Saturday, January 21, 2017

Train Day

Today was a travel day. We spent about five hours on a bullet train from Nanchang to Guangzhou. Our train went as fast as 308 kilometers per hour, which is 191 miles per hour. You didn’t realize how fast it was going until another train whizzed by in the opposite direction. Both kids took naps, which helped pass the time. We grownups read books and enjoyed the views out the windows.

It was neat to see the countryside in this way. There was everything from small villages to large cities, flat fields to rolling hills and mountains, rundown shacks to fancy houses. I was surprised at how green everything was. 

Our agency’s driver met us at the train station and drove us to our hotel, the China Hotel (Marriott). Entering Guangzhou was like arriving at the land of milk and honey. The sun was shining, palm trees were swaying, and we were so happy to be out of rainy and boring Nanchang.

After some paperwork, we ate dinner in the hotel’s club lounge (thank you Marriott credit card points!). It was kind of similar to the setup at the Sheraton. The kids pigged out, as we hadn’t really had lunch on the train (just a bunch of snacks). 

Back in the hotel room, we had some fun playtime. While Zack and Jonas had some sort of make-believe scene going on with the stuffed animals, I took Johanna into the bathroom and let her play with my makeup. She ended up giving me a lovely makeover! 

We also played a family game of hide and seek. Our hotel suite has a decent number of good hiding places, and Johanna really got the hang of finding people (not so much the hiding part!). The kids thought it was pretty hilarious when they found each other or us. 

Johanna did pretty well today. There were a few tears this morning when we changed her clothes and tonight when we put on her pajamas, but no meltdowns, and she quickly recovered as soon as the coat was back on. We heard her laugh a lot today, and she and Jonas are starting to interact more. 

Johanna made this face on her own after seeing Jonas.
I think she's going to fit right in with our family!
I’m dreading the medical exam, which got moved from Saturday to Sunday. I’m assuming it will involve the removal of the coat, which never goes well. Along with that, because she’s over age two, she’ll be taken to a room (without us) for a tuberculosis blood test. I know that’s going to be traumatic. 

The good news is that we don’t have to worry about that until after tomorrow. So we’re going to go have a fun day at Safari Park, which is a big zoo-type attraction. Time to see some pandas! I’ve heard really good things about this place, and I think we’re all looking forward to enjoying some time outside in the nice weather doing something unrelated to adoption paperwork and appointments! 

P.S. For anybody who was wondering about the writing on Johanna's arm, it appears to just be a copy of her foster mother's name and contact information. Maybe she wanted it somewhere in case Johanna didn't deliver that piece of paper to us. In any case, don't worry, our daughter doesn't have some strange tattoo on her!

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