Sunday, August 25, 2013

First Full Day in Guangzhou

It's been a few days since we've been able to post any updates, so we're playing catch-up here tonight. Bear with us, as these three posts will be lengthy when put together, but I hope that this will bring everyone up to speed and show why we haven't been able to post anything since Wednesday. We've been trying to keep up with our personal journal entries, so that has made it a bit easier for the blog entries. As always, thanks for the prayers!

I don't count yesterday (Saturday) as a full day here because we didn't arrive until 2:00 in the morning. Today, we took a very slow, easy morning. We didn't even get down to the breakfast buffet until a little after 9:30. Then we spent some time unpacking our suitcases and setting the room up for the week ahead. Everything feels much better now that our belongings have been organized and are readily accessible. That makes a much bigger difference than it seems like it should.

Once we were done arranging the room, we walked across the bridge and found the supermarket, which is located in a shopping mall, just like in Jinan. I still have never seen this anywhere else or even heard of it before, but there is something nice about it. We found most of what we wanted there, including fruit snack pouches, which was really important for us. Hallie takes them in her bottle and Isabelle loves them, but we had only a few left of the pouches that we had brought with us. We then went to Pizza Hut for lunch, and I think that Isabelle could get used to that place. She loves pizza, and I think that she'd eat as much as I do if we'd let her. (We think that this might be an indication that she has a parasite, but we obviously can't tell. It could also just be a survival tactic that she learned in the orphanage. Given that the nannies have to feed a lot of kids at once, the only ones who get enough to eat are those who eat quickly. Isabelle is only now starting to trust us to feed her, but we have a long way to go with her still. She gets very impatient if she gets hungry or starts to eat and then has to wait for more food. It's like she thinks that if she doesn't get something right away, she's not going to be allowed to eat. Either way, we feel bad for her and are working on teaching her to be patient and trust us.)

We had another good dinner of instant noodles tonight, and both girls are doing so, so well. Hallie took three full bottles today for the third day in a row, and her smiles came more frequently today than they've ever come before. Isabelle continues to amuse us, and she is really starting to bond well with Kristie. We're enjoying our stay here, and I have to say that it is nice to have a Starbucks that's only a three-minute walk from the front of the hotel. You can't beat that! But, we are missing our kids terribly, and we know that they're missing us and having a harder and harder time back home. They're still doing well, but the strain is getting to everyone. What I want most right now is to get on that plane and get back home to them so that we can all be under the same roof again. We haven't all been under the same roof since we started Isabelle's adoption a year and a half ago, and it will be a relief once we are all together for the first time. We're going to do another video chat with them on Wednesday, and then we'll be home on Saturday. The end of this week can't come soon enough.

(Sorry for the lack of pictures since getting to Guangzhou. We'll take more over the next few days, we promise!)

~ Greg

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