Saturday, June 26, 2010
Guangzhou...back to civilization!!!!
When leaving the hotel in Hohhot, we rode in a van to the airport with our guide and a driver. (Our driver here has been great, a very sweet gentleman!) Riding in the traffic is a trip. I do not see how there are not more accidents. On the way, once we stopped next to a pretty full bus and Shiloh was sitting next to the window and talking and jabbering...all of a sudden the guide and driver laughed. Shiloh had said "look at all the people" meaning all that were on the bus. This girl is smarter than we think. Our guide says she says some words very plain but others she is not sure about. She thinks maybe she speaks in a local Inner Mongolian dialect. We made it to Guangzhou late, after 12pm...didn't get to bed until after 2am. Interestingly enough, when we flew out of Hohhot after saying Goodbye to our wonderful guide Cindy, our plane only stayed in the air for a short time. Someone forgot to tell us that we would be stopping to unload and pick up more passengers in Baotou. So as the plane was landing in Baotou we thought we could stay on the plane and some would get off and some would get on. Well, once the plane was empty we were the last ones left. In broken English we were told to exit the plane...YIKES! We boarded a bus that took us to the airport and entered the Baotou airport. Now there was really no one who spoke English and we had no guide...we finally understood it was a 45 minute layover and from there we would board the second plane for Guangzhou with a little ticket we had been given. "Little bit" had to "neow neow" so think about it....we found the womens restroom and it was filty and all it had was "squatty potties"...the western potty was too yuck to bother with. I held her up and she did her business and then I had to hold her to do mine....mission accomplished but let's not go there! Then we waited, not sure of the announcements, we almost missed our plane, but Poppy was the one who heard Guangzhou somewhere within the page that occured in Chinese. We hustled to get in line and somehow we made it. The hard part about all of the leaving one plane and the bus and the other plane was all the stairs...carrying Shiloh, her bag, and Dad and Chuck carrying their backpacks and mine....it was tough. I do not think that the people in Baotou knew what to think of us. Lot's of stares and I will be honest, in America we would consider it rude for someone to just stop in thier tracks and watch you walk by less than 1 foot from you. Smile and move on has become my new motto! It was a little emotional to actually now be able to say we have set foot in Baotou. This is where Shiloh was from and somewhere here are her birthparents...who may never know exactly how things turned out for her. Somewhere there is a past we will never fully understand and as we flew out, being tired and stressed...My eyes teared that we were taking Shiloh from all she has ever known and Baotou is really an incredibly poor city. While it is good we are leading Shiloh to a new life, there is still history there for her and we do not want to forget that. The flight to GZ was nice....we actually had A/C and were towards the back of the plane. Shiloh did great for the most part but of course fell asleep the last twenty minutes. The fun part was trying to take this bouncing little bundle to the potty on the plane and manage to go myself...with not even much room to turn around. Chuck wasn't feeling well so he slept most of the flight...to much fish head stew?? Shiloh did sit in Poppys lap for a few minutes and so that was progress. In GZ, we found our way to baggage and as we were headed there spotted our new guide Elsie with a sign...Yes! We got our luggage and vanned our way to the China Hotel, checked in and unpacked a little to prepare for the next day. Shiloh never woke up and slept in the pack and play style crib provided. We slept as the next day came early. I told the guys that they plan the trip so that you move to a new place when you think you cannot stand it one more day! Up and ready, we headed to breakfast, hungry as supper the night before in the Baotou airport had only been a granola bar or a pack of crackers. Did I mention I have lost weight on this trip? We found our way to the breakfast buffet and I was wondering why the waitress kept leading us further and further through another side of the buffet. When I got there I found out....GZ is where all US families end up once they have their children. Turning the corner it was amazing....there were all the 16 families and the babies they had come to get...it was a beautiful site! It was like a reunion for us all to be together again. So many cute babies and lot's of toddlers. My eyes teared...we had all made it! The last leg of this incredible long journey. We are all homesick but we have our babies and now we are in a city that has the shopping and that has American cusine and in a hotel with real A/C. For the first time in a week we enjoyed cold beverages!!! It was nice to have breakfast with everyone. (Breakfast bars in China have all kinds of food, bacon, eggs, usually an omelette guy, cereal, yogurt and lot's of pasteries....and then there is the friend rice, all kinds of chinese dishes and rice noodles...which Shiloh tore right into.We had a little time in our room afterwards and skyped with Nana. Then we were off with the other 16 families for our children's physicals. The building where the kids are checked out is on Shamian Island so we took a bus, not too far but across the river. Shiloh was quick to say "shray" which is water! She is so smart! We first stopped to have the children's Visa pictures taken. Shiloh was second and did pretty well. She doesn't like to let go of me, but if she can hold my hand she does well. I am sure she is still scared and unsure of everything. From there we walked in the rain for a good while to get to the building where the physicals are done. It was like a huge healthdepartment. People were everywhere, most adoptive families like us....We waited and had to complete some forms. Then we made it to room 1-the doc looked in Shiloh's eyes, ears, nose and throat...but let's put it this way, it must just be a formality as the hearing test was simply whether or not she turned her head when the doc played on a little keyboard...what??? Then room two, she was weighed and measured, which she cried and continued to cry afterwards...Room 3-physical from the doc...she took a peek at her and took a stethoscope to her chest for all of 3 seconds and then jotted something down. (Now Shiloh is a heart baby too and I know he could not have counted a heart rate in that time, or listened to how her heart really sounded...wish I had brought my scope...this was ridiculous!) Room 4-shots. Of the 16 families, only 3 of the families including us were Hague families and so our kids had to have updated shots...We waited forever it seemed and she fell asleep just before the shots...why does it always happen that way? She had to have 3 shots and a TB skin test. She screamed for all, with Daddy almost in tears. I hated it too but I am use to taking Dakota when she has to have shots. We were glad to be out of there and Shiloh had to come back to the hotel and show Poppy her bandaids and her booboos. Then the group was taken to a Carfour-like Walmart to shop for needed items. Chuck and I and Shiloh shopped quickly for water, Coke Zero since we cannot find diet, and CHOCOLATE! Shiloh would not stay in the stroller so I had to carry her all day...no fun. Tomorrow she will have to stay in the stroller or cry anyway. (She will not sit in a highchair either but I can deal with that.) After that, back to the hotel for rest, or so we thought. This kid is something else, running all over...into everything and a handful! It takes all three of us to deal with her at times. She is here and there faster than I can catch her..whew! At first she didn't want to have her clothes taken off but now she is excited for a new outfit each day...I think she is very girly as she likes the braclets and hairbows as well. She put's her hairbows in her dolls hair and loves play-doh and bendaroos. She has started going to Chuck a little. Tonight at dinner she let him carry her to see the fish-of course these are not pretty tanks for viewing fish...these are tanks for choosing your meal...ugggghhh! We enjoyed a nice meal in Cantonese style in one of our hotel restaurants. Cantonese style is where everyone orders and the food comes out little buy little to be placed on a big lazy susan. You roll it around and use your chop sticks to grab a little and try it all. Kind of nice to sample all. Fun to be back with my two renegade buddies and their children. I have figured out that Shiloh didn't know how to drink from a water bottle but drinks very well out of a bowl like we would to drink the last of the milk out of the cereal bowl. I give her a little bowl of water when I want to make sure she drinks and she turns it right up. Tonight at dinner she used a fork and I kept putting her food little by little in a ceramic bowl. She went to town feeding herself very well. She likes for me to hold her like a baby and she will make baby crying sounds pretending to be a baby. Very funny, it makes her laugh when I say "Oh the little bao bao is crying!" I am still amazed at her being potty trained...we do not win this issue in America. On the plane last night there was a three month old baby that was next to us. When it cried the mother unwrapped it, Grandma held it and the Mother told her to pee and that baby did so right in a towel that the mom just stuck into a bag.....now that was amazing. This baby never had a diaper on...but every time she woke they did this. It was like this baby "neow neows" on command....it was amazing. Tonight as I write this very long post to catch you all up, the little bit is asleep in her crib. She fights sleep very bad, so night is tough. Daddy in conked out too and here I am up and blogging away. We can sleep late tomorrow...so that is OK. Sorry for the long post but with the late flight and all, I wanted to make sure you guys see where we are. Tomorrow, I think we have a park visit and paperwork, but we are hoping to skip the park and shop! Dakota I miss you so much....not long now!