I'm sorry that we haven't posted in a few days. We had a bit of a tough few days in Shenyang, but now we are in Guangzhou, our last stop before heading home and we are so happy to be here! With not much to do in the hotel in Shenyang and nowhere to really go, we were all going a bit stir-crazy in the hotel room. Thank goodness it was a nice big room. We have been so excited to come to Guangzhou, however, because we remember how beautiful it is and how great it would be to be out and about here.
It was a bit of a long day - we left for the airport at 7:30am. We had one last breakfast at the hotel restaurant - we think they were all happy to see us go. No more visits from the messy Gonzales four. John, our escort, helped us through check-in and security. We ended up on the same flight as another adoptive family coming from further north, so no complaints here about how early we had to start our day - theirs started about 2 hours earlier.
Joshua's first airplane ride was almost 4 hours long. He was antsy for while, but again, if he is eating something, he is good to go. They brought lunch and luckily it was something Makena and he would both eat. He had a roll in his hand the entire flight. I did decide to change him in the bathroom at one point - those little fold-down changing tables are really small! But we made do and he did great. Makena watched her DVD player - Pocahontas is her new favorite movie. The flight was a little bumpy and me being the nervous flyer I am, I was a little stressed. What made it worse was when the stewardesses stood in the aisles and began saying something in Chinese that started with counting - thanks goodness for Ni Hao Kai-Lan, the Chinese cartoon that we watch back home where we have learned how to say "1, 2, 3!" All of the sudden, everyone on the plane put their arms up in the air and started waving them. In a split second, I thought that the stewardesses were saying that we were going down and that whatever she was having everyone do was some kind of life-saving measure that we couldn't understand. Turns out, they were having everyone do in-flight exercises. Ralph thought this was hilarious. Me, not so much.
We made it to Guangzhou and have a room with a beautiful view looking out over the water. We feel so much more relaxed and comfortable. As Ralph said, it feels as if we have returned to the mother ship. We have a room with a beautiful view looking out over the water and the kids even seem more happy here.
Joshua's personality is really beginning to show - he is quiet and shy with others, but he has a smile to die for and is laughing more and more. Today while Makena and Ralph were playing in the pool, I was letting walk around and when I would open my arms to have him come to me, he was actually happily walking toward my arms and grabbing onto me, which is a big step. He smiles and laughs at our hugs and kisses. And when we are playing around with Makena, he watches and tries to get in on the action too. Makena still misses home, but she had a good time today in the pool and actually just running along the sidewalks.
Tomorrow morning we go for Joshua's visa photo and medical check-up. We also have a meeting with our agency rep to go over all of the visa paperwork. Our agency rep, Catherine, was here when we came through on Makena's adoption, so it was neat to see her again and for her to see Makena.
I promise that we will post more often until we head home. We can't believe that we are just about 4 days from coming home! We are so thankful that so far, we have been blessed with good health, a smooth process and safe travels. Thank you for your continued prayers! Well, everyone is asleep now, so I'm headed there myself.