On to Guangzhou

It felt great to make it through today! We are in our final hotel in China and at this time next week we’ll be home if all goes according to schedule! This is so cool!

Our day began with a videoconference with Jackson, who was really wound up. It was good anyway even though we couldn’t understand half of what he said! The folks back home were excited about the possibility of an ice storm (at least the kids were), but we’ll see what really happens.

After that, we had our last breakfast in Hefei and then took a bus to the airport. It was there that we ran into a little delay…just a small 4 ½ hour one! I was amazed by Abbie, though, as she passed the time with ease. My guess is that even an airport with a bunch of tired adults is more stimulating than an orphanage.

While in the airport I took Abbie shopping and we found a book about her home province. It has little detail and is mostly pictures, but it will be good to show her when she asks nonetheless. While purchasing this book, a Chinese woman came up to me and asked why I wanted Abbie. I don’t know what ideas she had in mind but she seemed surprised by the fact that Erin and I would choose her just to love her. She seemed skeptical until I showed her Jackson’s picture. You should have seen her face (she thought you were very cute, Jackson…she doesn’t know you don’t like to be cute). Then I think it started to click for her: We were choosing to bring Abbie into a loving family. She thanked me graciously for my time and wandered off.

That was a good experience. Another was has by our coordinator when a man in the airport asked her how much our babies had “cost” us. Li Na tried to explain the process but the man wasn’t really interested and so after a while she just walked away from him. If he only had eyes to see how beautiful and worthwhile these girls are…and how much love they deserve.

Our flight (once we got on it) was uneventful. Abbie had no problem with her ears owing, I think, to the fact that the girl will eat nonstop for any length of time if we let her. At least she’s no longer eating half a Cheerio at a time, hoarding the other just in case. I think she’s starting to believe we won’t let her go hungry!

We landed at the New Baiyun International Airport near Guangzhou, Guangdong which is the largest airport in Asia. However, take that with a grain of salt as I’ve not checked this out for sure yet (we’ve discovered that our guides have a tendency to exaggerate). At any rate, even if the airport isn’t the biggest, it certainly was very nice. In fact, it seems as if we’ve landed in a brand new world. The air is warm (around 60) and moist and the scenery is green! It’s so nice on the eyes. Heck, we could even see the sun in the sky (something we didn’t see in Hefei because of the dense smog that was there).

Our hotel is wonderful. Translation: They have great pizza here (I’ve already tried it). Beyond the pizza, the accoutrements are fabulous here at the White Swan where we’re staying. This hotel is located right on the Pearl River in Guangzhou, a city of nearly 10 million people. I just can’t get over the difference in the surroundings. Clean air and a city that any of you would feel at home in. I bet there’s even a Starbucks here somewhere! If there is, I’ll be sure to find it.

Abbie did so well in her day of travel. She’s really getting accustomed to us. Smiling big when we come around and feeling safe enough to enjoy others as long as we’re near. She also made her debut on a video for church tomorrow. All together I think this wore her out, though, and she is now crashed in her crib.

I can’t believe how wonderful my two children are and how great my wife is! Erin is doing fabulously with this little beauty of ours. And on top this, so many friends.

I am so blessed.

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Hi Abigail…she did great passing time at the airport. Our flight was delayed about 4 1/2 hours.

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Look who fell asleep on dad…

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One of Abigail’s “cousins” from the orphanage, Katie (sitting on Mike, her dad).

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Passing the time walking with her friend Katie (her mom, Pat is pictured as well).

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Abbie on her first flight (she did great!)

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