Today was another long day! We checked out of our hotel at 9:40 and rode in a van to the Jinan airport, checked our baggage, went through security, and waited for a long time . . . our flight was delayed, so we had to wait about an hour longer to board. The kids were getting very restless by the time we got on the plane, but they both did really well on the flight, so that's an encouraging sign for our long flight home in a couple weeks. Ezekiel actually slept most of the way and TongJie played with his cars most of the time. The flight was only 2.5 hours so it wasn't bad, plus we got a meal. I'm not sure if it was lunch or dinner, it was right in between. We got off the plane in Guangzhou and were greeted with uncomfortably hot weather. It was also sunny, which we haven't seen since we left Wenatchee. After we got our bags, we met up with our guide for Guangzhou, who turned out to be the same guide we had last time, Sarah. On our itinerary, it said we'd have someone else, but we were pleasantly surprised to see Sarah. We will actually have Sarah and Elsie, who we also had last time. Sarah remembered us right away. Actually, she already knew it was us because she had recognized our names. I think she remembered TongJie mostly, and she said as soon as she saw him she could tell it was him because he still has the same eyes. By the time we got checked in to our hotel it was 5:30, so we spent the evening unpacking our stuff (we're going to be here awhile!) and eating dinner in our room. TongJie was exhausted and went to be really early. I layed down with him on the bed until he fell asleep around 7:00. Then we got Ezekiel to bed and he was asleep by 8:00. TongJie is excited for the swimming pool here, so we'll check it out tomorrow afternoon or evening. We're going on a sightseeing excursion at 9:30 tomorrow morning with some other families from Wacap. I think it's to some museum, but we're just looking forward to seeing other families - Sarah said it will be inside, so that will be good for Ezekiel. We were the only family in Jinan, and here in Guangzhou we're in kind of a unique situation because we're going to be here for such a long time. The other families who are here right now are going to be finishing up their adoption processes at the beginning of the week and then going home midweek or so, but we're staying till July 10. The reason that we're here for such a long time is because the province that Ezekiel is from, the Shandong Province, has different rules about applying for passports and it takes longer to get a passport. Most of the orphanages in the Shandong Province have been willing to take the child and pre-apply for the passport so it's ready for the family when they get there, but the orphanage in Liaocheng has not been willing to do that, maybe because they don't have enough staff to be able to, we don't really know why. Anyway, it just means that we have several extra days of just waiting for Ezekiel's passport, since we can't apply for his visa until he has a passport. When we were here three years ago, we were in China for just under two weeks total, and that included a day and a half of sightseeing in Beijing before we even went to TongJie's province. This time, we'll be here for almost three weeks, which seems significantly longer, especially when you're in a foreign country with a new child. :)
Ezekiel has started to show a little interest in walking while holding someone's hand. At first, he just was not interested at all, but now that he's getting to know us a little better he's getting braver. He still prefers to crawl. He does a funny thing where he bats a toy (or any object he can find) out in front of him along the floor and then crawls after it. We realized that he uses it sort of as a blind person would use a cane, so he can tell if it's a safe place to crawl. Pretty smart. If the toy hits something, he knows to be careful because there's something there. It also tells him if there's a change in the surface of the floor, like if it goes from carpet to wood. If he doesn't have an object to slide out in front of him, he will usually just sit down and not attempt to crawl anywhere. I imagine that when he becomes familiar with a place (like our house) he'll probably be a lot more comfortable moving around.