Sunday in Guangzhou

 Here's a bit of a glimpse into our days here in Guangzhou:

First: We love it here!  I'll have to say that blue sky, sunshine and 70 degree weather during the days plus green trees and blossoms and flowers and bird chirp all makes us feell much more at home even though we are 1/2 way around the world from Birmingham, Alabama.  Shanghai was the futuristic jetson city... a city that I'll never forget.. it was New York-esk but in a way more progressive.  But the lack of sunshine and colder weather made for days inside our hotel rather than out.  Plus, we were the only American couple adopting in our area of Shanghai so that felt even more isolating.  However, here in Guangzhou it's American adoption land!  There are families everywhere with their adopted children and it's absolutely wonderful to see! Plus, Mike and I have had the best time getting to know some of the families and hanging out and sharing this amazing experience with other Christian families.   I feel like there is much more LIGHT here... GOD LIGHT.   And definitely feel like that because so many believers being here in this city... and even in this hotel.  I think if Christians lit up on the map in China then Guangzhou would be very bright compared to other places in this country.     

And this hotel...... it's called the Garden hotel... and it has flowers everywhere and a beautiful garden in the back of the hotel with waterfalls.  I can't even explain how refreshing it is to walk outside and see azaleas in bloom and and southern flowers... it just makes us have more of a skip in our step.   All in all, Mike and I are very thankful for this place.. this city... meeting new friends... and sharing this new experience day by day with our precious daughter! We are so in love with Pippa and it's like opening presents each day as we get to know her and all her little mannerisms and personality... she makes us smile!  And she is a gift from God!  How blessed we feel to have her in our family and I can't wait for her to meet Sam and Rosie and our parents and friends!

So.. back to my glimpse into a day here in Guangzhou.... I rambled a bit!

First, we skype in the morning with Rosie and Sam and Gee Gee and Da and Nana and it's great to connect with the kids and makes us feel closer... last night, Mike and I watched Sam and Rosie play UNO on Skype!

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I think it's perfectly fitting that we are in the "Garden Hotel" since I have carried that verse... "the winter is past.. the spring has come"  as a type of theme for this trip and for adopting Pippa.  She is spring time!  And It's spring time her in Guangzhou and everything is in bloom! It's beautiful!

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Today we headed to the shopping mall to the pearl and jade market... on the way, we saw monkeys in a square doing tricks! Yep, we are definitely not in Birmingham!

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We had fun looking at all the pearls at the market and picking out special ones for Rosie and Pippa.  They will both receive a pearl necklace when they get married! Makes me happy just thinking about giving it to them.. but not sure if I can wait that long!

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All the pearls...... bags and bags and bags..... Pearls are much cheaper in China...... 1/2 of what they would be in the states.

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Shopping area we were in today.  It was very crowded!

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There was also a koi pond where the people were feeding the koi with baby bottles..... how about that Sam? Should we start bottle feeding our Koi?  

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After the market, we headed back to the hotel and here is the view from our hotel window. 

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Flowers in the lobby at the hotel.... the flowers are everywhere!

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Ornate wooden staircase in the lobby.

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This evening, we had a group photo and the girls all wore their Chinese outfits that the moms bought at the market.  I borrowed one from a friend since we are going to buy a Chinese outfit on the island tomorrow. 

Pippa was soooo happy with her little Chinese dress.  She even got her little purse to carry with her..... I think she knew she was being very fancy!   Oh, Rosie... you and Pippa are going to have a great time playing dress up! Pippa already likes to play with her purse and put all her little things inside of it. 

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Above is our group photo of all the families that have adopted from Lifeline and from Small World agency.  We went to dinner tonight at a Chinese restaurant and it was really good!  Pippa did great and ate her lemon chicken and noodles and lot of Mike's fish dish too!  All in all, a wonderful day... felt like a hug from God!    We are still working through bedtime with Pippa.... she has such a hard time wanting to fall asleep. She fights it with everything she has.... I feel so bad for her because I think about all those lonely nights she has had and she probably is just absolutely scared to fall asleep because she may be thinking .. "what if all this "wonderful" changes when I wake up?"  Will my mama and baba still be here?" I am trying to place myself in her shoes and think...."ok, what is going through her little mind?"... a mind that is so filled with layers upon layers of thoughts.  Tonight she toddled around the room half asleep... fighting it intensly.   Finally, she went into her crying fit and it didn't last as long so we are thankful for that. But would love prayer for sweet Pippa's sleep and that she will feel a peace surround her..... God's peace as she lays her head on her pillow every night.  

Speaking of pillow... I'm about to lay my head on my pillow... long day today!  And tomorrow we head to the zoo and then to Shaiman Island! YEA!

Thank you for all your prayers and emails and sweet encouragement! We continually feel your prayers and so thankful for you all!  

Goodnight from China!