The past two days have been a whirlwind of activity and at the end of the day we’ve all been too tired to do anything else more than crawl in to bed… our in the girls case placed into bed because they feel asleep long before returning to the hotel. Waking up early isn’t the hard part when you fast forward 14 hours in your day but staying alert last two or three in the afternoon is the difficult part because our internal clocks are still convinced that it is the middle of the night.
So here I am at five on a Friday morning awake with one of the girls stirring already. It’s five hours until Hong Kong Disneyland opens so it looks like we’ve got some time to kill and that I can finally put my thoughts down in a post. My writing may be brief though because my laptop is acting as our sound machine right now. If I was to use it I would surely wake the entire room up. So it looks like this will be another post published through my phone while hiding under the covers so I don’t wake anyone else with the light of my phone.
Wednesday was our first full day here in Hong Kong. We ventured out into the busy streets early among the hustle and bustle of so many going to work to look for our favorite… egg tarts. Not really having any clue where to look or where to go we just sort of wandered around until we spotted a little cafe that had some displayed in the window.
(Well Esther woke up, left the bahroom light on, and ran and jumped on the bed to wake up Noah. So now I have a laptop to type on.)
The nice part about Hong Kong is that so many people here speak English but even when you stumble across a place like this restaurant where only one person speaks English and the other waitresses are too scared to come take your order there’s always pictures to point at. In this case we waited and waited perfectly willing to point at pictures to order but finally ML caught the English speaking ladies attention and she came and happily took our order of egg tarts, milk tea, and pineapple buns.
While not the healthiest breakfast it certainly was tasty and fun getting out in the city so early in the morning.
Eating is one of the focal points of the trip. So shortly after breakfast came lunch at the Dragon King Restaurant. Kai Ma and Jelly Uncle selected the restaurant because of the wonderful dim sum options. According to Wikipedia dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine prepared as small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates.
(The set of chopsticks on the right is for serving and the black chopsticks are for eating with.)
It was so good. We had pork buns, dumplings with shrimp and vegetables, and some of the most amazing fried rice followed by sesame tarts. The restaurant also had an amazing view of the harbor.
From the Dragon King Restaurant we took a taxi up to Mother’s Choice children’s home. Mother’s Choice is where Esther lived from the time she was eight months old until we brought her home at close to age three. Sometimes it can be tough for children who have lived in institutions to revisit their formal lifestyle. Even if they can’t recall their life in the institution their brain chemistry is forever altered and deep inside their brain remembers that time in their life. Fear of abandonment or sudden life disruption may always be under the surface for adoptive children.
We made sure to emphasize with Esther that we would visit Mother’s Choice as a family and leave as a family. She experienced some nervousness that morning but we shared with her that it was normal and ok to feel that way and reassured her once again that we would be going as a family and leaving as a family.
Revisiting Mother’s Choice is something that we have wanted to do since the day we left over three years ago. We’ve always had dreams of returning to Hong Kong once Esther got older so to be able to come back so soon has been really special and visiting Mother’s Choice was no exception. Through the modern miracle of Facebook I have been able to keep in touch with many of the ladies on staff at MC (Mother’s Choice) and when they saw that we were coming to spend a few days in Hong Kong they invited us to visit.
They rolled out the red carpet for Esther and practically threw her a welcome home party. All the staff and volunteers were notified that Esther/Shirley (her name at Mother’s Choice) was coming to visit and all were welcome to come see her. The first thing they did was great both girls with a Play-doh gift and talk with Esther about everything that was going to happen.
Then Janice and a few other ladies gave us a tour of Baby Care where Esther stayed until she turned two and then Wee Care where Esther lived until we brought her home.
We were able to see her old room with all the little toddler beds and her closet as well as the room where she used to play and eat. I’m not sure how much Esther remembered but it was definitely special for us all to see it again.
One of the most touching things to me was that they still have a picture of Esther at her going away party displayed in the kid’s bedroom. In the picture above Janice is showing the picture to Esther.
Esther’s primary care giver Jingle was there and we were able to visit with her.
Jingle as well as all the other ladies were blown away with how much Esther had grown, how long her hair is now, and how beautiful she is. These ladies truly love and care for these children and when the children leave each child takes a little piece of the staff’s heart with them. So many of them asked about other children that had moved to the U.S. and I was able to share with them and in some cases show a picture or two of other kids because once again Facebook has connected me with so many mothers who have adopted children from Hong Kong.
(If you are reading this and have a child waiting on you at MC please message me privately. It maybe that we were able to meet your little one and I remember the feeling of wanting to know anything about your special one waiting on you in Hong Kong.)
After we toured all three floors of MC we went back down to the conference room where they had small cakes, snacks, and sodas waiting on us.
We loved all the treats and during this time were able to visit with the staff, share updates with them, what our time shortly after adopting Esther was like, and why adoption is so important and special to us. They have such a heart for making sure they are preparing each child in the best way possible for their forever family. Mother’s Choice is unlike any other child care home that I have seen or heard of.
By the end of our visit both girls had really opened up and where talking with the staff and finished off their visit by playing outside on the playground.
Michael Luke and I are so thankful that Mother’s Choice allowed us the opportunity to visit with them and will treasure this day forever.
After leaving Mother’s Choice we took the tram up to the Peak.
The highest point in Hong Kong that boasts beautiful views of the city…
… and sweet potato ice cream from McDonald’s.
and then headed back down to eat supper.
By this point in the day both girls were exhausted and fell asleep before their supper arrived. We can’t complain though because their behavior has been better than we expected with so much activity and walking around going on. Michael Luke and I have found that we can’t complain because we aren’t having to fight them to go to bed at night.
These days of fun are flying by and before I know it Monday morning will be here and it will be time to meet Judah. I can hardly believe but I know amidst of the craziness I need to take time and truly prepare for and process all that is about to change for us. Soon we will be a family of five but for right now I am thankful for all these special days that so much love is being poured into our two little girls.
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