Sunday, August 27, 2006

Thomas and Madeline are Celebrities here

Today we toured YunTai Gardens. It was a beautiful, perfectly manicured park. It looked like the entrance to Disney world. People were crowding around Thomas and Madeline. They wanted to take their pictures with them and touch their hair. Bugga tolerated it well but Thomas didn't want to be bothered. People were coming up to us and trying to communicate. You could tell that they wanted to practice their English. The man you will see in the pictures was so friendly. He and his wife loved Madeline and kept taking photographs of her. He did not speak English well so we handed him the card the agency gave us that explains the adoption. He looked at us and said "Thank you, friend". People were very inquisitive about us and why we had an Asian baby. We could not communicate and that was frustrating. I was sitting on a bench and a young man walked up to the stroller that Bliss was sleeping in. He knelt down next to her and stared at her for about 30 seconds. His back was to me. He rubbed her cheek with his hand and then walked away. He never looked at me. I wonder what he was thinking. I wonder if he had to abandon a baby girl. Another young man stopped to ask us how old Bliss was. While I was sitting on the bench a little old lady kept talking to me. She was talking away. I am sure it was obvious to her that I didn't speak Chinese, but she kept talking.
I went for a run outside today. After 4 miles I had to go inside and use the treadmill. The smog was hurting my throat and my eyes were bloodshot. It is never sunny here. The sky is never blue. You can't even see stars at night. It is depressing. I have been told that the smog is the worst in the summer. I hope they get to see some blue skies in the winter. My run was a memorable experience, though. Everyone was staring at me. I crossed a bridge and there were no Americans anywhere. Swarms of people surrounded me. On my left mopeds and on my right bikes and walkers. There are bikes everywhere. I was making eye contact with each person I passed. It was a unique experience. It looked as though the people in that part of the city had never seen someone run before. I probably did look funny with my big GPS watch and IPOD on my arm. Al and Susan at Fleet Feet would be proud. I was wearing my Fleet Feet jersey. Don't worry Dad, I had my Mace.
Bliss is doing great. She is so easy. She just fell asleep on the floor without anyone holding her. All she wants is her blankie. Noise doesn't seem to bother her either. Both kids were running around yelling and she hasn't moved. The hard floor is probably more comfortable than the plywood she was sleeping on in the orphanage. I ran into a woman fro our group in the lobby yesterday afternoon and she was crying. She had just got back the roll of film she had sent to the orphanage and asked them to take photos of her daughter. The pictures were so sad. Her baby was sleeping on a piece of dirty plywood. The surrounding literally looked like a dog pound. I am so glad that Bliss came from such a good orphanage. We know it was very clean and the Director does the best he can for the babies. The 2 babies that came from SuiXi were the healthiest. She is so much more lively than the others. Some of the babies still look comatose. A man in the play room today told us his daughter(older) is afraid of stuffed animal because of the rats in the orphanage. I met another couple last night that had a baby the same age as Bliss. She was so malnourished. She only weighed 13 pounds. She looked terrible. We have been very fortunate. She is doing great and very well fed. She like Golden Grahams and French Toast!


Dad said...

Good morning, or good night. Its easy with a 12 hour differance but I still have a hard time thinking of you running around while I'm sleeping. The fact that you are standing upside down from us truly hits home. This is somthing I tried to contemplate as a child and now picture it with the utmost clarity. When you left for China you went west to get to the far east. Its hot and I'm sorry its so smoggy and you can't see the stars there are some objects I wanted you to look for that I can't see from my latitude, but thats OK, look at the "three" stars you have now. You feel you went north to China but do you know that where you are is the same latitude as Cuba, your farther south then we are in Florida.
Glad to here you are carrying your mase. Don't venture much farther then you went, and peter once you have seen whats there outside the resort it dosen't change much for the next 1,000 miles or so, so there is no need to venture beyond. Enjoy the experience good and bad for that reality is somthing most people here never will understand. Hug those babies for us.
Its been a week now, about as long as a north Carolina trip, and now your absence is truly setting in and I can't believe we still have 13 more days. Love Ya-- Miss Ya-- Sleep well.

Allison and Chris Shepard said...

Hello Weiler Family! This is Allison, Michelle's childhood friend. My husband, Chris and I have been reading about your journey. Ever since I put your blog in our favorites Chris has been intrigued. He checks it quite often. I'm not on the computer quite as often but I check it when I am. What an amazing experience. I'm sorry for the sad things you have to see. There's a lot of tragedy in the world that many of us are unaware of and there's always someone to be witness and tell the story. It's for a good cause and Bliss is very fortunate to become part of such a wonderful family. We love seeing the pictures and reading of your experiences. We couldn't be happier for you and you couldn't be more blessed. We look forward to reading more and hope that the rest of your trip is fun and exciting and a wonderful time of bonding for all of you.
Lots of Love and Best Wishes, Allison & Chris