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Thanks so much for visiting us during our journey,
Marc, Lori, Justin and Katie Starr!
May 20 - 22, 2006
May 20 - First full day at the White Swan

Today started bright and early as always. It seems to take us longer than I could have even imagined to get Katie ready as well as ourselves for our daily activities. This morning we had to take the babies to get their visa photos done. We then went for the medical exam. They found that Katie does have an ear infection but that does not pose a problem for us leaving on time. Her weight was 19.5 lbs and she is just under 31 inches tall..tall and thin like daddy.

Katie is feeling a bit better today and is showing us more of her personality. She is still struggling emotionally but she is becoming very attached to me. The first couple of days she would cling to me but would still go to others when they approached her. Now she goes to both Marc and I very well but she looks to me for comfort. She will not go to strangers now. Our guide, Veronica commented on it today in terms of the strides that she is making. She was very active today and really kept us on our toes. She is super grabby and you cannot turn your back for a second. We took her to the White Swan playroom for a few minutes but as soon as we started to see her becoming over stimulated we got out of there. Simple is best right now.

We spent some time shopping today and really got some cute things for our baby girl. We ended our Day at the Cow and Bridge Thai Restaurant with our group. We had a good dinner and a good time. Katie was crabby but with good reason as she is on medication for her infection so we took her home early and off to bed.

I will end today's post by mentioning that this White Swan hotel is truly an oasis for the adoption trip weary. It is a wonderful hotel that totally caters to the adoptive family. It is so comfortable and is just what the Doctor ordered.

My e-mail is not accessible here so if you would like to e-mail us you can reach us at
justin.ortega@gmail.com
Waiting to be seen for our medical exam
Look at the size of that tounge
In the White Swan Playroom
After her first taste of ice cream...yum
family with
happiness
May 21 - A Rainy Day in Guangzhou

Today it rained hard the entire day here in Guangzhou. We began the day with a scheduled tour to the Chen Family Temple which is basically a museum. On the way our guide Veronica asked us if we wanted to make an unscheduled stop at a Buddhist Temple since there were only three families that decided to go. We jumped at the chance. The temple that we were brought to was one of the most well known in China. We entered and the first thing that we came upon was a Buddha. We performed an incense ritual and then entered the temple. It was absolutely beautiful and quite spiritual there. The monk at the temple then blessed our babies. I am a true believer that it is good to take blessings wherever they are offered. We then moved onto the museum and enjoyed that as well. Katie always does very well on these outings as it seems that she enjoys moving around and never staying in one place too long.

Once we came back we had lunch and then took Katie to the Playroom again which she loves. We let her play for awhile to wear her out and then upstairs for a nap. We all took advantage of that and slept while she did. We ended up at Lucy's in the evening for dinner with a few families from our group and then the playroom again before bed.

Katie is still making progress in small ways but when she sits still too long it seems that the sadness still haunts her. She still cries quite a bit when not totally occupied. There are a few experienced adoptive moms here who tell me that it may not begin to work through for quite awhile if her loyalty is great to her foster family. The foster family is very imprinted on our sweet Katie.

We are getting excited that our time here is drawing to a close. Tomorrow is the consulate appointment and the red couch photos. I will have to catch up on shopping in a big way as the rain was too bad today to get out. The following day is Katie's swearing in and then we leave in the evening. We can't wait to begin our life at home.
A photo op with the monk that blessed Katie
Walking in the rain at the Chen Family Temple
Always happy in our stroller
May 22 -

Today is going to be another short update. The highlight of the day was the red couch photos and the lowlight is that Katie is sick with Bronchitis and a throat infection. Our Doctor from home advised us that she needs nebulizer treatments and that a Doctor here needs to clear her to fly home. We will be going to an international clinic in the morning to find out her status. We will keep you posted....
Katie and some of her Wuwei sisters
Our travel group
The red couch photo before it erupted into chaos
The Katie Starr Team