Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Million Dollar Smile

I have learned in a very short time that when you have kids that anytime you came get through a day without any crying at all, meaning both the kid or the wife, then it is a good day. Today was a good day.

We woke up again very early. Rebecca Xiu woke up about 0700am and again it was like she was ordered to do so. No tears, no whimpering - just shoes on, brush teeth, comb hair, and watch that Pleasant Goat show and I can't get the jingle out of my head. I think what makes it so bad is that I can't watch hardly any television myself with Margo. I did have some fun though today at one point. I turned on what must have been a Soap Opera in all Chinese and as the actors spoke I made up my own lines and you know it actually works. Of course everyone was named Bob or Jim and because of the language it would have been banned but it was entertaining for both me and Margo. Rebecca did not seem amused.

Anyway we again went to the breakfast buffet. Rebecca Xiu sat very quietly and ate while Margo and I discussed the day. We then went to the playroom for about 15-20 minutes. It was pretty adequate - it had a small Jungle Jim on a mat with about six or seven balls and for the first time I saw my daughter smile. It was about half a second but I will take what I can get. Her face seemed to brighten up she seemed to have a fresh outlook on life and I figured maybe she was thinking hey these two aren't so bad I could have done a lot worse and hey life is good but then it was back to dragging around that lower lip. Seeing that brief glimmer of hope made my whole day.

We did not have to meet the group until about 10AM and after breakfast we decided to all go for a walk. Oh, did I mention how freakin hot and humid it is here. We walked around for about two hours and then sat at Starbucks and had some ice coffee. I looked like I just got done running the NYC marathon in August while wearing three pairs of sweats. Rebecca appeared fine and comfortable.

At about 10 am the whole group met and we began walking about six blocks to the clinic to get Rebecca's physical exam done. I was sweating this because she was going to have to get a TB test and the prick of the needle is painful. While walking, the bottom fell out and everyone got drenched thanks to the typhoon. It did not matter much to me because I was wet anyway.

We got to the clinic and we were in and out in ten minutes thanks to our guide. We went ahead of the guy holding the eye ball in his hand, but hey, we're Americans. Rebecca was extremely interested in everything. She was the oldest child in the group and when her turn came she stepped up completed her station and was pulling Margo along to the next station. We were done and it was quick and painless.

We walked around again and then back to the room for a quick nap. We got back to the room and yes more Pleasant Goat. Margo and Rebecca also finished their puzzle. I tried to participate but Rebecca was not having it. It was just for girls. We then got ready to go to apply for Rebecca Xiu's passport. Again thanks to our guide, Kelly, it was quick and painless. We did run into another couple from Fort Myers who adopted a friend of Rebecca's from her orphanage. It is not close but it still might help to have a friend that close. They spoke for a minute and I would have paid a million bucks to understand what they were saying but our guide was busy. They stood there whispering in Chinese and Rebecca kept handing her camera to the little girl. I figured Rebecca was telling the other little girl that if you take off to the right and I take off to the left then maybe we have a shot. We won't be able to outrun everyone but I can escape the fat one. Victory will be mine. Oh, just kidding I quite sure they were discussing the deep rooted political and economic messages of the Pleasant Goat. I was nice to see her interact with her friend.

We then went back to the room and had about an hour before dinner. It is like all I do is sweat, eat, sleep, and sign every day. We did make the mistake of stopping at a local store and Margo wanted to get a few things for our daughter. Okay, I know I am a cynical person but I always see the humor in things. I mean come on a Jew and a Chinese shopkeeper, that joke just writes itself. Anyway the three haggled for awhile. The shopkeeper had to call in back up and Margo refused to pay 67 CNY or 5 US Dollars for five hair pins. Good for her. The shopkeeper did play dirty. At one point she thought she was slick and talking directly to Rebecca I guess hoping she would have a fit and we would be forced to pay what she was asking to please her. Margo stood her ground. I then walked to the front of the store and bought my first beer. I did not haggle over price.

The rest of the night was uneventful. We just went to eat at a Thai restaurant, more Pleasant Goat, and then bedtime. I lay in bed and pictured that smile.


  1. mike we are loving this saga, we look so forward to each night, we laugh and sometimes sad but at the end we laugh and enjoy. She will be daddy's girl soon!!! I promise you. hurry home guys.D&J

  2. Sounds like you guys are making progress. We are missing Margo at work, but surviving. Can't wait for you all to get back home. Poor Rebecca Xiu is going to have quite a social calendar with all the people who want to meet her. Liza is planning her welcome package and Ella has already decided to invite Xiu to her 3rd birthday party in November.

  3. AM happy to hear of that first smile - a blessing! Hey Mike, check out the store across from the White Swan and ask for hubby and a travelmate got Tsingtao beer almost every night for cheap...maybe 85 cents U.S. Fun stuff! Hope the weather clears soon and you all are bonding more and more each day.
    Jenny G.

  4. Great news. I am glad to hear that things are getting better. They will only improved as each day comes and goes.

  5. Hello! We are so excited to read your posts every day! It is even more exciting to see you two become parents and Rebecca a daughter! It brings tears to my eyes almost! And we cherish the fact you are sharing every day with us- we feel very privileged because of this! Julian said 'Rebecca' is a 'cool' name and he asks every day if she is here yet! Julians Chinese teacher Ms. Lee also is curious about all the happenings! We want you and Margo and Rebecca to know we are waiting for you all and will expect you with open arms and with great anticipation!!! & keep writing!
    The Spencers

  6. I'm so glad y'all are making progress.. I'm loving reading your posts!! I see writing in your future!

  7. I am so excited for you guys! It's a wonderful treat to read your blog everyday and see the wonderful new emotions you ALL are feeling! I cannot wait to meet lil miss Rebecca Xiu she is beautiful!

    See you soon and keep writing!

  8. Love reading your blog and seeing the pictures! That does it, you will have to bring Rebecca down to Naples to meet her Aunt Cindy, Uncle Bill, cousin Jordan and then we can go visit her friend in Fort Myers! We are just 20 miles south of Fort Myers.

    Can't wait to meet your little girl!

  9. I'm really enjoying reading your posts! And she'll warm up soon. You two have an amazing journey ahead of you!