Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wednesday in Guangzhou

Another eventful day in Guangzhou. Today was consulate appointment day. The way the agency does it is that the guide goes to the American consulate for us with all of our signed, official documents in hand. We had to stay in the hotel room during the time of the appointment in case there were any discrepancies in our paperwork, in which case we would be called and advised of what we needed to do. Our guide called at about 11:50 to tell us that the appointment was over, all was in order, and Hope had been approved for a visa to get into the United States. When we touch down in San Francisco Hope will have full American citizenship.

There is one situation that is a little troubling. Two adopted children in another agency's travel group have come down with Chicken Pox. They and their parents will not be able to leave China until they are deemed no longer contagious. Every family now has fingers crossed that their child will not break out. We have not knowingly been in contact with anyone in that group. We have an immunization record for Hope from her orphanage, but can't remember if it says that she has been innoculated for Chicken Pox. We can't look at it right now because it is at the American Consulate and will be returned to us tommorow. Pray. We want to go home on schedule.

Today was "Red Couch Photo Day". It is a longstanding tradition at the White Swan Hotel for adoptive families to have their child's picture taken on one of the red couches in the hotel lounge overlooking the Pearl River. We will have photos to post showing the chaos. All the children are really cute. The biggest, toughest part of the tradition is the children's group photo. It is sort of like trying to herd cats, getting that many little ones to sit still long enough for a picture. Hope was probably the oldest baby there and also the biggest baby. She refused to participate in the group picture and started to pitch a fit.

We used the stroller again today and most of the time Hope was as happy as a lark. We did a lot of strolling and exploring while Mom and Jewell spent their time in dark, dank little hole in the wall shops.Hope gets a lot of attention from the locals. Many stop to talk to her and tell me how pretty she is. Apparently Hope's skin color is considered a rare beauty in Guangdong province. One local told me that the people of Anhui where Hope comes from are bigger and have lighter, clearer skin. I do notice that the local people around Shamian Island tend to be very small and remind me of the Vietnamese people. The people here are very friendly and personable. They smile and say hello often.

The one time that Hope gave trouble about the stroller was late in the evening when we were getting ready to walk with our group down to the Cow and Bridge Thai Food Restaurant. We were early and decided to take some pictures by the hotel waterfall. Hope was in the stroller and happy and we took her out for pictures. When it was time to meet the group we put her back in the stroller and she didn't like it. She had a walleyed, kicking, screaming fit. I pushed her around a little but she kept up. We went toward our group and met Jason, our guide. Hope was still wailing to beat the band. We told Jason that we were going to take Hope back to the room and order pizza. We felt that it would not be good for Hope to give in and take her out of the stroller when she was testing us. We got in the elevator and went to our floor. Before we made it to our room she hushed. We turned around and went back to the elevator and before we got back to our group she was happy as could be. No more trouble the rest of the evening, just smiles, waves, giggles, and happy singing. Pray that we we will have wisdom to help her make this transition to a whole new world.



Anonymous said...

Hello to all four of you.
Looks like Hpe wasn't the only one not wanting to have a picture taken.
I wonder what she was thinking in the picture by herself. Looks like she was wondering why she was all dressed up. Very pretty though.
Getting closer to time to come home.
Love and prayers for a safe trip home.
Aunt Jan

Anonymous said...

Hoping you're on your way back to the USA. I've had a whole bunch of people praying. I always love the red couch photos. Were the other children from Huainan or were they from Heifei?

Tammy Zemel

Anonymous said...

Hello again. Don't know if your getting my comments.See she was having a melt down on the first red couch picture. Maybe she wanted kids more her age. Second picture look like it went well.She is a cute little girl. she is a toddler now. See you when you get home.
Love Sharon