"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint."  Isaiah 40:31

I was checking a few emails before posting tonight and saw our first Advent reading and thought it was pretty darn appropriate.  Wow.  It's already advent...

Sorry for the late post today y'all. We got a little off schedule. No particular reason. Just enjoying this town!

This morning included a tour of the Liurong Temple, one of the oldest and most fame-urce (that's tour guide Chenglish for "famous") Buddhist Temples in China. It houses three of the largest golden buddahs in the world, each one weighing 10 tons. Here's an interesting fact: any Buddhist Temple worth it's salt always has THREE Buddhist shrines (buddahs) inside it. they represent the past, present and future. Call me crazy but I honestly think that if your buddah weighs 10 tons, is formed from bronze and cast in gold, one would be plenty. I mean come on - that's alot of gold buddah...

Our next stop was the Chen Ancestral Hall. This place was really cool. It was built from the 14th to 19th years (1888 - 1893) of the Qing Dynasty - the last reigning dynasty of ancient China. It was then contributed to the Chinese government by the Chen family. It has a total area of 15,000 square meters. That's about 162,000 square feet or roughly twice the size of Tiger Stadium. It's a big flippin' house. So, it was originally used as some sort of winter retreat for the emperor, then the Chen's used it for their family reunions until they donated it to the government. Wonder how many "distant cousins" showed up for those family reunions...

So now the house is a tourist attraction and they filled up all the rooms with exhibits and live demonstrations of ancient Chinese folk art, embroidery, paper cutting and painting, among other things. Really was pretty neat to walk around the place as the government has actually done a pretty good job of keeping its original architecture and style preserved. Not bad for government work. We got Mathis and Quinn some "legit Chinese stuff" here, complete with authentic Chinese calligraphy of each of their names and a hand-cut miniature rat and tiger - representing each of the years they were born.

Once the tours were over, we got another chance to buy more jade (pass), then back to the hotel for a quick bite at McDonald's (this one is right next door - SWEET! We've literally eaten more McDonald's in China than we ever do at home), then a much-needed nap.

Quinn was a rockstar again today. I really think she kinda gets it. I mean, I'm sure she's still pretty skeptical of the whole thing, but she at least APPEARS to be enjoying life. I'll say this much: I definitely think she's gained a few pounds (not normally something women like to do, I know, but she needed it), her complexion/hair is looking healthier, she's smiling ALL the time, fits are getting less, and she's really responding to us more and more each day. I know better than to think this process will be smooth sailing, (trust me, Abby and Jimmy - I know), but at the same time, we are thanking our Loving God every minute for placing this little angel in our arms. I can't wait for y'all to meet her. She really seems to have a zest for life that is making me want more.

OK, enough sappy time from daddy. So, after nap we ALL (I mean like EVERY American adoptive family here - there are somewhere near 12 or 13 groups now - still haven't met them all) took a little stroll down to the Macau Street Restaurant for some OUTSTANDING Chinese food. I was actually looking forward to this since we've really been eating nothing but junk (granted, American junk, but junk is still junk no matter what country it's from). They had the best curry chicken EVER, they had pork they had beef, they had rice and NOODLES - yeah, it was Erin's 2nd birthday and, in honor of that, she was allowed to dig in to her bowl of noodles. So, Quinn decided she was just as excited about Erin turning 2 as well, so she proceeded to get ALL UP ON SOME NOODLES too. It was great. Got to reunite with Steve and Jo and their precious Mei-Mei (Meili is her name but they quickly nicknamed her). We're having Mexican food with them tomorrow night. Kaylea is just a little excited...

Ok. Now I'm just rambling. It was yet another good day, folks. What else can I say. We miss y'all terribly but at least we're in a good spot for the rest of our time.

Tomorrow is doctor visits and preparations for visa appointments. Also, I failed to inform those of you who may be wondering exactly why we are here and not already on our way home (we know and we still wonder that too, so don't feel bad). The short answer is that we completed all our Chinese paperwork in Zhengzhou and now, because Guangzhou is the only place in China where the U.S. Consulate does immigrant visas, we are here to complete the U.S. side of everything we have to do to get Quinn home legally. So, there you have it. And our appointment is not until Thursday (Dec. 6th), because, since Quinn is over 2 years old, she also has to have a tuberculosis (TB) test before she can leave China (that's tomorrow). Once we have the results of that, then we can proceed with her visa. Oh - and we got her passport the day before we left Zhengzhou - totally forgot to tell y'all that too (I know you were all wondering, right?).

OK, I'm going to shutup now. Michaela just woke up asking me if I was typing a novel. I said yes.

Picture time!
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So, this is Quinn's "official" adoption certificate. One of two VERY important pieces of paper I meant to share with y'all a few days ago...