Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Signing Off from Guangzhou

We leave in the morning!  We've had a lovely time, but we're excited to get home.  Yesterday was our oath ceremony at the consulate.  The culmination of all of the US immigration paperwork we've been working on for nearly a year.  There was a little play area (new since last time we were there) which made the wait easier for the kiddos.  The officer was very nice and assured us that there are adequate consulate appointments and that there is NO backlog.  We took the oath and piled back into the bus to the hotel.  There was such an air of celebration that all of the families had a pizza party in the hallway.  It was just like college with pizza and beer and kids, well, I guess the kids weren't there in college.  The boys watched Air Buddies and the girls played DS.  The parents chatted happily about things they missed from home and made plans to see each other in the future. 

Today we shopped a little on the island.  The Noah napped while Micah swam. We started packing before dinner and at this point have just about everything in suitcases.  We had a fun dinner at Lucy's (local restaurant with  Western food) with two of the families with whom we've become close.  We all have older kids near the same age and adopted boys near the same age.  It was relaxing and fun. 

Two weeks ago a group of random strangers met in Beijing and Zhengzhou.  Today these families are unalterably woven into the fabric of our lives.  This has been an amazing trip, but we're looking forward to getting home.  See you on the flip side!   

Pearl River Cruise

We had the most amazing opportunity to take a dinner cruise on the Pearl River.  After a traditional Cantonese buffet dinner (some good, some just weird), we enjoyed ice cream!  Noah didn't know what to make of this cold treat!  Then we went up to the top of the boat to watch the city.  Micah really enjoyed seeing the acrobat and Noah danced with Mama and the Chinese ladies on the top deck.  I have to say it was the first time we really felt like a family of four. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Red Couch Photos

You have to do it.  You have to dress your child in Chinese clothing and take pictures on the red couch at the White Swan Hotel.  Hundreds of families before us have sat on the famous couches for a photo.  And we were no exception.  Noah was handsome in silk, Micah was the helpful big brother (no Chinese clothes for my American boy!). 

And you have to try to take a picture of all those newly adopted children on the red couch.  This was humorous with children rolling over or refusing to cooperate.  Noah was fine until Mama tried to step out of the frame.  Then we had total meltdown!  This is the best shot we got of the children. 

Guangzhou City Zoo

Sunday brought us a trip to the zoo.  Micah loved running around with the other kids.  Noah got his first ride in the stroller.  At first he held on for dear life, but soon relaxed and enjoyed the ride! 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Clinic Visit

Hague. Hate it!  The US regulations governing Hague adoptions require that Noah be up-to-date on his immunizations before he can come to the US.  With Micah we only had to file an affidavit saying we would immunize him when we got home. 

So yesterday was our clinic appointment.  Noah went through his three clinic stations like a champ.  Then came the last station, immunizations.  Noah needed eight immunizations, plus an oral polio vaccine.  I had to hold him on my lap while he got two injections in each arm and each leg.  Noah was crying, Mama was crying, Micah was upset, Baba was trying to comfort all of us.  All in all, a harrowing experience.  I have to say it was the worst day since we got here.  But, we dosed Noah with Tylenol and he ended up giggling and smiling while we waited to be sure that he didn't have a reaction.  He's a little trooper. 

I'm attaching a couple of pictures from our trip to the Cow and Bridge.  To answer Donna, we didn't go last time because I was so sick with a sinus infection.  It was my first experience with Thai food, but what I had was good. 

Noah continues to warm to us and is sweet and happy. He comes readily to either of us, though he still prefers Mama when in distress or hungry.  He will play with toys and prefers things that move or make noise.  At his clinic appointment he was 25.6 pounds and 32 inches tall.  He's a solid little chunk. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Touring and shopping in Guangzhou

Yesterday, we got to take a half day tour of some of the sights of Guangzhou.  We visited the Six Banyan Trees Temple.  We got to meet a real monk and he took a liking to Micah.  I mean a real liking.  He touched him, pulled his ear and held his wrists and talked to him in Chinese.  Micah was trying to be polite, but I think he was pretty freaked out! 

We toured the historic Chen house and went to the Guangzhou arts and crafts.  Micah was more impressed with the grocery across the street where he scored some sour skittles and potato chips.  Mama got her precious "Zero Coca" (Coke Zero).  Ah, the real thing! 

And last night, another taste of home - Papa John's Pizza.  Yum!  Noah likes pizza too! 

Today we went shopping for pearls, jade and toys with Ann from Red Thread China.  If you are looking for a personal shopping assistant in Guangzhou, I can't say enough good things about Ann.  She helped us to find just what we were looking for at a good price.  Mama got a pearl solitaire necklace and Baba got a jade necklace.  Micah got a cool place and Noah got a toy phone (so maybe he'll leave the hotel phone alone!)  We got some great gifts to bring home, too. 

Tonight we are going to the Cow and Bridge Thai restaurant.  I've heard good things about that one. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


We've made it to Guangzhou. Part Chinatown and part Key West, just getting here feel like we're halfway home.  Noah continues to adjust to his new role in our family.  He is a happy baby except when he is tired or hungry.  There's still a lot of baby in him.  We visited the Swan room (the playroom) at the hotel.  He is finally opening up and playing.  He's kinda a bully and not good at sharing.  Those are probably behaviors that served him well in the orphanage.  

Last night was moon festival.  We saw families light lanterns and launch them toward the moon.  The sidewalks were packed with people, yet it was quiet and serene. 

Today we are touring the city and visiting a temple and the Chen House. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

A little this, a little that...

There are probably a few things that I've forgotten the mention in our daily posts.  I'll try to fill in the gaps with stuff I can remember....
  • Noah's palate is repaired.  He even has a uvula. 
  • Noah babbles but has no real words. 
  • He can wear 12 month and 18 month clothes.  The 12 month onesies are getting a little short.  12 month shorts seem to fit OK, but 18 month for shirts is a little better.  T
  • The Ergo is awesome!!!!!   Noah gets excited when he sees it cuz it means we're gonna go, go, go!
  • Traffic in China makes Atlanta traffic look like a Sunday drive in the country.
  • Noah likes fried rice, dumplings and noodles.  He also likes pizza.  That's my boy. 
  • Noah is a good sleeper.  He fusses a little when laying down but tends to sleep through the night.
Anything else I've missed? Any questions? 

Here are a couple gratuitous Noah pictures! 

Decompression Day

Finally a day without anything we had to do.  Monday was our first day without adoption paperwork, tours or bus rides.  We took a walk to local park.  Noah napped in the Ergo while Micah and Baba explored the park.  There was a little section with amusement rides and Micah rode a few rides. After Noah's nap we went to the swimming pool.  Noah wasn't sure about it, but after watching Micah and the other boys decided that kicking his feet in the water was pretty cool.  We had an early dinner and the boys went to bed early.  All in all a pretty good day and just what we needed. 


In the below post, that wasn't a picture of Noah's bed, that was his best friend in the orphanage.  I'm pretty tired, but even I know the difference between a child and a crib - LOL! 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Orphanage Visit

We had the precious opportunity to visit Noah's orphanage in Kaifeng.  He was in the Lily Orphan Care Center within the orphanage.  We were able to meet several of Noah's friends in the orphanage.  We saw his crib and the playroom.  We also learned that two of his special friends have been adopted by families in the States. 

Noah was very concerned the whole time we were there.  His lip quivered when various workers came and fussed over him.  He cried when the orphanage director came in.  He cried when his favorite nanny tried to hold him.

All in all it was an emotional, but good day.  It is obvious that he was and is loved.  He seemed genuinely relieved when we left and he was still with us.

We have a free day today. We are going to take a walk to a park before lunch.  Thank you all for your prayers.  We feel that you are with us.   

I don't know where the pictures post, but today's pictures show Noah's bed in the orphanage, Micah in the playroom and Noah's finding spot.