Another day is done and one more closer to GOING HOME!!!!
Today was a simply wonderful, magical day! God is SO GOOD! After a good 11-hr sleep, our princess awoke completely dry and happy. (She has been consistently having accidents at nighttime, but refuses to wear a diaper. The first 5 days she was dry and had no problems, but in Guangzhou we washed a lot of pajamas and underwear. Of course, she is only two years old, so we aren’t concerned. Poor kid has been through a lot!) We were so proud of her and this small success set our day right with happiness all around.
After a small breakfast in the hotel room with formula for Mia and oatmeal and coffee for us, we got ready and headed out around 10:00am. The park opens at 10:30am, so we wanted to be there on time and beat some of the crowd. The weather was a little cooler, which means very comfortable for us! It was nice to know what we were doing today, since we had been there yesterday, and everything went smoothly, including stroller rental. We stopped at the gift shop first because we anticipated the crowds growing as the day went on. Mia surprisingly chose a small Argo in an egg from “The Good Dinosaur.” The stuffed dinosaur is inside the egg and you can unzip it and get him out. I think Camden will be a little jealous about this one, but we did get the boys a couple small things, too.
We stopped at the bakery to get a mid-morning snack and I couldn’t resist the cuteness!
We thought maybe today, with Mia well-rested, would be a better day to try some pictures in front of the castle. So thankful for the memories we made today!
Every time I look at this girl, I am just amazed! God has blessed us so much by her already and I cannot wait to see what her future holds!
Like yesterday, we wanted to go at Mia’s pace and do rides or shows that she might enjoy and nothing fast or scary. The first thing we did was Mickey’s Philharmagic show. She was interested in the 3D glasses, of course, and eventually wore them to see the show. I think she liked it! Then, we headed to the tea cups. This one was really fun. I think the pictures say it all:
While I don’t particularly like the “It’s A Small World” at Walt Disney World in Orlando, this one was a HUGE attraction and a short wait, so we figured we would try it out. Mia LOVED it! John and I were also impressed. MUCH better than WDW, but maybe it is because Hong Kong Disneyland is only 10 years old, so this attraction is newer as well. They integrated the Disney movie characters in with the small world people and made it really cool.
John had seen something in the pamphlet about the Storybook Theater and Mickey’s Wondrous Book. We waited in line for a little while for the show to begin, but it was well worth it! This may have been the BEST Disney show I have ever seen. And for those of you who like Disney, you know that is saying a LOT. Unfortunately, they did not allow flash photography, and without flash, the moving parts become blurry, so I did not get any pictures of the show itself, so you will have to take my word for it. Because this is Hong Kong, everything was part Chinese and part English. The characters narrating the show (Mickey, Goofy, and Olaf) spoke in Chinese and the English translation was on a side screen. The characters singing the songs (spot-on voices, by the way), were all in English. They utilized characters like you would see walking around the park, princesses, dancers, and then a huge video screen storybook that turned pages and showed the “live” characters jumping in and out of animation. It is hard to explain, but it was amazing. And I have no idea how they made Olaf move on the stage, since it was a replica of the movie size, so too small for a person inside. They movies they covered included Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, Tangled, Brave, The Princess and the Frog, Frozen, Aladdin, and probably one or two more I can’t remember.
We got in line for Dumbo after that, but the wait was around 50 minutes and we were hungry, so we decided to get out of line and grab some food. There was a Dumbo “car” you could get in for pictures, so we got at least that much! John rode Space Mountain while Mia and I grabbed lunch for us all.
Mia was getting tired (no nap today), so we got a spot to watch the parade and it was SO worth it! She loved the characters floating by, and the parade was VERY well done! Every float was intricate and beautifully done in classic Disney-style. Mia loved the dancing and songs, and of course, wouldn’t let Daddy out of her sight. This day was a little harder on John because she only wanted him to hold her in lines or anywhere we had to wait. But, he did just fine and we are both thankful that she has bonded so well with both of us.
The last thing we did was the Buzz Lightyear ride. They wouldn’t let us all three be in the same car, so I was in front of Mia and John and she seemed to have a great time shooting Zorg targets with Daddy. The smile on her face at the end was priceless!
The skies were grey all day long, so it looked like it could rain at any moment. We had already decided that the Space Ranger ride would be our last for the day, since Mia was tired. When we got off that ride, it started to sprinkle. We had made a good call. It never did downpour on us, but sprinkled all the way back to the bus.
Mia did absolutely EXCELLENT today. We really enjoyed our time together and it just makes me that much more excited to do another Disney vacation with our entire family again (hopefully 2018). I know not everyone agrees that this was a good thing to do with our brand new adopted daughter, and that is okay. We knew going into it that we would go at HER pace, and we did. We rode very few rides and did more shows. We wanted to make sure that SHE had fun and that she wasn’t scared by anything. Will she remember it? I hope so. Owen was 3 when he went for the first time and continued to talk about it until we went again. We are all about making memories with our kids. Things don’t last, but memories do.
Tonight, we went to Chef Mickey’s here in our hotel for dinner. It was such a great choice! The buffet was full of both American and Asian food choices, so everyone had something they liked. It also had a huge dessert spread. The wait staff made sure our water was kept up and plates picked up and accommodated us very well. When we were done eating, we just showed a card to the staff and they escorted us to see Chef Mickey, himself! This was a great option. At the Chef Mickey’s in Florida, the characters come around while you are eating, and sometimes this makes the meal challenging, since you are getting interrupted, or someone might be at the buffet and miss them. Here, it was only Mickey, and we went to HIM so dinner was relaxed and at our own pace.
We did not stand in lines for Mia to meet characters at Disneyland because we weren’t sure how she would respond. Knowing we would see at least Mickey at dinner, we kept it at that. Turns out, that was the best choice. She liked him from a distance, but certainly did not want to get close! Oh well!
After dinner, we wanted to walk off some of what we ate and allow Mia to run around before heading to bed. The grounds are beautiful at night, and this girl sure had some energy to burn! We played hide and seek around the ticket booth for quite some time, and then she kept making “I’m gonna get you” faces at me around our walk! Too funny!
Tonight we are just so so happy. We had a wonderful day with our daughter. It’s hard to believe that we have had her for 13 days! In some ways it feels like Gotcha Day was yesterday, and in many other ways it feels like she has been ours forever.
She is learning so so much and repeating things in English all the time. The language barrier is still very hard sometimes, especially when we don’t know what she wants. Today, we figured out that when she rubs her hands together, she wants hand sanitizer! We are trying to remember her Chinese words for things like “cell phone” and “potty,” (although she repeats “potty” in English so much that I feel that one will be automatic soon). We are requiring “Please” and “Thank you” (or “xie xie”), instead of her screaming or just taking things. We are also working on being gentle, no hitting, and being kind in general.
We started doing time outs in Guangzhou to get her to calm down about things. At least one of us is always with her, but we let her scream it out until she calms down and then we talk about it with her and then have her say “sorry” and hugs and kisses. I started telling her “Mama loves you” and “Baba loves you” and she would repeat it word-for-word like a parrot. “Mama loves you,” “Baba loves you”. We said that to her in the park today and again, she repeated like a parrot. Tonight, we put her to bed and said “I love you” to her. She said “love you” with her very Chinese toddler accent. It is a long road, but we are getting there.
Tomorrow, we covet your prayers again. We will be traveling for a very long time. We leave Hong Kong at 11:55 am and arrive in Seattle at 8:55 am PST. We have a three-hour layover in Seattle, but that may not be very much rest for us, depending on how long it takes for us to get through customs and immigration. When we land in Seattle, and Mia’s feet hit the floor….she will OFFICIALLY be a U.S. citizen!!!!!!!! So, just excuse me in advance for the mushy post and picture I will likely have on Facebook. So many emotions! After Seattle, we go to Atlanta and have a short layover before heading into Lexington around 11:30 pm EST Sunday night. With the time change and travel, it will be like we leave Sunday and then repeat Sunday again. It will be another hour and half drive home from Lexington.
Please pray for:
1. Safety as we travel. 2. Smooth travel day, no delays/problems. 3. Health (no sickness, as many babies throw up with all these flights). 4. Rest (and jet lag issues for a toddler and her parents). 5. Understanding and support for our daughter. 12-hour flights are hard for adults to stay entertained and half-way happy, let alone a toddler who hates to be buckled or confined.
Thank you all in advance. We are almost home now!!!! PRAISE THE LORD! He is so so good to us and we are forever grateful!