Monday in Guangzhou

Today was Tate’s birthday!!!!

Our sweet little boy is now four years old!

We are pretty sure he did not understand that fact at all, but we sure did!

The guys went to Shamian Island with the travel group today.

Shamian Island is where adoptive families used to stay a few years ago, at a hotel called the White Swan. This hotel was still under construction last year when we were there, but was open this year, and the guys went inside to take a look!

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Shamian is a good place for a stroll. It is just 900 meters long from east to west and 300 meters from south to north! Due to traffic control on the island, problems such as traffic jams and car pollution don’t exist there. There is a line of bars and cafes on the southwest side with views over the Pearl River. This was certainly my favorite place we visited last year in Guangzhou!

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This is Simon, the guys guide. He has been a guide for adoptive families for 20 years now!

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Blake and Grant had two things they were hoping to get today – some chopsticks for Tate to bring home (we bought some for each of us last year!), and a scroll with Tate’s Chinese name, American name, and date of birth on it. They were successful!

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While they were in Penny’s Place, Tate said something in Chinese and Penny translated for Blake. He said “Baba! Come see the cat!!” Blake told Penny to tell Tate that he has three cats at his new home! Tate squealed, clapped his hands, and jumped up and down!

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It is kind of a tradition for adoptive families to take a photo of their child with the statues on Shamian Island. Eliza would not stand there for us last year, but Tate seemed not to mind!

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After the trip to Shamian, Tate fell asleep in the bus on the way back to the hotel. Blake carried him all the way up to the room asleep, and he slept in his crib for over an hour! Then it was time for some noodles for lunch with his big brother!

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The guys walked around in the afternoon, stopped at the Friendship Mall for snacks, and picked up some Pizza Hut to take back to the room for dinner!

A sweet note and cake was delivered to the room for Tate’s birthday!!!! Oh my goodness, I SO want a bite of that!! We have gifts bought to have our own little celebration once Tate arrives home! We might have went a little overboard on the gifts, but can you blame us???!!

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Tate’s TB test was negative, as were all the children in our agencies group! We exhaled a little bit when we got that news, because a positive TB test would not allow Tate to leave China. It is very, very rare for a child to have a positive test though.

We were just visiting with the guys on Skype as they start their Tuesday, and they are getting ready to meet our guide from last year, Aron, to head to the U.S. Consulate for their appointment! Their day is free after that, and Tate has already showed his swimsuit to his Baba to let him know that he wants to go swimming later today.


Please pray with us that Tate’s visa will be issued as expected! Continue to pray for the language barrier, and for Tate’s health too.

The guys only have three more full days in China before they start the long trek home!!


  1. Tessa Hoffman says:

    I’m sure Kayla will tell you – but I saw her today while I was out running errands and I’m SO GLAD I did. Firstly, she looks just beautiful – she has that gorgeous pregnancy glow going on. 🙂 Secondly, with my little one now at home it has been quite a while since I’ve checked the blog, so she was able to give me the quick verbal update that Blake and Grant are in China and are bringing Tate home! Just wanted to say how that news made my day. So happy for you and will be praying for a peaceful adjustment for the whole family. (I’ll have to try to check the blog more often for updates!)

    • Steph says:

      Awwww, Tessa!!! Kayla did tell me she saw you and your sweet little miracle, and I was super jealous!! Thank you for your prayers!!

  2. Georgina says:

    Happy Birthday to Tate! I’m so happy that he was able to enjoy his birthday with his family … I am smiling thinking about next year and how he will definitely know what having a birthday means! He will be so excited!! Not long now and you will have your guys home and everything will be as it should be. Praise!

  3. Kristen says:

    Sitting in the dentist’s office now and going back through the week’s posts with Mary Claret. Her comment,”so they’re having basically the same trip as last year but without the wonderful Landsgaards.” Hahahaha!

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