This is a quick post, so I won't have any pictures.

Yesterday, we flew from Chongqing to Guangzhou. The flight was a little under two hours, and Ping handled the entire trip very well. Our new guide Cordelia met us at the airport and after checking into the White Swan Hotel, we took Ping to the clinic for her official medical checkup. The results came back today, and all of our paperwork has just been sent to the US Consulate's office. We are waiting while Cordelia runs the paperwork through the consulate for Ping's visa.

The differences between Chongqing and Guangzhou are fairly extreme. Chongqing is an inland industrial town with very few foreigners, and few people there had ever seen a foreigner with a Chinese baby. Apparently, the Chinese government has never publicized the fact that foreigners were adopting Chinese babies. The locals were surprised to hear that it was even possible. In one market, after talking to several people about it, one of the women started laughing and shouting "Take him, Take him." and pointing at her 10-year-old boy.

However, our little view of Guangzhou is very Westernized. Our hotel and the clinic are on the little island of Shamian which has historically housed foreign consulates and embassies. Most people speak a little English, and everyone is used to foreigners. The White Swan hotel seems to be the only hotel that adoptive parents in town use while waiting for consulate paperwork. This means that probably 80-90% of the hotel guests are Americans adopting babies, and it has a kind of creepy feeling. Most adoptive parents are travelling in large agency groups of 15 to 30 people, and they are all pushing little Chinese babies in strollers. At certain times of day, the stroller crowd surges out from the hotel into the streets and the two or three Westernized streets on the island are filled with overweight, pasty Americans with strollers. Normally, there would be other tourists at the White Swan, but due to the SARS virus, the only people who haven't cancelled their trip are adopters. Which has created the effect of a giant baby factory/hotel.

Anyhow, enough China stuff. Here's the baby info. Ping cut her first tooth a few days ago, and has a few more right on the verge of busting through. She has been a little fussy because of it, but the change of scenery and the Baby Tylenol seems to have improved her mood quite a bit. She weighed in yesterday at 19 pounds, which is a little big for American 8-months-olds, and is huge for Chinese 8-month-olds. So far, she is the youngest and largest baby we have met. Everyone comments on how strong she it. Lisa and I are feeling great and are more than ready to head back to the States. We should end up back in Wenatchee on Thursday night. All of our flights have been rebooked, and confirmed, so hopefully there won't be any more changes. I no longer have my permanent connection to the Internet, so if you need to get ahold of us, try email or call in an emergency.

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