Wow!!! I'm falling behind on my posts pretty fast here. Shouldn't happen too much now that I'm in Guangzhou in what is quite possibly the best hotel room I have ever stayed in. We're right in the city with lots to do around us, but our room is so nice I might never want to go out anywhere. Our adoption agency arranges all our travel details, including your hotel. We are here with 8 other adoptive families, so they want us all in the same place for ease of adoption related errands they will take us on. They definitely picked a great place. It helps to really be able to relax and enjoy your surroundings when you are going through all those "firsts" with your new child, too.
So today was a super busy day. We started off meeting the one other family we were with in Hangzhou and our guide and checking out of our hotel. We then went to the notary because the other family (the Littles) hadn't finished their business there earlier this week. Next, our guide Fiona took us to visit a park on West Lake and we got to take a short boat tour of the lake. It truly is a beautiful part of China. I could seriously visit there every day for a week and not grow tired of it. Then it was off to a temple, but I can't remember the name of it right now (sorry, it IS after midnight). I could've easily skipped this part - I've had enough temple visits to last me a lifetime after 3 years in Japan. It always does renew my sense of urgency to pray for those who haven't come to know the awesome news of the Gospel!!!! But, I digress. I went along with the group and did get a lot of great photos.
After leaving the temple we went to lunch at a local restaurant. It was the lazy-susan style, everyone order and share the food type lunch like we had last summer when we were touring China as a family. It was a rinky-dinky place, though, not nearly as nice as what we went to then. The food though, as usual in China restaurants, was delicious. And, side note to my kids at home, the other family ordered the fish and none of their kids had the guts to eat the eye. Anyhow, we all ate to our heart's content. We split the bill afterwards and I had to twist Mr. Little's arm to let me pay 40 RMB for me and Evie (by the way, she ate as much as anybody else). That comes out to less than $7. Evie is funny too because she really seems clueless as to what to do with the chopsticks. She's great with a fork, bu the chopsticks not so much.
We had time for one more stop before needing to go pick up the girls' passports. Fiona suggested Leying Pagoda. It was at a breathtaking location, right on a mountain. You could climb up to the 7 th floor for some spectacular views, but I opted to pass. At this point Evie had been getting tired and I'd been carrying her around, and I didn't want to have to lug her all the way up. So I sat outside with her while the rest of the group headed up. Our guide came back out for a minute to wait on a couple of other people who were going to the bathroom. She chatted briefly with Evie, and then the two of us started talking. All of a sudden I glance at Evie and she is making the saddest little face. We couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. Then I asked Fiona what they had just been chatting about, and Fiona had told her everyone else was going to climb up the pagoda. It hit me that she was sad because she wanted to climb it too. Fiona asked and she said "yes". So I had her explain I couldn't carry her, but we could go if she was willing to walk. And she went for it!!! We only climbed to the third floor, but she was a trooper and did it all on her own. I really couldn't have carried her, either. There were some seriously steep steps there!
On our way down from the mountain where the pagoda was, I was carrying Evie, and she was showering me with kisses and just completely melting my heart!!!! She later had a meltdown over not wanting to wear her seatbelt (yeah, notice I said seatbelt and nothing about carseat. Just the way it goes here), so it's good she had stored points in the bank with the kiss shower earlier!! It's the only time she has done some REAL crying besides that first day when we walked in the hotel room, and that same night when going to sleep.
Well, we picked up our passports and headed off to the airport, and Evie got to take her first plane flight. She did a fantastic job!!! Ok, she cried on takeoff and landing over her seatbelt again, but I consider that fantastic. The rest of the time she just chatted with me nonstop.
When we got to Guangzhou and met our new guide, Elvin, Evie took an immediate liking to him. She started calling him "uncle" within about two minutes of meeting him. She talked to him nonstop, pulling out all the toys from her backpack and showing them to him. She was showing off her sunglasses, and he said "wow, she is really very proud of those sunglasses". Then at some point she couldn't find them and asked me to help her (yes, I understood all this without the guide translating. I'm getting good). It took me a few minutes, but when I finally found them she squealed with joy - a super loud squeal. So yeah, I would say girlfriend loves her sunglasses.
Anyways, Elvin couldn't stop grinning at her and telling me how cute she is. I was pretty proud. She is pretty darn cute.
I was in shock when we got to our new hotel. We have a two bedroom suite with a King size bed, and they brought in a crib for Evie. I thought that was pretty silly but since it was here offered to put her i. It, and she seemed pretty happy in it. She doesn't get up to go to the bathroom at night, so I think she'll be OK. But tomorrow I might have them remove that and we'll just share the bed.
Well it is now 1 am and we have to go for the medical exam this morning. So I guess I'll sing off now. Part of the medical exam is a TB blood test, so please pray that Evie does OK with getting her blood drawn.