Hello from Guangzhou! We had a great night’s sleep and woke up ready to go. Today was the medical appointment for all the adopted kiddos in our group. We had to leave at 9am to get there, so breakfast was first and then on the bus we went! The bus ride was not very long, maybe 30 minutes.
First stop was on the first floor of the building. Each child had to sit in a chair and have their photo taken, similar to when they applied for passports. This time they allowed Mia to keep her bow! Then, we all went upstairs to the 5th floor for the medical part. Kathy was amazing through all of this. She reassured all the parents that the kids would be fine and talked us through each step so that there were no surprises.
It was very nice to have a western potty to use on that floor, and even toilet paper! It’s funny what you consider a luxury here. When we first arrived on that floor, it was FULL of Chinese people and workers. Very crowded and busy. Kathy walked us to a back area that was for adoption families only. This section was empty and only our group sat here. There were four or five little exam areas back there where the kids would have to each go through three stations: general exam, ENT, and height/weight/temperature.
Mia went in the general exam room first. The doctor was soft-spoken and seemed kind. She quietly obeyed everything he told her to do and was very very well-behaved. Then, he looked over her medical file that we brought (the one we were given when we were matched in November), and I had to sign a few things and he filled out some paperwork and signed some more. Before we left that room, I asked him about why she did not have a scar from her VSD surgery. You would think a child who had heart surgery would have some proof of that. Kathy came in to see how we were doing and translated some. No one could find a scar, and I guess no one thought that was strange but me! So, no problems.
The next stop was a nurse station for height and weight and we were maybe there 30 seconds. Next was ENT (ear, nose, throat). The doctor here spoke less English, but again, spoke kindly to Mia and she politely obeyed without any problems. It made me wonder how she will do with medical appointments in the USA, where she won’t have doctors and nurses speaking to her in Chinese.
The last room was for the children over two years old. Here they had to do a blood draw for TB. The two lady nurses took in each child and then closed the door and locked it. Parents were not allowed to go with their children. This made a lot of parents very anxious, but Kathy had warned us about it and made sure that this process makes the parents look like heroes because we could just comfort and give lollipops or whatever to our children when they come back out. We were not the people making them hurt, we were their comforters. So, one by one, the children all came out bawling and the parents scooped them up and cuddling them and gave them candy. Mia did cry, but it only took a few minutes to cuddle her and then she was ok with her little blue lollipop.
Honestly, the entire morning went very well. We were back on the bus and Mia was worn out and fell asleep. I carried her inside and thankfully, she fell back asleep in her crib. John stayed with her and allowed me to go out with Kathy and Karlynn to get an authentic tea set for our girls.
The store was just beautiful. Hand-painted tea sets of all kinds. Each one unique. I found one I really liked with several colors and decided to claim it for Mia. This is a high-quality set that can be used for drinking because of the high temperature at which it was made. Lower temperatures would allow for chemicals in the porcelain, making it not suitable for drinking. This is a special gift in China. It is something that is passed down to daughters for when they have their own home and can host teas. So, perhaps a good wedding present.
We also had a chance to get chops made for our children. This is something I did for our boys when I was in Beijing last time, so I knew I wanted one for Mia as well. The master carves the name on the stamp and the top of the stamp has the zodiac animal for the year of her birth. Mia’s birth year is 2013, which is the snake. I chose a design that has her English name and then Chinese name in the characters. This is another special gift.
There were many beautiful things in this store, so it was really great to look around and get ideas of things we might like to buy somewhere else at a lower price.
After touring the store, we were invited to traditional Chinese tea. This was amazing. The lady who worked in the store had us sit down at a table specifically for tea. The process is very time-consuming and thoughtful. They clean the cups with hot water and then again. Then add tea leaves to a cup and pour the tea into a strainer cup and then pour again. We were able to sample three different kinds of tea in all, plus they offered butter cookies. It was a great experience and one I won’t soon forget.
Back in the cab and off to the hotel. Mia woke up right about then and we had some time to play before we went on the Pearl River Cruise. John went exploring while Mia and I stayed back at the hotel, then we went as a family to a small market place near our hotel. They have a lot of cheaper items, and we decided to get her a few traditional Chinese dresses that she can wear the next few years. Since she will only be wearing them for a short time, we didn’t want to spend the money on super expensive ones and she will look ridiculously cute no matter what! Tomorrow we will be able to go to the Pearl Market here in Guangzhou, so that will be another opportunity to get her a few things. I would love to get her things for Gotcha Day until her 18th birthday, but I don’t know that I will find that many different things for her. We shall see.
This evening we joined the other families in our group to go on the Pearl River Cruise. This was a fun experience. We were gone about 3 hours total and got to see some great views of this enormous city, including the famous Guangzhou Tower (aka Canton Tower), which was simply beautiful! There are more than 17 million people in Guangzhou, and it is only #5 biggest city in China! If you include the surrounding areas around the city, there are about 33 million people! I can’t even fathom that many people in one place! Wow! The weather was great and we enjoyed the trip and the company of our friends. We got some great pictures from the top deck and saw a funny juggling show on the second level, where Mia got to spin a ball on her finger. She seemed unimpressed, but it was still cute.
By the time we returned to the hotel, we were all ready for bed. Mia had a great day today with only a couple instances of saying “no” and we were able to turn it around with singing songs. No time outs today and we are learning more and feeling like we are making really good progress. She is super smart and is picking up on things very quickly. No more eating off the floor, and if we show her how to do things, she will gladly join in.
While they said she was completely potty-trained, and she had zero accidents for her first five days with us, she has had accidents by morning time the last few days. We have simply washed her clothes, given her a bath and put on new clothes with no worries. This means bathtime is now in the morning instead of the evening, but she seems okay with that. I talked with the other moms today and with Kathy, our guide. They all suggested maybe a diaper or pull-up at night for a while and see how she does. They don’t have pull-ups here, so Kathy let me have a few diapers to try just the next few nights. I think the only reason Mia has had accidents is because she is a very sound sleeper and we have had some very long days, so she has been sleeping 10-11 hours. It doesn’t bother us at all that we may need diapers at night because in my mind, being potty trained at all by this age is amazing! She’s only two! Having a diaper option will likely help on the 12-hour plane ride as well. I tried tonight to have her sleep in one, but she was whining that it was bothering her legs and hips. So, we might try again tomorrow. But really, I am quite impressed with this little girl. She goes on the potty every time I ask her to, and is the only one in our group that is pretty well trained already.
Today I am sitting here simply grateful. Yes, we have our moments, and yes, I miss our boys very much and hate that we have days like today where we don’t have any time to talk with them. But oh my goodness…I look at this girl and I just THANK GOD. She is not just beautiful and intelligent, but she is literally my dream come true! I am so blessed to have a husband who also loves adoption and who is completely smitten by his new daughter. It is like she has always been a part of us. When I look at her I see God. I feel His love. And I KNOW that she is a gift from above. She is not ours, but His. We are only blessed to care for her for a little while and show her The Way.