Saturday, February 26, 2011

China Update #7 - The Halfway Mark!

(From Jay)

Well, we have made it to the halfway mark! We are now on the downhill stretch and SO READY to hug our little ones at home and just be back in our own country, state, city, and house! But I must say, that Guangzhou has been such a lift to our spirit...which was much needed.

This morning we plopped Lori in her new stroller, buckled her in (which she HATES) and made a few stops. First we stopped by a shop right outside the hotel and dropped off two bags of laundry. It just feels weird dropping of a bunch of your dirty clothes to a complete stranger in a strange shop, and hoping you will see your clothes again.

Second, we headed to the photo shop and had pictures taken for the entry visa to the US for Lori. If you can imagine the worst Sears or JC Penney photo sitting with your kiddos, just multiply it times 3 or 4 and you have our experience with Lori. I think there were two or three involved in holding her down for the photo. It was like holding a greased pig. We managed, though.

Then we took a walk to the medical clinic which is here on the island. There Lori saw an E.N.T., had a height/weight/temperature check, and then saw a general doctor. It went fine. Everyone was nice, and the clinic was full of other American families adopting from China. There were all sizes and shapes of little precious Chinese children, including a precious child with down's syndrome sitting across from us.

We then took a long time to just walk around the island and check out different shops and stores. Everybody wants the Americans to come in and look..."i make you good price"...we heard several times. We noticed several apartments up high having balconies with laundry hanging...any second we expected to see our shirts and underwear hanging for all to see, but we haven't spotted them yet.

This afternoon, we had our first meeting with the Holt staff in the hotel. We went over all of the paperwork for the US Consulate, and met three other interesting families adopting other children, each with an interesting story. Over and over we continue to hear families we run into telling us how they too didn't have the money to do this, and how God provided for them each step of the way...and the blessings of confirmation that abound. It has been such a blessing to visit with other families from all over the US...Wisconsin, Illinois, Florida, Washington, New York, New Jersey...

It 4:45 pm in our room, and we are going to meet some of the other families for dinner...going to an authentic chinese restaurant (imagine that) much so that we had to get one of the escorts to write down what we want on a sheet of paper in chinese...hope its right...otherwise we might end up with the ostrich kidneys I saw on a menu last night.

Lori continues to bond with the girls. Its amazing to see how far she's come. She is even starting to open up to Camille. She continues to avoid me at all costs. I know not to expect too much too soon, but its hard when every time I come near to her that she runs, shakes her head and cries. Its just hard. I think its a combination of being a man and having a beard...a combination that she had little exposure to. I am confident that time will heal all things.

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