Italics are current time commentary
July 30, 2005
So we made it to Guangzhou and the White Swan Hotel. I really feel like I have been here before from reading all of the other posts. I have already bought G a chop (stamp carved with her name in Chinese and English) and my neighbor the only boy squeaky shoes I have found (so far). Mom is having a vest made for herself. (literally, someone could read BTDT blogs about Guangzhou and know how to get to any place around the White Swan without asking directions.)
First we ordered Dannys Bagels, turkey sandwiches for the Grandparents and pizza for me (Very good by the way). G took a nap. She did sooooo good on the plane by the way.
Then at 2pm I woke her up for a doctor visit. She has bronchitis. Just Grammie and I took her. She didn't cry very much going down there but boy did she wail in the office. Thankfully the dr's asst. was soooo wonderful and spoke to her in Cantonese. I don't know what she was saying but G had to try really hard to keep from smiling. Then they cleaned out her ears. I had the distinct pleasure to hold her still as they did it. I am stronger than she is!!! I didn't cry because I knew she needed the attention. We have a two day antibiotic, benadryl and cough expectorant. I have to mix it myself. I should earn a PharmD!!!
Then we took a walk up and down the street outside. It is really cool here on the sidewalk, the shops are quite stifling. There is a typhoon about to hit Guangdong province but not Guangzhou which is a city in Guangdong. For all of you history buffs Guangzhou used to be Canton and where we are staying is the European quarter.
Poor Grandad can't even go to the bathroom himself. She cries when he gets out of sight. She is playing though with everything in the room, drawers, light switches, pencil and papers, etc. Our new motto is "As long as she isn't crying!!"
I have to say as far as roominess, Nanning was the best hotel. But we were only there until Wed. Then the whole group went to Guilin. I received progress notes on her beginning at age 4 months. So I have pictures of her as little as four months. I need to get the report translated when I get home. She is not smiling in any picture. She is smiling for us now though more often than not. I also received a map of Wuzhou with the spot underlined of where she was found. Grammie can't even talk about any of it without crying. I received a copy of the finding add. There were like 12 babies faces and you can pick her out. She really hasn't changed much physically in the face much.
She will wave to strangers only after we tell her it is okay. We still need to work on boundaries and helping her to set them. I don't have to worry about her going to anyone but Caucasian men and the grandfatherly types to boot. She doesn't though know it is okay to sometimes wave at people. She is very suspicious of people.(still is very suspicious even with those she knows but hasn't seen in a long time.) And that is okay too. I would rather her look to me for permission to speak to someone whom we don't know.
We left our guide Dennis in Guilin with a new suitcase and shoes and shirts as a thank you gift. There is a rule or policy that you cannot tip more than a months wage and Dennis didn't want us to give him anything expensive. I will tell you though if we could have the group would have given him individually at least $100. That is 15 families but we couldn't do it. He was wonderful and he really loves the babies!!! He didn't really want to say good bye individually either because I think he might have cried.
It truly is a wonderful journey and even though G isn't coming to me of her own free will I am truly glad for the experience. Grammie and Grandad have been wonderful troopers on this trip and we still wake up and say "Can you believe we are in China?"
Dana, I will try to negotiate a price at this hotel because I didn't see your e-mail soon enough.
I have to head to the 7/11 for cough medicine because I am sick now too. Or again. I started another z pack this morning. Grammie has to put up with all of us being sick. She is yet to be so. Maybe she won't catch anything. I also have to say that now that we know what G has, I feel better. I just couldn't fight something that we didn't know what it was.
Love you all, keep the prayers coming.
Something I didn't post then because family was reading the e-mails and because the emotions were just too raw then, I can post now. I became very resentful of my dad on this trip and not because G bonded to him first. That in itself would have been okay but the thing was, he very rarely asked me to help him deal with her. He turned to his wife, my mom. I was treated and felt at times like a big sister to older parents adopting.
The trip brought out the fact that my parents and I do not communicate well at all. We are physically close but honestly I never felt that I fit in my family and that has not changed. My mom sometimes still calls me Aunt Bep to G. My dad also sometimes refers to my mom as Mom to G. It is hard being a single parent and a daughter in a non-communicative family. I think the trip brought it out much more.