Sunday, October 18, 2009

from Shenyang to Guangzhou

Saturday, Oct 17th
5 pm our time… we are so mixed up with our time schedule… We are now in Guangzhou at the China Hotel. It is a very nice hotel although not on Shamien Island where the White Swan Hotel and all the nice little shops are. There are 2 other families with our agency here – sharing our guide, Elsie. This morning at 10 am we went together in the van to the Medical appointment. FuJie had his check up and TB test, which will be read on Monday at the follow-up appointment. We are a “pre-Hague” family (long story about adoption rules) so FuJie did not have to have his vaccinations re-done. Some kids have to have 7+ shots in one day. It’s our government, not China. And really a stupid thing if I may say. Many of these kids have already had the vaccinations (as Caleb has) and there is no logic in having them done again, other than ridiculous bureaucracy. Anyhow, I’m a little sleep deprived at the moment, so I’ll stop.

Yesterday we checked out of our hotel by noon, Cindy met us and we headed for the airport. We drove by the Olympic football/soccer stadium, and complex where they had Olympic volleyball and some other sports – on the way to the airport. Things went smoothly at the airport – with Caleb’s new passport and security and all – although it was a domestic flight, not international. It was about 2:00 so we went to eat at a restaurant – since our flights (us to Guangzhou, and Cindy back to her home in Beijing) were at 5:30. We ate – Terry taught FuJie and Cindy how to play Uno, FuJie taught us a hand game (which we noticed the servers were watching and then started playing, too)
At this point we were the only ones in the restaurant. FuJie loved having Cindy with us and talked up a storm with her. At around 4:00 we said good-by and headed for our appropriate gates. Then, we sat and waited with a few hundred/thousands of other people as a huge rain, thunder and lightening storm began… and the whole airport shut down. No flights coming in. No flights going out. We waited… and waited.. after about 6 hours, flights started leaving. Lots of angry, yelling people, security… We just sat. Several people sitting near us started conversing with Caleb, and for over an hour about a dozen or more people sat focused on him – asking questions, him talking & talking, and people nodding & smiling at us. Oh how we wish we knew what he was saying. Our flight finally left around 11:30 pm which got us into Guangzhou after 3:00 – getting to our airport around 3:45 or so – getting to sleep after 4 am… with a 10 am time to be in the lobby to leave for the medical.

FuJie did well on his first flight. I had given him some Dramamine before the long wait, so bit another in half right before we took off & gave another half to him. A couple of flight attendants answered all his questions, and when his ears started hurting on the descent, I summoned a young man flight attendant who promptly stuck a tissue in both ears and got him to hold his nose - it helped and the tears/panic went away. So – that all said – we are exhausted. We just had a couple hours of napping - Andrew and Caleb are playing Uno. We’ll walk down the block and around the corner soon for some activity and to go to Starbuck’s for the free WiFi – to send this email. Our room in this hotel is way too nice – due to our middle of the night arrival – and who knows what else – they put us in a suite. We have a big screen tv that swivels all the way around, tv on one side, a beautiful carving on the other side, dividing the area with the bed – from the area with the small roll-in bed and couch area.
At the medical appointment, Caleb again showed his leadership skills in his discussions with the 5-6 different doctors/nurses he met with… and we really didn’t need our guide to move us through the different rooms/stations as he just took his papers and asked the doctors where to go next and off we went. He was very scared going into the shot/vaccination room, and was relieved to just get the one little TB needle prick. All his fears, tears, and covering his eyes… turned to elation on his face when it was over “just like that.” (Kind of reminded me of Cassi…HA!)
We walked around Shamien Island – visited some of the little shops – ate lunch at Lucy’s and had “great American hamburger,” with US license plates and photos of American actors on the walls. Shamien Island is a place where all adoptive families come – as the medical facilities are there – the US Consulate use to be located there. Thus, the shops, etc. catering to adoptive families.
OK, now the funny highlight of the day: in the middle of the park is a garden/park/ playground area. Several brides & grooms have their professional photos taken in the park. We saw a few couples being photographed today. There was also a photo shoot with a couple of beautiful models taking place near the playgrounds. Andrew and Caleb went across the monkey bars… uh, and then so did Terry. All of a sudden a dozen professional photographers with huge cameras and light reflectors, had turned – forgotten about the beautiful models – and were shooting away at the crazy American man going across the monkey bars. Oh, it was truly very funny. SO, Terry did it again! It was a hilarious, spontaneous moment!

Tomorrow (Sunday) at 10 am we meet our group in the lobby to go to a different park. One of the families in our group is adopting a little boy who is blind. They already have an adopted daughter who is hearing impaired. The other family is adopting their 3rd daughter. They have their other 2 little girls with them, too. We’ll do paperwork in the afternoon with Elsie here at the hotel. Then dinner together tomorrow evening at a Cantonese restaurant.
We are thankful that, other than the 10 hour stay at the Shenyang airport, things are going smoothly. Caleb had one big melt-down right before lunch today, having his pouting spells when we visit shops – “mother, one, mother, one” so we are not buying things. We decided that we’ll split up, and purchase things when he’s not around so that he isn’t overwhelmed with it all. We also realize he is frustrated that he can’t talk with us – and we all were very tired. He really is doing great and is such an amazing person! He told Cindy at the airport that he was going to study very hard and take good care of Mother and Father. Because of his age they had shown him our profile and when he saw that we had our Masters, he said that he was going to study hard and go to the University, too. He was also very excited to see in one of the photos that we have a piano and he wants to play the piano.

Love to all…
NancyP.S. – to the Manubens – we didn’t go into the shops where you said the blankets are – We’ll be back on the island on Monday and on Wednesday. We did go into “Emma’s” and met the guy who has the “Jordan’s” shop. Did you have a favorite shop? We noticed they all have similar things… any advice? Our guide said to ‘bargain’ and usually to buy if half of what they say

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