July 16, 2005

15 hours all by myself . . . sort of!

Today we had the opportunity to visit the girls' Social Welfare Institute. I really wanted to go but it's about five and half hours away so we didn't think it was wise to put the girls on a bus for all that time. So, Eric went and I stayed at the hotel with both girls. There is a couple, Jen and Dominic, in our travel group whose parents are with them on the trip. Dominic went today with his father-in-law and Jen and her mother stayed back here as well. Jen's mom was so much help to me today! She pushed the second stroller, carried one of the girls and even played with one in the pool. I need a "Jen's mom" when I get back to Chicago!

We are in Guangzhou but are on Shamian Island which is separated from the rest of the city. It's really beautiful and has a manicured park down the center of the island and nearly every store and restaurant exists to serve adopting families. The shop owners all have American names and will readily strike up a conversation with you and then ask you to come and look in their store. We've joked that they could really provide great sales training in the US! Most stores also do laundry, loan you a stroller and have a shelf where adopting families leave all the stuff they don't need anymore so other adopting families can come and take it.

Today the girls and I went out to lunch, shopping and to the pool to swim again with Jen and her mom. The girls were real troopers even with sweat dripping off their cute little faces! They liked the pool and today Michal was kicking her feet and really loving the water, while Kenna was much more tentaive. The girls are starting to like their bath too! I think the rubber ducky family helps. (Thank you Grace Vickers for reminding me to take rubber duckies!)

And no, we're not bathing them in murky water. Their bath has Aveeno baby bath in it and it has oatmeal to help with itchy skin.

Our little Kenna.

Our little Michal.

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