Ahh, Day 14. Such a good day. Although just about anything would qualify as "such a good day" compared to the day before.
Yesterday's highlight was that we met up with another Madison Adoption Associates family here in Guangzhou. They are staying at our hotel and I can not tell you what a difference it makes to be able to have another family here with us. You kind of take for granted how nice it is to be able to interact and just talk with people. Don't get me wrong, Andy and I have loved spending time together but two weeks is a long time to talk to basically no one but each other. It is so nice to be able to share things here with another family. It makes the hard things more bearable and the nice things much more fun.
Our day looked like this yesterday...
Breakfast. Not nearly as grand or as good as our last hotel which is rather disappointing but probably a good thing. I know I've gained weight since we've been gone and that is pretty unusual. Most people lose weight while here. Too many dumplings for me. You'd think that as much as I've walked and sweat during the last two weeks that I'd be skinnier. Oh well, the dumplings were worth it. Totally worth it.
After breakfast, we met Leslee and Matthew and their daughter and newly adopted son and went to the Guangzhou Medical Clinic. Part of the final adoption process is for Hope to have a medical exam here. It is a stretch to even call it a medical exam as the "ENT exam" involves squeezing a rubber duck and then checking a box indicating that child's hearing is ok if he/she turns his head toward the sound. Not the most accurate way to check a child's hearing. Most of the pictures from the day were from this clinic. It was nice for us to be able to see and talk to other American families that have adopted children. Really, it is hard to explain how wonderful it is to not be the only white, American, English speaking family with a Chinese child. Ending our trip here with other families like us is so refreshing.
We ate Subway for lunch and we pretty much forced Hope to take a nap. After that, we walked around the area with our new friends, had lunch at Lucy's, and had the kids play on a playground.
We're on a rather quaint "island" of sorts. It is really just considered an island b/c a bridge separates it from the next street. It is not a typical island but it is a beautiful area that is free from traffic, stop lights, and crowds. After having spent two weeks in the middle of Beijing, it seems like heaven. It is so charming here that it is a prime location for fashion photo sessions as well as wedding photos. Traditionally, the Chinese bride has her photos taken well before the wedding (like days or weeks before). So the random pictures of beautiful Chinese women that are all dressed up are brides having their pictures taken. Keep in mind that it is probably over a hundred degrees here with as much humidity as is possible. You stand outside and literally just start dripping in sweat. And these brides are all glammed up and smiling and acting as if they have no idea it's a million degrees outside.
Speaking of heat and humidity. I would normally be locking myself in an air-conditioned room in weather like this. But after spending a week in Mexico last month on a mission trip, I can honestly say I'm not so much of a wimp anymore. I don't love the weather here. At. All. And I still gravitate toward air conditioning. And I can't eat outside here b/c I don't like sitting in puddles of sweat. And when I think I've reached my limit with the heat, I find myself thinking, "At least you're not shoveling rock and making concrete in Mexico." And I somehow feel cooler. And I survive another day in miserable weather with a few less complaints than normal.
Click here for photos from today