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Thanks so much for visiting us during our journey,
Marc, Lori, Justin and Katie Starr!
May 17, 2006
New Discoveries and Opportunites
Our day began early for Marc and I. We were up at 5:00 am. I think that it was just excitement from the evening before and the promise of what the day might hold. Katie slept very well and we actually had to wake our precious girl up at 6:30 am to begin our day. She does not seem to be a morning person but we will see if that holds true once life normalizes for her.

Well the days promise was fulfilled beyond our expectations. Katie was more cheery to begin the day and let Marc assist me in her care and feeding. We went for breakfast and boy this girl can eat. She is right on target for her age as she is almost 21 pounds and just under 31 inches.

After breakfast Marc, Katie and I went to the Yellow River Park. Justin decided to relax back at the hotel. The Yellow river runs through Gansu Province and is the second longest River in China. Our guide Veronica was with us as well as Steed who is a local who is also guiding an additional five families from another orphanage in Gansu. Our two groups do everything together. Steed gave us a great deal of background info about the park and the river as we walked down some paths along its banks. Then we came upon a group of men from this area who's background is Hui. There are 40 ethnic minorities in this area and Hui is the Muslim minority. One of the things that this group does is raft the river on a vessel made from sheep skin and wood. Our guide wanted to know if anyone wanted to venture out onto the raft and of course my hubby immediately volunteered. Well, not to be outdone on our trip of a lifetime; once he came back I rafted as well with another woman and her 2 children. We had great fun and enjoyed the rest of the sights in the park as well. Katie was very happy while in the park. Then we went to the Mother and Child Statue in Lanzhou. The mother represents the river and the child represents China. They say that the river nourishes China like a mother nourishes her baby. We drew quite a crowd again at the park with people giving us the thumbs up and telling us lucky baby. They all wanted to take pictures with us and our babies.

We came back to the hotel and had noodle dishes that we bought from a street vendor that our guide recommended highly. This area is known for its noodles; especially spicy brown noodles. The noodles I had set my mouth on fire even though I asked for medium spice. After we had lunch and Katie had her lunch we put her down for her nap. That was short lived as she is constipated and picked that moment to start trying to do her thing. She was in pain and really straining. I got my prunes out (Thank you Shannon) and fed them to her and presto bango…she went! The rest of the day she was pretty sad and crabby and now has come down with some very bad congestion. We are treating it with over the counter medicines but if she is not better by the morning we will give her the prescriptions that we brought. Marc is a little under the weather himself today as well.

I would say all in all that today was a big step forward. Even though Katie would still prefer to be in my arms she is going to Marc and especially loves roaming the hallway each day with him to see all of our new friends and her old ones from Wuwei. At one point she even was walking; then stopped and raised her arms to be held by Marc saying dada. He had been saying dada to her since we got her and I think it sunk in. Our group is terrific and the whole hallway is alive each day with the sounds of our children as well as us. Many of the doors in the hall are open all day allowing all of us to walk in and just chat awhile. If a baby needs to nap we just put on the no disturb light and sequester ourselves.

Tomorrow we are off on a city tour and then the following morning we are off to our final stop before leaving China, Guangzhou and the White Swan Hotel.
Marc is thinking about a new style for his beard
Katie and her friend Madison hangin at the park
Our sweet girl
Posing in front of the Mother and Child Statue
Rafting along the Yellow River
Having a good laugh in the room