Friday, April 15, 2011

Group Oath at Consulate, Pictures at the White Swan, Adventure in Guangzhou

These 4 sweeties were all considered "special needs".  Beautiful, aren't they?
This morning was a lot like all our other mornings with getting up, getting dressed, and having breakfast at the buffet downstairs.  Lyric ate a whole banana by herself, an egg, a little rice, and a little bit of bread.  We need to get some smaller bananas for that girl!
It is sort of a tradition for families who adopt from China to get a picture of their children on a red couch in a hotel called The White Swan.  (Just for you adopting moms getting ready to come to China – there is more than one red couch at The White Swan!  I always thought there was only one, but there were at least 4!)

Our new family
Getting pictures taken of a bunch of babies on a couch is, in one word, chaotic!  Our agency, FTIA, has 7 or 8 families here who have adopted babies and then we are one of 4 families here who have adopted waiting children.  I hardly even tried to get a picture of the kids on the couch – I couldn’t make my way through to the kids and all the parents were standing so close to the couch that I didn’t think I would be able to get a good shot.  I figured maybe someone would post the picture somewhere and I could be sent a copy of it. 

I love how she sticks out her tongue when she smiles.
We took a family photo in front of a beautiful decorated tree at the White Swan and a family/group photo of all of us with FTIA.  It was a beautiful backdrop for the picture, complete with the Christmas tree and a small waterfall.
Afterwards, we had some time to kill for lunch before we met back together with the other 3 special needs families in order to go to the U.S. Consulate, so we went with another family, the Bates, to Subway and then the husbands ran into Starbucks.  At Subway, there was a little mishap and one of our subs fell on the ground.  The workers didn’t seem like they wanted to replace it (it was our fault that it fell, but a good business would replace it), and they did.
Also, I thought we would finally get out of Subway without Lyric crying – but I was wrong…  She sat on my lap b/c there weren’t other chairs, and I was completely shocked when I gave her part of my sub (mostly with just the bread) and she didn’t cry.  Well, Laurel ended up not wanting all of hers and Lyric wanted some of the bread so I let her eat some.  Then I decided she didn’t need all of the bread that she was eating and I broke it in half and gave Laurel back half of it to eat.  Guess what?  Lyric got mad and cried!  She wanted all of it :)  I ended up standing up with her and she didn’t get any of it.  When I offered her the piece later she strongly shook her head “no” at me…
On the way back to The White Swan, Kevin and Dennis grabbed some Starbucks coffee for themselves and one for Dennis' wife.  Then they ended up buying themselves each a T-shirt that says, “Starbucks Guangzhou” on them.  They got the T-shirts for 25 rmb each which is about $4.00.
We had to take a bus to the US Consulate office, where we took an oath that said everything we had said on our paperwork was true to the best of our knowledge... along with some other stuff.

Beautiful jade ship
Beautiful jade ship with Tyler and his new "glasses"
I haven’t said much about the squatty potties yet or told you about how you can see kids just going to the bathroom on the sidewalk or in the street, but today, well, we could call today a poopy kind-of a day!  (Oh, Kevin just told me that he got a Grass Bunny!  Yeah!  I’m so proud of him!  :) He is playing the DS next to me while I type and the Grass Bunny is on the game).  Kevin and I passed through security and were waiting for the rest of our group in the consulate building when we noticed a pile of something on the floor in the waiting area of one of the offices.  Yuck!  It was a pile brown, splattered poop all over...  someone must of had to go rather quickly!  Fortunately for us, this wasn’t the office we had to wait in and we continued down the hall (when we looked later the poop was gone).  Maybe it was a trick and someone was videotaping our faces to get our reaction :)
Adopting families with FTIA
The Oath taking didn’t last too long and we were able to enjoy some conversations with other families and then we were in the bus again on the way back to our hotel.  We (and the Bates family again) had decided to venture out on our own off the island we are on and into the real streets of China (they are real streets here also, they are just fancy and more Western).  We wanted to find a Carre Four and to walk down a street that sold, oh, herbs and spices, turtles and chickens, tarantulas and alligator tails…
At the US Consulate office
We figured we would find some nice Chinese restaurant to have dinner in.  Instead, we walked and walked and walked!  It was a beautiful night for it and we had a lot of fun.   We never did find the Carre Four (for diapers and medicine) or the street with the tarantulas on it, but we did eat at McDonalds!  How horrible of us right?  Subway for lunch and McDonalds for dinner – where is the Chinese food?
View along the river
I managed to miss this one, but Dennis' wife saw a man going to the bathroom on the street and then later, Dennis stepped in a pile of poop.  It looked like human poop, but it could have been dog poop.  That mystery will just have to stay unsolved!

During the walk, Laurel and McKenna (who is 6 and was just adopted by Dennis and his wife), ran and jumped and hopped almost the whole time we were walking.  McKenna has a ton of energy and really, really likes Laurel – who likes her back just as much!  It amazes me how two children who cannot speak with one another verbally have a language all of their own.  They played together so much.  It was good for both of them.  Want to know one of the coolest things?  After we were done at the Consulate office and were waiting outside for our bus, we found out something pretty special – Laurel and McKenna’s birthdays are on the exact same day!  October 17th! How cool is that?

Chicken anyone?

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