS shopper! She was finding all sorts of things she wanted…and they were mostly frilly, lacy, bejeweled, or super girly in one way or another. Somehow we walked out of there with just one pair of cute red shoes (the girl likes red!). It doesn't surprise me now that she loves the bows I put in her hair. 

Johanna still hasn’t taken off her coat, or anything else for that matter other than the shoes. We’re going to tackle the clothing thing tomorrow morning before heading to the orphanage. Morgan has a brilliant idea to set up a “store” in her hotel room filled with clothes we packed for Johanna, and tomorrow I’m going to take her “shopping” to pick out what she wants to wear. We’re hoping she’ll willingly switch out of her clothes for the new items, like she did with her shoes today. We’ll see!

There were no meltdowns today. However, at dinner, Johanna didn’t eat much for the first time and had a few tears running down her face near the end of it. The same thing happened back in the room while Zack was holding her and when we were putting her to bed. She’s asleep now, thankfully. We can tell she’s still hurting, and she still loves watching videos from the orphanage over and over (and over!). We’re hoping visiting there tomorrow will help provide some much-needed closure.

Johanna actually smiled and giggled a lot today. She was having a lot of fun with Jonas in the hotel room. They got into a sock fight, throwing them at each other and laughing their heads off. It was pretty cute. At the grocery store after lunch, Zack let each kid pick out a toy. Johanna picked a cute little bucket with different colors of clay. Jonas picked a tank. Go figure!

Johanna has really taken a liking to Zack. It’s pretty adorable, though I’m sure his arms are sore because she makes him carry her everywhere. And then Jonas makes me carry him once he sees that! He plays fun games with her like catching her jumping off of things and swinging her around. We even took her down to the pool and let her watch Zack swim with Jonas, thinking that might entice her to try it out, but no dice. She just watched intently from the side.

We’re starting to hear a few more words from Johanna. She said “hi” to Morgan, said “Mama” several times to me, repeated “uh oh,” and pointed to Jonas’s picture on my phone and said the Chinese word for brother (gege). There are some other things she says that we can’t understand, but mostly she just makes noises to indicate what she wants (or doesn’t want!). She definitely understands every word that our guide says to her though.
I’m a bit nervous but also excited about tomorrow. I’m so happy we have the opportunity to visit Johanna’s orphanage, but I fear for the pain it might cause her. Lady Fu said that our daughter would actually brag to the other kids that a Mama and Dada were coming for her, so we’re hoping she’ll see this as an opportunity to “show us off” and proudly share her old home with us. It sounds like there’s a good chance we will get to meet her foster mother as well, which would be amazing. I have a locket with a picture of Johanna and her to give her, and we want to thank her for the care she gave our girl. It’s going to be a two hour drive there and back, so here’s hoping all goes smoothly during what is sure to be a long day!


  1. Sounds like its going well!! Always 2 steps forward, and one back, with adoption. :)

  2. Absolutely fabulous!