Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Short Story, maybe....

So, since I am so far behind on the blog, I am just going to try to give you and overall picture of what has been happening the last few days. (Didn't get all my pictures to load. Will load more tomorrow)

On Friday, we boarded the plane to leave the cold of Beijing to come to adoption paradise - Guangzhou. We were hoping for warm and sunny days. Well, we haven't had any of those yet. It has rained every day we have been here and has been pretty darn cold for Guangzhou - in the 30s and 40s yesterday morning. Right before we boarded the plane, little Zoe decided to have major tummy troubles. This seems to be the norm the last few days.  She had about 5 stinky diapers right before we flew out and as we were departing.  She was crying and writhing in pain.  I thought if this is going to last for the next 2 1/2 hours, we are in serious trouble.  Well, it lasted about 20 minutes and then she was mostly fine.  We have tried to figure out what is causing her tummy issues. We are using the same formula that she was getting in the orphanage.  She has still had episodes over the last couple of days, although none of them seem to be quite as bad as the one on the plane.  We will probably have to see the doctor sooner rather than later if this keeps up.  We made it Guangzhou, and got settled in our hotel. For any larger families traveling to China soon, we highly recommend the Executive apartment.  We have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, and a kitchen. It is nice that everyone has a bed, and we aren't all scrambling to use the bathroom in the morning. It does not cost any more than it would cost to get two of the regular hotel rooms.

Marissa and Noah chillin' in their bedroom

Kayleigh trying on Marissa's boots
With Rebecca at the International Clinic. Rebecca facilitated Kayleigh's adoption 2 years ago

Poinsettia's at the Beijing Airport

Saturday, we went to the International clinic for the medical check.  There were two things we were facing - our traveling companions for the first week needed a clear check on their daughter who had chicken pox.  They got that almost immediately. They had felt sort of like outcasts for the last few days, and we were all excited that they would be able to rejoin the fold.  The second thing was the TB test. Well, we made it through the first check fine, although the doctor seemed to be very concerned that Zoe was so far behind developmentally and mentally. The second check was the eyes and ears. No problem there either. Then we got to the third check - ugh - Zoe had a fever..... that meant that we would have to come back before the consulate appointment to make sure she was fever free. The rest of the day was spent on our own and doing paperwork with Miko.  We also sent our laundry out. We were getting sort of desperate for some clean clothes.

Sunday we went to Liwan Plaza to do some shopping. The most popular thing there for families is the pearl shop and the jade shop.  I didn't really go thinking I would buy any pearls, but I ended up having pearl earrings and pearl bracelets made for the both the girls to give to them on their 16th birthdays (or when they get married - haven't decided which. I have time to think about it). I knew I wanted a necklace from the jade shop and I also needed to get a bracelet for my mom. I was able to take care of both of those.  We also went to the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall. We got more of the souvenir type stuff here - the kid's names in Chinese and English, finger painting (amazing to watch these men do this), ceramic Christmas tree ornaments, chops.  We got several things there.
Kayleigh and Zoe's pearls being strung

Jeff and Kayleigh hanging out while Momma shops :)
Monday, we went to another local plaza/mall. I honestly don't know how these shops stay in business. Imagine your bathroom (or smaller) and imagine a shop in there crammed full of stuff, and imagine that there are probably 15 or 20 others in the store that offer similar products. And imagine that there are halls and halls of these shops and you can just wander everywhere and see everything and get lost in the mall!!!  Well, that's about what happened.  We only had a few things we were in search of - tea sets and Chinese dresses. Somewhere in the middle of it, Noah decided he wanted a sword for himself (his 2nd) and one for a friend. At the last minute, we found the shop he needed and he was able to make his purchase.

Monday night we went on the Pearl River Boat Cruise. The cruise has a buffet, but there isn't much that we would eat, so if you are coming to China soon, we recommend you eat before you come and/or bring some food for your children if you are more the adventurous type. Normally, we would have been up on the deck enjoying the lights and taking tons of pictures, but, again, warm, balmy Guangzhou was freezing cold, and we ended up inside for most of the ride.

Tuesday - (hey, I will be caught up!!!) Today was the 2nd biggest day of all - the consulate appointment to make it all official and to get Zoe's Visa to travel to the U.S. Of course, first we had to go back to the clinic to have the check of Zoe's fever. I was pretty sure she had been fever free for the last two days, but I still gave her a little Tylenol this morning, just to make sure! She passed with no trouble and off we went to the Consulate. Did I mention it was pouring rain?  When you go to the consulate, you cannot take anything with you. No bags, no umbrellas. You can't even wear your watch.  If you need anything for your children, it has to be packed in a clear Ziploc bag.  Remember, it is pouring rain. We all had hoods, but we were trekking through the streets in the rain to get from the clinic and to the Consulate.  We were the last of 11 families who had appointments at 9:00. It took about 30 minutes for all of us to have our paperwork submitted.  We walked out at 9:30 with the last step completed. Zoe's Visa will be picked up tomorrow and we will be free to leave after 7:00 p.m.

We were supposed to go the zoo after the consulate appointment, but, have I mentioned it is raining and cold? So, we all opted to go Shamian Island so we could at least slip in and out of shops and go eat lunch at Lucy's - a local restaurant that caters to Americans. They even had SWEET TEA!!!! Of course, little Zoe decided to have another bout of tummy troubles, and I didn't really get to enjoy my lunch. :(

We are looking forward to tomorrow. We get to sleep in! We don't have to be anywhere until 11:30, and it is supposed to be warmer and it is not supposed to rain!!We shall see.....

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