Back to Guangzhou

Lara discovers her legs and stands for the first time
Saturday, March 30, 1996 - We left Yangchun around 8 in the morning, and took the coastal route back. It was much faster, and not very scenic. We had one short restroom stop, and arrived back at the White Swan by noon.

We checked back into the hotel and were told to rendezvous in the lobby later on in the afternoon to go for VISA photos. By this time, we were pretty worn out, so we stayed in our room. Lara had come to me with a runny nose that turned into a bad respiratory flu. Within a day, my mother had pretty much the same stuff, and both of them were starting to feel pretty bad, so we decided to take it easy.

I knew that Lara's green card would have her VISA photo on it and I wanted her to look nice, so I dressed her in a smocked jumpsuit I had made for her before I received her referral photo, and her gold pig pendant.

Up till now, Lara acted as if she had no legs. Whenever I tried to stand her up, her legs just hung down limply. But this afternoon, she learned to stiffen them up, and was thrilled to find herself standing up for the very first time! (in the photo, she's learning against me. The rattle she's holding is the one my mother bought for her at Seven Star Crags park. It wouldn't meet American safety standards, but it was one of her favorite toys, and is now a prized souvenir in Lara's Chinese treasure chest.)

7 of the 9 Babies from our Group

(From left to right - Grace, Jillian, Lara, Lianne, Madeleine (hidden), Emma, Hayley)

After we returned from the VISA photos, Mr. Gu suggested that our group have its "Red Couch" photo taken of the babies. There was some grumbling about this because some families hadn't dressed their babies up, and of course, one family still hadn't received a child at all. All of the Yangchun babies were tired and pretty cranky, so our "Red Couch" photo didn't turn out particularly well.

After the VISA photo session, one of the agency reps went along with us to the White Swan doctor, (to translate) so the doctor could have a look at Lara. This turned out to be a real cultural experience. The doctor wasn't very concerned about Lara's bad cough or runny nose, but he was very upset that I allowed her to go about with short sleeves (it was about 70 degrees Fahrenheit) and he nagged me unmercifully to not let her drink cold water. (as if I would be stupid enough to let her drink unboiled Chinese water!) He didn't even bother to take Lara's temperature.

I was completely furious with him, and if it hadn't been for the fact that my mother was having such a good time videotaping the whole deal, I'd have walked out. I was not impressed with this doctor at all. In the end, we got a 2 day supply of some antibiotic pills to crush up in Lara's food, plus a couple of different types of herbal powders to put in her food as well.

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