An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break. -Chinese Proverb

Snake and Lobster

9:33 AM February 28, 2005 (Cheraw)
10:33 PM February 28, 2005 (Beijing)

February 28, 2005

Today was another great day. We left the hotel after breakfast around nine and headed to Shaiman Island here in Guangzhou, this is where the United States Consulate is and where all of our newest (little) citizens were recognized for the first time. After traveling through a few lines and some pretty thorough security checkpoints we were led into a room to await the official swearing in ceremony; our paperwork had already made it ahead of us via our guides and was ready before we even arrived. The U.S. Consulate for Guangzhou entered and told us we had a very special guest who just happen to be here today and was going to administer the swearing in, we were very excited and were wonderfully surprised to see the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Maura Harty; who has been a torch bearer for many years fighting for American families who want to adopt abroad. This was a very special treat that was wonderfully exciting. We all got to talk to her, no pictures though; Temple couldnŐt even bring in a small calculator she had been using to figure out the currency conversion. This event was exciting in itself but to have such a guest here in Guangzhou who was willing to set aside certainly valuable time in a very busy schedule to direct personal attention to babies who just one week earlier held such seemingly little value in their own culture speaks volumes of the value of life our government places on these children. No matter how you swing on the political scale please praise those who have made our country the champion of these lost children. Again I wish we could have taken pictures and posted them tonight but we were not allowed to bring cameras, you will just have to imagine it.

After a busy morning on Shaiman Island we were back to the hotel for a quiet afternoon. We skipped lunch to opt for an early dinner with our group. We were very adventurous tonight and went for a "very" Chinese food dinner. I sent you some pictures and I want you to know that we (yes, even Temple) ate one of the snakes that are in the box that she is kneeling next to. This restaurant was a site to see. Everything was for cooking; goldfish, turtles, eels, lobster (which was incredibly good), chicken, duck, goose, jellyfish (which was a bit chewy), of course snake, and the list goes on and on. I also have sent some pictures of some of the members of our travel group and their babies; we have had the most wonderful time with these good folks and we wanted to post their pictures for posterity. We ate many wonderful things and had a great time at dinner and went for a stroll afterwards for ice cream; which, we are guessing Kirby has never tried before. She really enjoyed the ice cream! I cannot tell you enough how interesting the food culture is here, it is so foreign the things they eat and the way they prepare them; we have done our best to at least try what we could stomach and have been pleasantly surprised, and believe me this isn't the Cheraw Chinese food we're used to.

Kirby is still enjoying the bath, nap time, etc. and doing very well. We had a bit of a long night last night when she woke up screaming and crying (maybe nightmares, who knows), and calming her down was really a chore. Otherwise, she just goes with the flow and will ride in the stroller or the shoulder strap without any complaints; just smiles, laughs, and a lot of curious looking around. She plays great with the other babies and is having a great time playing with some of the older children that have come with other families. That is exciting for us knowing that she still has yet to be introduced to the boys at home. We are bit anxious about that time and are comforted to see her playing so well with these kids here. She eats great and never seems to get full.

One last thing that was very exciting today, I confirmed our return travel home; that was a good feeling as we are ready to return to the good old U.S. (not looking forward to the twenty-four hours of travel with a fifteen month old in the confinements of an airplane, but ready none the less). We are missing home now more and more. Thanks again to everyone, goodnight.

Temple, Joel, and Kirby

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For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, "Abba, Father." - Romans 8:15 NIV