We have been enjoying the past few days with Violet in Guangzhou. Her personality has really started coming out as she becomes more and more comfortable with us over time. The flight here went very well. We even successfully navigated a last-minute gate change in Lanzhou. The flight was 3 hours, and we couldn’t have asked for a smoother first flight for Violet. She behaved well and went in her seat between Nicole and me. She has an excellent attention span playing with toys or something new to her. She’s also been a champion sleeper!
We’ve really enjoyed getting to travel within China to a few different cities and spend a bit of time in each. Guangzhou is very different from Lanzhou. Lanzhou was much drier and cooler – similar to California. The weather here is a lot like Florida – hot and humid around the clock, and it rains for a little bit every day which makes everything lush and green. For a city with more than 18 million people, it is also a very clean city. There is very little visible air pollution here too, which lets us see the blue skies and white clouds. Even the overpasses and highways have greenery purposefully growing all over them. There are two parks in walking distance from our hotel, which we can’t wait to explore, and a garden terrace on the fourth floor of the hotel, which Violet has really enjoyed.
On Saturday, Violet had her medical exam and blood work done. It was quick and efficient, moving many adoptive families swiftly through. It was fun to see other adoptive families who we now see at our hotel too. We also made a trip to Wal-Mart for some essentials and naturally, came away with so much more. Violet loved sitting in the cart and holding onto everything. This is no American Wal-Mart though – they had tanks of fish that you could go to, pick the one you want and they’d kill it and clean it for you right there. It also had rows and rows of fresh local fruits which Violet and I are enjoying.
Last night, Violet wanted to hold both of our hands as we walked the mall area of the hotel and outside in the gardens for more than an hour. It was precious. She has also attached to both of us now pretty equally. My heart melts when she reaches up with both of her hands and runs towards me to pick her up. It is also sweet to hear her call and ask for her mama if Nicole leaves her sight for more than a few minutes. We are so thankful – it is clearly an answer to prayers and God is so good.
Today, we spent the morning at the Chen Family Temple. Originally built in 1888, a single-family used it as a temple for worship twice a year. Kind of crazy to think about considering the ornate carvings in the brick and wood throughout the grounds. The detailed woodwork and masonry are incredible. It is now a preserved historic building that holds many arts and craft vendors that use the rooms as a museum and shops, and the courtyards a place for practicing the art of bonsai. Our guide, Helen, has been incredible and giving us history lessons and detailed background of many of the sites. She’s also brought us to the perfect shops to find quality gifts and things we were hoping to bring home.
Tonight, we saw the city skyline by way of a river cruise. We got to eat a buffet dinner, see the lights of Guangzhou and have a little “dinner show” for the kids. A beautiful city and a fun night!
We’re counting down the days until we see Brody and Joia. We’ll be home late Friday night. We miss them so very much but are thankful for the ability to FaceTime them. It will be so great to be reunited with them, now as a family of five. We know that Violet is going to fit right in – she is already such a huge joy in our lives.
Enjoy some pictures below: