Thursday, November 8, 2007
I have not been good about updating, terrible in fact! Once we hit Guangzhou, it seemed like time sped up super fast. We only had three full days here, so lots of official stuff to do, along with the (dreaded) shopping and some sightseeing.
Tuesday was our first full day here, after arriving late the night before. We had baby's visa photos (and the guy that took Emi's is AWFUL! no one will ever see the horrible picture he took of my beautiful baby!). We also had the physical, which was basically weighing and measuring, taking temps, looking in ears and throats, and general prodding. Needless to say, Emi was less than impressed and wasn't afraid to tell everyone in a 10-block radius. Gotta love our gal. :)
After that, we had a free afternoon. Jeff, Emi and I spent much of the afternoon (before and after nap) just strolling the park and the shops. We seriously lucked out on the weather here, it is gorgeous! Perfect slacks and a short-sleeved top weather, my absolute fav. Emi got more used to her stroller (we are working on it for the airports) but unless the thing was moving, she wasn't happy. She hates hates hates the Ergo we brought along, I am seriously bummed about that. Maybe once we are home we can play around a bit with it, but for now we are just carrying her and using the stroller.
Wednesday we had a basically free morning except for needing to stay in our rooms from 1030-1130. That was the time that our guides (Rose and Connie) had our Consulate appointments. They took all of our paperwork over and met with the Consulate folks, we just needed to stand by in case they needed to call with any questions. After that we were free to do anything until later that afternoon when we went to the Pearl Market. I have pictures, but they are on the other camera so will have to add them once we are home (running out of time!). But it was an amazing place. Six (I think) stories of glorious shopping, most of all pearls but other jewelry and gift types things too. I took pity on Jeff, bought my wish list of goodies at ONE store. Boy, he sure lucked out! We finished all of our shopping yesterday, which we were happy to do as today went flying past!
Today was our visit to the Six Banyon Temple. What an amazing experience. The babies were blessed by a monk, we lite incense to send our good wishes to heaven. While I am not an overly religious person, I loved the sentiment. Jeff did the blessing with Emi, and I did the incense lighting with her. It was a very moving experience for both of us, and one we hope Emi enjoys hearing about later. We also were able to wander the grounds and learn a bit about the history of this temple. That was right up my and Jeff's alley ... we love that kind of thing. It was a pleasant day, weather-wise, so we really enjoyed ourselves.
This afternoon was our Consulate appointment. Sadly, they allow no cameras, so we were unable to take any photos of the visit. We were matched with our paperwork and then all waited together in a large room. One little boy was celebrating his first birthday, so the gentleman officiating lead the whole group (maybe a hundred of us) in a rousing rendition of 'Happy Birthday'. It was a very nice touch, and Emi loved it (we have found she LOVES music, and I can remember very few baby songs ... poor Jeff has heard 'Itsy Bitsy Spider' countless times but it rarely fails to get smiles and laughs from our Emi).
After the song, he had us all stand for the Oath. It was short, basically swearing that we gave factual information but I was surprisingly struck with tears at what it meant for our little girl. When we touch land in Portland, our Emi will be an American citizen. I was quite embarrassed to have the tears until I saw another fellow mom (in our travel group) with the same reaction.
Our last group activity (expect for the bus ride to the airport tomorrow) was the group photo and the 'red couch photo' for the children. The photo above is the best one we were able to get of the group, Miss Emi is fourth from the right, sitting with her bud's Maggie Grace and Sarah whom she spent most of her time with as they are all within 3 days of birth and us mom's shoved them together a lot (good thing the girls got along!). This photo here is Miss Emi with our National Guide, Rose. We met Rose the very first night in Beijing as she waited for our (quite late) flight to arrive. She has been with us every step of the way, flying with us to Chongqing and Guangzhou. She and Emi became quite close, and it will be so hard to say goodbye to Rose. She will always have a very special place in our hearts. BTW, we have been trying to teach Miss Emi kisses and she has been giving the typical 'open mouth' kisses for a couple of days but Rose got the FIRST kiss where Emi tried to close her lips after slobbering all over Rose's cheek. Gave both Rose and I quite the sniffles when I told her she received the first kiss. We even got it on film! It might have been an accident, but we all were loving it!
Well, we are packing like crazy as we leave China tomorrow. We are both ready to head home, but sad to leave China. We had said, non-stop, that we are coming back. I am betting it will be sooner rather than later. There were so many things we wanted to see and do that we didn't have time to. We will share them with Emi.
Love from Guangzhou