Thursday, April 2, 2009

We made it

Carmon and I made it safely to Guangzhou. She fell asleep right before I got on the plane and didn't wake up until we were almost at the hotel. I think she's sleeping to escape life right now. I don't blame her; this must be SO much for her little system to process.

Shee-Shee introduced me to Cassie at the airport who helped us check into the Guandong Victory hotel. Our room is VERY nice...too chic for my thrifty self! Last night I went out for dinner, and, when I got back, they had remade my bed, set out slippers for me beside the bed, put on soft lighting, refolded the toilet paper and tissues into a "V", and replenished the tea bag that I had used. But I'm jumping ahead myself in the days events.

This is Carmon with a BEAUTIFUL flowering tree outside the window of our hotel room. I could stare at that tree and the swallows that rest in it for a long time.

"Bob", my guide here, came to my room at 3:00 to take me to Carmon's medical appointment.
We were the only ones in the waiting room and, when we got there, all the lights were turned off. Tom and I have been impressed with a simple measure the Chinese take to preserve electricity. When you are in your hotel room, you have to leave your room key in a slot to have any power in your room. That way, when you leave your room and have to take your key out of the slot to take it with you, all power in the room is turned off since you won't be needing any. It was for this reason, I believe, that all the lights were turned off in the Adopted Child examination rooms as well. Here Carmon visited 4 different rooms. The first was a check of her ears and throat. Nothing the matter there. Then we moved on to weight and height. I didn't notice the height, but she weighed 8.88kg (19.56 pounds). In the third room, the doctor measured her head circumference and looked over her entire body. Another thing we noticed earlier on our trip is that there are SO many employees wherever we go. It was explained to us by our guide that this is because labor is SO cheap. It applied at the examination office as well. For those 3 "minimal" tasks, we went to a different room with a different doctor. Then, when we left each room, the light was turned off, and that doctor diappeared.

This is Carmon in the waiting room of the Adopted Child examination area. In the background is room number 3, with the lights off, as you can see. Do you remember reading Tom's post about how the supermarket in Nanchang played the Happy Birthday song in a loop the entire time of our visit? Well, the floor covering in here was like a kind of laminate, and the decoration on it said, you guessed it, "Happy Birthday"! Made me chuckle...and wish Tom was still here with me to see it.

The final room we went to was for her shots. She ended up only needing 2 shots and they gave her one in each leg. Wanna guess how much she liked that? She CAN NOT STAND even having her nose wiped, as you can tell from the video from Gotcha Day when she about did a "Poltergeist" to keep one of the nannies from wiping her nose. She LOVED getting shots. I had to squeeze her feet between my legs and hug her whole body to me. Then I had to switch her to the other side and do it all over again so they could reach the other leg...'cause it's SO hard to reach both legs while she's sitting on my lap, right? Oh well, as soon as I picked her up, she stopped crying. We had to wait 30 minutes after her shots were taken to make sure she didn't have an adverse reaction to the immunizations, but she fell asleep.

After our appointment, we took a quick walk around Shamian Island (where the Victory Hotel is located) so that Bob could show me some restaurants that Westerners tend to like and that have English picture menus. Nice!

Then, we headed back to the hotel to discuss ongoing paperwork issues. There still seems to be a problem with some of our paperwork. Apparently, there is a disrcepancy between the spelling of Carmon's name on the Travel Authorization issued by the CCAA (Chinese Center of Adoption Affairs) and the immigration paperwork for the U.S. So, today at 10:00, Bob and I will to try to straighten it out. It appears that we will need to request a new TA (Travel Authorization) from the CCAA. It doesn't seem like that's a HUGE deal, but just something that needs to be taken care of. I have also been told by Bob that our appointment with the U.S. Consular is not in jeopardy. So this appears to be strictly a formality.

After taking care of our paperwork, I am going to tour the city some with Bob. I'm not sure yet what that means, but I am happy to have a plan to not be in the hotel. I have a feeling that I will spend a lot of time discovering what is on Shamian Island on my own. I have to admit that I am feeling intimidated and lonely. I don't feel like I am in any sort of danger, so I feel free to be out and about, thankfully.

Please pray for me that I will be able to take advantage of this sweet time alone with Carmon. The first few days she looked at my face with the saddest expression. Just to think of it still tears me up. I have never seen that look on my children's faces. I've seen anger, and hurt, and hunger, and tiredness, but never sadness at the sight of my face. She deserves to be sad for what she has lost already, but I am so thankful that, already, she is smiling at the sight of me, talking to me, smiling at me, and laughing when I am silly. She is still quite congested and has a bit of a clear, runny nose, but the doctors yesterday didn't seem to be concerned. So you can also pray that she won't feel so crummy as she fights this bug.


Jackie Sue said...

I don't think they EVER see a baby that is being adopted who DOESN'T have chest congestion...that's why they weren't concerned. Glad you made it ok and so glad that your hotel is going to take good care of you. I sure hope Tom blogs and lets us know that he is home ok...I guess I could call when I get home and check, huh? thinking of you and checking your blog first thing when I get on the computer. love you!

Ashleigh said...

Abby, I remember that same look just 2 1/2 weeks ago...so very sad. Just know that when it's gone, it's gone. It WILL be replaced by pure joy and happiness. I'm seeing it everyday on my sweet Ivy, and you will too on Carmon's.