I've decided to rename our adoption trip to The Whiteheads Sweat through China. It has to be more than 90 degrees here with 90%+ humidity. I'm totally okay with hot and humid weather. I also work in an air conditioned office, so naturally, I packed accordingly.
So today was our visit to Shaiman Island. It's not really an island; don't ask me how it got its name. The US Consulate used to be located there, so it became a popular destination for adoptive families and still is, for shopping. I would suspect that as international adoptions have dipped in the past 8ish years, the number of shops that have closed has been proportional. Add in the heat, humidity, and my poor outfit planning skills, and it wasn't exactly the most fun excursion we've had. We did end up with a few ornaments, some gifts for Madeleine when she's older, and some silk outfits for her to wear now.
We then went to the pearl market, a 5-story tall building that stretched several blocks, all full of stores selling pearls, jade, and other stones. My goal was to purchase a string of pearls for myself and a string of pearls to give to Madeleine when she is older. But faced with all these shops...so overwhelming. I ended up with a pearl necklace and two jade bracelets. They weren't cheap, so I'm telling myself they are real. If you see me wearing them and know how to tell if they're real...don't. I'm better off remaining ignorant.
We rewarded ourselves with a trip to the pool this afternoon. It's so nice that it's the end of October and we got to enjoy an outdoor pool!
As for Madeleine, she was a trooper today. She has a relatively quiet personality, especially around other people. She is playful with us, which is a good sign. Sleep continues to be a struggle. We're all learning. She typically falls asleep quickly, but wakes up 1-4 times every night crying. Part of it could be that she is grieving for what she has lost, her life at the orphanage. When she eats, she acts as if she's never eaten food before, so we've wondered if she wakes up hungry too. It doesn't help that our schedule is all over the place. One day, she'll nap in the morning, another day she'll nap in the afternoon. Sometimes it's 15 minutes, sometimes it's 2 hours.
Tomorrow is our biggest day of all, our appointment with the US Consulate. For all intents and purposes, this is our last big step of the whole adoption process. This is where the US government officially approves our adoption and our request to allow Madeleine to immigrate into the United States.
If you are praying for us, thank you. We'd ask for specific prayers that Madeleine will continue to sleep better and most importantly, that all goes well with the consulate appointment tomorrow morning (8:30 pm Sunday night EST).