Saturday, September 20, 2008

Red Folder Day!

Day 2 in China and I think we are officially adjusted to the time.  We tried to stay up until our normal bedtimes last night, but pretty much crashed at 7pm.  Makena was wide awake at 4am, so we ended up watching a little High School Musical 2 to pass the time until breakfast.  She took a morning nap and fell asleep when we were out walking around at 8pm and I think she will wake up at her normal time tomorrow.  She is such a trooper and a great little traveler.
Today was the Holt orientation where they go over everything from a background in adoption from China, to Chinese culture to our schedules over the next two weeks.  We met the 19 other families that are here adopting at the same time through Holt.  It still amazes me the instant bond you feel with other adoptive families - difficult to explain, but it is there.  We are all taking off tomorrow to fly to 5 different provinces to meet our children, then will see each other again in Guangzhou.  We stay in province for about 5 days then Guangzhou is where we have the Visa appointments.  Makena made friends with the daughters, age 6 & 7, of two of the families and she is loving playing with the big girls.  She loves the fact that she doesn't have to sit in a car seat here.  She was able to sit next to "her girls" on the bus and was in heaven! 
The best part of orientation, as we learned with Makena's adoption, is the Red Folder.  It is a beautiful, wonderful update on our child.  Before handing them out, they put each child's updated photo on the presentation screen and then ask, "who does this little one belong to?"  Kind of a fun game to see if parents can recognize them in a more recent photo.  We knew Joshua right away - he hasn't changed much since the initial photo we received.  We could spot those big beautiful brown eyes anywhere.  As soon as his picture popped up on the screen, Makena said, "that's my baby brother!"  She is sooo ready to be big sister.
After the orientation, we had a group lunch and then took a tour of Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven.  Last time that we were here, we were so in awe of everything and it was all so overwhelming.  This time, it seems we can really take it all in and appreciate it a little more. There is really so much beauty in this place, in their traditions and customs, in their people.  
So we arrive in province tomorrow afternoon and we meet Joshua at 9am Monday morning.  I cannot even put into words how excited and ready we are.  Monday can not come fast enough!  
Well, off to bed - could be our last good sleep for while!!!!