Monday, November 30, 2009

Guangzhou Sunday & Monday

Guangzhou Sunday & Monday
November 29 & 30th

With an early morning, we didn't blog last night, so you get a double dose here.

Sunday:  After breakfast, we met as a group (all 15 families) and went out on a few tours.

We first went to see a 5th century Buddhist temple, Six Banyan Temple.  We walked around the grounds, saw all of the amazing architecture and sculpture, including a very tall pagoda tower in the center of the courtyard, and then all of the babies were blessed by a monk!

From the temple we were off to The Guangdong Folk Arts Museum.  This large complex is an example of traditional architecture for Guangdong Province, and houses a huge collection of arts, including furniture, pottery, carved ivory and jade, paintings, and more.  In case you are ever here, I definitely don't recommend the squat toilets at this facility…

Then we went to a government owned and run shop that sold local crafts.  We mostly hung out at the interesting little market across the street, where we bought (and ate) locally baked almond cookies! 

We had a big group dinner at a Thai restaurant.  It was very delicious, but when the bill came with 20 items on it, we were surprised to find out that they even charged for the napkins on the table…  Hmmm…

Monday:  The morning started out with big stuff.  All 15 families traipsed to the local clinic to get physical exams for the babies.  They need to be examined as part of the immigration process for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.  It was quite perfunctory, and hardly extensive, but we did get Orli's new height (71 cm) and weight (8 kilos), and she turned her head properly when squeaked in the ear with a squeaky toy.

The clinic was an experience.  We walked right through to a back room, where we all waited together, but the front room was standing room only, filled with locals who seemed to be there for a variety of reasons.  It was pretty much a mad house.

We also had Visa photos done for each of the babies.  Orli cried the whole time, and it was amazing that the photo turned out as decently as it actually did.

In the afternoon we had a little time to shop on our own.  Our hotel is surrounded by little stores, all selling similar wares.  We bought Orli a pair of Chinese silk pajamas, and tomorrow we will take what is now the infamous "red couch" photos that all of the families take when they stay at the White Swan in Guangzhou.

Later in the afternoon we went as a group to the wholesale jewelry market.  This place was totally mind-blowing.  It was a huge mall-like complex, with hundreds of stores selling every kind of jewelry and jewelry supply items you can think of.  There was one store that specialized solely in Lapis.  The entire store was blue.

Our main target as a group was the pearl market.  We bought Orli a strand of pearls that we will probably give to her for her Bat Mitzvah.   She tried them on today and liked them so much that we had to pry them from her hands.  Of course, she is equally excited by a plastic Kleenex wrapper…

When we got back to our hotel room this afternoon, there was a brand new Barbie doll on the bed.  It is a bea-u-ti-ful, tall, blonde American-looking Barbie, holding a small Chinese baby.  :)  Mattel Hong Kong gifts these to all of the adoptive families who stay at the White Swan.  I tried to find someone who got a bea-u-ti-ful brunette Mama, but apparently all Americans must be blonde.  Orli didn't care, she was clawing at the box to get to that doll.  She probably wants to trade me in for a more "American looking" new mother.  :)

We went to dinner with a couple from our group, Kelly and Jay, and their new daughter Jia Lan.  Jia and Orli are one day apart and are both Chongqing Girls from the same orphanage.  They get along really well and like to hold hands and share all sorts of germs with one another.  :)  Dinner was…well…hectic.  Orli wasn't too thrilled to be there, and didn't display the best in good manners.  If there hadn't been a baby at every third table we'd have been outta there.  But this whole area seems to be geared towards all the Americans who are here with their new children--we all pass through Guangzhou to complete the final hurdle of paperwork and exams necessary to go home.  At least we were in good and compassionate company.

That's it for now.  We are both totally worn out, even though Orli seems to have a second wind.  That's about predictable for her at this point.  We're looking forward to getting her on a normal schedule when we get home!


  1. It definitely sounds like you 3 are having a good time and getting to experience many new things together as a family. I am so glad that you 3 are enjoying spending time in China together and are getting to see many intersting sites. I am glad that Orli passed the examinations that she has been put through, with flying colors.


    Genna and Aaron

  2. Ted&Corey: I have to correct You. When you get home it will be Orli`s schedule-you have no say about it.
    Love you-cant wait to have you back in CA


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