Guangzhou Day 15

A bit of a geography lesson:  almost all the foreign embassies in China are located in Guangzhou because for a long time Shamian Island (an island just off the city of Guangzhou) was the only place in China that foreigners were allowed to work and live.  Since each adopted child must receive a visa from their new country's consulate, the vast majority of Chinese adoptions are processed through Guangzhou.  Traditionally, adoptive families stay at the White Swan Hotel on the island, but it is being renovated, so the China Hotel Marriott is the current place to be.  There are adoptive families everywhere - 4 from our agency, 18 from Holt, etc.  They are all doing what we are doing - jumping through the hoops necessary to bring our child home, and exploring the are in the meantime.

Today was the day for Zoe's medical exam.

waiting area
This is what it looks like when lots of families try to process their kids exams at the same time:

It's nice to be around other families - but that was a bit chaotic.  Our guide led us through the steps.  That God for her.  Zoe wasn't fond of the exam, even though it only involved a cursory look-over and some measurements.  She's under 2, so didn't have to have the tuberculosis test, and we signed an agreement to have her vaccinations checked out with our own pediatrician within 30 days of getting home.  We confirmed that Zoe tends to clench her teeth when she's nervous - gave the doctor a bit of a hard time looking in her mouth.

But she was soon all better - feeding Baba the goodies we brought.

Once we were done with the exams, we were free to explore the island.  It is just beautiful - full of beautiful buildings and gardens.

No. 1 Son found out that Zoe loves speed - he went running with her stroller down the sidewalk, and she grinned so big!

One more good thing about the island - it has a Starbucks.  Such a smart company - putting a Starbucks right in the middle of the place.

After a nap, we finished the day with a trip to the outdoor play area at the hotel, and a bath.

There were several milestones we noticed today.  Zoe had been mostly silent for the last 6 days, and today she started to babble.  A lot.  The boys are getting her to repeat some sounds - it's fun to watch!

Also, she was able to get herself from laying on her back to sitting by propping herself sideways and pushing up.  Now she's mobile from sitting and from laying down - watch out world!

Oh yeah, and she cut four teeth in the last 6 days - two top and two bottom.  It's been quite a week for Zoe!


  1. It seems so strange to me... All of these children taken out if their country going so far away... For China to say its ok... Idk,adoption is a good thing, especially when their circumstances are not good, but at the same time, how many of these kids will know where they came from? Such a strange paradigm... Nancy s.

  2. such a gorgeous smile and so blessed to have such amazing brothers! great photos, Laura! -Laura Garcia

  3. Great pics. So wonderful to see Zoe smile, she certainly has come a long way in just a short time. Family is everything.

  4. To Nancy S... in 1960, my parents adopted a 9 year old boy and a 4 year old girl from South Korea. I can tell you that my mom learned to make all sorts of Korean food and we all grew up together eating American food and Korean food. We made friends with Korean families which brought more of the Korean culture into our lives. Our home was a mixture of the cultures...and my brother and sister were sort of celebrities in our social circles. While it wasn't the same as growing up in Korea for them, it was in many ways the best of both worlds. They had all the benefits of life in the US, a bustling family who loved them and opportunities they wouldn't have had in the native country, while also enjoying the ongoing celebration of aspects of the Korean culture. My sister married a man from France, and my brother married a lady from Germany. Apparently, we successfully became an international family. And my sister has three boys then adopted a baby girl from Korea and carried on the tradition. I say all that to say, that adoption may remove them from the culture they were born in, but it doesn't have to take their culture away from them at all. It all depends on how the families handle it, but most I have known continue to celebrate their culture while giving them opportunity to celebrate our culture at the same time. It's a win-win situation.

  5. Of course it's important to consider the pro's and con's of adopting a child from another country. How could we call ourselves compassionate if we didn't? China has a rich and fascinating history. That history now includes a political system that puts no value on girls lives; they are discards. In China Zoe learned, by the age of 1.5 years, to protect her emotions from disappointment. How incredibly sad is that? The pictures of Zoe show her going from poker face to a happy, smiling, goofing around, well-loved little girl, over a 1 week period. In Zoe's case there is no reason to regret taking her from her native country. She is such a lucky girl to have been found by the adoring Marshall family.

  6. We are loving the pic of The Artist holding his new sister! And - we miss you all! xo .. LJ + boys

  7. Thanks so much for sharing this. It's be a real insight and pleasure to read.