Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Medical Exam and Shamian Island
I feel like I am on vacation. I am staying in a luxury hotel, getting room service, and hanging out with just one child -- who sleeps! John sure is getting the short end of the stick at home with our brood! Let me tell you, our other adoption trips were not this easy. Both Nicholas and Ellie came to us sick (Nicholas with an ear infection; Ellie with a bad cold and congestion). Nicholas was really scared and unhappy and too freaked out to sleep well. Ellie was a little spitfire from day one and kept me running. We had many more flights and changes of hotel in our other trips, plus I got sick on both trips. So, I was pretty crazy to consider coming alone this time. But, with 4 other kids, it was really the only way we could swing it. Thank God, so far it has been an easy, enjoyable trip.
Christopher is most happy in the hotel room, playing on the floor. I don't think he's ever had this much freedom, and he loves it. He army-crawls all over the room, and then flips over and kicks his legs. He giggles and coos. He is a happy boy.
He is also sleeping very well. Not a peep.
Yesterday, we went to the police station to get his passport photo taken, and then to get his medical exam done (needed for his immigration). One bad things about traveling alone is that you don't end up with any good photos. This is all I got from the medical exam.
Today, we went to Shamian Island for some shopping and sightseeing. For those of you who don't already know, Shamian Island is where all of the U.S. adoption stuff went on for years. The U.S. Consulate used to be here, as did the adoption medical exam office, and it is the home of the infamous White Swan hotel, where many U.S. families stayed while finalizing their adoptions. We even have a children's book entitled White Swan Express, which is about families adopting from China. Now, however, everything has slowly moved to other, newer parts of the city.
Anyway, this island (which is very old and very Western looking, because it is where foreigners used to have to stay before China was fully open to outsiders) is where we stayed for our 2 other adoption trips, and it holds a lot of special memories. Like this statue of the children walking behind a teacher.
And the park by the Pearl River.
And here is the White Swan hotel, under construction. Supposedly, it has been under construction for two years. This has really hurt the local businesses because the upscale clientele who used to stay here, now stay elsewhere, further from their shops.
Here are some of the local shops, across the street from the White Swan. I have bought many a t-shirt here.
And these are a few pictures of the local architecture. So very different from the rest of Guangzhou which is very modern.
There are lots of beautiful parks throughout the island.
And, how very American of me, I had to stop by Starbucks. There are many Starbucks all over Guangzhou, as there are McDonald's and Pizza Hut's and KFC's. But, I had to stop at the Shamian Island one, again, because of all the memories.
Christopher got cranky for the first time as we were walking around today. I think he was very hot inside the baby carrier, and tired and hungry. He has been kept within a very set routine for his whole life, and I notice when it is a minute past his nap- or lunch-time, he starts to get fussy. This time he really let me know it. And that is a good thing, because he is learning that I respond to his needs.