"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west." - Isaiah 43:5


Not to scare you, but we need to start by letting everybody know that we’ve all come down with a pretty bad case of the fever…cabin fever, that is! After breakfast, we went to have Dayna checked out by the hotel doctor to make sure her thrush is under control. (It seems odd to us that a five star hotel, whose main clientele is adoptive families from America, would not have English speaking staff in their health clinic.) The doctor who was there was one we have never seen before. She looked in Dayna’s mouth, shook her head and kept saying “hospital”. We pointed to the medicine, and she continued to shake her head and say “hospital.” Dan tried calling Angela, who was not in her room. Alaina tried to tell the doctor “translator”, and the doctor continued to shake her head and say “hospital.” AACCCK! So, off to Angela’s room to leave her a note. (We haven’t told you about the floor monitors yet, but we keep expecting them to say, “No soup for you!” They’re quite knowledgeable about who is in which room and when they come and go.) She was not there, so the room monitors agreed to give her the note.

So, back to our room we went to wait for Angela’s return call. We were going stir crazy! Finally, Alaina walked down to Jim & Jackie’s room to clear her head. It was good to just walk down the hall to a different room and talk to them. Before she headed back to our room, Jim and Jackie stopped and prayed for our whole family. What a burden was lifted! Back in the room, Dayna was asleep (Hooray for Daddy!) and Alaina decided to get out and do some shopping. She ran into Angela and explained the situation. Angela later called the clinic, and although lost in translation, it seems the doctor hadn’t seen Dayna’s mouth earlier and thought it hadn’t been treated yet. Angela suggested we wait until the original doctor is back in the morning. In the meantime, Dayna’s doing much better!

The shopping was productive (a bit too productive by Dan’s standards). Alaina, thrilled two days ago that last year’s shorts are WAY TOO BIG and falling off her hips, was humbled to find that a Chinese XXXL was WAY TOO SMALL. We decided to go with an authentic Chinese tunic instead. The girls in the shop laughed when Alaina told them that she “eats like an American.” Well, we arranged to have matching clothes custom made (should be ready tomorrow!) In the meantime, we bought a premade dress for Dayna’s red couch picture. Upon later dressing her, the 2-year-old dress was also too small (actually a good fit except for her neck). With five minutes to spare before picture time, Alaina scooped up Dayna, halfway buttoned, and raced about a block back to the store for a bigger size. She explained that Dayna must eat like an American, too!

Phew! We made it in time for the red couch photos. It is a custom for all the children in a travel group to have their photos taken on the red couches at the White Swan Hotel. We also took a family photo on the red couch, as well as a group photo by the hotel waterfall. Dayna was pretty cranky from the frantic running beforehand, but we think the pictures turned out okay.

After the photo op, three of our families went on a dinner cruise of the Pearl River. All the hotels and buildings along the river are magnificently lit with neon lights. It was a wonder to behold. The total cost per person, including dinner, was about $20 US. While feeding Dayna, Dan went to get a plate of food for Alaina and came back with some interesting stuff. Without knowing what it was, she went up to the buffet herself to take a look. Time to put the good old Mandarin to the test. She asked about four different staff members, “ying wen,” which means “English”. They looked at her curiously and one handed her a fork. Hhhhmmm, they must speak Cantonese instead of Mandarin. A guide from another group was kind enough to come translate and showed Alaina which dishes were pork and which weren’t. Alaina took some “chicken” (but it didn’t look like any chicken part we’d ever seen) and “duck” (let’s just not go there.) Let’s just say that Alaina had a very expensive plate of rice for dinner. Still, the cruise and company were great and well worth the cost of the evening.

We’ve found that many steps in our adoption journey (Gotcha excluded) have been very anticlimactic. Apparently, we didn’t even need to be present for our consulate appointment. Angela went with all of our documents and asked us to be by the phone from 11 to 12 o’clock in case they had any questions. We’re going to go there for our swearing in ceremony tomorrow. No cameras allowed, so we won’t be able to show you any pictures.

Hopefully tomorrow we can get out and enjoy the pool one more time (anything but the walls of our room!) We will also buy another suitcase (too much shopping!) and start packing to come home. We’re told that the humidity has hit in Nebraska…we’re ready. It finally got beyond the oppressive point today, and it wasn’t even that warm.

Our most pressing concerns and prayer requests are for Dayna’s health to continue improving, or at least get to a point where we can wait until Monday to see her pediatrician in Omaha. We also would appreciate your prayers for safe, restful flights back to the US. Dayna does NOT like to be confined, and we could all be easily frustrated and exhausted (we’ve got Benadryl in case).

Our flight lands in Omaha on Friday night at 11:19 (United Flight 693). We know it’s late, but if you’d like to meet us, we’d love to see you. Once we get home, it would be nice to have a few days to get our feet under us again and get back on Central Time. After that, we’d love to have visitors. Please understand that our family is still attaching to each other. At the advice of our social workers, we will probably not be letting people other than immediate family hold Dayna for several weeks. But, if you want to come over and play, give us a call! Thanks again for your prayers and support. Tomorrow will be the last post from China. We’ll let you know later in the weekend how our return flight went.

Blessings from Guangzhou,
Dan, Alaina & Dayna

Catching up on the news
Silk! And more silk!
Love to go shopping!
Mommy & daughter
Family of three
Dayna Wilson, Ke Taecker, Andrew Huffman, Blaise Bitz and Lillie Huffman on the red couch
Taeckers, Huffmans, Bitz's and Wilsons by the waterfall
Mom, what part of the chicken IS that?


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