Tuesday, March 25, 2008

French Quarter

We started off our trek through the French Quarter with a breakfast of chocolate crepes beside Hoan Kiem Lake. The weather has cooled to about 65ish, making our al fresco dining quite pleasant. MyLinh took her morning nap in the Ergo, while Alex and I sipped from tiny cups and enjoyed the scenery (including children successfully fishing for turtles in the lake).

This morning's rain refreshed the city, and it felt good to be out and about. One highlight of the day was an art gallery we visited. Unfortunately, we couldn't afford any of the pieces we admired, but it was a feast for the eyes. The link to www.greenpalmgallery.com will give you a taste of what we enjoyed!

Yet another milestone with MyLinh came during our coffee break (rewarding ourselves for successfully finding the correct formula, as well as Vietnamese coffee beans to bring home). First, let me explain that it is very common here for a stranger to reach for your baby. I had heard this, but was still startled when it first happened. During the first two days, it was MyLinh doing the reaching toward any person with black hair, but in the following days, we have had doormen, older women on the street, shopkeepers, and waitresses all reach for her. Everyone coos to her, admires her, and plays with her, but it is a cultural trend that I am still getting comfortable with. Anyhow, while we were enjoying a delicious piece of pastry, the waitress reached for MyLinh, and MyLinh happily enjoyed being passed around the staff. Here is the hurrah...when I reached for her to leave, she reached for me!

On a side note, we are so thankful for MyLinh's darling wardrobe. Thanks to hand-me-downs from Anii, Claire, Amanda, Madeline, and Cate, she is the best dressed baby in Vietnam!

We wish we could adequately express how grateful we are for the comments and e-mails that keep coming. The words of encouragement have buoyed us tremendously, blessing us. We don't feel quite so far away with our dear family and friends following us!


Jordan and Amber said...

Those crepes sound delicious! Ya Ri, people grabbing my kids would "take some adjusting to" ahem. I am glad to see that you an be so gracious to a very culturally difficult thing to accept... at least for me. I think I would be inclined to politely say, "touch my kid and we'll serve you on rice". Did Holt or another adoptive family clue you into this cultural thing? Or did you just sort of figure it out? WOW. Having a tough time adjusting to the thought of it. Really excited that she reached out for you. That must make your Mommy heart feel good. I am exicited for you both. Really love the expressive pics of Mi w/ her Mom and Dad. Alex, cute wrinkle nose game you taught her. When she comes to visit we will build on it w/ extra sound and smell. See Colleen, I was discreet and didn't use my "favorite word":)I love you all, Uncle J

Jordan and Amber said...

Ri, Tried going back to bed,but layed awake w/ the refrain "it is well w/ my soul" & couldn't get you all out of my mind- not that I really wanted to, I just would have liked to go back to sleep. Couldn't, so w/ the refrain above banging around in my head I have been praying that all is well over there. Look forward to your next post. Love big bro

Anonymous said...

Riann and Alex,
Since she is in american clothes, I have to ask and hope you will answer soon, as I wanted to get her dress made this week, what size is she wearing? She looks so cute in all of her pretty clothes.
I also like that she reaches out to anyone with black hair. Mine is pretty dark so I am encouraged. (ha-ha). Seriously, it is such a blessing to have her reach out to you when she was all done being passed around. It sounds to me like she is building that trust and belief that you are her safe place.
We miss you and are so anxious to have you back, however, this is an important time for MyLinh to be able to build that trust in you. So many things will be new to her when she comes home. As long as she knows her safe place is with you two, she will get through the rough spots. At first I thought you being there was going to be a real pain for you two. But as she reaches each milestone, I think how wonderful that God gave you a place where the only true job you have is building that safe place with no outside distractions. I think of all the people (including me) who are so anxious to see her and your Sunday School Class, Alex's job, the phone calls, life in general that somehow takes over. But here you are where God can create that bond with the three of you. He can open your eyes to each milestone. He truly knew what He was doing. Life gets so busy that sometimes just the little things are hard to notice and some of the big things too.
So glad you found the right formula.
Lucia brought over some porridge for lunch yesterday. I told Mark later, I would have spiced it up a little, but she wanted me to know what it was like. She made it with ham, which wasn't as flavorful as some of the other meat groups, but she had a ham for Easter so that is what she made it with. I do know how to make it though.
Oh we love you all so much. We pray for you five all the time. Mark has been coming home and asking about your blogs, "anything new" and then he watched the video or I read him the blogs. (I got my glasses in). We never even understood what blogging was. You've opened up a new world to us old folks.
Auntie Melody & Uncle Mark

Anonymous said...

It is so thrilling to see you with your little girl!! She is just a little doll... What a blessing that you can spend time with her there and then be able to understand her birthplace and give her that sense down the road. I have always marveled at how God cares so much for every single individual on this earth, so much so that he has specially prepared this little one to be in your family(what a miracle)... as he did my sister with my parents! Love you guys and look forward to meeting your Mylinh. Lovingly,ConnieLou