Chinese Weightlifting Team

Li Zhong, NanchangDeb and I have decided that we are now official members of the Chinese weightlifting team. We seem to be competing in the flyweight division. We find it interesting that as the smallest people in this adoption group, we were matched with the heaviest of the children. By the end of each day, we are exhausted and every muscle in our arms, shoulders, and backs is incredibly sore. I’m still trying to figure out how to say “ibuprofen” in Mandarin… but having said that, I look at her and I see God’s hand in this match between her and us in so many ways. She’s beautiful and she’s perfect and we are so blessed to have her as part of our family. This is indeed a match made in heaven.

Evenings are still very hard on Li (and therefore on us). There clearly are some areas there where we hope things will smooth out over time. Other than that, we are all adjusting well. Li is eating, pooping, drinking well. She is much more active and extroverted now — her smile and her laugh just light up a room. (Those cheeks are so big, she has about 4 dimples on each side when she smiles!) She got a waiter in a restaurant in trouble yesterday at lunch because she was smiling and laughing at him so much that he just stopped and was playing with her until one of the older “aunties” working there came over and scolded him to get back to work. She’s cruising the furniture around the room now, too, which brings a whole new set of challenges since it is really hard to kid-proof a hotel room you are trying to live in.

Tang Weng Pavilion, NanchangWe visited Tang Weng pavilion yesterday morning and spent several hours just wandering the grounds and exploring the pavilion before sitting in on a musical performance with traditional Chinese dance, singing, and music. Li was enthralled, particularly by the dance. The pavilion dates back more than 1,400 year and it is amazing. The grounds are beautiful and Li seemed to particularly like the ponds and plants on the grounds surrounding the pavilion itself.

This morning involved a trip to Porcelain Street (the Jiangxi province is known for its porcelain) and a Chinese book store for a bit of shopping. It was pouring down rain this morning — something we haven’t seen since Monday — so we didn’t get to spend much time outside and it showed in Li’s demeanor this afternoon. She did take a bit of a nap early this afternoon which made for a much more pleasant dinner for all of us. As soon as we were back in the hotel room, she went into scream mode again until she just plain wore herself out, at which point she simply collapsed asleep in my arms.

Li Zhong and Deb, NanchangTomorrow morning, we leave Nanchang for Guangzhou, which makes me sad. Nanchang is an amazing city and it will always be a special place for all of us as this is where we got Li Zhong. It is a city of extremes: extreme poverty, extreme traffic, extremely bad air, extraordinary beauty, incredible history, incredible food, and the people here have been more open and friendly and curious and supportive that we would have thought possible. The looks on their faces when they find out why we have these girls is such a blend of excitement and joy. We will leave here with an incredible gift and with fond memories of this city and a strong resolve that we will come back to show Li this place that is now such a special place for all of us.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers; please keep them coming. We’ve got lots of travel ahead of us, more appointments with the governments on both sides of this particular equation, and we are all still definitely working through this process.

7 thoughts on “Chinese Weightlifting Team”

  1. Hi Ron, Deb and Ian.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for these great updates! Kristi just forwarded your blog as I had commented that I wanted news (I forgot about you mentioning the blog). Since you left I have been thinking about your daily events; plane flight, arrival, getting her, getting to know her, etc. She is so beautiful – your daughter. That nightly screaming is so emotionally draining on everyone. Did you ask if that is her usual pre-sleep activity or if it is new? Probably unknowable. We are so excited to meet little Li. What day do you arrive home?

    Our love,
    Karie and Nick

  2. Greetings! A smile on my heart and face each time I think of your grown family on this adventure. Li is fortunate to be matched with a loving, caring family, I am SO happy for all of you! I certainly enjoy the pictures and script of your travels, adventures and trials. It sounds as you all are adjusting extremely well for the changes you are living, I had no doubt!
    I do recall Asia growing through a stage of nightly meltdowns in her second year of life…the ONLY solution was to turn up the volume on rock and roll music and dance with her until she slept! I do not recall dancing with 24 lbs however! Comforting to know we have and are raising individuals!
    My heart and thoughts are with you as the ‘process’ is worked through and stamped with govt. approval. Li is lovely and I believe the best for you all!
    Hugs from AK,
    Kim

  3. We are so thrilled, and happy for you, and for all of us too in Idaho Falls–we get to have her join our community too! Maya will be thrilled to “help babysit” on the sidelines and at the arena. She’ll have Li joining in on the snacks and sideline shrieking in no time. Thank you for letting us share in the experience.

    Love,

    Yoshiko and George and Maya

  4. She is a beatiful little girl who will find out how lucky she is to have her new family. I love her squishy puffy cheeks, they are so cute. I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip and have a safe trip home. Lauren is waiting for her chow mein and Alec is looking forward to meeting his new cousin.

  5. I was wondering if you guys were the smallest parents since Li’s clearly a big girl. They knew you’d be fit since you’re soccer players! God obviously knew she’d be yours also, preparing you as athletes. My arms and back ache for you, but soon she’ll be walking and you’ll want to carry her to keep her contained. Praying for the rest of your trip and a safe return.

  6. Hello, I have a question about the Chinese weightlifting team. Is this in Nanchang? And how did you get involved? I am moving there in September and would like to do some Olympic lifting.

  7. Sorry; the title of this post was a tongue-in-cheek reference to part of our experience in China. I can’t help you much with information about the “real” Chinese weightlifting team.

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