Saturday, June 05, 2010

We're in Guangzhou!

Hello all - this is David. It has been a really busy couple of days since Lois' last post. We are still dealing with some intestinal "issues", but we think they are beginning to subside. thank you for your prayers ...

Before I begin the update, I thought I would post a few pictures of our trip to Hannah's orphanage. This first picture is the welcoming gate to Ji'an city:

This one is of the building where Hannah spent most of her time (though we are told she was quite the independent adventurer and had pretty much free reign to go where she wanted; we were also told that she helped the other Nanny's feed the babies ...).

And a picture of the gate of the orphange, this is where Hannah was found at 2 days old (though the gate has been rebuilt in the last year, she was found near the left corner of the gate):

And finally, a picture of Hannah with her Nanny.  As you can tell, Hannah was not completely happy to be there (that's her old crib in the left portion of the image with the red and white blanket):

I think the most interesting thing that happened on the trip was as we were leaving the restaurant to go back to Nanchang.  All of the Orphanage staff was saying good bye and Hannah waved good bye to them all!  (she had only waved good bye once to our guide earlier in the week).  I don't want to read too much into this, but it was almost as if she was intentionally saying a final farewell to all that she had previously known ...  Maybe????

While waiting for Hannah's passport, I was able to shoot a quick video of Lois playing paddy-cake with Hannah, it's not the best, but I think you will enjoy her smile :>)

We finally got Hannah's Chinese passport around 3:00 and headed to the airport where we accompanied 5 other families on the "no longer orphans" flight from Nanchang to Guangzhou. Hannah did extremely well, as long as we kept feeding her cookies and juice :>) We arrived in Guangzhou around 8:30 and didn't get to the Hotel until 9:00. Needless to say we were all wiped out. Lois put Hannah down in the crib, but she didn't seem to be sleepy, so she tried to pick her back up; at which point Hannah started to cry - it seems that a crib is a safe place (or at least familliar), and that's OK ... Within minutes Hannah drifted off to sleep, as did Mama and Papa ...  The room is, well, what can I say, unbelievable. We are at the Garden Hotel, in a suite - I'm not sure I've ever stayed in a Hotel room quite this nice, and I've been in quite a few over the years ...

Today was medical examination day.  Nothing major, height (84cm), weight (11k), cursory ENT check (normal), cursory full body check (normal) and TB test (prayerfully normal :>).  We forgot to ask for a stroller until just before leaving for the examination, and then it never made it to the room, so we kind of held up the group a few minutes waiting for it.  In hindsight, it might have been a *much* better day if we had left it ...  The medical facility was full of adopting families (I think that is all they do at this facility) - I have a video I'll post tomorrow ...  At first, Hannah seemed to be doing just fine:

UNTIL, we had to take her out of the stroller, and then take away her sippy cup - and two wrongs never make anything right ...  She started to cry almost immediately and by the time we walked the few feet to the ENT room, she was in full melt-down mode; it was quite a traumatic experience for all involved - and the whole clinic knows how good her lungs are (and commented so :>).  Mama tried to hold Hannah while they looked in her ears, but Hannah was in hyper-melt down by this point, so Papa stepped in and played the bad guy.  On top of all of this, they use a little squeaky toy to test the children's hearing (though how Hannah could hear anything above her own screaming is pretty amazing).  In a compassionate, though incredibly unwise move, the nurse gave Hannah the squeaky toy hoping to calm her down a little.  Unfortunately, they had to take it back when we left the ENT room and now we were in super-hyper-melt-down mode and it only got worse with each room we visited ...  After the TB test (yep, Papa was the bad guy again), Mama scooped her up, sang to her a little and then we put her back in the stroller and restored the sippy cup - within several seconds, all was  better (not right, but better).  And by lunch, she was happy and playing with her friend Rachel and seemed to have forgotten it all (of course there is that common thread of food again :>)

I'm not sure we will soon forget the day (Mama was particularly stressed out over the whole ordeal) ...  So you see, if we had just left that stroller ... (I think God might have been trying to warn us, and we just weren't listening :>(  Though Lois did comment later today that Hannah seems to come out of her shell even more after tough experiences like this; kind of reminds us of our journey with the Father ...  We did buy Hannah a red Chinese QiPao (CheePow) and some matching red shoes today - tomorrow is group picture day :>)  We'll be sure to post pictures :>)

The rest of the day was consumed with paperwork - literally.  Two hours of governmental forms, Visa applications, Immigration documents ...  And everything has to be absolutely perfect.  The guides told us that if they submit 3 incorrect  consulate packages in their career, they are forever banned from the US Consulate Office here in Guangzhou - so you can see why it took so long to make sure everything was absolutely correct ...

OK, that's quite enough for now.  Tomorrow we are off to the Botanical Gardens.  Have a blessed day!


Lisa W said...

You have survived your first tantrum! YAY! Hannah just wanted to initiate you into parenthood! So glad she is healthy and that all the paperwork is complete. She has a beautiful smile. I'm praying for you daily! Love you!

The Younger Rachael said...

I agree with Lisa -- unfortunately tantrums seem common even among the most content of children! Bummer it had to be in public, though. I think kids know you are a bit more constrained in public and it makes more of a scene. Oh, well, its the way of life, yes?

Sounds like most things are going as well as they could, despite all the stress. That's the best we can hope for, I think.

Linda said...

Excited that she is verbal. All woman!!!! You will experience the same when you try to go grocery shopping by yourself with Hannah. David you are outnumbered!!!! HA! HA! It is a good outnumbered though. It is good to have someone to step in as you do. Rene' was always the good guy; I was the ogre.
So glad that you are better David. Lois hang in there; you are doing a wonderful job. One day soon she will be grown up, and you will wonder where time went. Keep those healthy cookies handy.


Virginia said...

hmm..Blogger must have eaten the comment I left, let's try again.

Hannah looks wonderful, I'm glad you're getting to see alot of that beautiful smile, now. I just love her plump little cheeks, too. The video clip is precious, Hannah and Lois both look so happy and content. So you had your first big public meltdown, welcome to parenthood. Don't worry, that part of it won't last long. Thank's so much for posting pics of the orphanage, It's so neat to see where our girls spent the first part of their lives, and it's great that Hannah is already bonding so well with you that she wants no part of her old life. Have a great day enjoying Guangzhou!

Gin =)