Saturday, July 29, 2006

I'm a day behind again. I have not been getting much sleep as Julia wakes up several times in the night looking for me. I am now positive that she slept with her foster mother as her original bio had stated. Last night I put her in the bed with me and she didn't move until 7:30 this morning. Yeah, sleep. She is still doing great.

We left the Wharton Intl Hotel in Nanning Friday afternoon and headed to the airport. The weather was extremely bad..rain.rain and more rain. Our flight was delayed for about an hour. As you can see in the above picture, we resorted to feeding the kids noodles while sitting on the airport floor. It worked. Our flight was not bad at all and she slept after we took off. I think she is just luring me in for the big flight and will then let loose. We got to our room around 12:00 a.m and got situated by 1:00 a.m. Yesterday we had to get the children's visa pictures taken at a little shop across the street from the hotel and then proceeded up two to three blocks for the medical examination. She didn't mind any of the examination with the exception of the ENT area. The lady wasn't exactly kid friendly. I wouldn't have liked having her hold my head either.

We then had the mid morning to late afternoon free. The smart thing to do would have been to take a nap but the stores were calling my name. I have found my barterer. Matthew will get them down really low on the prices of things and you kind of feel bad because the prices are already so low. We all had to attend a "document" meeting and that lasted around two hours. I could not believe that she stayed down in the Mattel room with Matthew the entire time without me around. Matthew said that she did really well playing with the other children. You will see a picture of Julia and her new friend Esther. Esther is also going home to Alabama.

We are about to go to breakfast and then we will meet to go to a market off the Island. I will write more tonight. Sorry for the brief blog today but things are starting to speed up a little. We cannot wait to get home and see all of you guys. We still cannot see our blog site?? Thus, we cannot see any comments that are being made. Love to all, Leah.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Not much to blog today. We had to cancel our trip to the flea market because of the weather...very rainy. Some of us shoppers are going absolutely crazy just sitting around. We have to check out of the hotel around 2 p.m. and find something to do until 5 p.m. We have to be at the airport at that time and then off to Guangzhou around 8 p.m. We are all ready to get to Guangzhou for the food and shopping and of course our last leg of our journey...closer to coming home! Yeah! Julia has opened up like a can of worms and talks and talks and talks. I cannot understand a word of what she is saying but Baba (Daddy). She looks at the pictures I sent her over and over and this morning she said Baba when looking at Tim's picture. She picks up the phone and says Baba. I am hoping that changing hotels and scenary does not make her take a step backwards because she is doing great. It's truly amazing how these children have opened up after about a 72-hour period.

We went to a Cantonese restaurant last night and had a multitude of dishes. Our entire bill was around 170 yuan which is less than $24 dollars. We had one dish, fried eggplant wrapped around some type of meat. It was awesome. One of the couples that was with us decided to order some type of coconut chicken soup. We were all enjoying it, especially the babies, until our guide pointed out that there was a chicken foot at the bottom of the soup bowl that we were all dipping out of. Oh well, the babies continued to eat but all the adults quickly decided to move along to the next dish. The people here are extremely nice and honest. You have to make them take a tip in the restaurants and sometimes it's not even worth trying so we just don't. I don't think you will find a waiter or waitress in Alabama that would turn down a tip.

Well, we are packing our overweight luggage and getting ready to sit in the lobby for three hours. Please continue to pray for Julia. She has started coughing but we feel that it is just nasal drainage at this point. Her spirits are very high and she is not running anymore fever. I think she is having fun changing outfits each day with her matching accessories. Everyone keeps commenting on how she is always dressed but they don't understand that this is my first girl and only girl (besides Olivia and Megan). Yes, Aunt Leah has not forgotten you guys.

I will blog tomorrow as we will not get into Guangzhou until late tonight. We love and miss all of you.

Wow, what a difference a day makes. Julia has really started becoming more active today and interactive. She played with some of the other children in the hallway this morning and has gone from just standing in one place and looking at you to running down the hallway. She is great and a lot of fun to play with. Her facial expressions are too funny. At breakfast this morning, she decided she would like to eat with a fork and a plate as we were. Her bio said that she mimics and picks up real quick. Well, they didn't lie. The fork was a little big but she found a way to manage. She is slowly starting to turn away the meat congee since she has started trying other foods that does not apparently taste the same to her anymore.

After breakfast, we took a bus to a local museum but it was closed due to renovations. We then were taken to a park that was absolutely beautiful. We visited the loving ball dance stage where such ceremony would take place. I think I mentioned in an earlier blog that we had purchased a loving ball that is a tradition specific to the Guangxi Province. The girl makes her own loving ball and decorates it herself. She then attends this ceremony where she will see which gentleman she likes and then she writes song to him? and he responds in song. Then she will throw the loving ball to him. If he likes her as well, he will catch it. If not, he will not raise his hands and it will drop to the ground. If he accepts her loving ball, then he has to go home with her and work for her family for two years for FREE. Then if the parents accept him and like him, they will get married and return to his parent's home.

We then went to a bridge that was completely made out of bamboo using no nails at all. The bridge went on forever. It was hard to maneuver around with the strollers. We then went to a budhist temple with monks to have some of the babies blessed. Julia was asleep on my shoulder and missed the blessing part. My baby has already been blessed tremendously. It was interesting to see the people walking in a lighting their incense and bowing to the idols.

Once we got off the bus at the temple, a few ladies were standing there to immediately dress us in Mongolian apparel and then they would take your picture for about $2. Matthew, Mom and Nancy got their's done and they turned out really good. Julia was on the verge of falling asleep and looked like she would have a fit if anyone touched her so I decided she and I would not partake on that adventure and just take our own photos.

She has really taken to coloring this afternoon. She is extremely smart and picks up super fast on anything you do. Everything has been a complete 360 for her and she has been a real trooper. Grandma Susan bought her ice cream at the bottom of the Pagonda this afternoon and she was not real sure about that and then loved it after getting past the cold feeling on her tongue. The boys were able to buy feed for the coy and feed them. It was amazing to see the size of the fish. Matthew tried his best to catch one by hand. Yeah, right. He acted like he was really well.

Well, we do more paperwork this afternoon and then we will all probably go to dinner together. Tomorrow morning we will meet and take a bus to the flea market. That should be a good opportunity to polish up on my bartering skills. I'm sure Matthew will take care of that for me. Matthew.... David says he is a true leader and that is good since he is a boy in the family. Leader is an understatement for Matthew. He has been a HUGE help to me on this trip. He is not timid at all. Sometimes you might get a little nervous about things that you have to do that you are not familiar with or might seem impossible. Well, just take Matthew with you. He does not have one shy bone in his body and always seems to get what we need done. Julia has really taken to him but still wants me over anyone.:)

I think we have almost mastered the potty, kinda. She just tried to squat but got really upset about the diaper being in the way. We ran to the potty and let's just say she should feel extremly lighter. She is wonderful and everything I expected and more. We have a dentist with us on this trip. He and his wife adopted a beautiful 11month old that has been doing great since day one. He is going to take a look at her mouth tonight and see what he can tell me about her future medical needs to the best of his ability. We have been so fortunate to have such a good group of people on this trip.

We will leave for Guangzhou around 5 p.m. tomorrow evening and arrive there around 9 p.m. Three more flights after that and we will be home. We will be staying at one of the nicest hotels in the world...the White Swan. This is our last stop before going home and where we will meet up with all the other families that have traveled all over China to get their babies.

Gotta go. She is running around the room playing with her crayons and looking at herself in the mirror and waving bye-bye to herself. As I always ask, please continue to pray for these children. Today seems to be a better day for them. I have gotten more smiles from her in the past hour than over the past three days. I just got interuppted by the housekeeping manager. They are making me pay for a teacup that is in our room each day. I accidentally knocked it off the bathroom counter this morning and it broke...20 Yuan ($2.50). Can you believe that? He kept saying, I sorry for this but you have to pay. Geeze, Louise, you would think they would overlook something like that for as much money has we have paid since being here.

I will try to blog tomorrow but it might be difficult since we have to pack, shop and fly out in one day. Take care everyone and thank you for the emails. Tim, Chase & Carson, we miss you guys. Olivia and Stewart, we miss you as well. We miss everyone.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Okay, here is the smile everyone has been waiting for. She and I spent some time in the lobby this afternoon and she really opened up when the camera came out. I am having to post twice today because I got a day behind yesterday. Julia has not ran fever or not anything to talk about since last night. Yeah! I still kept her in all day and took her out to the pool late this afternoon. They like for the kids to be around other Chinese kids as much as possible so that they feel a little more comfortable. She didn't think much of the water so she spent her time just walking around and looking at everyone else like they were crazy.

We went to dinner at the Western Restaurant here in the hotel and she ate really well. After dinner, Nancy and Grandma Susan had a grand idea of me going downstairs to the hair dresser/massage parlor to get my hair washed for me and they would sit in there with Julia. Shouldn't take long at all they said. Well, first of all they place you on this table where you lie down and they wash your hair the whole time they are massaging your head and neck and scratching your scalp for about 15 minutes. I was in heaven. Then they condition your hair and scratch it again. I didn't think too much when they kept signaling to Nancy that my hair was so tangly and I had a lot of it. She completed her task and sent me to the next chair where they put you in a haircut chair and start massaging your neck and arms and fingers. Still relaxing.

Well, then everything went downhill from there. They took my hair down out of the towel and saw a tangled mess. They immediately had the entire shop ... all seven workers looking over my hair and wondering how to get such tangles out of my head. The whole time I am asking for a hair pick in picture drawing English. They dug really deep and found a pick they thought could even come near touching my hair. I grabbed it and started combing my hair. The owner quickly stopped me and sent me back into the hair washing/massage table area again. They each took turns picking out my hair and each kept applying conditioner after conditioner and some more conditioner. The owner would walk in there and hand them some special conditioner. One guy even brought me a translator dictionary showing me the work "hair treatment". I kindly said no.

After remaining in that room for 30 minutes of grueling hair picking, they finally sent me back to the haircut chair where they started picking again. I finally took it away and picked myself handing them back the pick and a few hairstrands. They began to do the final task or so I thought of drying my hair and stopped in midstream to apply more conditioner to my hair. They then informed me that I would have to sit there (it is now 8:45 and Julia is sitting in the lobby floor asleep waiting on me with Nancy and Grandma Susan who by this time are laughing hysterically because they see that I am stuck in there). I explain to them that I cannot wait any longer and need to go. Of course, they did not understand and insisted that I had to wait for the owner to come and finish. I, of course, did not understand what I was waiting for.. a haircut? I don't think so. She saw I was about to get up and leave and started massaging my shoulders to keep me in the chair. He finally came over and blow dryed my hair and apologized for the wait. 9:10, I walk out of shop... 50 yuan ($6). I approach the lobby to obtain my child and find two women sitting there laughing their heads off and are probably still in there room laughing. It is official, I have the slickest, cleaniest head on the entire 14th floor of this hotel. Not to mention, there is absolutely not one tangle in my head.

We had another pee pee on the western toilet party for Julia after returning to the room tonight. I surely hope that we are moving in the right direction in that area. Tomorrow we will go to a museum and then do some shopping. On my way to sleep after looking over some more official paperwork. Please continue to pray for these kids. Some are still going through a lot of grieving and it breaks your heart. We have been very lucky with Julia and she seems to be perking up each day.

Lots of Love,

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I'm getting a little behind on the blog but did finally get to sleep all night last night. That is the first time I have not woke up around 3 a.m. and not gone back to sleep. Julia has been wonderful. She has gone to bed around 8 p.m. and this morning we had to wake her up around 8 a.m.

To catch up on yesterday - I was afraid when she woke up that she would be scared or crying and she was not at all. She ate an entire breakfast bar and then ate some Congee at the breakfast bar. We had to have our picture taken for the adoption certificate and then shortly after we boarded a bus to go to the notary office where I was briefly interviewed and then back to the Civil Affairs Office to go through another interview. We then had a brief ceremony where they presented us with our adoption certificates and then we had an opportunity to exchange gifts with the orphanage director. It was really neat that they gave her a box with her baby picture, some dirt from the orphanage ground and some pictures of the orphanage. The parents sent back the things that we sent her earlier in the year in the care package. You could tell that she really used the bear and the blanket. I had an opportunity to ask the director questions and was not really surprised by the answers that I received. Julia only went to the orphanage once a month which is a requirement so that they can receive vaccines, medical check-ups, etc. She is fully potty trained but not on a western commode (this has been a huge obstical for us). We just had a pee pee in the potty party. YEAH! She was literally spoon fed since the foster parents have had her. She looked at me like I was crazy when I tried a bottle and sippy cup. I think we have met a mutual ground this morning and she is using a straw.

They asked Lily why she did not have shoes on when we were talking to them. I had her explain that her foot was too little for everything that I had brought and we were going shoe shopping after the meeting. All the kids needed shoes so we all directed the bus to the department store after the ceremony. Well, let me tell you that Nanning is famous for their shoes and their cheap prices. It was way too cool. Some of her shoes were cheaper than the coke that Matthew drank in the restaurant this morning. I have posted a picture so that you can see what bargains we got. I paid about $38 to $40 for all eight pairs of shoes. The leather is real and the shoes are adorable. Her feet are so dry as is her whole body. She would just look at the shoes like this is kind of neat.

We then returned to the hotel where just about everyone ended up in the infamous Chinese restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel. Our whole meal usually ends up running around $5 to $6 at the most and you do not tip. I have seen three different times where the waitress has ran us or someone in our group down trying to return the tip. When we got back to our room Julia had a temperature of around 102. I quickly tried getting it down and started her on antibiotics and let her sleep. I still feel that is the stress and the change in temperature with the air conditioner. She is not used to being in air conditioning at all thus resulting in such dry skin. We ate dinner in Grandma's room which was some oatmeal and a pbj. We also were given a metal bowl and silver spoon that she used with the family. She refused to drink yesterday afternoon until I spoon fed her the sprite in her bowl. She was extremely spoiled.

She slept really well last night and has not had anything but a very low grade fever today. She and I decided to just stay in the hotel today and sent the others out shopping. It gave us an opportunity to just be by ourselves and she actually starting mumbling some words at lunch. Yes, she and I went by ourselves to the downstairs Chinese restaurant, a whole 25 yuan...$2.75. We bonded with a little $1 toy from Wal-Mart. It is a doodle board. One of those things that you can draw on and then erase. I would draw her a picture and hand it to her and she would look at it and laugh and then draw over it and hand it back waiting for me to laugh. Her personality is slowly starting to come through and I mean slowly. She has been through a lot in the past 48 hours but everything she has done is to be expected.

I warned Tim this morning that we have a huge problem. She can give a look with her eyes that just melts your heart. I mean the whole hang her head and throw those eyes up in the air at you...very manipulative. We are going to have some very trying times ahead of us as far as laying the law down and making sure she follows it. I was told that the foster families know that they are not going to stay with them so that they spoil them just so they will like them while they are in their care. I hope Cindy wrote a manual when she was walking the line with Olivia. I would pay a high price for that book.:)

Please continue to pray for the children in our group. Some are having a hard time because of the severity of the grieving that their children are doing. There is a younger child in our group that has been running fever and might have to see the doctor today. I know that in a couple of more days the kids will be better adjusted and us to them. Think about it, we are handed a child that we know very little about and have to learn them as they do our western ways. Julia is taking a nap right now and holding her little picture ring that we made her of her family. She got to here her Baba's (Tim's) voice this morning on the phone and just smiled. We hope that hearing him everyday will help when she sees him. She has bonded to me very will and likes Matthew. I am making Nancy do all the dirty work when someone has to hold her for her medicine, etc. Anything bad, I just blame it on her. Grandma Susan is having a fit to get her hands around her but we are having to take that slowly.

Today three of the couples went to visit the orphanage so we are having some down time. We will probably go sightseeing tomorrow and then Friday prepare to fly to Guangzhou where we will meet up with the other couples from all over China. I cannot wait to see the other children and get some more westernized food. I am hoping that changing hotels will not make her digress as far as her progress is concerned. I will also get to see your comments on our blog site and see how badly what I have posted looks since I cannot see it from here.

Picture #1 - Civil Affairs Office - Lily, China Facilitator, David, Our Guide and SWI of Yulin Orphanage Director (man with blue stripe down front of shirt)
Picture #2 -Shoe shopping
Picture #3 - She's officially ours - adoption certificate
Picture #4 - My first hug - She held her arms at for me while we were at the CAO
Picture #5 - Nap time
Picture #6 - All dress up and ready to go!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Picture - This is Julia after we returned from the hotel in the dress that they sent her in. We had just taken out her many ponytail holders and were worried that the indentations in her hair would not come out. Her hair was clean and they looked like they took really good care of her. She loved the car that we had just bought at Wal-mart the day before. This better not be a sign that she is going to prefer fishing over dancing.

She has a dimple. Lookout Cousin Megan and Kasey. Okay. I will now back up to tomorrow afternoon at 3:45 p.m. and tell you a little about Julia. (It is 4:00 a.m. here--hard to sleep) We arrived at the hotel (Civil Affairs Office) and walked down a hall to a room where we all stood. Well, okay, on the way down to our room, one of the families accidentally saw Julia sitting in a room with an orphanage worker. We decided when David said stay put and I'll be right back that we would work our way out of the room and down to take just a little peek. Long story short, we took our peek but others did not, aka, Grandma Susan. She was all of a sudden missing only to be found spending a little time with Julia with the camera. When she decided to return to our room full of anxious mothers and fathers waiting to receive their babies she shared with me where she had been and asked if I would like to see the video. No, I want to be suprised, Yeah, right. Most of us took sneek peaks of our precious daughters while a couple didn't want to see until they walked them in. I cannot load the gotcha video because it obviously is too large. I will see if I can find another way.

Julia initially didn't do anything when I picked her up. She was the first one brought in and just stared at everyone. It seemed like she was the only one that could walk in by herself although others can walk. I introduced myself to her and gave her a doll. We are not sure if she is speaking Mandarin or Cantonese and the doll is Mandarin. She's looking kind of funny at it still so it must be the later. I was kind of concerned because she didn't cry but shortly after we sat down and stared at each other for a while she started to have tears develop in her eyes. She cried for a very brief time and has not since. I could almost see the instant that she realized what was going on and that she was leaving with me.

We came back to the hotel room and before bath time, David came up and talked to her to get her to drink her yogurt. You could tell she instantly understood what he was saying to her and she started to drink. Thank you, David. She is a very heavy child..not big..but thick. She is fitting in some of the 18 mo items and I would think the 24 mo will be too big so that worked out perfect. She was not very fond of the bath at first but then warmed up to the toys. She then had her outfit changed several times as the bows were just not matching perfectly.:) Poor girl. Her feet are a lot smaller than what I purchased shoes for so we will be shoe shopping today. I think the whole group is going shoe shopping after the civil affairs paper signing.

In the room she ate several things things and then we took her to dinner. She ate again. We actually got a smile from her at dinner and Nancy noticed a dimple. When we would take her picture, she would smile really funny at the camera after the picture was taken. It is hilarious. She is really funny to watch. When we got back to the room, Grandma Susan cheated and said she was only going to have her sit in her lap while I quickly loaded the video for Tim. Five minutes and she was out like a light in her arms. She has a little bit of a fever - please pray about that- but besides that seems to be okay. I woke her up for some Tylenol and to change her clothes again into her PJ's. I then layed her in her crib and thought she went right back to sleep only to walk over again later and she was just lying there looking straight up. She is so quiet right now. She went to sleep a shortly after that and has been asleep every since. I'm glad someone can sleep around here.

I am so anxious for her to get up and see how she does this morning. She seems to really like us and likes to play with Matthew. The foster parents returned all the items I sent to her in her care package. She instantly recognized her Mother's Day bear so we gave it to her when she started crying at the Civil Affairs Office. Her blanket has been used. She is actually sleeping with it right now. We are going to give the clothing back to orphanage today. We have to take a picture first thing this morning for the passport or something and Lily is going to ask them to develop the film that the parents returned to us.

It was weird because after we got her woman are starting to walk up to her and talk to her. A group of teenage girls walked up to her after dinner and starting talking to her in Chinese and one of them curled their tongue up at her and she curled hers back at them. I do not know where she learned that but it's pretty impressive. I, myself, cannot do that. She also likes to nod her head at you. We are not sure if she is saying yes, you will give me more food or if she is trying to dance. Her bio said she loves music and to dance. Today should be interesting. We will be going downstairs to breakfast in a few hours and meet up with the other families to see how their night went. I only heard a couple of cries down the hallway last night so maybe it was a good night for all. I'm really nervous because our night went so well and absolutely do not know what to expect today.

Please continue to pray for her health, our health and that her transition continues to go smoothly but yet she naturally does go through her grieving process however hard that might be for us but healthy for her. I will take lots of pictures today and update tonight. More paperwork today and then shopping. Lots of Love to all, Leah (please overlook any typos - I am running off little sleep around here)

She has arrived! This will be brief so that Tim can see some pictures and I need to get her to bed.
She is so awesome.

She has arrived! This will be brief so that Tim can see some pictures and I need to get her to bed.
She is so awesome.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

40 minutes and we go downstairs to board a bus to get our daughter..Julia!!! We did paperwork as a group this morning around 10 a.m. We actually had to put our fingerprints on our name over and over in red ink. It seemed very official. We then took taxis to a downtown shopping area so that we could purchase Chinese books, DVD's and a wedding ball that is only unique to the Guangxi province. I 'll explain the wedding ball at a later date. We are getting a little more comfortable with manuvering around and dealing with the money barriers (not the language barrier). Matthew got a to-go pack from KFC and that was interesting trying to order. We thought we knew how to say six in Chinese but the girl just laughed and got the manager to get us a picture card. We forgot to ask for no ice in the drink so Matthew had to trash that but the chicken and the fries with the useless drink was only 17.5 yuan which is around $2.25. Another couple got the complete bucket meal and it was only $6.

We just left the Chinese restaurant located here in the hotel and for three of us it was only around $5.50 and we had several dishes and appetizers. It is amazing at the prices but I do miss our home grown tomatoes and salads. I NEED A CAFFIENE FREE DIET COKE!! (Please Fed Ex me one somebody) It is going to get harder and harder as the week goes on but we are hanging in there. I hope to try meat congee with Julia in the morning. Yum. Yum.

Everyone is so excited right now. The anxiety level is so high. It is great to share this experience with others at the same time. Well, the next time I blog, I hope to have a video on here so that you can see our GOTCHA DAY and our beautiful new daughter. Tim, I wish you guys were here but you will have your GOTCHA DAY on 08-02. Lots of Love to everyone at home and we thank you all for your prayers.

Tomorrow is Gotcha Day!!

Today we spent the morning walking around just to venture out a little on our own. We didn't go that far but did see some interesting things. There are so many people on bikes, electric scooters, buses, etc. They even have two lanes on each side of the road for just bikes, motorcycles and scooters.

After lunch, we had a brief travel meeting and then all loaded up on a bus to go to Wal-Mart. I would have taken pictures in there but didn't know if that was going to be frowned upon. I couldn't even begin to tell you what a "different" experience we had. Picture three floors - bottom had individual stores; second - grocery items (Matthew and Lisa's husband, John, decided to check out the "fresh/whole" meat section-hanging dried snake) and the checkout counters; third floor - clothing, electronics, baby items, etc. Now, that sounds easy enough but the fun is where you get a shopping cart and take an escalator between floors with your items. Really neat. Our guide was awesome, he stayed with two or three of us unexperienced shoppers and showed us what we needed to buy (he even had them put together our strollers for us that we bought) for the arrival of our girls tomorrow and helped us find chinese children's music, dvd's that are popular here with their age. Can you believe the DVD's were $1 to $3 (Finding Nemo, The Incredibles). Carson can teach Julia some English while she teaches him a little Chinese. I couldn't believe Mom and Nancy left our little group and finished their shopping on their own. Now, they did say that they both almost face planted on the escalators. That would have been a few too many injuries for the day seeing as Nancy already took a rear slide down the marble steps of the hotel today. These two are definitely serving as free entertainment.

Tonight, David (our guide) offered to take us to a really good Chinese restaurant. We enjoyed some authentic food along with another Lifeline couple. It was about $4 for our meal and appetizer and $1.25 for the cab over there. We have also grown very fond of Min ( I hope I spelled that right). Min is Barb's 3.5 yr old that she adopted at 24 mos old. Min has grown very fond of Matthew and looks for him often (my friend, is what she calls him). Barb has been a fountain of information when it comes to the do's and don'ts. We have met several great couples in only a day and are very excited about sharing the rest of this experience with all of them. It was truly a blessing that we got to travel when we did. I couldn't imagine not being with this group of people.

Tomorrow morning, we will do some paperwork and then try to do a little more shopping for items that are unique to this area. At around 3:30, we will board a bus and travel about 15 minutes to another hotel where they will give us our babies. You can see the excitement in everyone's face as it gets closer. This time tomorrow night, we will have our daughter.

Matthew is doing great and is being a real trooper with trying new things. He is going to have plenty of girls on our floor to entertain tomorrow evening. It will be great because Barb's room is right next door and she is adopting "emily" from the SN's list. Julia and Emily know each other because they are from the same orphanage. I was told today that the foster mother would take Julia back to the orphanage each day to play and then take her home at night.

We miss all of you and although I cannot see your comments, I will read them all when we get to Guangzhou. When you try to do a comment and it ask you for a user name and password just ignore it and hit submit. Lots of love, Leah - Next blog will have video of Julia!!!!!!

Picture #1 -Nancy, Mother and Matthew in the little park we found on our walk.
Picture #2 -Typical food market on the street corner (notice all the bikes).
Picture #3 -Our guide, David, and Matthew in the hotel lobby. (David has been so good with Matthew. He was always making sure that Matthew was right with us in Wal-Mart..too kind)
Picture #4 -Our hotel - Wharton International
Picture #5 -Chinese version of Edward Scissorhands in the little park we found. This guy was an expert at shaping the bushes into different designs.

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