NO APPOINTMENTS or MEETINGS TODAY....YIPPEE!!!!!!! Thankfully, today was a day to just enjoy being in China, and that is what we did. I'm so thankful that our awesome adoption agency, Lifeline, has provided us with amazing English speaking guides that have a passion for seeing children united with their forever families. And they also have a passion for showing their beautiful country to us Americans!
This morning, our large group loaded onto the bus to go to a local jewelry market. Miko, one of our guides, told us that Chinese people love to shop and this was quite evident in the size of this market we went to today...HOLY COW!!!
Although I'm not much of a jewelry fan, I did want to buy Jenna and Shelby something special for on their wedding day, so I asked Lily (another guide, and actually the amazing lady that helped us be matched with our sweet Jenna) for some advice and she led me to a reasonably priced pearl shop.
After leaving the jewelry market, we loaded back into the van to go to a nearby folk art museum. Jenna LOVES riding in these vans and buses, but there are no carseats, so it'll be interesting to see how she does once home in America strapped in to a carseat!?!??! This folk museum was so ornate and beautiful.
One of the items I bought at the art museum were little Chinese ornaments in the shape of a tiger. Although I do NOT believe in the Chinese zodiac or any type of zodiac, I did find out today that Jenna is a "tiger" in the Chinese zodiac. She missed being a "rabbit" by two days because the Chinese New Year began on February 3, 2011 (the year of the rabbit) and he was born on February 1, 2011 (still the year of the tiger). So I "Googled" what the "tiger" represents and these are a few characteristics:
*Adventurous, courageous, born leader
*Independent, determined, fierce competitor
*Colorful, dynamic, playful sense of humor
*Compassionate, charitable, affectionate
Although I've only had Jenna in my life for six days (but in my heart for a LONG time), I can already see some of these characteristics coming to life. She has an infectious laugh, a beautiful smile, and plays so well independently (loves to color and look at books), but she's loving playing with her "Jei Jei" (big sister) the most. And she is definitely determined to put her little shoes on when she wants them on, even at bedtime! I know she is very timid and shy around strangers, so I pray that her courage will grow and that the Lord will use her in many ways to show compassion and affection to those in need.
Jenna was in such a happy mood on the bus ride back from the museum, I decided to let her stay up and not nap. She colored while Shelby and I did some of her school work. I cannot express how proud I am of my sweet Shelby...she is not only helping Jenna have fun and feel comfortable in her new family, but she's embracing this whole experience with arms wide open. Everyone in our travel group loves he and she's making so many friends...I am so thankful to have her here with me!
Once "hotel school" was over for the day, we decided to venture out to the park that I ran in last week. Some friends let us borrow a stroller to see how Jenna would do in it, and unfortunately, she didn't want to be in it for one second. I have to admit I was frustrated, as I'm looking forward to running with her in the jog stroller eventually, but today I had to show some grace and realize she's probably never seen a stroller let alone been strapped into one! So we loaded the stroller with some bags and off we went to the park.
Jenna fell asleep in the carrier while walking to the park, so I laid her down for a little snooze...I'm still wondering if this sign says, "Keep off the grass"??? LOL!
One of the most precious things happened while at the park. I had packed a small ball we've been playing with in the room, and while Jenna napped, Shelby and I played with it. A little boy with his grandfather came up and I motioned for the little boy to play with us. He seemed afraid at first but he eventually did and it was so sweet to see him laughing and smiling and playing with us.
The power of play...no words required...it's a beautiful thing!