Tried to post this last (Wednesday) night here but couldn't get through. It is now Thursday morning and I'm still having lots of difficulties with getting this sent. I wanted a lot more photos but I'm going to send now to make sure this gets out.
Hi, sorry so slow getting back, but we're pretty exhausted. First thing I want to say is THANK YOU for the comments that you sent. Really appreciate it. A special thanks to those that described similar experiences with their daughter and then said that it will get better. So it's Wednesday night and it has been 36 hours or so since I last wrote. At Nike we have a Maxim that reads "Do the Right Thing" - and after being with her over the last couple of days I know we are, but it has also been really tough. Over this period of time I've probably been able to hold her for a total of 10 minutes in little short bursts before she cries/screams. We have been able to play a little together but only if Deb is within sight. So it has been tough for me, but there have also been times when she's let her guard down and her personality has come out. Those times are just outstanding to watch (from a distance). She's said MaMa, Elmo and Bye-Bye so far. Unfortunately for me, Bye-Bye came when I left the hotel room for a bit. She turned to Deb and Janie and said Bye-Bye in a perfectly clear voice. I'm truly extremely happy that we have her and everything is now official, I'm just ready to join the fun. So again, for those that have been through it, thanks for the good words, thanks for listening to me ramble and thanks to everyone that has been following.
Now on to the good news...she's absolutely attached to Deb...extremely attached. Poor Deb can't get two seconds to herself and I'm not sure I'm exaggerating. The good news though is that it shows Audrey can and will attach. Deb has been fantastic and it is wonderful to see the two of them connect so well. Janie has been a trooper and every day amazes me. She's great with Audrey, great at trying all kinds of new foods in the restaurants and even a great sport at the non-Western toilets. She's very adaptable and get comfortable quickly in different environments.
I'm a little fuzzy and tired but here's what's happened since last post. We left Tuesday morning to go back to the Civil Affairs office. There we waited with a bunch of other adoptive parents and went through ceremonies to make things official. We then went to the governmental notary office for more questions and at that point everything was official. One great thing is that we received a little gift from the orphanage and in it contained a packet of photos of Audrey over the last 16 months. An unexpected treasure.
Tuesday afternoon was a big nap for Audrey and Deb. Janie and I went back to Wal Mart. I probably haven't been in a Wal Mart twice in the last 10 years but now I'm on back to back days. I also hit a Nike store and a Converse store so now I can expense the whole trip (just kidding Nancy if you're out there reading). Then Janie and I went swimming, sort of, because the pool was outdoors and the water temp was in the 60s Fahrenheit. We got mostly in but there were some guys a lot tougher than I am that were swimming laps. That night we had a celebration dinner and then tried a shower (didn't go well but the bath tonight didn't either).
We were up really early this morning and took a bus from Nanning to Guilin. It was about a 4.5 hour bus ride but I think it was worth it. We wanted to experience more of the country than just the large cities and the scenery was amazing. We then all went to Elephant Hill and then we dropped off one family at the orphanage and we went on to the Reed Flute Cave. We've been traveling with another family from Portland and their daughter is from the orphanage at Guilin. We chose ahead of time not to go to the orphanage and I think we made the right choice. It sounds like they had a good experience but I think it would have set Audrey back even more. Elephant Hill was great scenery and after that much time on the bus it was good to hike around. I've never seen anything like the cave. I'll just leave a couple of pictures below to show it off.
Tomorrow we're on a river cruise and we'll eventually end up in Nanning. We then leave Friday for Guangzhou. I should sleep.