Guangzhou

We finally made it to our hotel in Guangzhou around 9pm last night.  It was such a relief.  We were looking forward to seeing familiar faces at breakfast this morning!

Emily did awesome on the 2 hour flight from Nanjing to Guangzhou!  Snacks, coloring and looking out the window kept her occupied.

Today we explored the hotel in Guangzhou and the area surrounding it.  It’s very different than Nanjing.  In Nanjing there were only a handful of Westerners, and we really only saw them on adoption day.  One morning at breakfast a gentlemen told us that his daughter was scared of us the day before because she’d never seen a white person.

In Guangzhou there are tons of families from the US; all families adopting from the US have to end their trip in Guangzhou to get their child’s visa into the United States.  There are also a lot more people in Guangzhou, although there were a lot of people in Nanjing.  Today there are approximately 19 million people in Guangzhou according to our guide.  In 1980, there were only 3.5 million people.  In every city we’ve been in, there are just so many people; you see building after building.

View from our room in Beijing.

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View from our room in Nanjing.

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Emily has been one brave and resilient little girl.  She left the only home and people she’s known for the last two years and walked away with two complete strangers.  She’s now slept in three different hotel rooms and seen and experienced so many new things in just one week.  Yet she has been happy and eager to explore.

It seems the loss and the newness is starting to catch up with her though.  In the first several days she slept far more than the orphanage indicated.  She would cry briefly when we put her to bed but we had to wake her up in the mornings and after long naps.  In the last couple of days though she has woken up early in the morning and after a brief nap crying .  It seems she’s afraid we won’t be there anymore.  Her cry breaks my heart.

We’ve had many happy moments but she’s had a lot of tears today as well.  She’s grieving all that she has lost and she’s frustrated too.  She understands so much of what we say but she can’t communicate her wants and needs to us.  She is drawn to every child she sees;  I think she is missing all the children that surrounded her each and every day.

She still cries when we put her to bed.  I’m not sure if it’s the darkness, her desire to play or her fear that she will be alone again.  At first she fought me when I would try to rock her and sing to her before bed.  But in the last couple of days she’s relaxed a little and the tears don’t come immediately.  In the first few days, despite the tears, she would be asleep in a matter of minutes; all the new sights, sounds and experiences were exhausting to her.  Now, however, I’m starting to get a glimpse of how she soothed herself to sleep at night.  With no one to rock her to sleep she must have rocked herself to sleep turning her head back and forth, back and forth as if she’s shaking her head ‘no.’  No matter how much I rock or sing, this is how she soothes herself to sleep.  I long for our rocking chair at home, for the opportunity to rock and rock until she feels safe.

Despite some of the tears and fears, she is one happy little girl.  She loves to be outside and she LOVES the water.  Bathtub or swimming pool, I think she’d splash all day if we’d let her.  She also loves to play in ball pits.  All of our hotels (even the airports) have had a children’s play area, which is such a blessing.  After her first time down the slide she couldn’t get enough.  She was also quite fascinated with the swings today.

This precious girl has stolen our hearts!

Tomorrow we have a medical appointment in preparation for receiving her visa to the US.  We would appreciate your prayers.  She will have several people looking her over.  And, because she is over the age of one, she will have a TB shot, and the parents are not allowed in the room for this part.  I’m not really sure why we aren’t allowed in, but we have to put our daughter into the hands of complete strangers while they whisk her away for a shot, which terrifies every child.  I’m told it only takes a couple of minutes, but that’s too long for me.

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