Currently it is Monday evening, July 8 and we are in Changsha!! We left Guangzhou this morning and took the speed train to get here. It took about three hours and it was not bad at all. We are all checked in at the Longhua International Hotel and if you are going to be traveling to Changsha any time soon, I highly recommend this hotel.
We had a great time in Guangdong and we are so grateful to Winnie's parents for opening up their homes to us. It was wonderful to take Tahlia back to where she came from and I really believe she left her province with a sense of peace. It was especially wonderful to experience her seeing herself in other people on the streets. Every time she saw a person that looked like her, so pointed it out and several times she went up to a little gitl, just because she thought that they looked like her :-)
We spent yesterday morning on Shamian Island. We stayed there during our adoption trips and even though a lot has changed since we were there, it was still nice to walk around the island and see all the familiar sights.
The medical exam is where we offcially found out that Jazzie was deaf (even though we already knew it in our hearts, but kept it quiet in fear of us not being able to keep Jazzie). We were asked three times if we wanted a different baby and the entire experience was so emotional for me that I blocked a lot of it out. I just remember crying and crying because I was SO afraid that we were not going to be able to keep Jazzie because we were not approved for a special needs child. Thank goodness our wonderful agency worked overnight to get our paperwork in order and we were able to take Jazzie home. A special shout-out to our travelmates who consoled and supported us during that time. It was almost surreal to have Jazzie stand in front of the building 11 years later.
The White Swan Hotel was closed for remodeling so we could not get in :-(
One more swim in the pool at Winnie's family's apartment building. I'm on the 29th floor and Matt and Tahlia are down there swimming!