We’ve been in Guangzhou for about 24 hours now. We’re not sure what to make of it. What we do know is that it is NOT Kunming . (No spitting, or at least not nearly as much!) Our hotel is located on Shamian Island . Banyan trees galore…flowering trees and bushes…lush shrubs. Think San Juan meeting Savannah , Georgia perhaps? It is relaxing and beautiful.
During our evening and early morning strolls, we encounter adoptive parents and their new little ones at every turn. In fact, one adoption agency has 16 families here in a travel group. It makes us thankful for our group of two families, for certain. Dare I say this, but it feels like a puppy mill. I don’t know how else to describe it other than Larry and I are equally aware of this reality. It makes being surrounded by 50 smiling people in the Kunming park easier or at least more real?
I spent considerable time with our guide, Peter, yesterday afternoon. Larry and Ella Man Li napped together in the room (her nestled in the crook of his arm). I was instructed to have us ready to walk to the medical exam by 8:45 today. We set off and picked up two other families along the way. Peter acts as a facilitator for more than one agency. He is good, kind and all business. Twenty minutes later, after a quick stop at a hole-in-the-wall business to have Ella’s Visa photo taken, we arrived. Mosquitoes, yes mosquitoes, flying about this sterile, bright facility. Squeaky toys sounding off trying to keep little ones quiet. Doctors and nurses darting to and fro. Little ones crying. Chaos, I tell you but organized chaos. Here are a few pictures… Ella hung tough but was NOT happy. N-O-T. And you’ll see a photo of the two of us, Ella passed out in my arms from exhaustion!
Ella tested her mother’s moxie by forcing her to change two stinky diapers during lunch at a Thai restaurant.
I can handle a bad diaper but when the baby changing table is a slab of wood in an alley off the restaurant, all the while a woman is mopping the alley floor around my feet, well…I think you get the idea. Hey, Ella is much happier.
On our way back I caught a glimpse of the familiar logo. We hit pay dirt, people. Starbucks. I haven’t had a cup of coffee in nine days. (No huge complaints. Tea has been fantastic.) Here are a few shots of Ella hanging at Starbucks with her dad.