Friday, May 29, 2009

Hong Kong Visa Adventure

Well, still no way to post photos but at least I managed to get in again. We hit another rough patch this week but have since come through on the other side. On Tuesday we went to Hong Kong to get new visas and found that they could not be processed that day. Our temporary visas had no more enteries, so we were stuck and realized we would have to spend the night, and for this we were totally unprepared. Thank goodness I brought the stroller. I had decided that I was going to be able to manage HK without it for the first time but as we were leaving Abbey said, "I want my stroller!" Oh how thankful I am for that. Somehow we were able to keep our clothes reasonably clean and we picked up those things that seemed absolutely essential at the drug store. My phone doesn't work in HK but fortunately the agency processing the visas allowed me to make a call to Shenzhen and a friend there was able to book a hotel for us. We spent many hours on escalators and the MTR, both of which Abbey loves. It was raining and I had no jacket but did have a little travel umbrella in my backpack.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Cannot believe I found a way to get into bl*gger! Everything is blocked here. Y*utube has been gone for a month. Bl*gger and Typ*pad have been gone for about a week. Although I found a way in I can't post pictures, I really want to share Abbey's birthday party and our safari trip, but it will have to wait until the f*rewall goes down. Anyway, Abbey is still in the process of getting better. She had a really bad Augmentin rash for over a week after she finished her antibiotics. She still has some eye infection but everything else is getting back to normal. We had a major visa problem last week. We were headed to Hong Kong and ended up getting stopped at the border and spent the day at the police station. It's all getting worked out but it cost us a fortune. We hope to have new visas within a week. Someday I'll explain it all but not now. The next day Abbey set up a little table at home and was stamping and checking visas all day. She is so funny. Her new favorite thing is for me to sing, "Sugar pie, honey bunch, you know that I love you. I can't help myself, I want you and nobody else." She loves it! She's been saying lots of cute things. We have a bridge going over the koi pond that we cross each morning and she tells me, "Don't step on the 'cwaps', or the bears will get you!" And she's left me in the dust with her Chinese. For the longest time she was speaking in her own pseudo-Chinese, but about a month ago I started noticing people interacting with her in Chinese and they were really communicating. I started asking people for translation on different words she was telling me, and sure enough they were all the real deal. So now she teaches me new words and phrases each week. It's funny too because I will say something to someone in Chinese and they don't understand me at all and then she will repeat it (with the right pronunciation) and suddenly they understand. She is by no means fluent or even really conversational, but she has made a break through and is gaining momentum. Some of our relationships are beginning to bear fruit too and I am excited about the opportunities we are having to share our Joy with others. We would love for you to partner with us in lifting up these friends. Your comments and emails are such an encouragement!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Bet You Wonder Where We've Been

Abbey woke up very sick during the wee morning hours of her birthday. Thankfully we had her party two days before, because from that point on it seems like we fell off the planet for a few weeks. She started with the flu - fever, congestion and coughing, for a week. The next week she developed an ear infection and we braved the Chinese children's hospital by ourselves, it was quite an experience. We survived it and got ear drops and antibiotics and as she neared the end of those she had improved a lot so we took off for a Safari park in Guangzhou over the May 1st holiday weekend. While at the park Abbey got very sick again and by the time we got home I was very concerned. Fevers again, congestion in her ears, nose, and eyes. Very lethargic. This time I went to the $expat clinic where I can communicate somewhat clearly with a Chinese doctor who speaks a good deal of English. We changed antibiotics and started nose drops. We both felt she needed lots of rest to recover so I took this week off work and quarantined ourselves. Lots of Candy Land, Hello Kitty painting and Coloring, The Ladybug Game, many tea parties, and a complete saturation level with Charlie and Lola. We didn't leave the house for days. She developed intestinal problems from the antibiotics so we went back to the doctor for good bacteria supplements and began electrolytes too. She is still not well, but so much better than she was. We've been slowly coming out of seclusion - venturing out Thursday evening for a special meeting, and then on Friday for a friends birthday dinner, and then last night for special dinner for the orphanage volunteers. Abbey was so excited to get out and see friends, she almost went a little crazy with joy. We discovered a little orange bus that evidently comes to our back gate every 15 minutes. Wish we had known about it from the beginning. It's just one kuai and goes to Holiday Plaza, which is a very nice shopping center. We took a brief run there to H & M and I got two t-shirts and a pair of earrings. I am ready to burn the clothes that we brought in our suitcases, I am so sick of them. About the 4th day into our sequestering Abbey began issuing commands to me, such as, "Get my milk," or, "I don't want this one, I said that one!" Is this a normal part of the healing process? I decided she was feeling good enough to start tapering off on some of the TLC and bringing a little reality check back into the picture. So even though she's still not well I've reintroduced some of our normal discipline and began easing off on some of the special treats, like doling out Easter candy (what little I have not yet eaten) every time she has to take medicine. I was almost in tears yesterday just from being worn down from the situation but then had the perfect break in the evening with our orphange team's Turkish Barbeque. I put on my new top and huge purple shell earrings, took Abbey over to our preschool to play with her friends, and headed over to chat with all our wonderful volunteers and teachers. I must say I feel so much better and I can't wait to go back to work tomorrow!
Our Sunshine Foundation website is now up and running. Be sure to watch the little movie. With the donations of friends we saw over our CNY trip home we have been able to get the children a playhouse, set of preschool blocks, books, and center time toys. They also got a children's pool filled with rice for fun sensory play with funnels, measuring cups, etc. THANK YOU!!
This has nothing to do with anything but I want to add a picture, so here's a random one. Abbey, our dear Chana, and our wonderful new friend Michelle grabbing a bite at Luo Hu Commercial City in the midst of a wild, unplanned for, shopping episode. We love Luo Hu!