Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Relaxing Day

We had to get up a little bit early this morning to have time for breakfast and make it to our consulate appointment.  We got dressed, but because Lydia had a white dress, we decided to just have her eat in her pajamas.  We have already experienced getting dirty at breakfast while wearing white. : )  We left the hotel at 7:50am and got down the consulate in plenty of time for our 8:30am appointment.  We got the one paper that we forgot notarized and then took an oath on behalf of Lydia.  It basically said that we got all her paperwork and filled it out to the best of our knowledge.  They looked over Lydia's paperwork and had us sign one more paper.  Tomorrow our facilitator will go pick up Lydia's visa, so that she can enter the US.  Once we drop off her paperwork at Customs and Immigration in Chicago, she will be an official US citizen.
We were back at the hotel by 10am and had the rest of the day to ourselves.  We ran into one of the other families from our agency in the lobby.  Their son, Gwong Wei, was very upset that Lydia had bare feet.  She has taken to removing her shoes and socks when she is bored/wants attention.  I just put her down in the lobby without her shoes and he kept telling her (in Chinese) that the tile was too cold and she needed her shoes on.  I'm sure that they didn't let them go barefoot in the orphanage!   We got back so early that the maid hadn't been to our room yet.  Not a big deal, except that we needed our towels changed.  We decided to find something to do around the hotel.  We decided to go swimming.  The pool is outside and it was cloudy today, but the temperature of the water wasn't too cold.  At first Lydia wasn't sure about the pool, but she decided that it was ok, as long as I had a tight grip on her.  Hopefully she'll like swimming this summer, so we'll have a good way to keep cool!!!  After a while it started raining, so we decided to head back to the room. 
Brian went to get Lydia some noodles from 7 Eleven, while we got dry and warm.  Lydia was beside herself when Brian left without us.  She waited at the door almost the entire time that he was gone.  That was the first time that she wasn't with both of us.  Brian tried to warn her that he was going to have to go to work next week. : )
After the early day and the swim in the pool, Lydia was ready for a nap after her lunch.  She fell asleep with Mama and Baba, but she stayed asleep a lot longer.  We decided to get up and try to get our stuff organized.  We have bought so much stuff.  Hopefully we have enough room without having to add another suitcase.  We do have a duffel bag, but we're hoping that we won't have to use that.  We have a few more things to pick up tomorrow, so we'll see where we are with suitcase room tomorrow.
Lydia woke up at about 1:30pm and we headed out to the Guangzhou Zoo.  It is a really big zoo - but much different from the zoos in the states.  People were throwing food into the pens (even though it said not to), and the enclosures were much less realistic.  When we first got there, we went to the monkey area.  Lydia was freaking out.  She started crying and clutched onto me for dear life.  She did not like the animals at all.  We finally decided to sit on a bench so she could get used to the animals without being too close.  She started waving to them then.  After we had been there about 30 minutes, it started raining.  We checked the weather and it said that there was 0% chance of rain.  Well, I guess we're not going to trust the weather channel here!  Lydia had fun in the rain though.  I'm not sure if she had ever been out in the rain before.  She was stomping in puddles and letting the rain fall off of the picnic table umbrella into her hands.  It was pretty cute.  After the rain we found the elephants and she loved watching them.  It doesn't make sense that she liked the elephants, but not the monkeys, since the elephants are so big and there were no bars between us and the elephants, but oh well, she likes the elephants. : )  We found the pandas next.  She wasn't too sure about them either.  There were even some panda statues that she was very scared of.  Brian commented about how much better the pandas in the San Diego Zoo are treated.  When we were there a few years ago, you had to wait in a long line to see the pandas and then walk through their exhibit without talking.  They had tons of bamboo and had a very clean and fancy exhibit.  Here in Guangzhou, they were just in a regular type enclosure with people all around making noise at them...nothing special.  I guess since they're Chinese, they have to live like they're locals. : )  After carrying Lydia the whole time, I was getting quite tired.  I put her down and she decided to walk.  She was so proud of herself.  She went ahead of us and led us toward the exit.  We got to some trees that had dropped nuts on the ground and Lydia took it upon herself to clean them up.  She handed them to Brian at first and he threw them.  She thought it was so fun to pick up the nuts and throw them.  We're hoping that when we get home, she'll like to pick up pine cones. : ) 
We left for the hotel and Lydia was so excited when we got back.  She was chatting with the bellboy who opened our taxi door and walked through the lobby.  The motto for the hotel is "Walk in like you own the place" and she does.  She can even figure out which room is ours.  We cleaned up and walked back down to get something to eat.  We were going to go to a Cantonese restaurant, but it was a 10-15 minute walk and it started raining again when we were just about to leave.  We decided that we would just go to McDonald's again which is right next to the hotel.  We discovered that Lydia likes McNuggets.  She also ate ketchup again. : ) 
We came back to our room and now Lydia is entertaining herself with all our toiletries.  She took them all out of their bags and she's been rearranging them for over an hour now.  She's having a lot of fun.  We'll have to see what she thinks of toys when we get home. 
Tomorrow we don't have anything planned except getting our visa from our facilitator at 4:30pm, so we're planning on having another relaxing day tomorrow.  We just need to get ready for our trip home. : )
Family Photo after our consulate appointment.

Swimming in the hotel pool

Watching the pandas at the zoo


  1. I love the picture of you in the pool!! I can't wait to meet her! I am just awed by how wonderful everything is going for you guys!! Love you!!

  2. Wow! Kaarin got here before me! Your day sounds like it was fun dashing rain drops! It is nice Lydia likes puddles! Her cousins will be very happy as they LOVE to jump in puddles, even when not supposed to! I had been praying you would be able to go to the zoo. When I had looked at your itinerary for your day, I wondered if that is what you would do. I also hope she likes swimming as that is our primary source of entertainment here in Ankeny! The picture of you three at the consulate is really nice! I like the pool pic too. It is also nice to know she either misses Brian or is concerned about him! I had wondered if she ever said anything and now I know she will be like her one cousin, Josiah, who will talk to anyone!! Cannot wait to hear her little voice! Only a couple days now! We are continuing to pray especially for the long flight home! Love to you three! Mom