Thursday, March 3, 2005

Exploring Nanchang

Today was a day with no plans so we relaxed, played, and did a little exploring.

Nanchang is a city of about 1.7 million, with about 3 million when the surrounding areas (suburbs, we would call them) are included. It is the capital city of the Jiangxi province, which is largely an agricultural province. As a result, it is not very industrialized, and there is almost no tourism here. This means that very few people outside of the hotel speak English, despite the presence of Wal-Mart, Pizza Hut, McDonalds and KFC.

We walked to a large park a few blocks from our hotel, and some of the images below are from that outing. What is now the park was the site of a large battle at some point in the city's history, but that is about as far as we got in reading the sign before Sydney decided we needed to move on. As I alluded to in a previous post, she is making progress but still does not like to be put down or removed from contact with us. Putting her in the stroller is a guaranteed way to make her cry up until the wheels start moving. The wheels can stop for about 10 seconds before she realizes again that she is not being held and starts to fuss. As shown in the last photo, we were able to let her play on the bed for a while without actually touching either of us, though she did continually look over her shoulder to make sure I was still there.

The morning nap was somewhat interrupted, and it seemed that the only way to get Sydney to go back to sleep was to lie on the bed and let her (twist my arm!) fall asleep on my chest. She squirmed for a bit, and wasn't sure she really wanted to go back to sleep, but she finally gave in and put in a good hour of z's while I studied her face and hands. Absolutely priceless! The reward of seeing her smile or look up and reach for my arms is just an incredible feeling. I'm sure all the daddies out there know what I'm talking about, but it is a pleasure to discover it for myself. Having her look into my eyes and then drift off to sleep more than made up for all of the angst and stress that the adoption process can entail. I can't recommend it highly enough!

We had dinner as a group at a restaurant where they put about 10 widely varying dishes on our table. Most were very good, though several people seemed to burst into flames when eating the one dish that had a little kick. It turns out there were some seeds from the peppers used to cook the dish hidden where unsuspecting folks would eat them. I ran into one and it set a nice glow going, but I actually loved the dish, zing and all.

Tomorrow our group will visit another large park farther from our hotel, and Saturday and Sunday will likely be spent on tours of some kind to the sites that are of interest to tourists. I get the feeling from our agency representative that that is a short list, but we'll see.

Below are a few of the pictures.

First, a new fun outfit, courtesy of Betsy:

Sydney 1

Next, a few photos of the park, including some men working out and a group of musicians:

Sydney 1
Sydney 1
Sydney 1
Sydney 1

Next, Sydney eating soup noodles, which all the babies seem to love. And yes, she does eat them right off the chopsticks!

Sydney 1

Playtime, as long as you're still within reach...

Sydney 1


Anna Saens said...

You guys look like pros at this whole parenting thing. I am so happy for the three of you. Sydney is beautiful and you are all 3 glowing with joy. Can't wait until you all get home so we can meet her. Love and prayers to you all.

Anna S.

Bill Peck said...

All of you look so relaxed in these pix. Must mean this parent/child thing is becoming a natural state for the three of you, just as it should be. Keep the pix and stories coming. I have told everyone I meet to hit your website to see this marvelous story.

Lydia said...

Amy, Rollin & Sydney,

Seeing your pictures and reading your updates have easily been one of the highlights of these last few days. You all look like you are having so much FUN getting to know each other!

So thrilled for you,
With joy,

Aunt Fly said...

Dear Rollin and Amy:

Thank you so much for sending us pictures every day. Seeing you both with your sweet baby brightens each morning for me.



Carla Raley said...

You guys look so happy! I really enjoy seeing the pictures and hearing of the days events. Sure looks like to me that you and Amy have this "parenting" thing down pat! Dont doubt yourself and the abilities that God will give you when it comes to raising this precious little'll do just fine!

All my love to each of you!

Avery Peck said...

Sydney looks beautiful! Thank you for posting the pictures. I can't wait to meet my new cousin. I love you!

Beth Peck said...

Dear Mom, Amy, Rollin, and Sydney,
I like looking at the pictures each day. I miss you. Sydney looks cute. I like her smile. I can't wait to see my new niece. I love you. Beth

The Withers Family said...

Dear Rollin, Amy, & precious Sydney,

What a marvelous sight! As we scroll through all the pictures this verse from II Corinthians 9 comes to mind:

"This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!"

His love shines in your love!!!

With our love & prayers.

Debbie Farah said...

Rollin and Amy,
Sydney is precious. I cant wait to hold her and play with her.
You already look like a family that is being blessed by Gods' abundant grace and mercy. I can see all of the prayers have been answered, she is definitely the Baby we have been praying for. Praise God for his perfect answer....

carrie unger said...

congratulations!! she is so beautiful and you all look so happy!! keep the pic's coming!! :)

jennifer said...

Congrats. She's a cutie!