Saturday, September 13, 2008

Last stop- Guangzhou


Go Bucks!!  Beat USC!!


Amber, you are not going to believe this.  We get to the hotel and check in.  Got to the elevator to go up to our room.  The doors open and I hear Paul yell, "O-H."  Scared me to death!!  Then, I hear a response "I-O".  Then, I see a couple decked out in their  Ohio State shirts.  Can you believe that???    They are from Ohio!

      This morning, at 9:45, we left our hotel headed for the Nanning airport.  I never really understood when others who have gone before me said they were sad to leave their child's province.  Today, I understood.  I understood but with mixed emotions.  She is leaving her people, those who look like her.  In the U.S., she will be a minority and she will not be part of a country that is centuries old with more history than we can imagine.  
     And, somewhere in the Guangxi province are her parents.  I wonder about them.  I wonder if they think about her all the time.  I wonder if they are sad. I wonder what they look like.  And, no matter how much we love her, I think deep down, she may always feel a sense of loss.  And, even though she is so young, there are things about her that we can't love and hug away.  I know we have only had her for 5 days, but it makes me really sad to watch her fall asleep.  She about scratches her eyes out.  I can't help but think this is some self-soothing she's doing to put herself to sleep.  And, the way she plays.  She can sit and play with the smallest thing forever.  Did you see the novels she was reading??  Ok, well, she's not really reading them, but those books are there because she loves to flip pages and she will do it for a long time.  Somehow, the pages stay intact too.  
     Now that I have totally depressed myself.....  There is another part of me that knows she is so blessed.   I will get to introduce her to my Father who can heal and mend delicate, fragile hearts He can fill that sense of loss like no one else can.    I am not sure how much I should say in this blog, so maybe I will talk more about this when I get home
     Then, there is a small part of me that is just angry.  We weighed her today (not her official medical exam, that will be Monday morning).  I am pretty sure she weighs 11 pounds.  Honestly, I don't know how much longer she could have held on.  After 5 days of good nutrition, she is starting act a bit more her age.  She is grabbing things.  Now, she always grabbed her toys, but she never tried to grab things off the table while we were eating.  She is squirmy now.  She can roll from back to front and from front to back.  She wants to get down.  Although I am not sure where she thinks she is going.  She can't crawl, but she is starting to pull herself to standing while we are laying on the bed with her.  Then she thinks she can walk. But, she is much to weak for that with no muscle tone, but it will come  And, it will be fun to watch all of that happen.
      So, as you can see, my emotions are all over the map.  One emotion that remains constant is that we love her.  We are so thankful that God put us through the events that lead us to her.  I think because of that... we cherish her all the more.

Enough of all that!
     It was a one hour flight from Nanning to Guangzhou.  Emme did great!  It was her test flight to see if she could handle the one that is 19 hours!  She can!  One hour... 19, is there a difference?
     We met our new guide, Helen.  I tell you, when these people pick us up, they wear us out before we get to the hotel.  Their mouths go a hundred miles and hour.  So, we are trying to take it all.  Factor in that some words take several minutes to decipher.  For example, it took me days to realize that our first guide, Grace, was saying building and not beauty.   She was pointing to the different buildings.  I was so confused.  So, finally, I said to Paul, " Does she really think all these buildings are that beautiful cuz some of them look like if a good stiff wind comes along, they are going down."  He said, "She is saying BUILDING not beauty!"  Oh, well that makes a lot more sense.
    Anyway, so sometimes after you finally get a word deciphered, you have to go back and put the whole paragraph together.  It's just a lot of work!
     Around 1, we arrived at the famous White Swan.  I didn't have very high expectations because of some different things that I have read, but I love it here.  I wouldn't change my experiences in Beijing or Nanning, but I think the hotel and the area is beautiful.  That's beautiful not building, but I also think the buildings are beautiful!:-)
     They say the White Swan is on an island, but if you asked me, which no one did, it's not an island.  Anyway, it is different than the cities we've been in- where high rises loom over everything.  On the "island", I think the White Swan may be the only high rise.  Otherwise, the buildings are very European looking.  They are smaller, maybe only 6 stories, at the most.  The sidewalks are cobblestone or brick.  It feels very quaint here.  The restaurants have more than ox shin and fish lips.  It's just picturesque of something you would see in a smaller European town.  And, you can walk around the island in about 25 minutes because the sea of people mostly reside off the "island".  When I think about it that way, it should be called Paradise Island!
     This afternoon, Emme needed a nap and I took one with her.  The first nap I have taken.  You'd think that flight was a day and not an hour.  I was so tired!
     When she woke up, after I pulled Paul off the computer as he was frantically looking at how he could watch the OSU USC game, we walked and decided to eat dinner at an Italian restaurant.  It actually felt like I was in Italy and not China.  
     When we sat down, there were 4 younger Americans sitting across from us.  They saw Paul's OSU shirt and said "hi" to us.  Guess where they were from???  Well, one was from Cincinnati, but one was from Oakwood, his house being on Irving Ave right across from the University of Dayton.  (For those of you who don't get this, it's 10 minutes from our house!)  How funny is that??
    They told us we should get the pizza, so we did.  We also got lasagna so Emme could eat something.  The pizza was fabulous.  The lasagna.... I don't know.  It was brown under the cheese.  It looked like paste.  I think it was cat.  I took one bite and I was done.  It was awful!  We gave Emme a few bites.  We think it's cat... so we give to our daughter.  Aren't we great parents??
     It takes her FOREVER to gum something!  And, she is such a lady.  She moves her little mouth like she is chewing and she WILL NOT take another bite until that bite has found it's way down the hatch.  We were about to pull our hair out!  We stopped on the way home and got baby food.  That's what she needs until she can eat faster!
     Tomorrow, we are going to the Pearl Market!  Shopping! Yippee!!


Tony and Rett said...

YAY! You're in GZ!

Soak it up!

Oh, I cannot WAIT to hear your take on the "pearl market". They use that term loosely! But it was fun...and we bought lots!

Emme is looking happier and happier every day! God is good!

Sharla said...

Hi April,

Now for the fun part! I LOVED Guangzhou!! I wonder if you ate at the same Italian Restaurant that we was really good but I stuck to spaghetti with tomato sauce so I could see what was in it!

Emme looks wonderful! I looked back at the pictures from when you first got her, just a few days ago and I'm amazed...her little face is filling out, she is looking healthier and healthier every day! I know good nutrition helps that, but it is amazing what an abundance of love and security will do also!

If you see a tiny little shop, down close to the Victory, across the courtyard from Starbucks called Double Happiness, please tell Hebe I said 'Hi.' She'll probably remember Abby... And then be sure and stop by and see Dong at Susan's! He will make you wonderful tea and teach you or Paul how to play Chinese chess...Nick (our middle son) loved going there! I so wish I could be there with you...

I loved reading the thoughts from your heart about her sense of loss...YES, He is the God who heals and restores...He binds up the broken hearted...brings beauty from ashes...pours out the oil of gladness instead of mourning and wraps us in a garment of praise instead of despair (Is. 61:1-3)... He is already doing that in little Emme's life and it will be amazing to watch Him continue!


Norma said...

She is perfect in everyway.
I have been to China three times,4 next year, and am still trying to keep an open mind and to understand.
I am forever mindful it it is forever a part of my girls
and I honor that. What an adventure you are having.

gnangle04 said...

I am amazed at how much happier Emme looks! She seems to be more comfortable already..... not wondering who these 2 people are who keep staring at her.

I am sad too April, at what little Emme has gone through. And why?? Only 11 lbs!!A friend of mine just had a baby and he weighs 9 lbs. 4 oz. It must be heartbreaking for you both to imagine.
But she is with you guys now and is going to receive an amazing out-pouring of love from so many.

I hope you guys find the game..... and I also hope the next 5 days fly by.


Rachael said...


It goes to show what a wonderful mother you are to even THINK about Emme's biological parents and how sad it is to leave her part of the world.

You have a heart that has been created by our Heavenly Father to love this child. I believe even when she was in the womb God created her for you and Paul to love. What love she will feel by not only YOUR family but by everyone else who have followed along through the search for Emme.

She now has a sparkle in her eye that she didn't have in her first photos on this blog. The pictures today look sooo good and I didn't think she could get any cuter.

You and Paul are her savior in so many physical ways and she has no idea that she has entered into a family who will raise her to know her TRUE savior. She will no longer suffer physically or spiritually from hunger or thirst.

You guys rock and we love you.


catbertie said...

Danny's Bagels....though not American, close (especially being in China for a few days) and they deliver right to your hotel door.....

Pumpkin Head Baby Co said...

Emme looks better already! In the short time that you have had you have already made such a huge difference in her life. Just imagine what God has in store for you all for the rest of her life!

I really enjoying reading about your adventures. Especially the food! Good luck finding the OSU game!

Anonymous said...

She is adorable. I can't wait to see her. Being male, I am sure she will love me. The pictures of you holding her, classic, they will always make me laugh. What an exciting time for the family. Thanks for all the updates and the pictures. I can't wait until you guys return.

Go BUCKS!!!!

Your loving brother,

Chubby Baby Designs said...

oh my, that's NUTS that you got an *I.O.* shout out! And then meeting someone from Dayton, crazy! I don't know it you have found the game but we are now in the 3rd quarter, and I'm gonna have to confess...I stopped watching. :(
Paul, please don't leave the country next time we have a big game, the team had some sence that you were away...they just look like lost puppies...don't leave us Paul, never again!
I can see now that it's obvious to many what I noticed right away today when I looked at Emme's pics. She really does look SO much healthier! Bless her heart, she's gonna be just fine now. God used you to literally save her life! He has such plans for her!
Oh, sorry you had to experience cat, was it like chicken? no? hmmm, maybe I don't really want to know.
Can't wait to see what domestic animal you might try to feed your daughter tomorrow :)
Love ya!!

theweaver said...

Sorry Paul... Stephen's grieving, too. (I would brag but MI lost and has been losing..)

April, the pics just get cuter and cuter. Those today are the best thus far. Man, you could eat her up!

We'll be praying for your homecoming.

Cindi said...

Emme's pictures show that she is opening up so much!! It is a beautiful thing.....

Enjoy every moment. Isn't Guangzhou great??!!

Elizabeth Bergeron said...

Love how you describe things. :) We loved walking around the "island" and enjoyed having some American food. :)

Emme is looking so happy! Just look at that little smile!!