Monday, December 2, 2013

A Day Off!

Everyone woke up in great moods today!  The kids woke me up and gave me lots of hugs and kisses in bed.  I got to Skype with family back at home and it was so good for my heart!  I miss my other kids terribly!  We are so thankful that they are being well cared for by loving grandparents!  

The hotels in India have HUGE breakfast buffets that are usually included with the rooms.  The children ate so much food that I was concerned that they might get sick, but they didn't!  They love to eat dosa, dried fruit, nuts, and muffins.  Ajay thinks the muffins are cake.  These kids talk about cake ALL THE TIME!  Sometimes they'll say cake and sing happy birthday!  I can't wait to make a first cake with them!  They just have no clue about their mommy and cake.  It's gonna be great!  Haha!

During breakfast, a woman from Canada approached us and inquired about our adoption.  She said she's been working with street children and spent some time in Mother Theresa's orphanage.  We chatted for awhile and I told her how Ajay had fallen down and touched the hostess's shoe yesterday.  She said that was actually a sign of respect and that he hadn't meant anything rude by it.  That was good to hear.  

After breakfast, we loaded into a car and went to Agra in Uttar Pradesh to visit the TAJ MAHAL!!!  We put the kids through a 12 hour day of driving and site-seeing and they did AWESOME!!!  Such troopers!  They slept most of the way to Agra and most of the way back (total of 6-7 hours in the car), so I know we wore them out.  There is a new highway leading from Delhi to Agra, so the trip was smoother and quicker than it has been for others in the past.

Brick manufacturing...
Gotta love how these folks travel!
Adorable children that kept smiling at the white people.  :)
To the Taj!
Lots of animals everywhere!
CRAZY traffic once we got off of the highway!  
Cows under the bridge...
Camels and horses pulling carts...
Monkeys and dogs could be seen on rooftops...
Ajay and Smita took it all in and loved it!
Entering the Taj Mahal...
Posing as usual...

And there it is!  The Taj Mahal!

The tour guide made us do the classic pose!  Everyone did it except Smita.  She became camera shy.
Ajay was all about taking this photo...

Ajay continued to hold his hand in the classic Taj photo position every time we took a photo in front of it.  He had no clue...hilarious!

Afterwards, our tour guide took us to a shop where we were able to watch some artisons creating tabletops using the same gem stones and techniques that were used in the Taj Mahal.  Turned out to be a sales pitch, though.  They wanted us to purchase a tabletop to ship back home...  awkward...  We ended up buying a miniature model of the Taj Mahal since we collect replicas of monuments that we have visited.  That was worth purchasing.  The store keeper gave the kids free miniature elephant statues as gifts which was nice.  We were able to share our adoption story with him, and he requested that we please return in 10-15 years for him to see our family with all of our kids grown up.  He said he would remember us forever.  For the past two days, Ajay has been asking, "Ashram?  Ahmedabad?"  It seems to me like he wants to go back because he seems a little sad when we say no.  Jeff and I have made a decision to not say "ashram" around the kids for a little while.  The fact that we returned to the ashram three times after getting them has probably added to the confusion.  The store keeper spoke to them in Hindi several times, so I asked him to explain to them that we would be leaving for America in four days.  They got very excited.  The storekeeper also said that as he had observed the kids, he could tell that Ajay loved his sister very much and said many kind things to her.  

When we were going back to the car, a street sweeper was about to accidentally sling dirt on us.  The guide told him to stop for a minute so that we could get by.  Ajay did a weird hand motion at the guy and said something.  We were able to ask the guide if Ajay had been rude.  He said absolutely not.  Ajay has said, "Excuse me, Brother.  Let us get by."  That was good to hear.  
Next stop, was the Agra Fort.  This was an amazing place to visit!  
Monkeys were everywhere at the entrance of the fort.  The kids loved it and kept asking to go back to the monkeys.  
Lots of parrots!

The Taj Mahal could be seen from this viewpoint.
Taj Mahal
It's nonstop hugs and kisses when these two are around... Usually the affection is for us, but this time I caught them hugging!

Calling it a day!  As we got in the car to go back to the hotel, Jeff demanded that Ajay put on his seatbelt.  Ajay refused and Jeff made him do it.  Ajay then gave Jeff the obscene gesture again!  Jeff's blood was boiling.  He told Ajay, "NOOOO."  Once the kids fell asleep, we came up with a game plan on how to handle the situation when he does it again...because I'm sure he will.  Ha.

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