Sunday, July 7, 2013

Saturday Afternoon and Evening- Pearl Market, Pedestrian Street, Pet Market, Herbal Market, and Shamian Island

We met in the hotel lobby at 2:30 p.m. to head out for some afternoon shopping.  We started at the Pearl Market.  Wouldn't you know Reid would fall asleep in the van on the way there...not a good start to a long chunk of shopping time.  I took a stroller just in case- it was used on and off by both boys, but it turned out to be a bad trip to take the stroller on.  Someone adopting a child with a limb difference or in a wheelchair would have never been able to go on this outing.   We went to one shop in Liwan Plaza.   I very quickly found a pearl pendant necklace and matching earrings to give to Reid's wife someday as a special gift from his birth country.   Another mom bought quite a few necklaces and bracelets and did some good bargaining. I didn't really know we could there so our guide told the lady to give me something since I didn't bargain.  I got a pretty bracelet with brown pearls.  We waited quite a while for the other families items to be made and then headed for a long walk through the very crowded pedestrian street and then through the infamous pet market and herbal markets. 

 One of my favorite buildings that we have passed many times now.
We see this quite often- men on bikes with tv's strapped on them.
On the pedestrian street headed for the Pearl Market.

 At the store where you buy pearl items.

 Taking in some sights while waiting.

We had never gone through the markets before- that was something else.  Never in my life have I seen so many random things for sale.  The pictures will show you exactly what I mean.   At one point the market split with something down the middle of the isle- Reid got just enough ahead of me (near another family) that I couldn't see him.  I had my first moment of panic.   Evan and I hustled along and eventually saw that he was up ahead- a few people got between us.  No one here waits for turns- they just push their way in whenever they feel like it.   You have to be a little aggressive.  

 The very busy pedestrian street.

 Advertising for McDonalds- not sure they really need to advertise like this, but they do here.

 The pet market.
 Pet food for sale.
 We saw a lot of fish and turtles for sale.

 Larger turtles and some mice.
 Dogs and cats.

 Herbal Market

 There were shops after shops of this stuff for sale-so much of it and so many was crazy.  Most of it was unidentifiable to us.

 Fish stomach above and fish gills below.

 Deer testicles above and scorpions below.

 More scorpions-they came in many sizes.

 Deer shop above.

 Reid giving me the 'haha mom' look- I got picked up.

We walked over a bridge to get to the island and did some shopping there.  I got some of the things I had to order from Michael's Place for Reid for gifts for the future.   I will have to go pick them up on Tuesday.  Reid did pretty good shopping, but towards the end of the time on the island he started to get very silly and naughty.  I have come to the conclusion that when he gets tired, bad things happen.   We got a picture down by the river and then headed to my favorite part of the island- the row of statues.  Go figure that Reid would not be cooperative at all.  It reminded me so much of Lena the day we went to the island and tried to get pictures of her.  He would not do it.  I tried to have him watch the babies do it and then tried to get Evan to do it alone...he eventually did.   It did not work for Reid.  I did get one picture by sneaking up around the statue when he was sitting by one of them.   I should back up and say that Reid was holding our guides hand at one point during our walk through the markets.   He then somehow managed to get himself picked up for a bit, but he is very tall and not easy to carry.  Once he was set down he tried to have the guide pick him up again- the guide and I both told him no.   He didn't like that and did his stomp with his crossed arms.    In my mind I was thinking- this isn't good.  He needs to be with me- holding my hand.  We went down this road with Lena and when we left our guide in Fuzhou it was a bit of a nightmare.  I don't need that traveling alone with two boys.   So back to the island by the statues- Reid goes up to one of the other dads and tries to grab his hand.  It's almost like a bit of a game to him sometimes- he looks at me as if to say, 'Haha mom, what are you going to do about it?'    It was time for me to get serious with him.  I grabbed his arm and tried to get him to sit in the stroller- he threw a big fit and the bar of the stroller hit him in the mouth- not terribly hard, but to him- any sort of contact hurts.   He cried about that and I had to pull him up to a standing position.  It is hard to explain, but it was all very overwhelming to me. I am a sensitive person and worry too much about what others think about me.  I tried to explain to the other first time adoptive parents (who all adopted younger children) about older children and the need for others to not get too involved.   I was glad I had my sunglasses- the tears started coming.   On the way back to the hotel, Reid fell asleep....I knew it was because he was tired.  

 Walking over the bridge to the island.

 There will always be people modeling.

 The river.

 The island has such beautiful landscaping.

 Lucy's restaurant above.   The famous statue below- my friends Sara and Bryan's daughter was the little one in this- she did such a good job!

 Evan's turn!

 Captured Reid by one of the statues since he was not cooperating at all.

We got back to the hotel and got ready for bed.  I put both boys down- Evan fell asleep very quickly.  Reid clowned around while I was getting ready for bed.   I laid him back down.  I skyped Rick and the kids and Reid came out- he would not go down.   He needed a good night's sleep too because Sunday was a busy day.   I just lost it on Skype.   I was a mess and the kids at home were sad and worried for me I think.   I miss them.  I miss my husband.  I miss home.  It's not easy doing this alone.  I had second thoughts yesterday that I should have sent Rick because we adopted an older boy.   Rick just reminded me to stay strong and keep doing a good job.  I think I have been for the most part, but everything just kind of blew up after the ordeal on the island- all of my emotions came pouring out last night.  Finally we got to bed. I wish I could say I slept well, but I didn't.  Reid woke up and had wet the bed...our first accident.   It was time for a new day.


  1. awww Brooke - remember it is survival mode over there :) you are doing great -it is not an easy trip! if any of those other parents were giving you the hairy eyeball don't worry about them - they will change their tune soon... as soon their kids get bigger and have bigger fits - haha! we traveled with someone that adopted a 7 year old boy and he was a handful on outings but whatever - I have yet to meet the perfect kid yet -plus they know what is going on and can let you know - one way or another! hang in their lady you guys will be home soon - praying for you :)

  2. Survival mode indeed. Hang in there Brooke - you are a great mom and you'll be home soon! Set the reset button and today will be a new day. Love you!

  3. Blessings friend! I have not traveled yet, and know emotions will be in high gear when I am there. Your doing great mama!! Blessings....

  4. The trip is just plain HARD. Everything about it. I still can't quite express how I missed English and everything familiar to me. It has helped with my perspective on this end realizing how my girls must feel HERE some days. You ARE doing a great job and you're a wonderful Mama. Hang in there. Consulate day is just around the corner and life will begin to resume a new normal then.

  5. You are doing awesome girl! Stay strong-they definitely know how to play games with holding other peoples hands/holding/etc. Our little man was doing that with my husband and I. You know what you're doing, your at the homestretch now! Love your posts, keep them coming!!


  6. I remember that outing with Richard! We WERE with a child who had a limb difference (only one lower leg). Since I only had Tess strapped to me and I had my dad with me, we helped the new mom by all LIFTING the little boy up and down all the steps, chariot style, in his wheel chair. There was NO WAY we were going to have him miss out on any of the fun. It can be done, but you're very right, China isn't wheelchair friendly.

    I also remember being in Ghana with a certain little miss who wouldn't cooperate with anything. Hang in there, Brooke! You're doing GREAT!!!

  7. Brooke, you are my HERO! I am just catching up on your blog this morning and I have to tell you I could NEVER make this trip alone. We have been having a hard enough time with two adults to one child!! And I understand the homesick thing. You are doing AWESOME and you are an angel to brave this to bring your sweet son home and I'm sure you will be laughing about this one day!! (but I don't think we'll be laughing on the plane home). See you soon.

  8. There is light at the end and you will be home soon! Remember you will never see any of these people again. Do what you need to while you are there to get through a day and remember you are a wonderful mom. Stay strong!

  9. The trip is hard and I think you're amazing doing it by yourself. I've cracked there with my husband with me. You're so right about the older kids you handle it different the younger kids. I would stay strong and stay tough on Reid. I think they all test. Last time watching 10 to 12 y.o. being adopted was almost comical. Most all were giving their new parents a run for their... don't want to say that. LOL