It has been a bit since my last post. Things have been going fairly well. Macy is trying her best to do well at school. It is a challenge, but she is doing well. I have still not edited all the digital and film photos from our trip. There are many more than just the family photo type snaps that were posted during our trip. The blog was a great way to communicate to our friends and family back in the states. Hopefully, many of you will continue to follow my blog. I will be waxing poetic on all photography related thoughts that come to my mind, and posting photos that represent those thoughts. Or maybe it will be the other way around……
Obviously, this is not a photo of Macy or anyone else in my family. Just a pretty girl, wearing a pink wedding dress, and standing on a street corner.
Yes, there is no title for this post. Today we took the oath to get Macy an American Visa for her Chinese passport. This was the last official duty we needed to do before arrival back in the States. The past few days have been pretty good. We made a return trip to Shamian Island for official business and the girls picked out matching Chinese dresses. They then wore them for the next 48 hours.
That evening I took the 2 of them (Terri stayed back at the hotel) on a cruise on the Pearl River. The lights along the route were amazing. All the buildings and bridges are competing for your attention.
Then the red dresses went to the Safari Park for most of the day. The park has 200 of the 300 or so white tigers in the world, the only twin koala bears, 12 giant pandas, and over 20,000 other animals.
We have been very busy lately. Things started off with a doctor visit the other day. What a nightmare. We (I) stood in line in one spot for 30 minutes waiting for the final exam of 3. After that it was immunization time. We signed the waiver to bypass any shots until we arrive back home, but because Macy is over 11 years old, she had to get the shots anyway. The first 4 in her arm went OK. She watched intently as they stuck the needles in. The last one took 30 minutes. She went ballistic! Kicking, screaming, crying, stomping, biting (trying) at me, 3 nurses, a tour guide and a doctor. It took all the might of all of us that long to get her leg exposed and the needle in. Poor thing. After that she crawled into a closet in the doctor’s office and buried herself in a corner. It took a few more hours before she would be open to any comfort from anyone. She would hold onto my shirt sleeve, but if I tried to touch her she would bat my hand away.
We had 2 more (smaller, thank God) “happenings” the next day. One in a restaurant, then one at bed time. Macy is strong-willed, and a leader. The language barrier definitely does not help, bet she is trying. Here is a picture that recreates what Brandon did 5 years ago when he came with us to adopt MiMi.
I want to post a few more photos from the past 2 days, but my computer and my brain are in sync (bogging down). Verrrrrry sleeepy right now. Signing off.
Today was a short drive to the Guangzhou Social Welfare Institute. It is considered one of the best orphanages in Southern China. Macy was not there for very long, but really wanted to go and visit the friends she made there. Most of her life was in foster care. The girls (Macy and MiMi) waver between bouncing off the hotel room walls, and complaining of being tired when we go out with them and make them walk or exercise. We found a great park around dinner time where they could jump and climb and run. We thought it would make bedtime easier. Well, they are not passed out as I would have hoped. They can’t sit still in bed!
Sunday we went to the zoo. It was huge! All of the animals were very active – pandas, white tigers, African elephants, and more. Then that evening was rest and preparation for meeting our new daughter in the morning. When we arrived and the welfare institute, Macy (WanYan) had been anxiously waiting for us. She waved excitedly as soon as we walked into the waiting room. The kids were kept in their own waiting room as each child was introduced one by one. Macy kept opening up the curtain and waving to us. She looked very excited! She and MiMi have been getting along great, although MiMi is used to being the bossy young lady, and Macy is not having it. Macy is dragging MiMi around and making her do things. MiMi is liking the attention, but we can tell, MiMi is not used to being man-handled. Macy loves MiMi very much.
Today (the first full day together), we went back to the welfare institute for paperwork. Macy and several of her friends are in the same hotel, and we all travel in the bus together, etc. It is good for the kids to still have that connection for the next 2 weeks. Macy is a camera hog – both behind and in front of the lens. If she’s not taking my camera around to photograph her friends, she is telling me what pictures to take and how they need to look. Thank god for digital. All the kids want to see the photos immediately.
We spent half the day furiously shopping. We hit the shoe district in Guangzhou. MiMi and Terri are in a shop. Imagine about 7,000 of those shops, one right after the other. We ended up buying 6 pairs of shoes. Guess who had to carry them all the rest of the shopping trip, back to the Metro, etc.?
Next to the shoe district is a large pedestrian mall (Beijing Lu). I passed several times on getting dialed in with a Rolex, Armani t-shirt, and Louis Vitton bag – all for about $25.
Back at the hotel we checked out the Kid’s Room. The hotel is paired with an apartment building, and hotel guests can use this room. It is set up for smaller kids, but MiMi had fun for a bit.
We arrived very late (1am local time). We pretty much pulled an all-nighter on the airplane. The hotel let us have a late check out which allowed us some relaxation time in HK before we had to navigate the metro and then the train into mainland China.
About 5 minutes from our hotel we stumbled across a gondola ride. What the hey, let’s do it. The ride up over the harbor, forests, and low mountains was mare fun due to the glass bottom in the gondola. The views were great all around.
After a 30 minute ride, there was a giant Buddha, shops, stray dogs, and more. It was a very popular spot for locals as well as large tour groups. The stairs up to the giant Buddha we long for MiMi, but we took a break half-way up.
We are leaving for China very soon. It is crunch time. I am excited and nervous at the same time. It has been a year of paperwork, planning, fees, and more. Macy is almost 12 and currently lives in Guangzhou. I will be using this blog to post updates of our trip for all that care to follow.