Magic French Fries

October 23, 2010

Academy Corridor BLOG

Today we were going to visit the Provincial Museum, but when our guide met us in the lobby of our hotel this morning, she said that there was a little change in plans due to the weather. It was really beautiful today so instead of being stuck indoors at the museum, she suggested we go across the river to the other side of Changsha to tour the YueLu Academy, now known as Hunan University. The architecture was incredible and we really enjoyed listening to her tell us the history behind all the buildings.

I have not had much time to go through my pictures today, I really did not take too many, but there were two that I knew I had loved the minute I took them so I thought I would share those for now. I have a feeling you will be viewing my China photos for at least the next few months as I will never be able to post them all while here in China.

Bike in the corner BLOG

McD's In China BLOG

After we left the University, we told Susan we were in some desperate need of American food and asked her if we could go to McDonalds. She said she was happy to take us and order for us, but then she had to leave and we would have to take a cab back to the hotel. We were fine with that and very excited for a taste of home. I was also anxious to see Reagan’s first experience with French Fries.

Marla was armed and ready with the camera so she could capture Reagan ‘s first impression of American food.

Mc D's Fim Strip 2

I was pulling out all the stops to try to get that smile to appear. As you can see, I got the stink eye instead.

Mc D's Film Strip 1

Not only did she love the fries, she had a few tastes of my Big Mac. Yes, you read that correctly. I ate a big mac. When I skyped with Pat and Nick tonight, Nick could not believe that I actually ate at McD’s. I never ever eat there at home, but after one week in China with nothing but Chinese food, I couldn’t wait to down that mammoth burger and OH MY WORD did it taste good.

McD's Building BLOG

After we finished eating, we walked around the market that was attached before we headed out into the crazy streets to try to hail a cab. When we walked out, there were a group of men on motorcycles. They are all over the city on every corner. They are like cabbies. They provide transportation for one person and the men line up on side streets waiting for people who need to hitch a ride. It is funny to see all the motorbikes in China. I believe it is the preferred method of transportation. I have seen more bikes than cars on the streets and I still cannot get over the fact that they tote their children on these bikes minus helmets. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me though, they don’t use carseats either. They hold their children and babies when they are in the car.

Motorcycle Cabbies BLOG

It took us about 10 minutes to actually get a cab and then we were back at the hotel for what we thought would be another quiet afternoon of hanging out while Reagan took her nap.

Well, I am not sure exactly what happened today, but it was almost as if Reagan flipped a switch. The little girl, who would do nothing but lie on the bed or in her crib lifelessly and stare off into space, completely came to life.

She babbled, flashed a very quick smile or two, played with toys instead of just staring at them, and was constantly on the move. She was flipping all over the place and even pulled herself up to the standing position in her crib tonight. Marla and I just looked at each other in disbelief. Was this the same little girl who would not even look in our direction a few days ago?

We made some huge strides today. Earlier tonight when I put her down to go to sleep, I laid down in my bed beside her crib and she reached her little hand through the bars and held onto my finger and grasped it tight. My heart melted and for the first time all week I felt reassured that everything is going to be okay.


Number 6 and no more counting! said...

I love this "my heart melted and for the time all week I felt reassured that everything is going to be ok". This melted my heart! How sweet you are.


Kayce said...

It's such an amazing thing to watch when that switch is flipped and all of the sudden you see a little light begin to shine in your child's personality. Everyday from here on out that light will get brighter and brighter and of course that glow on your own face will brighten more!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this amazing experience with us! Each post melts my heart.

Colleen said...

Oh Lisa, your words here melted my heart too. Many blessings sent out to you on the rest of your trip. I know how bittersweet it is going to be for you to leave. So anxious to get home but so hard to leave China the birth place of your daughter. You will hold it in your heart forever.
I remember our trip to MC D. while in China. It was more for the boys but we all ended up loving it!
Reagan is just too too adorable!

Becky said...

Love, love, love the pictures but Olivia says we need more! ;-) We loved reading about the McD's experience! Now you just need to eat at a McD's here. LOL Olivia is really enjoying the pictures and updates. So glad that Reagan is opening up a little more. Hang in there - it is all downhill from here! Love ya!

Missy said...

I knew that sweet angel would come around...WAHOOO!!!! She's letting you in now and the rest will be smiles and giggles..I just know it! Nothing makes me smile more than seeing her in your arms enjoying some good ole' Mickey D's :) I am loving your photographs of everyday life in China...amazing!!! So happy that things are turning around for Reagan and she is becoming more animated. I bet before you leave China, she will be giving you belly laughs. Love ya girl and I pray for y'all every night!!! xoxo
Love the outfit :)

Laurie said...

I think my heart melted a little reading about her holding your finger through the crib! Loving the pictures and descriptions you are giving us!

elliotts said...

I am so happy to read this post...and happy to be home alone as I sob out loud!! Happy tears due to your last paragraph....hang in there Mama, she needs you the most right now and it sounds like things are working out just fine!! Your blog has helped prepare my husband and I for what we will face one day, and I will be forever thankful for this.

Love Letters To China said...

I'm so happy to hear this news. And yes....everything will be okay. :-)


Anonymous said...

Oh yes everything will be sooo sooooo much more than alright! :)

Shell in your Pocket said...

OH, Lisa...I sat here and read your entire eyes were filling up with wonderful you both look ...many blessing!

Sandy toe

Special K said...

I was fine until those last 2 sentences which reduced me to a puddle on the floor. LOL! Bless her little heart. :)

agnetha said...

How wonderful it is to read that it is possible foreward for your little girl. Understands district you were warm inside when she wanted to hold your hand in the crib. She looks so nice and cute. Have a great time. I'll ask you a question. I have not understood correctly if you live in China or are there just to visit Certainly, it has emerged in your blog somewhere. But since I came ii it recently so I have not understood it. I would also ask your pardon for my bad English but I am doing the best I can ..

Football and Fried Rice said...

Oh, Lisa - you gave me goosebumps imagining how your heart must feel as Reagan slowly lets you in!! It WILL all be okay and she will melt more & more every day!

And you girl for eating that Big Mac :) It's refreshing to see you "Keepin it real"


Everything Beautiful Shay said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean about McDonald's!!!! SO good in China and I am the same way~ I never eat it when home. French fries ARE the best!!! So thankful Reagan is coming out of her grief and letting you in... it takes time to decided this new thing is for real and allow love to take over. :) God is so good and I am so happy for you both!!!

Anonymous said...

So precious! Glad you are using the ergo for bonding and so happy to hear that Reagan is starting to let you in.

Rosie Grey said...

I discovered your blog a few days ago and started reading your story! I really touches me and I wish you all the best! I love your photos, too!

Bridget said...

Awwww - your sweet girl is coming around and loving her Mommy - just like I knew she would! So glad you had a good day! Your pictures are just wanting me to get there as soon as I can!!! Bon Apetit on your Big Mac and your girlies french fries!

hugs -


Anonymous said...

K's grandma. I have a granddaughter from Chenzhou also. I have been following your blog. So nice to see the pics of Chenzhou as daughter and travel group did not get to go. I love the pictures. May God bless you and your sweet Spicy Girl. GiGi

Wanda said...

Oh honey - I know how hard this has been. It's heartbreaking when they are just so lost and all you want to do is reassure them that it's all going to be OK. She's coming around though. I love how she grabbed your finger through the bars and held on. You just wait. Soon, you won't be able to shake her off that finger.

I'm glad you devoured that Big Mac. That's comfort food at it's best!!!


The Byrd's Nest said...

So thankful to hear she is trying to open up....I can't even imagine what our little ones go through when they get handed to their new families.

But girl....I know exactly what you mean about McDonalds!!!! We get so tired of eating Mexican food (yes...I said it) and then we go to Chili's and eat a hamburger and it is HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh I miss American food:)

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Why is it I started to cry when you wrote she put her hand out to get your hand... this is so awesome...
When you are at the White Swan (if you are staying there) - well, anywhere on Shamian... you can get McDonalds delivered by a man on the pushbike :)

Patricia Roebuck said...

Thanks so much for sharing! We were in Changsha last July. We were not able to travel to Chenzhou, and I am very touched by your photos there. I would love to print them and put in our daughter's book for her if you do not mind. Thank you so much!!! Enjoy this time!!!

Mimi said...

(more tears in eyes as i read this), Lisa, I knew from her little face in the first picture that things are better today. I hadn't realised that her face was stressed till I saw today's ones, and now she's relaxed with you, phew!
It shows how hard it's been for her, which has been harder for you, being unable to do anything but wait patiently, and give her space.

You've done a brilliant job!
And you've shown her how much you love her. And now she'll be ready to engage and her love will grow and grow.
The picture with her little hand holding your necklace is incredible. Marla, ALL your pics are incredible.
Once again, thanks so much for sharing this journey with us- your posts brighten my day, a few times a day as I keep coming back to them. Reagan's blessing is rippling all over the world, truly.

Wendy said...

Hi Lisa, Congrats on your beautiful daughter and Thank you so much for sharing your pictures of the orphanage. We traveled to Changsha July 09 to get our precious daughter Chen Yun Yue, Merrin Francis and were not able to visit so this is really a gift. Your pictures are amazing! Thanks again and best of luck and enjoy the rest of your time in China!


Gail said...

Okay, so now I'm crying again reading your post, the last one I couldn't even comment, was too emotional.

Baby steps and sometimes big steps, and she's coming around. She knows you're her momma and you love her very, very much. You are doing everything you're supposed to for her Lisa.

Everyday will get better and better. Remember, I promised.



We ate at McD also in China and it did taste wonderful!

Lisa said...

I have read thought this whole blog and moved to tears..The photo where she was found and you have framed speaks volumes of our would and the children in it.
God bless you.
I have story to tell about a mexican child .. maybe three.
I too took her photo
Much Love
and you will find a comment from me down on toward the photo fo the child sitting where your darling was found.
Much Love again

Alyson and Ford said...

You are doing so well! Your words are touching all our hearts as we remember our first days too. Even though we write the best we can about those two weeks in China, only you can experience what you are going through. I don't think anyone is prepared for the grief, anger, helplessness of those early days. It is so hard to describe and sometimes we don't know how to express her pain and our pain. Each day is another opportunity to love her even more. Hold onto her! She is so precious! Love reading and seeing your journey.

Alyzabeth's Mommy

Virginia said...

I'm soooo thrilled for you both that she's making such big strides and coming out of her shell. That's wonderful! Georgeous photos, as always.

Gin =)

JMCS said...


Beautiful images and sounds like sweet little Reagan is getting more and more comfortable. Those fry pics are too cute. I hear you about McDonald's. John does not at it but even he had to do a Big Mac & Fries while in China. it's amazing how similar it tastes to home.


JMCS said...

BTW, Reagan's shirt is soooo cute. :)

Debbie said...

I've been to Changsha twice, both my girls are from Hunan. Love your photos! Can't wait to see them all. You should SELL them, not give them away. I'll buy! My oldest was also a finger sucker, same two fingers. She's 9 now, thanks for the memories and God's blessings on the rest of your trip.

Jodee said...

So happy to read this update! It sounds like Reagan is really coming out of her shell! It also looks like you are doing an amazing job with her -- Big Mac and all!

Hope she continues to melt your big mommy heart tomorrow! Whoooo hooo!

Jo said...

What a day ~ so happy to hear that your little lady is gaining some confidence in her new world. You are both going through so many firsts and treading in uncharted waters. I can't begin to imagine what Pat, Nick and Sarah are experiencing waiting for your arrival home.

Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers ~

Jimh. said...

She's a beauty! The photos are beautiful!

Jboo said...

So sweet -- your baby girl and you too! Take care and eat all the McDs you can! Loving all your photos


Kim said...

The last paragraph says it all. So neat that you get to take in so much sighseeing while you are there. I am sure you can't wait to get back to your family though.

DiJo said...

Hi Girls!
YES - everything is going to be "ok!" You are doing a wonderful job Lisa. Loving Reagan right where she is at! I am home, and now I can see your gorgeous photos on a "real" monitor!!! Simply stunning!!!!

Are you in GZ now? If so, have fun shopping and buying sqeaky shoes to your hearts content!

Hugs from MN!

Amy Maze said...

adoption is an amazing experience and i have LOVED remembering my trip to China a few months ago through your wonderful pictures and posts! Your daughter is beautiful and I remember that moment on our trip when I knew everything would be ok! She will continue to blossom each day and your love will grow and grow. Keep the pictures coming, I don't care if you post them for the next month b/c they are so good...I'm a bit jealous I have to say! ha!!

Kim said...

Love the photos...
Sounds like things are going sooo well..
Love her eyes..
Soak up all of China and spending time with your girl..
Love ya..

Sharon said...

Awww, I remember while in Vietnam after a couple of days Linhsey decided she would show us she knew how to crawl! We were shocked and amazed! I love following your journey!

Michelle R Photography said...

I have been away almost all weekend, but keeping up through my iPhone. My heart just melted when I read about Reagan reaching through the crib to hold your finger. Oh my goodness, what a touching moment!!! I am so happy for you!!! This is the first of many, I am sure!

Anonymous said...

So happy for you to finally have Reagan in your arms. I laughed at your choice of Big Mac as your meal. I have been living in China for 2 years (Qingdao) and am saving my "Big Mac Moment" for when I am truly desperate for a bit of home. Haven't reached that point yet.

Faith, Hope, and Love said...

You just melted my heart with that last paragraph...
There is something magical about following an adoption journey...but to follow your journey through these amazing's double magical! :)

Love and blessings,

Kim said...

Praising Him with a melted heart from Hong Kong,

Myra said...

I've so enjoyed your story...It's beautiful both visually and emotionally...little Reagan is such a lovely girl and I'm so glad to see her coming out of her shell! Praying for continued progress and bonding!!!!

mdelu on RQ

Dita said...

So happy that the tide has turned and Reagan has begun to look to you for comfort and love. What an incredible journey you 3 have been on...mother, daughter and sweetest friend!

I am so anxious to have you 3 home....come home soon!

love you,

Don't get any ideas....we are NOT doing Big Macs at our next lunch! The Merchant House is calling......

Freckles & Dimples Photography said...

keep looking for - and treasuring - those moments when she opens the door to you. french fries are magical, but so is the warmth of momma's hug.

Unknown said...

OH MY GOODNESS Lisa! I LOVE the pictures of Regan and her fries. LAUGHED MY HEAD OFF about the stink eye. Oh my gosh. SO funny : )

The finger grasp made me cry and cry. I am so happy for you. So very, very happy.

You look radiant with your baby. I can't wait for everyone to meet her. Do you think Nick will cry? : ) Sarah will just love her sister. I know it. Does Sarah miss you so much right now? I am glad Pat can still be with the kids so they have a sense of normalcy. You were brilliant about that.

Praying every day for you and very, very excited about your blessing.

Janet Sena said...

This journey is melting my heart, you girls are amazing and that little angel is just precious!

Buckeroomama said...

I'm so glad that you're able to somehow blog about your journey while in China. So glad that you are able to capture and record each little step, each little moment --those early memories. Blessings on both you and Reagan!

Anonymous said...


My family and I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it has been for us to read your blogspot each day. It has been educational and very heartwarming.

Our daughter is adopting from China and got her referral last month and is traveling 11/18/10. Reading your info each day was so informative.

Your Reagan is adorable. We wish you and your family much luck, health and happiness.

Thanks again,