Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Packed and Ready to Go...

Bags are packed and we are getting ready to settle in for the night to catch our bus to the airport just before 7am.  It has been a great trip and the three weeks have gone so fast.  We had wonderful experiences in both Zhejiang and Guangdong Provinces.  The kids couldn't be more wonderful.  They are sweet, ornery, smiley, full of giggles and give the sweetest kisses.

Not sure what the long flight home will bring.  Will they be calm on the entire flight home like William (we can only hope) or will they be the excited little monkeys we've come to know and love.  They are great riding in vans and on a bus so we hope that translate nicely to the many, many, many hours we will be in the air and at airports. 

We will fly straight out of Guangzhou vs. taking the train to Hong Kong.  From Guangzhou we will head for a layover in Narita Airport (Japan) via Nippon Airlines before we catch our long flt. via United into Newark. 

Once we land in Newark and clear immigration, the kids will be US Citizens!!  Here's hoping immigration goes smoothly and we get through in no time so we can make the 1.5 hour drive from the airport.  I'm itching to get my arms around Griffin, Elena, William and Jocelyn.  Missed them sooo much.

Once we get home I will work on getting the photos loaded so you all can see our new beauties and some of the wonderful sights we had the opportunity to see and enjoy.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Shop, Chop and HOT...

H.O.T  Is the best way to describe Guangzhou China in the summer.  I've heard it referred to as the furnace of China and well, it's a fact.  Hot on most days doesn't quite do the temps here justice.  Melting has become my daily hobby. I didn't know that I could honestly sweat as much as I do here.  As quickly as I drink a bottle of water, it's gone in a sweaty flash.  Note to self (and others who may consider it), check the temps before you go on your group trip the local Guangzhou Zoo.  If it's gonna be 106 degrees, re-think that visit.  It was so hot I do think I could have curled up with the black bear that was on display and he'd of been to dang hot himself to waste his energy eating me for supper.  We were drained (and dripping), the poor animals were depleted and the kids were dizzy from he heat.  It was not one of our favorite outings.  We had decided it was really to hot to explore the zoo and took up refuge (for what good it did) on a bench under a tree.  The only reason I got to see any of the animal displays is  because Miss Marin had to explore the bathroom of the zoo (a new place = new bathroom to visit) and we got turned around trying to find Len and Tristan.  After our 45 minute walk we finally found our way back but by then were thoroughly exhausted from carrying my girl around for that long.

Did a little more shopping for thing for the kid and gifts.  We went back to both the Chen Family Temple to have Marin and Tristan's name chops made and then a 2nd trip back to the Pearl Market to get the Jade we needed for the kids (mom and dad got some too this trip).  We'll head to Shamian Island this afternoon to finish up some shopping and walking the beautiful grounds. Never know just what I must have to bring home with us.

Vaccinations and Visits

The visit to medical wasn't too bad (at least not for us, but the kids,well...).  It was a simple taking of basic measurements (ht., wt., and length) which led to a lot of screaming and flailing from the both of them.  Then off to the examine room where they had their heart and lungs listened to and a check over of their special need.  After the examine it was off to the vaccination room to have the TB test administered.  After a few more tears we were all finished and headed back to the hotel to let the little ones rest from their harrowing experience.  In a couple of days we will head back to the medical facility to check the TB tests.  Hoping for the all clear there (which it was).

The next day lead us on our two hour drive to Zhongshan CWI.  Ms. Zhong met us at the gate to begin the tour of the facility.  After a brief moment in the conference room we headed off to see where and how the kids lived.  We started our tour in the dining hall where the kids not only eat their meals but the older children will use the space for their studies as well.  From there we proceeded to the second level where the children were placed by age and need in day rooms.  Some rooms only had a few children during the day and other very many.  The room where Marin would have played with children her age had approximately 30 little ones ranging from healthy to special needs in one 15x15 room and two ayi's an no toys for them to play with.  Most of the children kept their distance but a few approached for interaction.

We proceeded to the room where Marin would have slept.  She clung tight to me and shook her head no when we started to enter so we stayed out side.  Before this she allowed a couple of ayi's to hold  her but after this point she denied anyone who wasn't Mama to hold or touch her.  The ayi's were all very excited to see her and each called her name as they saw her.  They seemed to be very fond of her.

After our tour we returned to the conference room where we had the chance to see some of the kids that were waiting for their Z parents to come meet them and also several children who are being advocated for in the hopes of finding them their forever families.  It was a nice visit with there older children.  They were all so wonderful and full of personality.

After our visit concluded we took in dinner at a local restaurant in Zhongshan and before taking the 1.5 hour drive back to Guangzhou.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Goings on in Guangzhou...

Well it's been busy since we've gotten to Guangzhou.  The real excitement started on the 30th of July when we met our girl for the first time.  There are three families in our main group and we were the first to meet Marin at Civil Affairs.  Her ayi carried her over to us and handed her off to me.  She began to cry but settled down fast.  We spent some time with her in the playroom and spoke with her ayi about her schedule, what she likes and dislikes, potty business and her personality.

Personality is an understatement.  This girlie is over the top.  She is so full of energy, talks up a storm, smiles one of the biggest smiles I've ever seen, is engaging, and runs, jumps and plays at warp speed.  She climbs like a monkey (on things, under things and over things).

She had a rough first night, but has been sleeping well since then, only waking once in a while to make a trip to the potty.  She's fully potty trained and is doing great.  Like every other two year old she likes to explore every new bath room in each store or restaurant we visit, often more than one just in case we didn't have a chance to see each stall and wash our hands in every sink.

The first few days Tristan didn't know really what to think of her.  He's so laid back, calm and quite and this new Tasmanian Devil makes her way into his new world so it took a little getting used to.

One of their favorite things to do is get a bath in the big tub and get squirted with the hand wand.  Anything larger than the spa tub (aka as the hotel swimming pool) is not on their list of highlights from the trip (at least not as of yet).

More on our adventure and wrangling our two monkeys tomorrow.