Saturday, September 4, 2010

Trails of Cheerios

Hello, from Rainy Guangzhou.

Yesterday, we wandered around the People's Park in Nanning one last time and had the nicest experience. A man came up to us as we were walking through the park and talked to us in Chinese. When he realized we couldn't understand, he simply took his fingers and made the shape of a heart on his chest, pointed to us and gave us the thumbs up sign. He said, "Warm Heart." This was precious to us especially as most of the time, people look at us with curiosity and then their smile fades away QUICKLY when they see Hattie has a cleft lip. It was really starting to get on my last nerve, to be honest. I do not want to be critical of Chinese culture but I would just like to point out a difference. I think, for the most part, in the USA, people would be curious but would be more discreet. Here in China, people start slapping each other on the arm frantically and talking louder and don't seem to realize it seems rude to us. My tact, has been to look at people directly and smile. We are not ashamed and we think she is beautiful. We also know her lip has nothing to do with WHO she is- anyway, sorry for the rant!

After our last walk through the park, we went back to the hotel for photos with the other two kids from Hattie's SWI, Bo Bai County. One family is from Canada and one is from Australia. Each family can tell the wonderful level of care their kids have received.

We met Mary at 5:20 for an hour long drive to the airport. She is such a kind and warm person, we truly feel our time in Nanning was extra rich due to Mary. When we went through the check in at the airport, we were fine weight wise with our luggage, but Mary told us they like to see the adoptive families and don't worry about the weight of their luggage in Nanning. We felt sad to say goodbye to Mary and to know that we were taking Hattie one step further from all that she has known her her first year of life. We also couldn't help but feel a sense of accomplishment for lack of a better word, as we are always aware of the very long process and wait to just get to China. To realize we are free to take this baby out of her Province and all the little steps along the way to get here really overwhelms us.

We went downstairs to wait for our shuttle to the plane. (It is like in European travel, where you board a shuttle which takes you to the plane. You then board from outside.) I decided it would be wise to use the restroom before getting on the plane. Guess what? I used my first Squatty Potty-really was no big deal. Thank goodness! Now, I can really say I have been in China, right?

We boarded the shuttle and it was so crowded, I honestly wasn't sure there was room for us and I was thinking how am I going to hold on to the baby, my bag and that strap that hangs for you to hold on to. As soon as We got on, people were gesturing to me and pointing; they gave me a seat. It was so nice of them. When we got off the bus, a man came up to me and said, "this is no problem" as he pointed at Hattie's lip. "I am a surgeon and I can fix this" we had a nice conversation with him and he told us the government "supports the fees" for the operation for lip and palate. We had found this out earlier in the week from Mary.

Anyway, we boarded the plane. Hattie quite enjoyed herself and we truly do feel we left a trail of Cheerios from Nanning all the way to Guangzhou:) She has begun to really make noise and we laugh every time as she sounds like an exotic bird. So now, we call her little bird. The flight was bumpy and rough. We had descended and were ready to land, but then they told us due to bad weather we could need to go back up and circle for a bit. Finally, we were able to land. smooth landing, but from the rain we were sliding around, we did finally stop and breath a sigh of relief and thanksgiving!

We were able to get our luggage and we were met by staff from the White Swan hotel. They looked like nurses, as they were wearing a white dress. She led us to a van and we couldn't even see the rain was coming down so heavy and fast. We picked up one more man, and then one other couple. As soon as they came near, we recognized them from our travel group. It was nice to see each other and talk a bit. We were all very tired (it was almost midnight) and so we all just took in the sights on the hour ride to the hotel. The rain was unreal. Cars were all driving with their hazard lights. We finally got to the hotel and got checked in. We were starving but it was just too late to even bother with room service, we all just went to bed.

This morning we had to meet at 8am to walk to have the kids have their visa photos. It was so nice to see our group and all the beautiful babies and kids. We then came back for breakfast and then left again at 9 for our medical appointments. There were three areas, Ear, Nose, Throat and Weight and Height as well as one other. The doctor in this area was wearing a white coat, but had on shorts underneath and sandals. He asked me if I was this child's mother, I said yes. He then gave me a pen and had me answer 4 questions on a sheet of paper, yet he told me what to answer. I wanted to read it and think for myself. I wanted to mark NO under illness, but he indicated it was Yes, due to her lip. So I guess she is ill.....:0

We then left there and headed right to Starbucks on way back. I have been fine without coffee, but I was quite happy to see Starbucks. (I think all the families were heading there after their appointments!) Today, I am dragging and tired. I think due to travel and pace of yesterday.

We will write more later, you know we like to fill you all in on every detail!! We are meeting for diner at Lucy's at 5pm.

Boys, we will try and call tonight (which would be 8am at home) we are wanting to talk with you and see how you are doing. We miss you and can't wait for you to meet Little Bird! She is really coming out of her shell and playing and busy. She was feeding us Cheerios all the way from Nanning to Guangzhou, she even has been feeding Daddy! Culley she is going to give you a run for your money. Hayden, she reminds us of you in the way that she carefully studies everything and loves to read. Culley, I just know you and Hattie will be climbing and running and laughing and causing all kinds of fun and chaos together.

We love you!!!!!!

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