I know this is the post you all have been waiting for. We just got to Guangzhou and my VPN is finally working, so I'll be posting more photos, I hope. Internet was spotty at best in Zhengzhou and the VPN I had set up wasn't working at all, though J. somehow managed to post a bunch. I know the formatting is weird because of the app I'm using to post, so sorry about that. Here are the pics:
Our first glimpse of A. in real life....outside the civil affairs office.
Getting to know A....inside the civil affairs office.
I was "fine"until I looked out the front door of the civil affairs office and saw A's nanny sobbing. Then I lost itand went out to give her a hug. She had typed me a message about A. and had translated it in her phone. We are reading the message and crying together.
Back in the room
More back in the room
The hotel lobby. The Christmas tree and "Lao ye ye" aka Santa
Some of the kids from A's orphanage. We had to go to the city where he lived as a baby to apply for his passport. This was a four plus hour trip for all of us, one way. It was a long day and we got there at nap time. As you can see, some of the kids were *not* asleep!
Some of the selections at the local Walmart. I could have wandered around in there for hours. So many interesting things!
Shaolin Temple. This was an amazing side trip into the Songshan Mountains. I'd highly recommend it if you're ever in Henan. My middle son is convinced that he wants to come back when he's a bit older to study at one of the Kung Fu schools in the town there.
A was having a tantrum because it was my turn to carry him, not his dad's turn. I was trying to distract A. with "LOOK! Birds!" and some of the monks saw what was happening and took pity on me. They gave us some walnuts which they were cracking to eat/share with the birds. Worked like a charm! Tantrum over.
More views of the Temple
Our first glimpse into the quieter side of A.'s personality. He matched up all the animal cards on the floor, showing me each one as he went along.
Street scene in Zhengzhou
There are literally thousands of mopeds/scooters/motorized bikes/ old school bikes on the sidewalks and streets, sometimes in terrifying traffic. I think I saw three people wearing helmets, including toddlers who ride on the front or back of their parent's bike.
Our caucasian children are quite a hit here. This woman approached us in the train station and told us about her daughters (she has two!) approximately ages 2 and 4. She showed us pictures before suggesting that they would make beautiful wives for our older sons.
Our brave travel companions, my mom and her BF. We took the bullet train from Zhengzhou to Guangzhou today. It was amazing to just look out the window and take it all in...between diaper changes, tantrums, chatting with fellow passengers, stopping for photo-ops and corralling the older boys who were bored at times.
Scenery from the train. It's really hard to get a clear photo when you're going 300 km/hour. Sports mode doesn't really cut it!
Cuteness, see below.
More scenery. Three people walking in the middle of the pic. give you some sense of scale.