Thursday, August 4, 2011

Our Hohhot Morning

We began with a very sleepy girl, dragged down to breakfast because
the clock told us 
it was time to eat.

(And yes, that was the mother. But Maylin didn't eat much, either...)

We are finding so many things that we have in common with our little China doll:
She has nosebleeds like one of her brothers.
She sticks one big toe into the space beside the big toe on the other foot like Daddy does.
She sucks her thumb occasionally like her sister, Beth.
Her smile is Matthew's.
She loves taking photos, like photographer sister, Anne.
She loves food, but not-so-much before 10am (that's her momma's girl!)
...and I'm sure we'll find more as we learn her better.

The agenda this morning was our visit to the PSB (Public Safety Bureau) which is similar to our police department in the USA. The guide and driver picked us up at the hotel doors in a black minivan, and drove us about 10 minutes to our destination. We sat in the warm stuffy room at the end of the seventh floor for about 40 minutes while copies were made, red circle and star stamps were slammed onto triplicate copies of who-knows-what official docs, and nine document booklets were bound, and handed to us.

Our guide, Hao Shu Fang, seems completely competent...and doesn't especially like to have us interfere with questions about the process. She's very friendly and talkative while official business is not being conducted.
Shopping together the first day. She loves the street vendor drinkable "yogurts."
After the PSB paper collection, we were driven to a stern, well-regulated entrance to another official building. Miss Hao showed her ID, a phone call was made, and we were allowed to pass through the (huge puddle guarding the) gate. We took the elevators on the right side, since they opened at the odd numbered floors...and exited into a lobby where we were "buzzed through" to the hall. It felt very "Get Smart" to me.
We made our trip down the dimly lit hall past a few creepy, closet-sized rooms that were tiled for easy clean up after the interrogation (okay, Mark and I make some of this stuff up to keep ourselves's kind of a hobby we've acquired during official stuff)

It only took a matter of minutes to be given Maylin's official Chinese passport. 
And we were done for the day. 
All of the documents needed from Inner Mongolia are in our possession.

After putting the official docs in the hotel room safe, we ventured to the local street-store for drinks, and "ramen." Back in the hotel, we had a little in-room picnic with some of the other groceries we had collected, and indulged in MSG-laden noodle bowls. Mark is currently "sleeping his off..." 
(the MSG-seasoned bowls, not the beverages...which were tea and water...we bought!)

Two of our Chinese friends, Gloria (on left) and Pink (on right) at the banquet we were treated to by the schools in which we were volunteer teaching in Baotou. 

Queen Bee sits in the center, of course.

Now, we have a full day of relaxation, exploration, and bonding. Will you ask for the very specific Flowers to be sent that Maylin bond with Mark? She enjoys his company and silliness from afar, but refuses taking his hand (at times) and assumes I will be her caregiver. It's not a big deal, but it would be nice to have that bond established (or begun!) before we get home and he has busy busy days at the office.

Time for our siesta!


  1. I imagine once she sees the younger siblings playfully loving on Daddy, that she will be anxious to join in the fun.

  2. Have been talking to our Father about your girl and her Daddy. It made me smile to see the ways she is like each of you... especially the not enjoying food until after 10am. :) Her flowered dress is adorable. Did you get it there?