Sunday, November 17, 2013

Guangzhou Day 1 & 2

We arrived at the Garden Hotel in Guangzhou around 11:30 pm Friday night.  By the time we got checked in and in the bed, it was after 1 am.  Cora Li was not happy.  Our flight from Fuzhou was supposed to take off at 7:30 pm, but got pushed back until 8:20 pm.  Even after we boarded the plane, we sat at the gate until 9:15.  The airplane was full.  We definitely stuck out like sore thumbs.  Cora Li was exhausted.  All she wanted to do was to lie down, get comfortable, and SLEEP!  She finally slept about 20 minutes on the van ride from the Guangzhou airport.

We slept in a little Saturday morning, barely making it downstairs to the breakfast buffet before it closed at 10 am.  We were all pretty hungry, and the breakfast was SO much better than at our last hotel, so we all stuffed ourselves.  The rest of the day we mostly rested in our room, which is a small 2-bedroom apartment.  The set-up is nice.  You walk in to a small kitchen and living space, and then to each side is a bedroom and bathroom.  The boys are impressed with the bidet function of the toilet.  The one in our bathroom also has a heated toilet seat.  Nice!  :)  We have a tiny washer/dryer combo.  And by combo, I mean it's the same appliance.  It goes immediately from the washing cycle to the drying cycle.  The drying part is a misnomer.  It actually just heats up the clothes a little.  We have to hang the clothes to dry all over the apartment.  We had saved all of our laundry for the past week to do here.  It took pretty much the whole day on Saturday to get caught up.  Late in the afternoon we went to Trust Mart (Wal-Mart) for a few items and ate at KFC for dinner.  The boys don't attract quite as much attention here as in Fuzhou.  There, everyone stared and wanted to touch them.
Today was a little more interesting.  We took a walk down a few side streets near the hotel.  There are lots of small shops and food markets to take in.  Along one of the streets were some people selling turtles, eels, and snakes (all live).  There was a woman crouched down gutting and preparing an eel.  Another man at the back of a cart was cleaning a chicken.  Other than that excitement, the guys spent some time in the gym and we took Cora Li to the small playground here at the hotel.  Pizza Hut was for dinner.  We devoured 2 large pepperoni pizzas! 

A little progress...I have had to lie down with Cora Li for her to go to sleep at naps and at bedtime.  She just cries if you put her down in the crib, so we transfer her to the crib after she goes to sleep.  Tonight, Billy is lying down with her!  Yea!  So I'm sitting here catching you up on all the boring happenings on our "rest days." :)  Just checked on them, and they're both sound asleep...
I also have been wanting to share a little about Cora Li's special need.  She, like John, was born with spina bifida, in the form of a myelomeningocele.  They both will have to be monitored for spinal cord tethering, kidney damage (result of infection due to a neurogenic bladder), scoliosis, and of course, their orthopedic issues.  Both also have hydrocephalus with no shunt.  Most of what affects John is obvious...his shorter leg and his dislocated hip, resulting in his severe limp.  Cora Li, we think, will have more issues.  We knew this before we decided to adopt her.  What we have seen with her has been no surprise.  She is unable to walk unassisted yet.  She definitely has the strength in her legs, but she doesn't have great musculature in her ankles and feet.  She'll likely need AFO's.  (John wears one on his left leg).  And physical therapy. She is 2 and still in diapers, but we're pretty sure she'll be incontinent.  She doesn't seem to leak urine constantly, but I'm concerned about her being able to fully empty her bladder.  I'm thinking she will need cathing several times a day.  She also has frequent bowel movements.  She is not constipated, but seems to leak quite often.  We are in the process of figuring her out, but I'm sure it will be after several more packs of diapers and wipes!  We've almost used an entire box of wipes and half of a large box of Huggies.  I'm crossing my fingers that there are good wipes sold here in China!  I feel certain we can get her on a bowel regimen where she can eventually achieve social continence as she grows older.  As far as her hydrocephalus goes, hers is more obvious than John's.  His big head is proportional to his big body!  :)  She seems very bright, and her language is not severely delayed, but she may have some issues.  I am anxious to hear from our neurosurgeon if he recommends a shunt for her.  I'm sharing all of this because I want these things not to sound "scary." Yes, she has a special need that will require a bit more care than a healthy child.  But, it is not WHO she is.  I know she was created to do great things!  Sure, in a heartbeat, I would want to take away any disabilities my children may have, but I don't regret AT ALL that they are my children.

Tomorrow at 2 pm, we leave the hotel to meet Mariel.  We are all very excited to be the family for this very special girl and can't wait to experience her apparently contagious spirit and personality!  I'm quite nervous though.  She is an almost 10-year-old girl who has lots of ideas and feelings, and I don't speak a lick of Chinese.  A few words here and there just isn't going to cut it!  I'm praying for God to intervene and give us all some extra grace and peace during this transition.  Most of all, I'm praying for her heart, for healing from all the loss she has suffered and still yet to suffer more, and for it to open up to us, and for it to overflow with love.

Sent from my iPad=

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