Monday, July 14, 2014


We braved the heat once again today.  And believe it or not we lasted a lot longer than yesterday.

Today we went to Liu Hua Hu Park which is a huge park that is within walking distance from our hotel.  It's across a very busy street so we had to go through the underground tunnel to get to it.  It was another very hot day.  But the park is mostly shaded by huge trees so we weren't standing in the scorching sun.  We saw many local residents practicing Tai Chia and other exercises.  There is equipment for adults to work out on.  We saw a man who had to be in his 70's doing some crazy exercises that we couldn't do in a million years.  Tony and I joked and said we need to live in China for a year to get in shape.  

There was a huge playground for the kids to play on with swings and slides and monkey bars.  But Halainah's eyes grew wide when she saw the amusement park area.  At this point our guide had to go back to the office as someone's paperwork at the Consulate was wrong.  So she left us at the park and gave us directions to get back.  Well that wasn't such a good idea.  Halainah wanted to go on some rides and play a few games.  I went up to one game that she wanted to play which was a fishing game.  You had to hold the fishing pole and catch fish that had magnets on them.  I tried to give the woman money but she kept pointing me to something.  I tried to find what she was pointing at and I found a ticket booth but no one was in it.  So I told Halainah I was sorry but we couldn't do anything at the park because no one understood me.  Well, the look on her face broke my heart.  You see, Halainah is a really good when she asks for something I want to give it to her to reward her for being so good.  And her daddy feels the same way, so he set out on a mission to make her happy.  We did find a place that was selling tickets but you had to buy specific tickets for each ride.  And since we couldn't tell the man which rides we wanted to ride, it was a complete guessing game.  So we added some charades to it to try and act out which rides and games we wanted to do.  In the end we got a few tickets and we had to hunt for the rides the tickets went to.  One ride, the roller coaster was something she wanted to do.  But we didn't have tickets for that one.  I think the guy felt bad for us so he finally let us on with wrong tickets.  Halainah was happy she went on some rides and played her fishing game so it was a successful day despite the communication issues.

After the park, we came back to the hotel to cool off, eat lunch and have Colton take a nap.  We set out once again around 4:00 to Shamian Island.  Shamian Island holds a lot of sentimental memories for us that we will cherish forever.  We stayed at a hotel on the island when we adopted Halainah.  It has many shops that sell Chinese souvenirs and children's supplies.  All adoptive families go to the island to pick up traditional Chinese dresses and outfits.  We saw a few adoptive families today but the island isn't what it used to be.  The White Swan Hotel which was the main hotel that adoptive families stayed at is closed for renovations.  So most shops have closed down because there isn't enough business anymore.  We were able to show Halainah a few of the landmarks that we visited with her and Ava and take a few photos.  We also visited Michael's shop which is the place that we bought all of our children's chops.  A chop is a hand carved stamp that you can have made with your child's English name and Chinese name.  We chatted a while with Michael and talked about how business isn't what it used to be and he prayed it would get better.  We bought a bunch of things from him and he presented us with a little gift which is a scroll that says "Praise God" in English and Chinese characters.  I found it very fitting.  And I am praising God for all the blessings he bestowed upon my life.  

Colton did amazingly well today.  He sort of just went with the flow today despite the heat.  As long as we fed him and let him nap he was happy.  He was in the stroller most of the day today and he didn't complain once.  But he was so happy when he was able to stretch his little legs out when we got home.  He is a chubby little guy for sure.  Everyone says "big baby" to us.  And he is a very big boy.  I still don't know how he fits into 12 month clothes but he does and there is room to grow.  Maybe I am so used to my girls being tiny.  Although Halainah is average size now but my Ava is still a little petite firecracker.   We love you Ava and can't wait to hug you!  

Tomorrow morning (Tuesday) we need to be at breakfast at 6:45 am and in the lobby at 7:40 am to go to our Visa appointment & Oath-taking ceremony.  This is the last step in the process.  I can't believe we have come to this final day.  On Wednesday we pick up Colton's Visa and we take a high speed train to Hong Kong.  And on Thursday we fly 15 hours home to begin our life together as a family of 5.  I am excited to come home and very ready for it.  Yes I am homesick and I miss my Ava.  Our family is just not complete without her.


OPA said...

You sound a little better today. Glad your trip to China is winding down. Halainah sounds like she's just fine & enjoying her time there. Stay safe! Love DAD

Anonymous said...

Nice pics as usual. Oh to be a kid again--right--my favorite daughter ? Stay safe! Love You--DAD

deb said...

Great pics. It looks hot poor Halainah looks so hot in the pics. She really enjoyed the day I can see. So glad you will be home soon. Huggs and Kisses.
Love Aunt Deb

Aunt Ann said...

still enjoying each and every picture and can't wait to meet your precious new son!!!