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Paul, Katherine, Grace Ann and Zoe!
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April 2, 2006
Gotcha Day!
Sunday started out early with lots of surprises. We started out with the most expensive breakfast buffet I've had in some time, $380 Hong Kong dollars for some yogurt, bread, and cereal. That equates out to about $70 American. We met our guide Ben, who also seems to be part stand up comedian, and early in the morning everyone boarded a bus headed for the Chinese border. Then when we were off. Ben gave us all sorts of instructions on what to expect and made sure we all filled out our entry paper work in the proper way. Then it was over a couple of giant suspension bridges and through some very large tunnels. The day was misty, and you could just make out the huge towers and mountains that make up the islands of Hong Kong. Our first stop was getting permission to leave Hong Kong which was a breeze, then we made to the official Chinese Border. We were greeted by army guards who didn't look like they'd slept enough, and after getting scowled at we were given permission to enter the People's Republic of China. It was at this time that those who had to make a rest step got their first view of the infamous squat toilet. A pretty sight it was not. Then it was back on the bus where we found out we would be getting our babies as soon as we arrive in Guangzhou. The highway from the border to Guangzhou is new and better than any I've seen in Upstate NY. The view outside the window was something else. Nothing but factories and tenement housing as far as the eye can see. It is in the stretch of highway that every t-shirt, light bulb, and everything else you can imagine is manufactured. 20 years ago nothing but farmland, now literally over 50,000 factories supplying most of the world's goods. We learned that some companies are viewing China as expensive with the average worker now making $125/month, where as in Vietnam they make $5 a month. The city of Guangzhou was incredible, an unbelievable contrast of old and new, and rich and poor. After getting to the hotel we had time to only unpack and then it was back on the bus to the adoption center. We all waited in a square room pacing like made, holding back the occasional cry, and then waiting some more. Then the elevator door opened up and we saw all the babies walk past, each of us trying to catch a glimpse of the one we'd seen in the pictures for so long. Then one by one they were brought out. Many of them cried, but when Zoe was brought into our arms she just stared in absolute wonder. Didn't make a peep. In fact, we were a bit concerned because she didn't make a peep on the entire bus ride and all the way back to the hotel. Just stared at us with those big brown eyes. She is tiny, can't guess the weight, but she doesn't look any bigger than she did in the referral pictures. She has a nasty little cold, but when we got back to the room things started to change. She wouldn't take a bottle, wasn't much interested in toys either, but we soon had her smiling and laughing playing bounce games on the bed. She is a like a little michael jordan, when she concentrates or smiles her tongue pops out in focus. We gave her a bath, put her in some clean clothes, and then just played for a while. We even got a very short nap when she went into the baby bjorn for a short walk around the hotel. She especially liked bonking me on the head, looking at the pictures of the puppies in a little family picture book we took, and grabbing Katherine's glasses. Dinner never happened at all, and Zoe eventually went to sleep after bonking her head against the mattress to comfort herself! We were a bit concerned because she wouldn't eat anything, but since it was the first day we just let it go. Gracie we miss you tons, and I know you're being a good girl. Remember your chores, and take care of Phaedrus. Love you all.