Saturday, July 23, 2011

Guangzhou, day 1

Yesterday we left Nanchang, Jiangxi, Marlo's home province. I was so excited to begin this last leg of this journey knowing that the next plane I will be on will be bringing us home. A home I've known for years, a new home for Marlo. I have bittersweet feelings. A part of my heart aches leaving Nanchang. Knowing that it's her birthplace, it is her entire heritage. This is all Marlo has known. It also leaves behind her parents. And yes, I know that they have no idea where she was brought after they left her at the provincial relief center, but they left her where she would be found, where she would be safe and taken care of. A little part of my heart will stay in the Jiangxi province. And if there were a way in the world for her parents to know how well Marlo is doing, please let it happen.

Here are some women in the hotel with Marlo. They were beautiful and played with her for a long time. I have no idea what they were saying, but they seemed very sweet and adorable.

YouTube Video

This is Marlo and our guide, Mary in Nanchang. She helped this past week in completing our adoption for China. She is a wonderful lady and taught me so much about China and Jiangxi.

We are now in Guangzhou with all the families we started this journey in Beijing with. Three other families went to Jiangxi with me. Mic and Carol, who have adorable Miss Lilly. Matt and Tamera and their precious Ava and then Jason and Kristi with beautiful Teagin. Three other families went to different parts of China when we went to Jiangxi and we met them and their adorable children in Guangzhou last night and today. It was so fun to meet up again and see their babies. If I must say, this travel group has some of the most precious babies I have laid my eyes on.

Our morning started off with the medical exam for the United States. The hearing test is a squeaky toy on each side of them head to see if they turn to see what's making the noise. They then take height, weight and temp. The last stop in the clinic is the physical exam. Marlo had the same doctor that Ilei had when we were here almost 7 years ago.

We then had the pictures for the visa taken and I cannot wait to compare it with Ilei's visa picture. I think they look a lot alike.

Guangzhou is exactly as I remember it. The buildings, the smells, it was like a breath of fresh air. Literally. Have you ever smelled stinky tofu? I cannot even explain the force of it's odor. It is good to be here. It's a little more westernized and easy to navigate. Or maybe it just feels good to be here because I know I'm pretty close to home. I miss my family! I cannot wait to see them. I cannot wait to be there to join in their activities and to be on a schedule. Oh how I love routine!! Soon, very soon and I will be jumping in my van and running like crazy and I cannot wait!



  1. Haha 臭豆腐 (chou dou fu) stinky tofu. I have never been able to get the nerve to eat it. My first experience was walking through the west lake district in Huizhou. I was overcome with the smell that there was a hot steamy pile of dung that I had just stepped into. But, it was a street vendor selling stinky tofu. Did you see any street vendors selling roasted chestnuts? They are really good :)

    So are you staying at the 白天鹅酒店 (bai tian e jiu dian) White Swan Hotel?

  2. Get the nerve to eat it? I couldn't even Thinkmabout getting the nerve to think about it! Roasted chestnuts are more my speed. However, I didn't see any. I am not the White Swan this time. I guess it is closing for renovations in a week or so. Are off the island and staying at the China Hotel Marriott.

  3. I apologize for the spelling errors/typos. I guess laying in bed using a touch screen is a little difficult for me!!

  4. Oh, The Big China hotel in the Yuexiu district off of Jiefang bei lu. That is where I met my "friend" to get my Chinese driver's license. Haha

    If you still have someone that is acting as a tour guide ask them to find you Swamp Eel fried rice. It is a Taishan specialty dish. Swamp eels are also called Shan Yu 山鱼 or mountain fish. I know it may sound gross but it is one of the best things I have ever eaten! They cook it in a clay pot and after you get done stuffing yourself with the fried rice you eat the crispy rice that is stuck to the pot. Sooooo Gooood!!!

    Maybe I should call my old boss and ask him to take you to dinner. :-)

  5. Well, this is really kinda strange seeing how both of our lives have been altered by China in a very personal way huh? Just got to thinking about that, very strange indeed.

    Went over there and came back a very different person with a very different perspective on things. Not sure if that is bad or good.

    I will shut up now. All I want is some real Chinese food. :-(

  6. Wendy, just noticed the picture of your guide Mary in Nanchang!! Mary was also our guide a year ago when we traveled to bring our girl Grace home from Fuzhou!! Safe travels and congratulations!!
    Paul, Terri and Grace

  7. Mike, I'm not sure I could do the eel. You are far more adventurous than I am!

    Yes, I agree, it's strange how of all the places in the world, we both ended up with China having a huge impact on our lives. I think it's a pretty special place. ;)

    Now, I think the food you are wanting is stuff I'm not ordering! I would have to try it before someone told me what it actually is!!