I was thankful to have a relaxing morning since we were up so early yesterday for our Consulate Appointment. After another delicious breakfast at the buffet and exchanging some more American money for Chinese money, we met our travel group in the hotel lobby. It's always so good to see everyone in the morning and hear how everyone is doing...we've truly bonded and formed lasting friendships! Our "outing" for the day was to the Guangzhou Zoo, which I'd heard was pretty amazing...and that proved to be true! Although the pandas didn't come out to play, we still got to see other exotic animals and enjoyed time with friends in God's beautiful creation.
Once back at the hotel and a quick lunch in the room, I put Jenna down for a nap. This was the first time she REALLY fought me and threw a typical 2-year-old tantrum, kicking her legs and crying. I felt bad but knew she needed to rest, so I laid in the bed with her until she calmed down, thankfully within about 10-15 minutes. I even fell asleep for a few minutes after I knew she was out for the count (Shelby was watching a movie on my computer). Fatigue must be setting in, as I NEVER fall asleep in the middle of the day!
Once Jenna was awake and all smiles again, we went down to the lobby to meet Miko, our awesome guide, to get important paperwork from the Consulate, including Jenna's visa to fly home to America!!! This VERY important final step in this LONG process is now done...praise the Lord!!!
Shelby wanted to go back to the hotel playground, so we did that for a while and then enjoyed a delicious dinner at a nearby Malaysian restaurant. I think I ate my weight in rice noodles...it was all SO good!!!
After we trekked through the busy streets of Guangzhou back to the hotel, the girls enjoyed their bath and then the highlight of my day happened (next to getting Jenna's visa): we got to Skype with Jason, Nathan and Andrew back home before they went off to work and school, and Jenna waved and smiled at them all. It was AWESOME!!! I've been showing her lots of pictures of them this week and I pray that when she sees them in a couple of days her little mind will somehow remember them. Most of all, I pray that she'll soon embrace her daddy that loves her so much!
We have one more full day here in China, and as excited as I am to bring Jenna home and see all my boys, I have to admit I have sadness in my heart, too. The journey to get to China has been so long and now it's almost come to an end. These two weeks have been so special, so emotional, so exhausting physically and mentally, and so incredible that I'm sad to see it all end. But what brings my heart joy is knowing that this is really the beginning of living our life as the Preston Party of Six!