Sorry for the lack of emails in the last few days. We've been very busy with all the medical and visa paperwork here in Guangzhou. The family arrived here on the 11th of December late in the evening. Elyssa's first plane ride went very well. She ate a huge bowl of noodles while we were waiting for the plane to taxi onto the runway for takeoff. It was pretty funny how we came about getting the noodles. Our friends and their children were eating the noodles in the waiting area and as soon as Elyssa saw them, she went nuts and wanted her own! Daddy immediately went to get a bowl for his little girl. After cooking with the available hot water in the terminal, we dumped the broth in order to bring the noodles onto the plane without fear of disaster.
Once we were on the plane and finished eating, Elyssa began to explore her surroundings. Thank goodness for window shades and tray tables as they entertained our intrepid traveler for nearly two hours. As long as she never threw a fit, we were happy to let her explore the in flight magazines and eat the airline food. Unfortunately, I think the latter made us a little sick the next day.
After arriving in Guangzhou, which has a fabulous new airport, we met our guide, Raymond. Now Ray was very concerned with our comfort. In fact, it was to the point that it was a little annoying. We were just about to tell him to shut it and get into the van. He thought we needed to get our bags into another vehicle so that we wouldn't be crowded. Come on Ray! In addition to the Meyers, we picked up one additional family in Guangzhou. Our buddy Rick and his new son, Beau, were arriving from another province. This poor man had just spend five full days in his hotel room with his son and was in great need of adult company.
Our hotel here is on Shamian Island along the banks of the Pearl River. This is the place where in 1841 the French and British built a trading settlement at the end of the First Opium War. In fact, this is the place where the word cantonment came. Now, it seems that the entire island is under construction as they prepare to host the Asian Games soon.
We are staying at the White Swan hotel, a large modern hotel sitting on the banks of the Pearl. Since the American Consulate here is the only one in the country to deal with adoption, families converge on Shamian and the White Swan in order to get their children ready for the journey to America. The biggest gates to traverse through are the medical and immigration proceedings. So many adoptive families stay here that the hotel has gained the nickname, the White Stork.
This morning, Elyssa completed her second visit to the medical clinic. She received six vaccinations! Our little baby was NOT happy about getting stuck in each arm and each leg. She is sleeping off the trauma right now... poor little thing. The next step for the process involves our agency, Holt, taking our visa papers to the consulate to get Elyssa her papers to enter the States. I hope all goes well as we are anxious to get back home!
Mommy is very excited to go shopping for some clothes later today. We journeyed north of the island yesterday to Qingping Market and a large pedestrian street full of modern shops. It was very entertaining walking threw Qingping as all manner of roots, herbs, spices, and lizards on a stick were available. The pedestrian street was more our speed with modern shops and restaurants.
Elyssa has really blossomed over the last four or five days. She is now enjoying her baths, is constantly smiling, and always wants to play. She is such a precious little girl! And of course, Daddy is spoiling her every chance that he gets!