It’s always darkest before the dawn…

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We are happy to say that we have experienced a few minor but important breakthroughs today! Meili has begun to emerge from her protective cocoon and reveal a little of the personality she has buried within. We have seen her smile many times and laugh a couple times. She has allowed me to play with her today and even kiss on her little wrinkled neck without even a hint of irritation. Tracy and I feel much better and are greatly encouraged from the long day yesterday – thank you very much for your prayers and thoughts. Most overwhelmingly, she even gave her new Daddy three little kisses on the lips while we were at the grocery store today – before she even knew what she was doing! It was nice to know that she even knew what a kiss was and seemed to have past experiences with her nannies in that area. Day by day, her little wings are opening up and taking flight in our lives.

Guangzhou is a very vibrant and bustling metropolis of over 10,000,000 people – it makes us miss the ancient charm of tiny Nanjing. Between the soaring skyscrapers and digital billboards hovering over the crowded avenues, you can see small glimpses of Chinese culture. It is unfortunate how Western culture has invaded this half Chinese and half European historical city. I guess it is a perfect last stop for us because it stirs thoughts of home and a longing to return to our world. If Guangzhou were as charming as Nanjing, we would have a hard time leaving – Tracy and I both have a deep respect and love for ancient China so this modern face China wears is somewhat disappointing. It reminds me of the many ladies who come up to Tracy and marvel at her beautiful red and curly hair – reaching to touch with a wish to grow such lovely hair. As we walk away, Tracy expresses her love of their thick and dark hair – wistfully considering how nice it would be to grow such beauty. We always want what we do not have (heck, I would just be thankful for hair!) and this same philosophy plays out on the crowded pavement of today’s Guangzhou and China as a whole. It’s almost as if the Cultural revolution is taking place all over again with the same tragic results of lost Chinese treasures.

Today was our medical check-up in preparation for our appointment on Monday with the US Consulate. It was a simple and frantic process of controlled chaos in the cramped quarters of the international adoption clinic. There is a special section of the clinic reserved for families adopting Chinese children and it was packed! It is so amazing to see how many families adopt from China – and 99% are from the United States. The visit was another one of those uniquely Chinese experiences and the doctors performed their duties with practiced precision. Our guides described them in Chenglish this way…”If you doctor at home as good as these doctors – you need get new doctor!” :)

We are in the home stretch now and feel as though we are beginning the downhill part of our journey. We are scheduled to leave China on Thursday and despite our dread of the flight home, we are super anxious to get back to home. Thanks for your continued prayers and support…