Well well well didn't think you'd be hearing from me now did you? Well I had a sweet epic rad time on my travels across the earth. I climbed the great wall of china, saw a giant golden buddha with blue hair, watched scorpions duke it out in a baby pool, I even hung out at a Japanese techno rave arcade! I could get used to having all the attention in the world, cameras flashing my direction every waking second of the day. Yeah, looking back that was really nice. The babbie and I made up some games that she likes, which usually gets her to talk and laugh, but she gets pretty heavy after awhile.
Anyways, We're back now after 2 thursdays and 18 hours on planes. We took naps forever, and Lilah played on her new kitchen set for hours. She is the best sister!
Today we were free to explore until the afternoon, when we would pick up Lilah-Kate's passport / visa and leave for Hong Kong. We got off of the beaten path (whole new meaning with 14 million people a day on the path...) and explored a residential part of our neighborhood. The walkways were very narrow and were obviously off limits to motorized anything. We came across some grandmothers shooing a cat from their house and saw other interesting sights. After having some lunch, it was back to the hotel for a rest, but Lilah-Kate was feeling playful, so we just let her because we were going to be in a van for a while in the afternoon. She had a lollipop and made me some lolli-soup!
We arrived in Hong Kong to stay with Brent and Deborah Seay and had a wonderful Mexican meal (extremely rare in China and a great treat!). Deborah gave Lilah-Kate a little baby doll which she fell in love with immediately. She was all smiles for the entire evening, which is the longest time than we have seen her in such a cheerful mood. I think she was glad to be in a family environment and see the Seay children and not be in a hotel room. We were all thankful for this oasis before heading for home! Thank you Seay family for having us, it was delightful!
Please officially welcome Lilah-Kate Jing to the McCullar family! Today we finalized her adoption with the United States. She will receive citizenship at the first port of entry which will be Chicago! We were not allowed to take photos in the consulate,which is a shame because Lilah-Kate threw her first ever-lovin' fit during the oath explanation. Her style is “wet noodle” and it is like trying to pick up a noodle with chopsticks, everything goes limp and if you don't catch her, she will crash on the floor!
We met a Chinese family on Shaimen Island tonight and had a great conversation with them, even with us knowing very little chinese and them knowing very little english. It was a young couple with their one year old daughter and the two grandmothers. They were very excited for Lilah-Kate's adoption and very happy to see her doing well. We have been able to make several connections with people here and have really enjoyed these moments!
We visited the White Swan Hotel, which is the place many adoptive families from the U.S. stay. It is customary in the adoptive community to take photos on the red couches that are in the lobby, so we made a special visit to get ours there too. We put her in a traditional chinese silk dress and her favorite sparkly red shoes. How cute is she!
We ended the night with apple pie and ice cream at Lucy's!
Lilah-Kate really loves reading books and spent about an hour tonight looking through Jake's spanish workbook, a Ni Hao Kai-Lan coloring book and her Mandarin/English picture book! She has done a lot of coloring and really likes to take things out of her backpack, hand them to you and then put them back in. She will do this over and over! She really gets vocal at night when we play roll around on the bed games and she giggles a lot!
Lilah-Kate got an A+ on her first test today! We returned to the medical clinic and with a glance, the nurse confirmed that she cleared her TB test and we were done. The next thing we did was tour a museum that was once a wealthy families residence. We saw many artifacts and works of art and did some shopping. We rested in the afternoon, poolside. Our pool is on the 14th floor and it is beautifully landscaped and has a full view of the city. Lilah-Kate wore her swimsuit, cover-up and swim shoes to the pool and the water was ice cold, so she never put a toe in. She looked really cute napping on a lounge chair! We ran into several adoptive families today with their new children and made friends. After meeting one of these families, I almost always cry a little as they are walking away. Watching orphans become sons and brothers, daughters and sisters is an amazing thing to see, something I will never forget. When I think how easily we could have missed this treasure of our daughter, I am overcome. If anyone following our blog is considering adding to your family in this way, know that you will be blessed as much or more than your child ever will be. I can say this after knowing mine for one week!
Tonight we went back over to the island and had a nice French dinner at the Orient Express and then shopped until we dropped (literally). We had to get a cab to drive us back to the hotel! Two more nights in Guangzhou!