Friday, August 19, 2011

Goodbye Changsha!

Every adoptive family says it...and you wonder how it could be true...yet it is. Leaving the birthtown of your daughter is so bitter-sweet. I am so happy to be heading to GZ, but I'm a little sad for sweet Gracie. Our guide, Sam, has been amazing! He has been so patient with Gracie and she loves to see him everyday. Gracie is very vocal and loves to have conversations with him. She talks to us, but obviously, it's not the same. We just don't understand what she's saying and can't give her the response she desires. Sam can.

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Sam thinks that the guides in GZ will not be able to understand Gracie because of her Changsha dialect. If this is true, this will be the last time she is able to communicate fully until she learns English. This hurts my heart for her. I know she will learn it fast, and she does communicate with hand gestures and bringing us to what she wants....but it's not the same. On the way to the airport, Sam pulled Gracie into the front seat with him (he was sad to say goodbye to her). I was able to video them talking, singing, counting and laughing the whole way to the airport. All the while, you can see Changsha passing through the windshield. It is precious. I also asked Sam to translate lots of phrases on video for me. It is not the same, but I hope to be able to learn enough to make it a little better. I have been trying hard to pick up as much as I can, and I love it when she understands what I'm saying.

On the way to the airport, Gracie said she had to potty. Before I even realized what she had said, the driver had pulled to the side of the interstate and Sam was getting out to take her potty. He said "It's Chinese Way". I think this might be my favorite picture of the trip so far!! She is peeing!!
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Leaving Sam was so hard for me that I sobbed through the airport! The stares are always bad, but just try being a blonde with a Chinese baby...sobbing!!! Oh well, gave them something to talk about. This was a totally different experience than our first trip. I was so defensive with our guide in Nanjing...I didn't want anyone else doing anything for Wesleigh. In hind sight, I could have loosened up a little. Still, having one that can talk and play is alot different!

Here are a couple of pictures from our last day in Changsha:

This is our Gracie! She is wearing the sleeve to the trash can!!! She is crazy!!
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Being so gentle with our new friend Clara. It is so awesome to see this side of her!
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With one of the bellboys. She has charmed everyone she meets. They all adore her...even though she can be ugly sometimes!!
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We are now in Guangzhou, and very happy to be on the second part of our journey. I will post about our flight and our first day here this evening.

15 comments:

DiJo said...

Jen,
OK - that photo of her doing the "Chinese Way" is so hyesterical! And, I love that she is smiling!!! Her personality just bubbles right off your pics!! I just can't believe that child is ever "ugly!" I know it was a tough day, and it shows just how much Gracie has grabbed your heart already that you were sad leaving Changsha! I hope you can keep in touch with Sam!

You are now on the last part of your journey home with #5. Your little bright bulb, is going to learn English so fast. She will have to. She won't be able to stand people not understanding her for long!!!!

I love her in TeaCup's outfit in today's photos!
(She does look like she is build like Ruby!) One things is for sure, God has created this special little girl to do great things!

Hugs from the middle of the night in MSP!
Love,
Di

Lori said...

Jen,
Love getting up each day reading and seeing the pics on your blog! Gracie looks like she has so much personality...:) Can't wait to see the pics you take of Wesleigh and Gracie when you get home! You are almost HOME!!

The picture of her doing the "Chinese Way" was too funny! Love her smiling while she's peeing...:)

Enjoy the rest of your journey!
Blessings
Lori

Jennifer said...

Haha...that picture of Sam helping her go "the Chinese way" is Hilarious!! And I love how she's looking up at him laughing! Hopefully you can keep in touch with him. It seems like they have a great bond! :)

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Oh this one made me cry......and then that photo on the side of the road made me laugh! How cute is that?

It sounds like you had a wonderful guide. I remember not wanting to leave ours in Changsha.... she was fabulous and did absolute everything for us. We were not in a group so it was just her and us and it felt like saying goodbye to family.

Gracie sounds like a super smart little girl, Ihave no doubt that she will be picking up the English language very quickly.

Hopefully you have arrived in Guangzhou safe and sound and had a great first day.

Look forward to your next post.

xoxo,

Lisa

Shannon said...

As funny and cute as these pictures are, I can definitely tell your mama heart is hurting for your new baby girl as yall leave her birthplace. Will continue praying for you and your aching heart. I do hope that yall keep in touch with Sam, he seems like a really special guy.

Gotta love the Chinese Way!! LOL

Teresa M. said...

I'm sure it is bittersweet. Especially when you are in the mist of it. At least God had planned a "potty stop" to lighten the emotion somewhat. Who would have thought that you would get a "peeing" picture with a girl? I think she will fit right in with the boys! Can't wait to see your next post (and her next outfit!).
Our progress on the adoption front--still waiting for LOA. I had been hoping for Nov travel, but now it is looking more like Dec. Maybe you could tell China to hurry up for us!
Blessings~

Anonymous said...

What a touching post. I have enjoyed your journey to Gracie, and looking forward to when she gets home!
Lynette in Laf.

elliotts said...

Every post makes me cry! We are so close and I know we will have similar experiences next month! Enjoy your last week, your one on one time wit Gracie and can't wait to read more!

Hugs
Diane

KandK said...

I don't know what it is about Changsha, we too found it was soooooo hard to say good-bye to our guide (more there than anywhere else we traveled in China both times). Both my husband and I were were tears at the airport knowing we had to say good-bye. The people of Changsha are very special.

The "pee-pee" pic is toooooooo funny!! Gracie's smile is AMAZING!

Enjoy the last days of your journey:)

God Bless,
Diane

Ali said...

Ok she is just the cutest thing!! Her personality really doesn't shine thru.

Lindy D. said...

Every picture is cuter than the last. She is such a charismatic child. (Who has ever heard of a little girl dressed in a trash can liner? Does she know Oscar the Grouch?) I'm not one for potty pictures, but think that one is the cutest yet. I agree with Diana; Gracie Joy has great things ahead of her!

Football and Fried Rice said...

How is Gracie doing having left Sam and those who understand her? Does she like your new guide? Pretty cute picture of her on the side of the road! One for the senior slideshow, for sure!!

sweet momma luv u said...

Tears wit you Jen.... It is hard to leave your childs province. I am sure it is harder with Gracie because she is talking so much. Like you said before though she will be a quick study and be talking in English really fast.

I remember our guide telling us Jon Jon was just babbling in Toddler talk. I don't believe it for one minute because he was talking in English at 100 words in the first 2 weeks home. AMAZING how fast they adapt.

Love the Chinese way pic! Too funny. She is definately a Hunan Spicy girl but that is wonderful. I would rather have a spicy boy than just one that would just yes Mam me all the time.

Hugs,
Jody

Rebekah said...

I'm so thankful that you had such a wonderful guide in Changsha! They make such a difference. This was such a touching post. I also felt sad when we left Robert's province and left our guide. I always wondered if it was because she was with us when he became a part of our family, so in a sense, it seemed like she was also a part of our family.
I hope your time in guangzhou goes by quickly so you can get back home to the rest of your babies!
Blessings,
Rebekah

ww said...

Great photos of your adorable Gracie! Hope you can keep in touch with Sam and that Gracie can retain as much of her language as possible!

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