Once we left the park, we went and spent the rest of the day with Bella’s foster family at their home. They had some friends over for a cookout, friends that have been a part of Bella’s life and who helped her be placed in foster care. We have learned so much about Bella’s life and we have forever family and friends. Bella spent the day with her foster siblings playing and just relishing in her time with them. It was a very emotional day and one of the hardest goodbye’s we have ever had to say. I can’t express how grateful we are to them and how much we love this family. As I have said before, they are angels on earth. They nursed Isabella back to life … they gave her a chance to live and thrive. When we left, Isabella cried and did not want to leave, but as soon as we got in the cab back to the hotel she cuddled up in my arms and fell asleep. We will never let her forget her first family and we hope to visit with them when they come to the States.
Today we had to pack up and get ready to go to Guangzhou. The Sichuan province (Chengdu is the capital of the province) is where Bella was born and has always lived, so leaving this place is significant even though she does not realize this. As far as we know this is the first flight she has taken since she had her heart surgery almost 2 years ago. She seemed a little apprehensive during takeoff, but as soon as we were in the air she laid down on my lap and fell asleep. She slept through the entire flight and even during the landing. The hotel had someone at the airport with our names on a poster waiting for us. We rode to the hotel with another adoptive family. Everyone has said that once they get to Guangzhou, everything seems to fall into place. And now I know what they mean! We are staying at the White Swan on Shamian Island and it is the prettiest place we have been since being in China. The island reminds me of Savannah, Georgia … big trees with some type of moss in them and palm trees, lots of green parks, beautiful sidewalks and water. We are staying right on the water and the hotel is just gorgeous! There is a big waterfall and huge fish (Bella LOVES the fish.!!! She goes right for them.) There is also 2 wonderful pools here. I wish the boys could see this place. They would love it.
Bella has really gotten close to her daddy tonight. So far she has not let me out of her sight without screaming. She won’t let daddy push her in the stroller without throwing a fit and she won’t let him carry her unless I am right beside her. BUT tonight they have wrestled (because she has to fit in with the boys you know) and played and went to see the fish. (If anyone wants a key to this little girl’s heart, buy her a real fish. Ha!) We figure she will love going to our neighbor’s to see the fish … although we may never get her away from them.
We went to eat at Lucy’s – a well known restaurant for adoptive families because it serves great Western food. Bella loved the sweet tea and spaghetti we got. She has really taken off eating for us and will try anything. (You hear that Aidan? She will try anything! HaHa)
We have been able to meet up with some of the families and their children now that we are all back in the same place. So neat to see how wonderfully God has matched these children with their parents. Can't wait to meet the rest tomorrow!