Sorry for the shortest blog post ever, but yesterday was a long day, and we were dead tired, and that was just about all I could manage! When we landed I started having dizzy spells, and woke up the next day with a nicely full blown sinus infection. We began yesterday with breakfast in the hotel, and then went back upstairs to get the final things packed before heading off to the airport for our flight to GuangZhou. Our flight was originally supposed to leave around 6:30 pm, but we received word that it had been moved up to 4:30. That was both good and bad news. Good in the sense that we were able to get to GuangZhou earlier, but bad in the sense that we needed to receive our kids passports before we flew out, and just getting them by Friday was going to be a challenge, much less early on a Friday. In the end, though, our agency was able to persuade all of the cities to expedite the passport process and we all received our children's passports before the flight left.
Once we got checked in to the flight, and said good bye to our guides there, and headed to our gate. The flight took off on time, but we did have a snafu with the stroller. Usually you can "gate check" them, meaning you give them to the flight attendant when you enter the plane. They didn't seem to know what to do with them, so originally we took it to our seat, then they came and asked for it and told us it would arrive separately, the. We were told it would be with the baggage. Whatever. We just needed to take off at that point, so we prayed for the best as we all relinquished our strollers.
Sitting in the plane and even taxiing down the runway was fine, but when the plane began to ascend, and the pressure began to build, Matt began to get pretty unhappy about it! It was a booked flight, and I had a businessman in a nice expensive looking suit sitting next to me. I did the bes I could to contain Matt, and to keep him from wailing loudly, and finally found that cookies worked best, so I gave him several, and we were ok again for awhile. After about 5 more minutes, he again got pretty fussy, and kept spinning and twisting, so I put him down and let him stand between my legs, and he was one happy camper again.
After another 30 minutes or so, they brought out some dinner, and while we were eating, I felt my leg, and it felt like it was wet...sweat or??? Turns out, it was ??? Yep. I got pooed on. On an airplane. With no clothes to change into. That's me, alright, just call me poopy pants. So after the meal got taken away, I made my way to the bathroom, and changed mr stinky pants into a clean diaper, and clean clothes, so at least only one of us smelled bad. Landing was tricky, as he didn't like being held, and all that shaking and noise one little bit. Not really looking forward to the flights home. Not. At. All.
After we landed, we hiked over to the luggage claim, where we found our "baby wheelchairs" (as the airline called them) along with the rest of our luggage and when we turned around there was Grace, or guide from last year smiling and waving at us. It was so great to see her again, and our other guide, Jocelyn is super sweet too. Getting back to the hotel, and checked in was a breeze, and when we made it up to our room, we found a gorgeous, two room suite with 2 bathrooms. It is so perfect for our family, and the boys think it's the best room ever. After getting somewhat settled in, Greg was able to get Matt down for bed, and the we settled in for the night.
This morning we had breakfast at the Buffett downstairs, and then headed off for the medical exams. Matt, master of the poo, soiled his only short sleeve outfit in the lobby before we even left, so he got changed into his "emergency" outfit, which was the silk outfit we bought for him in Beijing. All the other clothes we have are for cold weather, so this afternoon, we are headed off to find some clothes for him, and to the toy market that the boys have been anxiously awaiting.
Fast forward... I didn't get to finish posting this yesterday, so let me catch you up on the rest of our day yesterday, and today! So yesterday, the medical exam went seamlessly, and we quickly finished the process and were back to the hotel. After letting Matt grab a much needed nap, we grabbed a cab and headed to 1 Link plaza, to the toy market. The boys racked up with more Lego sets than I can count, remote control helicopters, a remote control car, and a few other odds and ends. Matt go a tambourine, and a wooden pull toy, and he's been running around all afternoon pulling it around behind him.
Getting there was easy, getting back, not so much! We stayed until they closed, so there were hundreds of people trying to catch a cab. After hiking over to a hotel a few streets over, we finally were able to get a cab back. Once we made it back, all the boys played for awhile with their new toys and I crashed into bed. My sinus infection is much worse today, but I'm hoping that starting antibiotics yesterday will kick this thing in the tail, and that I'll wake up feeling better tomorrow.
Today we started off early, again, with breakfast, and then we headed off to do the city tour. We visited the same places that we saw last year, but it was good for the boys to be able to experience it too. The first stop was the 6 Banyan Temple, then we were off to the Chen Family Academy, and finally the provincial Arts and Crafts store. We spent the rest of the day just relaxing at the hotel as it began raining shortly after we got back. This evening we ventured down to the pool where the boys swam awhile, but the cool wind finally chased us back upstairs around 8. We also made a quick trip to the 7/11 next door to get batteries and when we got back in, the boys were able to play with their rc cars. Nathan bought one that was called a wall climber, and we soon found out it also drives on the ceiling. I have to say it's pretty darn cool!
Matt's been pretty good the past couple of days, but bedtime is still a challenge, and he wakes up at least once, usually twice a night too, so we are really feeling it. Already we are scrambling trying to figure out how to fit everything in to the time we have left that we want to do. Tomorrow morning is our consulate appointment, and by the time most of you are getting ready for bed, we will have taken his oath to become an American citizen. Technically he won't actually gain citizenship until he steps foot on American soil, but the oath is what allows that to happen, and what we must do to receive his visa. After the appointment tomorrow, we are officially done with all of the steps of the adoption process, and it's just a waiting game until the consulate issues our visa which should be on Wednesday afternoon.
Well, it's late here, and we've got to be up by 6:45, so I'm going to attempt to upload this before bed. Thank you to everyone who has commented, either here or on Facebook, and to all who have prayed for us along the way. We surely feel every one of those, and all the love they show. Tonight I would like to ask you to especially pray for the people at the 6 Banyan temple, that they will be reached by the truth of Christ! and will be open and accepting of that truth. Being there a second time, was especially heartbreaking for us, and it weighs heavily on me tonight. Thanks again, and may God bless you!
"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. Isiah 43:10
One last picture from ZhengZhou
Greg getting Matt to bed
6 banyan temple
The leaning pagoda has a hidden story in each one you see
Each of the golden Buddhas weighs over 10 tons
Cute one from the bus...
The Chen Academy, all of this is hand painted every few years
Looks like a photograph...but it's actually hand woven silk