We are in Guangzhou! We are not staying on the island where most other adoptive families stay, but we already ran into a family this morning in the elevator who is here for an adoption. They are from south Georgia and it was refreshing to hear American voices (and their sweet southern accent!) We had to leave early for Cora's medical examination, which is supposed to be the hardest part of this leg of the trip. It wasn't bad, though. And she passed with flying colors.
We also got to meet up with the other local Indiana family for the first time. It was wonderful to see friends from home! Since we work with the same adoption agency, our appointments are at the same time. I didn't know when we were going to see them, so I was thrilled when our guide told us we would be meeting them at their hotel before the medical exams. At the exam, we ran into the family we met on our flight from Detroit to Hong Kong. Again, I was giddy to see familiar faces. (Culture shock has been rough.)
After the exam, we all headed to the blog-famous Cow and Bridge where we had lunch. The guys then took the kids back to the hotel and the moms (and Cora, of course) went shopping. The island is beautiful - the architecture and landscaping are very vacation-like. There are many adoptive families here and everything feels more peaceful. I love it and both Brendan and I are SO happy to be here.
At the Medical exam
I didn't get many pictures from the day. We were having too much fun, I guess. So I'm posting pictures from the day before. We didn't have much to do that day, aside from packing, which was a CHORE, so we killed time at the shopping center next to our hotel while we waited to leave for our flight. (By the way, Cora did great on the plane. We kept feeding her crackers and water. She was happy as a clam. I'm sure the Chinese were horrified to see me feeding those weird, orange crackers to a baby - they are very particular at how babies are cared for. But I'm sure they would have done the same thing if they had spent a week in our shoes!) I also added a photo of our family with our guide and driver in Nanning. We didn't talk much to the driver. (He spoke no English.) But he was very kind and helpful. Belinda was our guide and we loved her and we already miss her.
We did start to see a bit of a turnaround in Cora. She let Brendan feed her breakfast and she laughed at Olivia. (Up until now, she's been terrified of them both.) Also, while we were at our friends' hotel, she pushed out of my lap to go play with toys. (This child won't even let me set her next to me, let alone put her on the floor to play by herself!) We still have a long way to go, because even though she showed us bits of "independence" she is still a frightened little girl. To see her relax a little, though, was so encouraging! We were thrilled!
Thank you, everyone, for your emails and your prayers. We love hearing from friends and family - it really is a treat to open up email and see who has written us. This trip has been hard, from travel snafus to living in a foreign land to caring for a child who is frightened/grieving/who knows what... We have needed your support like never before. Please know that the little things you have done mean a lot to us. Thank you so much!