Sorry for the delay in posts as we have not had internet available. Our hotel here is first class but the internet usage is at first class rates so we are trying to add posts and check email from the local Starbucks---their internet capability is intermittent so it has taken us several tries. Our last day in Xian was very good, but long. We spent a rather quiet and leisurely morning packing and walking to the park across the street. We watched a number of men flying kites with very sophisticated equipment. After checking out of our hotel at 2:00, we visited the oldest mosque, dating 1200 years ago, and the “new” part, about 600 years old. Our walk through the Muslim quarter was very interesting--crowded and Turkish-like bazaars all along the roads. Cars and bikes muscled their way through the streets as we pressed to the edges to avoid them. On the short path to the mosque we were overtaken by a funeral procession and had to lean against the building as the body passed just inches from in front of us.
From there we retrieved our luggage and headed to the airport for our flight to Guangzhou. Olivia did very well on her first flight and considering the late hour(8:00 pm flight) and arriving after 10:00. We had to wait about an hour longer as other families arrived from various provinces to bus to the hotel. It was so wonderful to see all of these little ones settling in to their forever families.
Saturday morning started early with the mandatory medical examination for all of the kids. Though it was early after a short night of sleep, we trusted our guides’ wisdom that we would be the first in and out. As we were leaving, other families from all over the world were waiting outside to do the same---and it was becoming very hot and humid and only 11 am. We headed to the store to get some supplies and back to the hotel. That afternoon we had a “paperwork party” to organize and fill out documents for the consular appointment---a two and a half hour affair.
Today--Sunday we visited the oldest Buddhist temple in Guangzhou dating from the Qing dynasty. The carving was quite intricate and the embroideries very detailed--like oil paintings from a distance! The courtyards were beautiful and the weather cooperated--overcast, so it was cooler and the rain held off. Apparently a typhoon was headed toward Hong Kong and we got some of the benefits. We then did the mandatory tea house visit which was actually a nice rest and then back to the hotel. This afternoon was a nice rest time and we are meeting another family to venture out for dinner!
As for Olivia, she is beginning to feel comfortable around us and definitely voices her opinion. She is really very sweet---wanting to share with other children and play with them. She is full of expression--scowls that are priceless--like we saw in pics, and mad faces when she doesn’t get her way, and beautiful smiles. She “speaks” to everyone and waves. She loves to take things apart and put them together. Not crazy about dolls or stuffed animals--hopefully that will change : ). Loves duplo blocks which is great---we have a box of them at home. Loves going out and riding in the stroller.
Right now she is sitting in the box our bottled water came in and loading and unloading bottles. She fights going to sleep and can throw herself to the ground when she doesn’t get her way. If Tom or I correct her with a “no” she scowls and goes to the other parent….hmmm. She fights sleep, afraid she’ll miss the fun. So we let her cry it out if all else fails--not fun but she refuses to be comforted. We are making progress though and can see a big difference in her level of trust in us. We can see how God is working in her heart and learning much in the process!
The next few days will be busy with consulate work and oath-taking before our trip home. Our long trip back will begin early Wednesday. Plans changed about our much needed night in Hong Kong. Supposedly the bus to Hong Kong can only legally have 45 on board and so those with later flights were relegated to an early bus trip on Wednesday (3 hours) to the airport in Hong Kong for our marathon 14.5 hour flight to Chicago, layover and another 4 hours to DC. We’ll arrive at about 7 pm, stay in DC and travel home on Thursday. Whew---tired already. Love to all and we’ll try to post again before we leave!