Thursday, June 5, 2014

Medical Appointment

Tuesday was Maisie's medical appointment in order for her to apply for her American visa.  She started off having her visa photo taken then going to several doctors for some simple physical exams.  As always she was prepped by our agency rep and she had no problems answering questions and going along with the flow.  She always looks intently at the adults when they speak to her and its adorable to watch her nod her head up in the affirmative as she comprehends what they are telling her.  The hard part was at the end.  They had to draw blood and they don't allow the parents in the room as it is being done (just a cultural difference -they allow the parent to console).  She walked out of the room in tears but went straight for me which is such a good thing as far as a bonding goes.  
visa photo

height and weight check

perfect patient

listening to the doctor

All those are real pearls!
Afterwards, we were dropped off at "the pearl market".  I'm not a huge shopper, but this place could overwhelm the best of them.  It was 6 stories full of small individually run shops full of pearls, amber, turquoise, beads, stone and more.  Most of it was all wholesale.  So, instead of bringing home 20 of the same necklaces, we barely shopped and headed back for a chicken foot snack (Maisie only- thank you) and a late nap. 

To bad Chick-fil-A doesn't have a chicken foot product

Then it was party time again.  We have friends that we know from GA that live here in China and it "JUST SO HAPPENS" that they are finalizing the adoption of their little girl here this week as well.  So, we met up with them tonight down near the Pearl River.  The lights of the new city area light up the night.  The Canton tower cycles in its multi-colors.  I think Maisie enjoyed being around the older kids and just got giddy with the lights on the plaza.

Our adventures in Guangzhou - Monday

Monday was a holiday here in China so no work got done.  It's the Dragon Boat festival, but I was quite disappointed that there would be no races here on the local river for another 20 or so days.  I still didn't get an answer why on that one.  We went to a local area where he American consulate used to be located.  Up until a few years ago ALL adoptive families stayed on this Shamian Island (which is really just a spot of land between the rivers that used to be a sand barge).  For years I heard many families talking about their stay at the White Swan hotel here which is now sadly completely closed for renovation.  
The day itself was sweltering hot, but we dressed Maisie in her little cotton Chinese dress and set off to find some good spots for pictures.  Although she did well and pictures were cute, the heat was evident on her sweaty head.  

There are many old buildings in a somewhat British colonial style.  The trees are old and overhanging providing a slight relief from the sun.  There are spacious park areas for the children to run around on and you never know what little statue will be found around the next corner.  

So thankful for previous adoptive parents that touted this unsuspecting little joint.
We enjoyed a yummy burger and fries

There was a nice new Starbucks that we sat an enjoyed a cold frappuccino at.  After walking some more, we came across the famous Lucy's restaurant all the Americans write home about.  It was nice to sit in the cool air and enjoy a (somewhat) American meal and cold coke.  They did not have dumplings, so it didn't quite have Maisie's stamp of approval   - just give her another year.

The frappuccino here was the best ever on a sweltering day.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Maisie's first plane ride

Saturday we left for our next destination.  Marie, our awesome rep in Chongqing prepped Maisie well with what to expect during the day's travels.  There were a few minor snags, but in light of Maisie's behavior and response to us, we are still blessed beyond measure.  
We had to board the plane from the outside.  The transition and jet noise was too much for her and she started screaming to go back inside.  When things like this happen, I panic a little with all the stares I feel on me wondering if others think I am kidnapping her or something.  Thankfully once inside the plane, she calmed down and seemed excited for the ride.
Saying goodbye to our CCAI guide Marie

There have been many positives with adopting a 4 year old.  However, there is something that occasionally happens that can make us squirm.  While on the plane, the flight attendant poured Maisie some juice at my request.  A while later, Maisie stood up in her seat and started yelling something across the plane over and over.  I tried to quiet her to no avail until I finally stuffed a lollipop in her mouth.  When they came back later, I got her some more juice which seemed to be what she wanted, so hopefully nothing embarrassing was yelled for all to hear.  
Maisie enjoys the shining sun while laying out on the moving sidewalk

Park near our hotel
Guangzhou smacked us in the face with heat and humidity as we expected.  I have to say it feels good to see the sky instead of fog and smog and I am always welcoming to the warm sun.  We were able to do a quick round of greetings to other families as we exited the hotel for dinner.  They were all checking in and  worn from travels (12 families with kids all traveled together).  We will have more time tomorrow.  But, it was such a joy to see each child in their parents arms.  After our dinner we wandered over to the park nearby and found a beautiful walking spot.  We didn't have much time to spend here this evening, but it is definitely a place we will return to.  Poor Maisie didn't know what to think of the sweat dripping off of her forehead.  She kept patting her wet head wondering where it was coming from.
Folding paper airplanes

As we were settling in to the hotel, I looked down and Maisie was folding paper airplanes spot on.  I smiled thinking this was a "skill" her brothers probably taught that she can now know for life!