Saturday, July 4, 2009


First of all, Happy 4th of July! We are so missing being in Columbus for the festivities, but we keep thinking about how fun it will be next year when we have two three year olds to take to the parade and carnival and fireworks. Is anybody missing my tuna noodle salad?

On Friday, we spent the day at our hotel, playing with Maddie and getting packed. At 4:00 p.m, we headed to the Hangzhou airport, and thus began our second longest day here. After arriving at the airport at 5, we got through security fairly quickly, and then just had to sit back and wait for our 6:30 flight. We boarded on time but then ended up sitting on the tarmac for an hour before we were able to take off due to bad weather conditions in Guangzhou. The flight is only an hour and a half, but we had to circle for another half an hour while we waited for clearance to land. Finally, the plane set down at 9:30. Madeleine was a star traveler. She wasn't scared at all which I sort of thought she might be considering this was her first experience with airports and airplanes. And once again, we didn't see one ounce of fussiness. She sat in her airplane seat, belted in, for the duration of the trip and never complained. At one point, she folded herself in half (she's quite flexible, our girl) and fell sound asleep. After retrieving our baggage and boarding a bus with seven other Great Wall families who have joined us here in GZ, it was a 40 minute drive to the famed White Swan Hotel. We arrived around midnight. And still, our girl was happy and smiling. Several cinnamon fish crackers helped. We all fell into bed around 12:30 and had a relatively quiet night. Maddie woke up twice. Once Richard just rubbed her back and she fell back to sleep. The second time we brought her to bed with us, and she went right back to sleep. I think it was a combination of being overtired and being in a different environment. Tonight should be better.

We slept in until 8:00 and had breakfast at the hotel. What food ISN'T on the breakfast buffet at the White Swan? Holy smokes. Tired of noodles and rice, all three of us went with classic American fare...scrambled eggs and bacon. Yum.

The rest of the morning wasn't so pleasant, but Maddie was a real trooper through it all. Today was the day of the dreaded medical exam. The exam itself is cursory...a quick look in the eyes and ears and mouth, measurements, and a quick listen to the heart. Maddie weighs 25.7 pounds and is 36 inches tall and was declared healthy. Three doctors did come in and look at her deficient leg and talk about it in Chinese, but we, of course, were not privy to the gist of their conversation since we have not been able to pick up much of the language. We're pretty much limited to ni hao (hello, how are you) and xie xie (thank you). Oh, and la shee shee, of course.

The unpleasant part of the exam was the three shots and TB test Maddie had to undergo, an American requirement. I'll give the nurses credit, they did all the pokes as quickly as possible. For her part, of course, Maddie cried, but once we were all done and left the room, she was calm.

We're back at the hotel now, and Maddie is in the second hour of what I'm guessing will be a three hour nap. After she awakens, we are going to head down to the playroom. I'm quite sure she's tired of the few toys we've brought, and it will be fun to see her have a whole room full of toys and other kids to play with.

The kid continues to amaze us. We are having fun listening to her repeat everything we say. Her catch phrases today have been, "How are you?" and "I'm fine. Thank you." Her pronunciation is as clear as a bell.

Enjoy your holiday, everyone. We are happy to be in Guangzhou, knowing that we are on the downhill side of the trip. Despite having an amazing time, we are missing Ibby so much, and we are convinced the cats probably think we are never coming home.


a blessed mama said...

I cannot tell you how happy I am that things are going so well for you. Maddie has just fallen right into your arms and family. One more week until she and Ibby are united forever.

I love the picture of her folded in half. Kids sleep in the strangest positions - :)

Lesa said...

Pam, you guys are doing wonderfully in my opinion. I'm so happy that things are going really well.
My favorite photo is the next to the last one with her examining you with both hands.... Very Sweet!

Have fun in Guangzhou!

Melissa said...

It sounds like you are having such a great time (other than missing Isabel terribly). I am so glad things are going so smoothly. You are giving me hope for a good trip. The picture of her looking at you and touching your face is great! Happy 4th to you too!

Sherry said...

So glad you guys made it safe to GZ. You'll feel so much at home there. I thought it seemed between China and the US -- kind of a reminder that you are almost home. And on the plus side you got the medical exam done early. :) Cassie loved the play room -- lots of fun in there. Keep the pictures coming -- loving seeing that smile.

eebss said...

Hi family! We had a great 4th of July with Ibby. Mom actually read this post to everyone who was there and yes, we did miss your tuna salad! Erik and I played with Ibby a lot, house, puzzles, and books. She calls Erik "Ick." Even though Aunt Pat may be a little fried, I think she is going to miss little Ibby very much!

Cynthia said...

Glad you all made it to GZ. Also glad Maddie is a eal trooper when it comes to travelling. Enjoy your time at the White Swan. Don't forget to go shopping. Love all the pictures. Keep them coming. xxoo

Felicia Homberger said...

I have been in Milwaukee, so I didn't read the blog for awhile. I am SO glad things are going well for you. Despite the hiccups, it sounds like it is going as well as it could be. We can't wait to meet Maddie.