"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12



“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats





Sunday, June 24, 2007

Medicals & Temples

This morning we awoke again, bright and early and went down stairs to the famous White Swan breakfast. It was all as we remembered it a year and a few months ago. I know there are mixed reviews, but to us, the White Swan is the icing on the cake to a Chinese adoption.

This is when you know you’ve made it to the end and soon you will be home starting your life as a forever family. Wow! It was so poignant sitting around watching so many babies and toddlers united with their families. Some were crying, some laughing and some stoic, but each and every one had a family surrounding them that displayed such love for their new little additions. There is no doubt that our Lord’s heart is so strong for his orphans and it is so very evident as hundreds of families are gathered in the same room with His children.

We took our time eating, which made us a bit late for meeting with our guide, Bob. We had to come up to the room and finish grabbing her paperwork and passport. Since arriving in Guangzhou, Anna Grace has slowly been turning a corner. Not quite so much grieving at night, although she fights her tears from flowing. That’s the hardest part for me. I so wish I knew of a way that I could make her just let it all out. But she doesn’t. I was told that it is because the Chinese are taught not to cry and she is being good for us. That makes it even harder to see.

I digress. We met Bob and started the walk to the little store where she would have her visa picture taken. A few doors down is the medical exam building. She quietly sat on the stool with the white background and allowed them to have a couple of shots snapped of her, with the stoic look on her face, of course.

Then we walked over to the medical exam building. This building is a clinic for both foreign travelers and Chinese nationals wanting to travel abroad. The air-conditioning in the building felt so good. The temperature is probably in the low 90’s, which is not too bad for us Floridian, but the humidity is close to 100. You walk outside and within a minute you are drenched in sweat. My hair still has that funky frizz going on.

Anna Grace did so much better during the medical than we all expected. She quietly sat on my lap as they measured her head, then she was laid down and weighed and measured for length….still no tears, although she kept looking around to see if I was still standing next to her. She weighs 25.5 lbs. (same as Kai and 1 lb. more than AJ) and she is 35 inches tall (2 inches taller than Kai).

We completed the exam, including a “a special needs doctor” that came in to inspect her hand. That was new to us. Kai was also a special needs and he was not checked out by the “special doctor”. Everything was fine and we headed back to the hotel.

At the hotel, we went over all of our paperwork with our guide to ensure that all was correct for our consulate appointment on Monday morning. Our guide attends the appointment for us and we must remain in the room in case any questions arise.

After about 15-20 minutes of paperwork, we all went downstairs and boarded the van (which Kai still loves) to go to the Chen Family Academy and to the Six Banyan Temple, both of which we did not visit our last time in Guangzhou.

This time we prepared for the heat with lots of water bottles, fans and cool cotton clothing. The humidity sometimes is overwhelming. Our guide is wonderful.

We arrived at the temple, which was named for the large six banyan trees inside the courtyards. The trees were there first, and the temple was built around them, hence the name. Again, it is so neat to be able to experience our children’s culture and seeing the people worshipping their Gods. We did have the opportunity to have the children blessed by a Buddhist monk, although we know in our hearts that all blessings come from the one and only God, our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is a rich part of the Chinese tradition to have their children blessed by monks and we wanted to allow them this ritual as part of their journey home.

After the temple we went to the Chen Family Academy. Mr. Chen was a resident of Guangdong province who 110 years ago went to America to work and make money for his family. He accumulated great wealth while there and 10 years later came back to China where he built a beautiful home filled with carvings made of stone, marble and wood throughout the home. They used rich, vibrant colors in many areas of the house that still remained today. As time went on, Mr. Chen wanted to share in his wealth, he then permitted all relatives and future relatives carrying his surname of Chen, to study in the academy he created within the home. Again, it was a nice way of learning some our children’s history to be able to share with them.

We all piled in the van again and then headed to pearl market. Last year, I purchased a beautiful pearl necklace for Kai to give to his wife on their wedding day. These pearls are of very good quality for the fraction of the price we could find them at home. This time, I had two pearl necklaces made; one for Anna Grace and one for Amanda. Our stay there was not too long since I knew exactly what I wanted.

We left the pearl market and Bob took us to a Children’s Wholesale market. This is a MUST do for those traveling here!!! I so wish we had been more prepared. For the most part, the children’s clothing was anywhere between 30 and 50 yuan, $4-7 US…and so cute!! We bought Anna Grace’s baptism dress, which is stunning for a mere $12.00!!

(AS I TYPE THIS….WE HAD A GROUND BREAKING MOMENT!!!! ANNA GRACE JUST CALLED ME “MAMA” FOR THE FIRST TIME! WOOOHOOO!!!!!”)

Whew….catching my breath. Ok. Think, clothes and shopping. Oh yea. We ended up buying a few things for Kai and AJ and about 5 dresses for Anna Grace. Sorry Amanda, there was not much there for big girls. L I shopped until I could tell that Scott was over his limit in waiting with two toddlers running circles around him. I plan on going back once more before we leave for home.

We then took a cab back to the hotel where we dumped all of our treasures and went back out to Lucy’s for dinner. Two nights in Guangzhou, two dinners at Lucy’s so far. It’s getting a bit old.

Then we came back to the hotel where I gave the kids a bubble bath (Anna Grace cried with clenched through most of it), put them in pjs and rocked them to sleep. Tonight Anna Grace was too tired (having gone without a nap all day) to cry herself to sleep. We are getting a bit closer each day. Thank you, Lord. Her hitting, biting and pinching is also subsiding and only occurs when rough play entails, so we stay away from rough playing. I really believe now that she doesn’t know “how to play” and it is slowly starting to kick in. She understands the word “no”, and although she doesn’t like it much, she obeys. A good start. Aaahh....I almost forgot. Before going back to the hotel, we went to the new Starbucks on the island! Yuummmyyy!!! Waaay too hot for our normal Caramel Macchiato, BUT....we got an Iced Caramel Macchiato which was DELICIOUS!!!! And we even ate the ice!

Tomorrow we will go to mass in the morning and have not yet decided what we are doing in the afternoon. I do know that we want to take red couch pictures tomorrow.

Again, as always, thank you all for your comments and emails. We love reading them, and I am slowly answering them….sorry it is taking so long.

I also want to congratulate my buddies that have received TA and LOAs. You are in for an amazing adventure. We have loved each day here!

Lastly, I want to ask for prayers for my sweet AJ. I spoke to my sister today and she told me that she had to take him to the doctor. He had diarrhea, a fever and a rash. It turns out he has strep throat. I am at peace knowing that she loves him so and is taking good care of him, but it is so hard knowing that my little one is so sick and I am so far away from him. I miss him, I miss ALL of my kids at home so much!!!! I love China and each moment is treasured, but I can’t wait to be surrounded by ALL of my babies. Amanda, Adam and Tito have been in my thoughts daily. There is so much I wish I was sharing with them here. We’re now down to just a few days till we are all united.

Tito, AJ, Adam & Amanda….I love you guys sooooooo much!!! I can’t wait to see you and hug you and kiss you.

Ily, thank you again for taking such good care of my babies, especially AJ that is sick. Please smother him in kisses from his Mama. I love you. You're a great sister! Also please give Anthony and Herb a big hug from all of us. We miss you all so much!!!!

Having dinner at Lucy's Bar & Cafe Being fed by Baba


"I don't like this!!!!"


" Is it almost over?"


"Why do you torture me so?"


A Buddhist blessing Lost in thought
Baby girl's sweet smile
Entrance to Chen Family Academy

"Did my Mama bribe you to try and get me to talk?" Waiting for Mama to decide on which pearls she wants.
I LOVE THIS STORE!!!!
GROSS!!!! I can't see this being a big seller in the US!
Woohoo!! Iced Caramel Macchiatos!

3 comments :

Shelli said...

Ohilda: Anna Grace is just adorable. She has the most perfect little face. Give her a peck for me!

I'm laughing so hard at the red bean frap. Almost as bad as the cucumbers on the Quarter Pounders at McDonalds and the cup of corn you could get as a side. LOL Cracked me up. Things I'll never forget.

Safe travels. I think of you daily and am glad that things are going relatively well with your new darling. :* Mmmwah

Abbey said...

Love the music you have chosen for you blog! I leave the blog on while I am working just to listen. It is perfect, perfect, perfect for an adoption! God Bless you on your finaly days of your joury to your newest child.

Abbey
Indiana
LID 4/24 (day 62 of LOA wait!)
An LCC family member!

Charlotte said...

O,
Not much longer my dear friend ! I knoq when you get AG home she is going to be so attached to her momma ! Riley saw the picture of ya'll at Lucy's and wanted to go back, lol.

Can't wait to go again !
Charlotte
www.rachaeljanew.blogspot.com

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