May 22, 2010

A Trip to the Guangzhou Clinic.

Amy posting again. We got into Guangzhou about 9:00pm last night. Ellie did great on her first plane ride! Only cried a little right before takeoff. Once we started down the runway she got a big grin on her face and seemed to be enjoying the ride. Of course this was only a 2 hour flight as opposed to the 12 hours when we head to San Francisco on Friday.

It is a busy day for adoptive families in Guangzhou. Because the US Consulate is located here, all adopting families, regardless of adopting province, have to pass through here. Our agency alone has 3 groups here right now at different stages in the process, but there are obviously many different agencies represented. Our hotel, The White Swan, caters to these families. It was fun to come down to breakfast and see so many American faces with their Chinese children...probably about 60 families just at this hotel.

After breakfast we walked to the clinic for her physical with our new guide Kathy. All the CCAI guides have been wonderful, and we are really enjoying getting to know them. She gave everyone of us a great big hug at the airport last night, saying " big very warm welcome to you". On the way to the clinic we stopped at a store to get her visa photo. The Clinic was crowded with a mixture of locals, adopting families, long lines and plenty of screaming kids who didn't want to be there. People smoke everywhere in China and the clinic was no exception. Since Beijing I think the two of us have smoked the equivalent of at least two cigarettes just by inhaling the second hand smoke. Ellie did great at the clinic. The doctor wanted to know what her SN was. When we told her severe malnourishment and delayed development she pointed to those chubby thighs and spoke Chinese. Our guide translated, "not anymore!" She gave her a good report and thought she was doing great developmentally. She asked if she could hold a pen, then realized Ellie had already grabbed her pen off her desk and was trying to pull her measuring tape from around her neck. After that she saw the ENT who gave her a very high-tech hearing test...she squeezed a squeaky toy by her ear and checked off the "hearing" box ; ) We got into another line for height and weight where she weighed in at 22 lbs.

Before we left Zhengzhou we were allowed to see all of her records, along with the original notice of abandonment ad that they place in the newspaper. This picture was difficult for both of us to see. We knew that she was severely malnourished when she was abandoned...reading about it is one thing, seeing it is another. God truly breathed new life into her, as she is not the same little girl. Thank you to everyone who sent emails! It was wonderful to wake up this morning and read your kind and encouraging words. We are feeling better now that we are on this last part of the trip and can see home in the distance. We miss Ethan, Hannah and Ben so much and are ready for them to be united with their sister.

One more note regarding Ellie's rash. The doctor thought it was probably a combination of heat rash and eczema -- but we already guessed that much.

Bye for now.