Saturday, May 15, 2010

Finally in Guangzhou

What a roller coaster!  We left Zhengzhou at 7:00 yesterday morning to tour Luoyang.  Louyang is where Abbey has been living before becoming a Woods.  We made the 3 hour drive in a teenie tiny van.  Sydney looked at it and said, "No big momma van".  We dodged bikes, scooters, construction, goats and cattle on the way, but we made it safely.
First we went to Maria's Big House of Hope.  We were so excited to tour this facility.  This healing home was built by Steven Curtis Chapman's adoption advocating agency, Shoahannah's Hope.  It is a home for orphan's who need medical attention for a variety of issues and are unable to receive help here in China.  The Chinese medical system is very behind the US's and is still filled with teas and herbs and that type of thing.  So this home brings skilled surgeons to treat children with cleft palate and other conditions.  We got to tour all the floors except the operating floor.  We got to hold the sweet little cleft babies.  I wanted to put a few in my bag and bring them home with me so badly!!!!  There were twin girls  there, both cleft babies.  They were so precious!  I seriously would have brought them home with us if they would have let me.  I'm just sayin'!!  Our guide had never toured this place before and she said she was so impressed by the love and care given to the children there.  She even talked to them and asked if she could come and volunteer there because she could tell that it was a place that the children were truly loved!
One of the best parts about touring Maria's was that Abbey got to see an old friend.  Michael Melsi met us there.  Michael is a sweet sweet guy with a heart for orphans.  He spent several years living with and teaching English to the kids of Luoyang.  He also has witnessed to them while living in the Louyang SWI.  He sent us many pictures of our Abbey and we will be forever grateful to him for that.  I was so tickled to meet him!  It was so precious to see her run to him and give him a big old hug!
We then left and went to Abbey's orphanage.  ~sigh~   You need to understand that there is a dignity that I want to preserve for my new daughter.  For that reson I will not publicly post alot of what we saw there.  But I do want to tell the other waiting Luoyang parents that we saw many of your sweet children and I will be emailing you pictures and stories in the next few days as time allows.  It was so sweet to meet Abbey's friends and to give them gifts and Starbursts. 
We then headed to Abbey's favorite restaurant, KFC, where she ordered for us and showed us where the sinks were to wash up.  It was pretty cool to let her show us around.  I know that she is gonna be the one to be in an odd place in a few days, so this was a nice chance to let her be the one at ease. 
We then drove another 3 hours to Zhengzhou airport for a quick 2 hour flight to Guangzhou.  Or so we thought.  We had decided earlier in the day to go ahead and just check everything instead of carrying on a few things.  We knew that it was gonna be such a long emotional day and we wanted to have a simple flight and get to Guangzhou and relax.  It was also Abbey's first flight ever and we want to keep it simple in that sense too.  Also flying on a Chinese airline is a litte difficult because the anouncements are in Chinese and then very broken and heavily accented English.  So we taxied out to the runway.......and sat for 2 hours.  There was bad weather in Guangzhou and so our take off was delayed.  Finally we took off and headed south.......only to be told that we could not land due to weather.  We circled for a long time then we headed somewhere else.  We had no idea where we were headed and could not get anyone to communicate with.  Abbey was trying but she really didn't understand what was going on either.  I finally got it communicated to her that this was not a normal flight and things were not happening like they normally would.  She was so relieved at that because she was not so much enjoying all the drama and turbulence.  We landed 6 hours after take-off, but we had no idea where we were.  We quickly called our guide and made a stewardess come and talk to our guide and tell her where we were.  Our guide said that we just needed to go with the airline to wherever they were taking us and try to get some rest.  Uh, ok.  So we were herded onto a bus and took off into the night......and rode for 45 minutes before finally stopping at a hotel.  By the time we got into our rooms, it was 2:30 in the morning.  We were supposed to fly out of Zhengzhou at 6:30 and arrive in Guangzhou at 8:30.  We finally figured out that we were in Guilin in the Guangxi province.  We were told to be at breakfast at 7am and they would try to figure everything else out by then.  But this was Saturday morning and we were supposed to be starting Abbey's medical appointments.  If we couldn't make it for them then we would be looking at rescheduling flights for all 6 of us and maybe having to stay here longer.  Can you hear the tears starting to fall? 
We arrived the next morning to breakfast and were told to get on the bus at 10 to head back to the airport.  We ended us flying out at 11:30 and landing in Guangzhou at 12:30.  Our guide met us and took us straight to the medical office for Abbey's TB test.  We got it today and we will do her other medical exams on Monday when they read it.  This way we will not lose any time and will not have to change any of our dates.  Prayer request #1:  Abbey must test negative for TB.  If her test is positive then we will have to get a chest xray to prove that her lungs are clear before we can bring her home.  The problem is that she has a cold with a pretty bad cough.  I think her chest is conjested and it makes me a bit nervous.  She got her test today and it is a bit red right now.  We don't have to get it read until Monday, so please pray with us about it. 
We are so exhausted.  We had just almost gotten over the jet lag from the trip over and now it feels like we are starting all over.  We are all ready for bed and it is only 7:45 (which will also explain the typos and spelling errors)   When we finally got to our hotel our guide offered to just bring us pizza in the room.  It was from pizza hut and tasted like heaven.  We all ate until we were stuffed, except Wayne.  Prayer request #2:  Wayne has a tendency to eat anything.  However that is not so good when you are in China.  Hence, he has spent a good part of the last 18 hours becoming friendly with Chinese toilets.  He is feeling better but is still a bit queasy.  He had the worst color today, he was totally yellow.  I seriously could have panicked over it.  Please pray that he is better by morning and that he will no longer eat things he cannot identify! 
I will soon post some of the things that Abbey is enjoying and discovering, but for now I am spent.  I will attach pics to follow.


Lori said...

Oh my word. What a fiasco! I feel so bad that you had to endure such a nightmare! But I'm happy to hear that you are finally safely in GZ and that you got Abbey's TB test (I'll be praying!). Oh and poor Wayne! Yep, I'll pray for him too, for sure.

I'm so *jealous* you got to go to Maria's Big House! I really wanted to go there but didn't think it was possible so we didn't even ask. Stupid us!!!

Can't wait hear more updates. I hope your time in GZ is relaxing and uneventful! Go to Starbucks, then shop, shop, shop...then top it off with another Starbucks.

Wish we were there with you!!

Patty said...

Wow Leah, what a crazy day!! I'm SO happy to see you with Michael and Mikey at MBHOH! And SO happy to hear you got to go into the LY SWI! Praying for a smooth ride the rest of the time in Guangzhou. Can't wait to hear more about your time at Luoyang and if you happened to see a particular boy that we are rather fond of!

Walk With the Stulce's said...

wow what a day huh lol

Janice said...

We are praying for Abby and Wayne. We will give an update to the church (sorry Wayne) so they can all lift you all up in prayers. We will also pray your flight home will be on time and comfortable for Abby. I feel old and tired but when I saw those babies pictures I wanted you to bring one for me and twins I have always wanted twins. Our prayers are with them and you as you continue this treck for Christ. Oh, Michelle Hill made it to graduation isn't that wonderful! We miss all of you and can't wait to see Abby! Jaice&Dirk

Janice said...

Leah you Mom says you are getting our comments. Can you let us know on your next blog as it doesn't show up on comments here. You are one brave lady and God will bless you for it , He promised.

Ashley said...

praying for your family daily since i found your blog. i love it! what a heart you have for jesus.

the redness in her arm is normal. i have to have a tb test done for my job. they run their finger over the injection area and feel for a bump or not. as long as its smooth shes ok. hope the rest of your journey is good. have a safe trip back home.

afreeman said...

Well, I've read your blog and cried every day! I cannot imagine what it is like for you, because I am a basket case! I love you all and have so much love and admiration for you. Be safe, love all your girls, and know we are all praying for you. Love you,

Carey said...

Oh, Congratulations to your family! Abbey is so precious, what a gift!!

Praying the TB test is negative, without even a hint of positive.

What a time you had!! And those flights aren't easy anyway. Glad you made your appointments and are all safe. Praying for renewed health for everyone, too.